Thirty law enforcement executives from Tennessee have completed the 2009 Southeastern Command and Leadership Academy (SECLA) at the University of Tennessee.
Now in its eighth year, SECLA is a leadership development program at the UT Law Enforcement Innovation Center (LEIC). Classes and graduation are held at UT Chattanooga (UTC) each year, and the now more than 200 alumni of the program represent law enforcement from seven states.
Marlon Lynch, chief of police for the Vanderbilt University Police Department, provided the keynote address for the 2009 SECLA graduation on Jan. 23.
“When we stand up with conviction and courage to challenge the status quo and commit to making a change with energy and authenticity, we can’t help but bring others with us on that path. That is the nature of leadership,” Lynch said.
Mike Hill, SECLA program manager at UT LEIC, said the graduation is not only a special occasion for the class, but a testament to the successful partnerships created between universities, communities and law enforcement statewide.
“This academy brought together command staff officers and the region’s top criminal justice scholars to prepare the officers for increased responsibilities in senior administrative positions,” Hill said. “The participants have been through a process that will have both immediate and long-term impacts on their agencies and communities.”
The 2009 SECLA class named Sgt. Chris Caulpetzer of the Knoxville Police Department as class president.
“One of the most valuable assets gained from attending this academy is not listed on the curriculum, and that is the level of networking which has been created between all of my classmates while being here together. The exchange of ideas and information, and the friendships that have been formed across all of the departments represented here, that will last forever,” Caulpetzer said.
SECLA is divided into seven, one-week sessions that are held over seven months on the UTC campus. The flexible one-week per month training schedule minimizes the participants’ extended absences from work and home.
The program offers 12 undergraduate credit hours or six graduate level credit hours through UTC. Areas of study include leadership and management, emerging trends in law enforcement, ethics and integrity, risk management and liability, planning and budgeting, managing diversity and media relations.
“We are thrilled to continue our partnership with LEIC, which demonstrates the University’s commitment to community engagement. It is our privilege to participate in a program that integrates academic research and field practice to ensure that our leaders in policing have the most current, state-of-the-art information and knowledge,” said Helen Eigenberg, professor and chair of the Department of Criminal Justice at UTC.
SECLA is a partnership between the UT LEIC, UTC Continuing Education Division, UTC Department of Criminal Justice and the Tennessee Association of Chiefs of Police. The Tennessee Department of Finance and Administration provides financial support for SECLA.
“The University appreciates the willingness of our law enforcement chiefs and sheriffs, community leaders, and funding agents to make this solid investment in public safety. This program, funded in part by the Tennessee Department of Criminal Justice Programs, focuses on preparing law enforcement supervisors for the future of public safety, as well as the future of their profession,” said Daniel Baker, UT LEIC executive director.
Preparations are underway for 2010 SECLA, which begins in July 2009 and graduates in January 2010. The application process will open soon to all law enforcement agencies.
For more information, visit http://www.leic.tennessee.edu. UT LEIC is located in Oak Ridge and is an agency of the statewide UT Institute for Public Service.
The 2009 SECLA graduates are:
Capt. Michael Berkes, Germantown Police Department
Lt. David Bohler, Vanderbilt Police Department
Lt. Nola Brown, Vanderbilt Police Department
Sgt. Chris Caulpetzer, Knoxville Police Department
Lt. Corliss Cooper, Chattanooga Police Department, Recipient of 2009 SECLA Leadership Award
Commander Brian Cozby, Vanderbilt Police Department
Lt. Kirk Eidson, Chattanooga Police Department
Lt. Patrick England, Blount County Sheriff’s Office
Lt. Gerald Harrell, Johnson City Police Department
Sgt. Jeremy Haywood, Columbia Police Department
Lt. Eric Heath, Vanderbilt Police Department
Lt. Troy Huffines, Vanderbilt Police Department
Lt. Randy Hunter, Vanderbilt Police Department
Lt. Vivienne Irizarry, Vanderbilt Police Department
Lt. William Johnson, Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office
Lt. Carole Lewis, Germantown Police Department
Lt. Stephen Lewis, Metro Nashville Police Department
Sgt. David Lowe, Johnson City Police Department
Lt. Charles Lowery Jr., Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office
Asst. Chief Mike Newman, Loudon Police Department
Sgt. Ellen Peoples, Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office
Lt. Justin Pinkelton, Metro Nashville Police Department
Sgt. C. Wayne Prince, Columbia Police Department
Sgt. Robert Taylor, Knoxville Police Department
Lt. Roger Tidwell, Vanderbilt Police Department
Chief Richard Trull, Arnold Air Force Base, Recipient of the 2009 SECLA Academic Achievement Award
Chief Boyd Veal, Signal Mountain Police Department
Lt. Walker Veal III, Vanderbilt Police Department
Chief Felix Vess, Chattanooga Housing Police
Lt. Joseph Waldron, Vanderbilt Police Department