By Sarah Hogsed
Register News Writer
A high-ranking Richmond police department officer recently completed an intensive three-month course that helped him polish his leadership skills while learning about new concepts in policing practices.
Maj. Bob Mott graduated from the Southern Police Institute in November, becoming the first RPD officer to do so, according to Chief Larry Brock.
The Southern Police Institute, which has been in existence since 1951, is at the University of Louisville. It is one of the top law enforcement educational and training schools in the nation, according to its website.
Mott is an 18-year veteran of the Richmond police, having started as a patrolman. He is now one of three majors in the RPD, and he oversees investigations.
“I approached Chief Brock with attending the institute,” Mott said.
Brock is supportive of his officers getting professional training, Mott said, so he quickly obtained approval to apply to the program.
Starting this fall, Mott lived in a dorm at U of L and attended graduate-level courses in the Department of Justice Administration for three months. The city of Richmond paid the tuition and related expenses, Mott said.
The administrative officers course doesn’t just draw members of U.S. law enforcement agencies. Officers from Europe and Pacific Rim nations also have successfully completed the program.
Mott said a group of officers from Turkey attended this fall. The country regularly sends members of its national police force to the Southern Police Institute.
The variety of backgrounds along with the high level of instruction allows officers to network and learn from each other, which is one of the main goals of the program.
“You’re going to learn different ways of doing things,” Mott said.
Because Mott already has a police administration degree from Eastern Kentucky University, he was able to take four accelerated graduate-level courses. The classes covered legal aspects of policing, leadership, police administration and organizational performance.
As a graduate student, Mott had to do more research papers, and he also helped teach undergraduates in U of L’s Department of Justice Administration.
Since successfully graduating the program Nov. 8 with 38 other officers, Mott is eager to apply what he has learned to improve the Richmond Police Department.
“We’ve discussed quite a bit of things other agencies are doing now,” Mott said.
Internally, Mott said some of the biggest challenges facing the RPD is funding and the reduction in manpower relative to Richmond’s growing population.
Out on the city’s streets, the two biggest crime problems are the rampant abuse of prescription narcotics and the manufacture of methamphetamine, according to Mott.
He hopes what he learned will help all RPD officers improve their leadership skills in the community while dealing with these serious issues.
“There’s a reason people from Turkey and all around the nation are coming to the Southern Police Institute,” Mott said. “... (the program) brings in many other thought processes.”
Sarah Hogsed can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 624-6694.