Experience, the right credentials and a clear vision: these were just a few words and phrases that characterize this interview with Police Chief of the City of Davis, Landy Black. Providing police services and guidance to a police force is a task best reserved for someone who has the skills and knowledge suited to tackle such unique issues. With a master’s of public administration, certifications that includes one from the FBI National Academy and many years as a captain, Chief Black has the tools needed for success.

(Photo Courtesy of Landy Black)

(Photo Courtesy of Landy Black)

What does your job entail?

“A police chief is responsible for providing police services to a community in such a way that it reduces the fear of crime, and the frustration that derives from nuisance and disorder, while providing fair and transparent law enforcement services.”

What parts of your job do you enjoy most?

“I am most happy when I am able to participate in public interactions that provide me the opportunity to be a good ambassador for both my department and law enforcement in general; those times when potential detractors come to understand and believe that we work in their interest, with fair treatment of all being paramount to the way we accomplish our mission. The greatest satisfaction comes from seeing a critic become a cheerleader.”

What was your education history?

“Slowly, but steadily, albeit with occasional breaks, I pursued an educational path that would prepare me…. I ultimately obtained a Bachelor of Arts in business administration and then a master’s of public administration degree with a justice administration concentration.

I also hold executive leadership certifications through courses of study with the FBI National Academy, the California Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training and the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission.”

Do you think your education has helped?

“My education has provided me with not only the tools to help accomplish tasks, conduct accurate studies/research, produce informative and compelling reports and participate fully as a member of effective management teams, but to understand the many influences that both help and hinder the way prudent, progressive and sustainable programs can be developed, and then how to lead the organization to success through those well-conceived programs.”

Any advice for future police chiefs?

“Those who want to not only pursue a career in law enforcement, but lead the profession’s progress and refinement by being an effective police leader, should seek educational opportunities that broaden perspective and make it possible to not only understand and tolerate of a greater variety of perspectives, but to also develop a compelling, professional need to seek out those perspectives. A police leader must maintain a 360 degree perspective, not become too narrowly focused on the details, but learn how to bring together those who do know the details to build an empowered team. Learn to delegate and empower through confidence and well-guided visioning.”

Paulo Acoba is a California native raised in the Bay Area and living in the Central Valley. He enjoys distance running, cycling and grassroots motorsports. He holds a degree in management from the University of California Merced. Paulo has been writing for Examiner.com since 2012 and covering the Fresno area.