By Captain (ret.) Andy Borrello, P1 Contributor

Across the country, law enforcement organizations understand how critical it is to implement succession planning to develop the police leaders of tomorrow.

Most agencies rely on in-house mentorship and/or training to accomplish this goal, but often find this is a half-measure that results in average outcomes. Succession planning is a strategy and, while it should not be complex, its effectiveness is greatly impacted by its diversity and multi-prong approach.

While law enforcement agencies tout the value and need for succession planning, few actually have or employ any formal plan. Succession planning is often fluid and more conceptual than tangible. A succession plan that is carried out is tangible action. Once the plan is put into action, it is no longer succession planning, it is succession doing and that is when the value of such a plan can be realized by the organization.

I have created a succession development plan (available for download below) that can serve as a potential guide or template for law enforcement agencies to develop their own comprehensive succession planning program.

This plan offers goals and instructions for how to develop officers, sergeants, lieutenants and captains. While the plan is based on California law enforcement operations and policies, the template is designed to be easily revised and customized to apply to any organization. Consider this a living document that should change and grow with your organization. Adopt the plan as your own and use it to develop a unique and comprehensive strategy that will identify the successors that will lead your agency into a successful future.

About the Author Andy Borrello is a retired police captain and 27-year veteran of the San Gabriel (CA) Police Department. He is the author of “Police Promotion Super Course” and has served as a career development consultant, promotional coach and seminar presenter for the past 17 years. He is a California POST Master Instructor and a graduate of POST Command College. Andy welcomes comments and networking at

Succession Development Plan Template by Ed Praetorian on Scribd

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