In an effort to better serve our community, the NOPD encourages continuing education and training for its ranks, including its senior leadership.
As part of that training, Deputy Chief Paul Noel recently attended and graduated from the Major Cities Chiefs Association’s (MCCA) fourth Police Executive Leadership Institute (PELI).
The purpose of the institute is to develop current and future law enforcement leaders and to ready them for the transition to the top position. The program consists of five components including two classroom sessions, a 360-Degree Assessment and mentor shadowing.
“This program is not just a great program for us as the NOPD, but it’s a chance for us to show that our police department is growing and learning and doing what we can to make this department better for the citizens of New Orleans,” said Noel, who heads the department’s Field Operations Bureau.
The three-week program – which was spread out over a series of months – saw Noel travel to Charlotte, N.C.; Nashville, Tenn. and Washington, D.C., taking part in activities from classroom training and job shadowing to a mock job interview and the program’s 360 Degree Assessment, all to help create better law enforcement leaders.
This is the first time that an NOPD representative has taken part in the prestigious program, where only 22 deputy chiefs from across North America were selected as participants. NOPD Superintendent Michael Harrison recommended Noel for the program.
“It was truly an honor to be the first to represent the New Orleans Police Department in this program,” Noel said. “The networking opportunities are unbelievable. To be able to learn and network and build personal relationships with chiefs and deputy chiefs from not just major cities in the U.S., but Canada as well, is something that can only benefit our department as we move forward in helping to modernize policing and evolving law enforcement.”
In the program’s first week, the attendees traveled to Charlotte, N.C. in late 2016 to learn from experienced police chiefs from across the country.
“That week was about discovering more about you as a leader, including how we interact with our supervisors, our peers, our subordinates and with city government,” Noel said. “We had other police chiefs come in and talk to us about their paths up the chain of command and not only what it takes to be a good police chef, but how to sustain that success long term.”
The second week saw Noel visit Nashville to job shadow Metropolitan Nashville Police Chief Steve Anderson, an experienced MCCA chief and police veteran of more than 40 years. During this week, Noel followed Anderson through his daily routine, seeing how the chief interacted with his staff, city officials and community stakeholders.
“I’ve learned so much here from Superintendent (Michael) Harrison and other leaders here, but it can be difficult to learn when you have so many other issues going on at the same time,” he said. “To be able to be separated from that and to sit back not only as an observer, but to be learning from someone as experienced as Chief Anderson, was amazing. To be able to pick his brain on different issues and to see how his agency handles things was a great experience. I was able to spend a week watching how his department works and just soak it all in.”
The final week of the program, the attendees traveled to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., where they learned about how German police’s involvement in the German Reich’s activities during World War II and how to avoid such situations in the future.
“Looking at it from a historical perspective, if you want to keep mistakes from happening in the future, you need to look to your past,” Noel said. “We never want anything like that to ever happen again anywhere. That’s something we took a hard look at in this program.”
Noel said the PELI program provided an invaluable experience to grow both personally and professionally.
“This experience taught me a lot about what it takes to be a police chief and also taught me things I can do to be a better leader,” he said. “Hopefully, I can bring some of those ideas back here and use them to help make our department better.”
Along with Noel, participants in the fourth PELI program included representatives from police departments in New York City, Chicago, Houston, Miami, Tucson, Austin, Detroit, Nashville, Baltimore, Dallas, Atlanta, Calgary, Vancouver and more.
The PELI program is funded by the MCCA, through a generous grant from the Motorola Foundation.