Youngman completes FBI leadership course

Daviess County Sheriff Brad Youngman recently completed a Federal Bureau of Investigation program geared toward helping police chiefs and sheriffs improve their departments while addressing specific issues related to law enforcement.

Youngman graduated from the program, the National Command Course, last week in Washington, D.C.

The program is for leaders of small law enforcement agencies, with 50 or fewer sworn officers. The Daviess sheriff’s office has about 47 sworn deputies, Youngman said Friday.

“It’s geared toward a gap in the programs they offer,” Youngman said.

While the FBI holds a 10-week National Academy for law enforcement officers, “they found small agencies don’t attend the national academy” because they can’t afford to send officers away for such a long time, Youngman said.

The National Command Course is a one-week program. Youngman said the week focused on leadership topics and on issues such as officer health and wellness and stress management and suicide prevention.

“There were people in the class that had been chiefs for a long time,” Youngman said, and that, “I seemed to be the youngest person there.

“We had some really great presentations from phenomenal speakers who are experts in their fields,” Youngman said.

The class studied the leadership style of George Washington at Washington’s home in Mount Vernon, and discussed leadership with retired Marine General John Kelly, who was also a chief of staff to former president Donald Trump. A focus of part of the week was how leaders can help deputies and officers manage stress and maintain their health.

Officers and law enforcement leaders face stressful situations and traumatic experiences, so a focus was on giving class members tools they could use to assist their officers, Youngman said.

Youngman said he is looking into ways to implement ideas centered on deputy wellness into the office’s schedule, such as building wellness time into the schedule, where officers can attend to medical appointments and other important issues.

Finding ways to improve deputy wellness would benefit the deputies and the department as a whole, Youngman said. Some departments that have improved their approach to officer wellness have seen decreases in insurance costs, Youngman said.

“Making the staff healthier and saving money, that’s a dream come true,” Youngman said.