News 11's Adonis Albright sits down with Police Chief Jessup to talk about the importance of this award
SAN LUIS, Ariz. (KYMA, KECY) - The San Luis Police Department (SLPD) was recently awarded a prestigious award by the FBI on February 2. The agency is one of only seven in the country to receive the distinguished FBI LEEDA award, and the only department in Yuma County.
It stands for "Law Enforcement Executive Development Association" Trilogy Agency Award. All top command staff at the department cleared three core leadership education programs, taught by experts in the law enforcement field. Police Chief Richard Jessup tells News 11 this goes a long way in letting the community know they're in good hands.
“Communities want to trust their police departments. Communities want to know that we’re doing the best that we can do for them", said Jessup.
Chief Jessup has been in public service for years, and became Chief of the SLPD in June of 2018. Over his long career, one thing has remained consistent: leadership.
“Leadership flows from top to bottom. But it’s modeled from the bottom up, and so I'm into leadership, I want my guys to be in leadership. I want my sergeants to be in leadership, I want my patrol people to be - I want my entire department to be in leadership."
This award is very rare. Arizona currently only has one person who can instruct law enforcement to get the accreditation: Ron Bayne. He is a retired Police Commander of the Scottsdale Police Department, who now works as a training coordinator for AZPOST. He also trains part time for FBI LEEDA.
Chief Jessup said winning this award was a top priority for his department, and was years in the making. It took a lot of hard work and dedication.
“It shows that you are committed to your community… Now you have a common purpose among your law enforcement personnel to go ‘oh, okay I get that'. Now how can I go into my community, and utilize the development and leadership programs that I’ve learned.”
Lt. Marco Santana, a public information officer with SLPD, tells News 11 that this wasn't an end goal. The agency has achieved many things in the past couple of years, and it's actively working on bettering relations not only with the community, but with each other as a team.
“We have a lot more to do, a lot more to learn, a lot more to achieve."