Succession planning is a process whereby police organizations take affirmative steps to plan for filling vacancies they know will exist in key positions. Studied extensively by scholars, effective succession planning involves identifying the right people for the job and developing them in ways that will allow them to assume the mantle of leadership if and when the time comes.

Changes in both civil service and retirement benefits packages have disincentivized prospective applicants for leadership positions by making it more attractive for them to stay where they are. These factors have combined to make succession planning more important now than ever before, but it is still often overlooked. Through attention to the essential underpinnings of succession planning and by undertaking specific implementation steps, police organizations are able ...

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