by Lisa Tome
Lt. Michael Holmes hadn't had to hit the books this hard since college and the police academy.
But Holmes, Criminal Investigations Commander, and Captain Stephen Brownhill, Operations Commander, both with the Cecil County Sheriff's Office, became the first Maryland law enforcement officers to graduate from a prestigious Command and Leadership Academy recently.
For 14 weeks, the pair attended and subsequently graduated from the New Jersey State Association Chiefs of Police Command and Leadership Academy. The program was developed in partnership with the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. The focus of the course was leadership as a science. There was an emphasis on logical, critical thinking, decision making, communications, counseling, and conflict management.
"I learned a lot. It was both challenging and rewarding," said Captain Brownhill. He also said what he learned will definitely be able to be applied on the job. "Juggling work, home, and family life with this work was challenging."
Holmes said one of the class requirements was a 20-30 page presentation. "The class was all day at least once a week. And we had numerous tests," said Lt. Holmes. "And we had five to 10 hours a week of homework." In addition to being the first Maryland law enforcement officers to graduate from this program, Lt. Holmes also earned the class Academic Award for attaining the highest grade point average in the class.
Major George Stanko, Director of Law Enforcement for CCSO, has also completed this program. Stanko took the course when he worked for Newark Police Department. "We have to stay current in the rapidly evolving police world," said Major Stanko.
Sheriff Scott Adams has made training a priority within the Sheriff's Office and is dedicated to achieving and maintaining professional standards as the highest level within the agency. "Their success is a testament to their hard work and commitment to the Sheriff's Office and the citizens of Cecil County," said Sheriff Adams.