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Law enforcement leadership academy hosts graduation ceremony at West TN Training Center

MADISON COUNTY (WNBJ) - The Southeastern Leadership Academy hosted its graduation this morning at the West Tennessee Regional Training Center.

Over 30 law enforcement officers from various counties across the state celebrated their completion of the Southeastern Leadership Academy, also known as SELA.

“It goes back approximately 20 years. It is a 5-week based leadership program made up of police chiefs and sheriff’s departments across the state,” said Rick Scarbrough, the Exec. Dir. at the University of Tennessee Law Enforcement Innovation Center.

Scarbrough says it’s a great opportunity for law enforcement to sharpen their skills.

“The lessons are invaluable, but probably even more valuable is the networks that are going to make with the other leaders that are participating in the program. And, also how to communicate and engage with their communities,” said Scarbrough.

One of the graduates from the Madison County Sheriff’s Office says he will pass on the skills he learned to future deputies.

“We have some specific tools that we can give to those folks coming up behind us and hopefully facilitating and making their transfer to a leadership position a little bit easier,” said Sgt. Bill Young from the Madison County Sheriff’s Office.

The leadership program is usually taught in Chattanooga by the University of Tennessee Law Enforcement Innovation Center Institute for Public Service.

This was the first time the training was held in West Tennessee.

“We were able to open it up to other departments and bring them in throughout west Tennessee. We got a couple from middle Tennessee. You’re training these people to get leadership training that is at the top throughout the nation. This is one of the best classes,” said Sheriff John Mehr with the Madison County Sheriff’s Office.

The sheriff’s department and the academy says they hope to be able to host more training and graduation ceremonies here in west Tennessee.

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