Middle Tennessee State University Police Lt. Demetrius Smith recently leveled up his leadership skills by completing the rigorous and nationally recognized Northwestern University School of Police Staff and Command, joining five other senior commanding officers on the university’s force with this accomplishment.
“I felt elated, accomplished,” said Smith about his recent July 28 graduation. “I felt a personal pride as well as pride for representing not only myself but the members of the MTSU Police Department.”
The strenuous, 10-week course hosted at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee, consisted of full-time classes on all aspects of senior command-level policing such as planning and policies, media relations, organizational behavior, budgeting and resource allocation, human resources, modern policing and more, according to the school’s website at https://tinyurl.com/yudy5rwk.
After serving the campus community for two decades and rising in the ranks to a patrol lieutenant, Smith said he pursued the course because he wanted to be better prepared in his current role supervising several officers on patrol and for any potential next steps in departmental command.
Campus police Chief Ed Kaup said that it is important for the department that their leaders, like Smith, continue to grow.
“That includes attending training to ensure we are learning about new and existing technologies, updating policies to match best practices and national standards and learning how best to serve our officers and our communities,” Kaup said. “We expect our supervisors to not only supervise, but to lead our officers to accomplish the mission of the department and the university.
“We are very proud of Lt. Smith…. He not only graduated but excelled in this program. This accomplishment has made our department better.”
Smith said the most challenging part of the school was the massive amount of information to take in.
“Looking at it seemed overwhelming, but the best moment was rising to the challenges of the coursework much like we do every day in law enforcement when we don the uniform, take on the challenges of society and pursue the commitments to our communities,” said the Atlanta, Georgia, native. “There were (also) several books for outside reading on leadership and emotional intelligence.”
Smith said he returned to campus with a clearer idea of the leader he wants to be.
“The department is getting back a man who is better prepared to help with organizational leadership and behavior. A better tooled leader to help others understand the importance of mental, physical and emotional awareness,” he said.
MTSU Police is currently looking for entry-level officers and more to serve the campus community with leaders like Lt. Smith and others. For more information, visit the MTSU jobs website at https://www.mtsu.edu/jobs/.
Stay on top of all campus and law enforcement updates through the department’s website at https://www.mtsu.edu/police/or by following MTSU Police on X, formerly known as Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.
— Stephanie Wagner (Stephanie.Wagner@mtsu.edu)