Dr. Ann-Christine Andersson Arntén & Chief of Police Mac Tristan

When Mac Tristan became the Chief of Police of Coppell, Texas, he took his experiences from Carrolton, Texas and used them to change the culture of his new department.

He started by telling everyone – all ranks including managers and civilians – to read “Managing the Unexpected” by Weick and Sutcliffe.

He then began to model the behavior that was expected of everyone in the organization. He also instructed his command staff to model the behavior they expected of their line officers.  

The goal was for everyone to understand what was expected – not just from management, but from everyone. This set the standard for leadership, behavior and employment.

After that first book, he told them to read more books about leadership and the type of department that he wanted to run. He also conducted weekly and monthly meetings with his supervisors where these books were discussed and put into practice.

To be successful in changing the organization from top-down hierarchical management to participative management, everyone had to understand their role and take responsibility for their work. Below you can find examples of the books that the employees were told to read. These books emphasized the Coppell police departments Servant Leadership philosophy and problem-oriented approach to proactive policing. 

Chief of Police, Mac Tristan says:

”Empowering is no longer enough. It is about engagement by everyone in the organization. Everyone participates in leadership, not just a few or those at the top of the organization- it is more about power that is willingly shared throughout the organization”

This second film is a shortened version of the lecture Chief of Police Mac Tristan held at the Stockholm Criminology Symposium in June 2014. Chief Tristan talks here about how he worked in practice with change.

The required reading also included:
1. “7 Pillars of Servant Leadership” by James Sipe and Don Frick
2. “The Leadership Challenge” by James Kouzes and Barry Posner
3. “Effective Police Supervision” by Harry W. More and Larry S. Miller (Chapters 1-6)
4. “Challenging the Law Enforcement Organization” by Jack Enter


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