Emulation is the greatest form of flattery
The Phantom attended an excellent symposium in October, the annual Women Leaders in Law Enforcement. Two visionary women from Palo Alto PD, Alana Forest and Lacey Burt, started the event in 1987. Through their hard work, dedication to the needs of women in law enforcement, and good leadership the event was supported and promoted by the California Police Chiefs Association in 2006.
The annual conference in 2013 was held in San Jose and is both a testament to the original vision of it’s founders and the women leaders who have helped expand the vision. The theme of the conference this year was “Leading at Every Level.” This theme was evidenced by the excellent speakers like Chief Jacqueline Seabrooks, Sergeant Betsy Brantner Smith, Janice Niederhofer, Eris Weaver, and the many Police Chiefs who participated in the leadership roundtable.
So where was Sheriff Laurie in all this you might ask? She was there for about 5 minutes during the opening and then nowhere to be found; absent, void, non-existent, just like Sheriff Laurie’s leadership as the Sheriff of Santa Clara County.
During the leadership roundtable discussion (did I mention Sheriff Laurie was nowhere to be found) we discussed the qualities of a successful leader and a failed leader. The good qualities of a leader were played out by our table leaders who were real, honorable leaders in their profession. The experience was incredible because for the first time in a long time, the Phantom saw what a successful leader looked like.
Sheriff Laurie has been in a leadership role for almost four decades now. The 2013 conference was held right in San Jose, in the County of Sana Clara. The Phantom believes it very peculiar that the first woman Sheriff in California seems to have nothing to offer the women in law enforcement. Where is her leadership, her mentoring of women in this great profession, her ability to bring greater recognition and opportunity to other women? If compared to the those present at the conference, nonexistent.
So why was Sheriff Laurie not there? Is it because no one wanted to hear from her? Is it because the lack of leadership is so obvious she has nothing to contribute to the conference? Is it because she is not respected by her peers in leadership? Or was she “not feeling well” like we’ve been hearing about lately?
So what is your excuse Sheriff Laurie?