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STEP General Information

Welcome to STEP   *   What is STEP?   *   Board Memers & Faculty   *   Training Location & Cost   *   Most Recent Class

Chief Mike Mathis, CLEE
Springdale PD


As a police chief, I have come more than ever to understand and appreciate the tremendous role first line supervisors fill within any criminal justice agency.  The transition, training, and development of newly promoted supervisors are of the utmost importance to any organization.  STEP fulfills that role in a truly significant way.  Subject matter experts both within and outside of law enforcement cover nineteen modules of instruction that are critical to new supervisors.  The curriculum is constantly reviewed and evaluated by the STEP committee.

Every STEP class also selects a class member to serve on the committee so that the committee receives fresh and relevant perspectives.  STEP will give the students up- to- date and practical information that can readily be applied upon return to their agency.

Chief Mike Mathis, CLEE  Springdale PD

What is STEP?

STEP was designed to develop newly promoted officers, or about to be promoted officers, into highly effective first line supervisors with the competency skills necessary to lead and supervise in a high performance organization.  The current STEP curriculum is comprised of nineteen modules including: transition to supervisor, leadership strategies, creating an ethical environment, developing subordinates, mentoring, dealing with problematic employees, effective listening and speaking, improved written communication, administrative skills, performance management, conflict management, critical incident management through table top exercise, supervisory response to line of duty shooting and patrol operations, supervisory response to vehicle and foot pursuits, supervisory response to domestic violence calls, media relations, risk management, capstone case studies, team presentations, panel presentations on contemporary issues, and a First Line Supervisor 360 assessment.  The modules are presented over a course of three one- week sessions held in the Spring and Fall.


Transition to Supervisor
Creating an Ethical Environment
Risk Management for Supervisors
Effective Listening and Speaking
Mentoring & Emotional Intelligence
FLS 360 Instruction
Development of Subordinates: Counseling and Coaching
Effective Written Communication for Supervisors
Managing Problematic Employees

Administrative Skills
Performance Management
Effective Supervisory Response to Domestic Violence Calls
Patrol Operations
Supervisory Response to Foot & Vehicle Pursuits
Critical Incident Management
Media Relations

FLS 360 degree feedback
Conflict Management
Below 100 Initiative
Contemporary Issues in Law Enforcement-Team-Presentations
Capstone Case Studies

The Supervisor Training and Education (STEP) program was implemented in 2004 to assist recently promoted officers in making the transition to first line supervisor; a transition generally recognized as among the most difficult challenges in a law enforcement professional’s career. As officers enter the position of supervisor, they must change and adapt to meet the new position and organizational requirements.  Through 2017, 552 first line supervisors have completed STEP.

The concern expressed by many chiefs of police in Ohio is that many newly promoted officers have trouble changing their mindset from being an “officer” to being a “supervisor of officers.”  The transition requires a new orientation from performing as a line officer to the recognition that the supervisor must get the work done through other people. There may be a tendency to want to be liked by their new subordinates, to avoid accountability for responsibilities and to not immediately recognize the necessity of identifying with management policies and procedures.  If new supervisors remain more closely tied to those they supervise than to the management team, this behavior may place the department and community at risk.

The STEP planning committee identified three rationales for a first line supervisor training and education program in Ohio. The rationales may be viewed as a response to reduce risk to the agency and improve the effectiveness and efficiency of service to the community.

  1. A program is needed to accelerate the development of the new supervisor in the critical first few months on the job. Important here is providing the participant, up front, with those survival skills necessary in the six months as a new supervisor. Also important is hastening an understanding of the expectations and role of the supervisor in the overall department.
  2. A supervisor development program is needed to first assess and then narrow the performance gap between “where the individual is” and “where the individual ought to be.”
  3. A first line supervisor development program is needed in Ohio to complement the continuum of professional development management and leadership programs now offered by the Law Enforcement Foundation via PELC and CLEE. STEP is the first step toward developing future upper command staff and Chiefs of Police in Ohio.

To date, over Five Hundred Fifty Two (552) first line supervisors in many police agencies, sheriff’s offices, and state agencies have benefited from their STEP experience!

Meet the Faculty 2018

STEP Advisory Committee 2018

Chief Mike Mathis, CLEE, Springdale PD, CHAIR
Chief Sean Asbury, CLEE, CSCC PD
Lt. Cassandra Brewster, OSHP


Sgt. Jennifer Chiles, Vandalia PD (STEP XVI Fall 2016 Class Representative)
Officer Thomas McMurtry, Sinclair PD (STEP XVII Spring 2017 Class Representative)
Safety Director James Mosic, CLEE, Ret’d., Reynoldsburg PD

Chief Jeffrey Pearson, CLEE, Grove City PD
Sgt. Doug Stephens, CLEE, Westerville PD
Sgt. Robert Vukovich, Mill Creek Metroparks PD (STEP XVIII Fall 2017 Class Representative)

Congratulations to STEP XVII Graduates 2017

Lt. Brandon Allensworth, Louisville PD
Sgt. Stephen Balaban, Hunting Valley PD
Police Officer Ashley Beane, Clayton PD
Sgt. Brian Bonnough, Wood County Sheriff’s Office
Sgt. Scott Burden, Delaware County Jail
Sgt. Rich Burkhardt, Hamilton PD
Sgt. James Calhoun, Hamilton PD
Acting Sgt. Michael Casey, Barberton PD
Officer Christopher Caton, Lancaster PD

Sgt. Chad Cohagen, Gahanna PD
Sgt. Martin Curran, Perkins Twp. (Erie) PD
Sgt. Robert Curren, Delaware County Sheriff’s Office
Sgt. Andrew Dean, Maumee PD
Patrol Sgt. Ryan Debolt, Obetz PD
Sgt. James Denman, Genoa Twp. (Delaware) PD
Sgt. Matthew Dickson, Wood County Sheriff’s Office
Officer Brittany Eubanks, Hocking College PD
Sgt. Timothy Ferguson, Cambridge PD

Sgt. Scott Holmes, Vermilion PD
Sgt. Shane Huber, Lima PD
Patrolman Jeffrey Lay, Millersburg PD
Det. Jared Lucas, Upper Sandusky PD
AAIC Kelley Mayberry, Ohio Investigative Unit
Communications Officer Malinda McClain, Lebanon PD
Sgt. Jeremy McGee, Tallmadge PD
Officer Thomas McMurtry, Sinclair PD
Sgt. Jeff Orth, Warren PD

Sgt. Brent Otte, Bexley PD
Officer Daniel Pignatelli, Westerville PD
Sgt. Mathew Poffenbarger, Lancaster PD
Sgt. Aaron Rode, Lima PD
Sgt. D. Tige St. John, Worthington PD
Sgt. Phillip Stacy, Gahanna PD
Sgt. Ben Stankewicz, Hunting Valley PD
Lt. Richard Walker, Bucyrus PD
Sgt. John Wilson, Warren PD

Training Location & Cost


Crowne Plaza Columbus – Dublin
600 Metro Place North
Dublin, OH 43017

The student tuition charged to local law enforcement agencies is *$1,950. Participants will also need to cover costs for lodging, breakfast and dinner. (*subject to change)


Bruce Adams, 
Program Director at
Renea Collins, Program Coordinator at


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