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Prospective Student

What is STEP/Why Attend/Who Should Apply?   *   Upcoming Class Schedule   *   Application Information   *   College Credits

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 2021, over 814 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.

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 twenty-one 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.

2022 Fall Schedule


Week 1:  September 5 – September 9, 2022
Week 2:  October 17 – 21, 2022
Week 3:  November 28 – 30, 2022 (Graduation Day is November 30 @ 12 noon)

2023 Spring and Fall Schedule

Spring 2023

Week 1:  March 13-17, 2023
Week 2:  April 10-14, 2023
Week 3:  May 15-17, 2023

Fall 2023

Week 1:  September 11-15, 2023
Week 2:  October 9-13, 2023
Week 3:  November 13-15, 2023

Application & Guidelines

Provide all information requested on the attached Admission Application.  An application with unanswered questions will not be considered.  The Statement of Nomination is to be completed by the Chief Executive Officer of your agency or an upper-command staff member.  Statement of Nominations must be received before an application will be considered.

STEP is intended for sworn police or sheriff first line supervisors who are newly promoted or about to be promoted and employed full-time as a law enforcement officer.

Applications are accepted on a first to apply, first to be considered basis. 

Admission preference will be given to persons:

  1. Recently promoted sergeants and/or first line supervisors, [i.e.within one year]
  2. Prospective sergeants with the promotion date set[ in the coming twelve months]
  3. Sergeants who have been in the position [for greater than a year]
  4. Non-sworn staff who were recently promoted [i.e. within one year]
  5. Non-sworn staff with a promotion date set [within the coming twelve months]
  6. Non-sworn staff who have been in the supervisory position [for greater than a year]
  7. Interested officers with no promotion date noted, but have supervisor’s recommendation accompanied by a sign off by the chief
    Note: Interested officers will need to have a supervisor’s recommendation with a sign off by the chief to even be considered.
  8. The STEP application document will be revised to state the above priority ranking for accepting applications.
    Note: if a lower ranking application is placed on hold, it will be approved, if 45 days prior to the start of class, there are still openings.

Mallory Murphy, Program Director at
Renea Collins, Program Coordinator at

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