May 8, 2024

Watch the video from Session one. Below is the narration in written form for easy review.

REMEMBER: There is a self-reflection essay question at the end.

Welcome to front line leadership for law enforcement.  The course that is designed to give you the leadership tools you need to make a difference in the lives and careers of the people you lead.  Hi, I’m Capt Mike Schentrup.  I’m the owner and lead trainer at Adv. Police concepts.  I have done this course for years in a live setting and I just love talking and learning leadership from cops all over the country.  So if you want to come to our in-person 2-day class, check out our website at

In the next 8 lessons, I am going to give you the tools and equipment to be a good leader and great boss.  And I promise, once you’ve completed this course, you will feel better about what things you’re good at and what things you need to improve on.  Because when it comes down to it, we all want to be good leaders, not only at work, but at home, at church, with your extended family, maybe as a softball coach, whatever it is, leadership transcends just our job. 

So whats makes me qualified to facilitate this course, I have 24 years of experience with the Gainesville Florida Police Dept where I served in a variety of capacities. Of course like everyone else, I started on midnight shift, worked on the SWAT team, became an FTO, then eventually went to criminal investigations and became a major case detective. Of course, being an FTO was my first leadership experience, but I didn’t think of myself as a leader.  I just assumed no one became a leader until they made SGT, boy was I wrong.  I got interested in leadership in about year 10 of my career and started reading.  My first 2 books were “How to Win Friend and Influence People” and “Seven Habits of High Effective People”.  I learned early on that I must be able to lead myself before I intended to lead others.  I made SGT in year 13 and had my first squad, where I made tons of mistakes.  I eventually got to start a gang unit and a special ops team, which were some of my favorite times.  I was getting better, but still making mistakes.  I kept reading and learning and trying.  Leading small teams is always fun, but it taught me a lot too.  I then got promoted to LT and became a shift commander, now I had to lead SGTs and an entire shift.  The learning continues, as did some mistakes.  But learning and growing happens when you fall down and get back up.  I got the opportunity to lead the CID division and then got promoted to Captain, which is my current rank.  I loved my leadership journey and I still try to get better everyday.

And as my leadership journey continues, hopefully I can mentor young leaders and help them in their growth, both personal and professional.

Before we discuss the particulars of the course, I’d like to invite you to APC Collaboration. APC Collaboration is a closed Facebook group, only open to current and retired law enforcement.  Now I know FB isn’t for everyone, but if you’re on FB, I urge you to join.  And BTW politics isn’t allowed.  As part of the group, you have 1100 other cops at your disposal to ask questions of and collaborate.  Also, the APC Cadre posts free learning guides and videos on a regular basis.

Now let’s get into the course!

This online course consists of 8 sections.  Each section will have a corresponding video to watch.  And after the video, an assignment will be given, usually consisting of discussion board questions.  The expectation is everyone will participate in the discussion because we learn best from each others experiences, both good and bad.  After you’ve completed the 8 sections, you will be asked to review the course.  And after that, you’re done!  The online course is an 8 hour equivalent in-person course and we will email you a certificate of completion. Any questions or concerns, you can always reach me at [email protected].

Now let’s talk about todays topic. 

How do you want to be remembered?  I’ve been to a lot a retirement ceremonies in my day, and what I have found is folks usually don’t remember how good a crime fighter you were, or administrator; it’s how much you cared. How you helped them get through the hard times?  How you helped them in their professional career development.  Were you there for them in the good times and the bad times?  Usually not much about the job of being a cop.  So one of your first assignments is to write, how do you want to be remembered.  Pause the video for a couple minutes to jot down how you want to be remembered on the day you retire from the job.

This course is about real things you can do each day to make yourself a better leader, but we’ll first talk about the most important attribute of a leader, at least to me, because everything in leadership begins with trust.  Nothing is more important. To me, this is where relationships are built, whether your subordinates, or your spouse.  Relationships end when there is no trust.  So the question is how do you build trust with your team, your peers, and you bosses?  Well there are several ways:  How about always tell the truth.  Or follow through when you say you’re going to do something (like finishing the job or task you’ve been given).  Building trust is also leading by example, its holding yourself accountable to the same rules, policies, and standards you hold your subordinates to. Trust is built when others see you hold yourself to the highest standards.  

You also heard me talk about relationships, which are vital to building great teams.  Trusting relationships unleashes your teams capacity and the sky becomes the limit.  Of course, we wont have the same type of relationship with all our employees, but we should strive to try to build some relationship with all of our teammates.  We must also have relationships with our bosses and trust comes into play here too.


So for day one, I challenge you to first, write down how you want to be remembered when you retire from the job.  And also, why is trust important to building healthy relationships with your team.

Michael Schentrup

Captain Mike Schentrup retired in 2021 as a Bureau Commander for the Gainesville (FL) Police Department, where he had worked for almost 25 years. The majority of his career was spent in investigative units, including major case detective, gang and burglary unit sergeant, and ultimately the division commander for detectives. Captain Schentrup taught extensively in various investigative fields and is the owner/lead trainer of Advanced Police Concepts, LLC ( In 2020, he established the APC Online Academy, to bring the investigative curriculum to those who are unable to travel. Captain Schentrup is an accomplished instructor in both in-person and virtual formats. He is an adjunct master instructor for law enforcement for the Florida Council Against Sexual Violence and is a member of its statewide policy group. Captain Schentrup was part of End Violence Against Women’s Cadre of Experts from 2019-2023, where he instructed on trauma informed response and assisted with content development. Check out his LinkedIn here.