A Look at the DEA’s Executive Development Training Program

Domestic training is commonplace in the Drug Enforcement Adminstration (DEA), which includes a number of specialized training programs that are designed for leadership, management, and executive positions.

The DEA’s Executive Development Training Program includes four, distinct programs:

Group Supervisor Institute

The Group Supervisor Institute (GSI) is the starting point for recently promoted first-line supervisors. The GSI is a two- or three-week program, which includes 120 hours of instruction that includes training in enforcement, leadership, and administrative issues, as well as another 40 hours of leadership development training, which is provided by the University of Virginia.

The training provided through the GSI program is built upon the Situational Leadership Development Theory, which involves leaders understanding their subordinates’ readiness levels and adjusting their leadership style as to ensure performance and motivation are maximized at all times.

The final instruction of the GSI program is focused primarily on enforcement-related instruction; specifically, how a leader is able to plan, coordinate and manage all operations during critical incident situations.

Supervisor In-Service Program

The Supervisor In-Service (SIS) Program involves one week of instruction for first-line supervisors who have successfully completed the GSI program. The SIS includes 36 hours of instruction, as well as additional training in leadership development, all of which is designed to provide refresher training to supervisors following the successful completion of the GSI program. It is most common for supervisors to complete the SIS program two to three years upon completion of the GSI program.

DEA Leadership Forum

The DEA Leadership Forum provides an opportunity for leadership development and training discussion and coordination. As such, it allows supervisors and executives to exchange ideas regarding current training programs, leadership and management training, leadership development training, as well as the development of an agency leadership training program.

The Leadership Forum is designed as a networking experience for leaders in the law enforcement community. It is common for participants to include leaders from state and local police and sheriff’s departments. Common topics in the Leadership Forum include: supervisor accountability, leadership commitments, and terrorism issues.