Course Overview

Course Description

Would you know how to create and present a budget if asked to do so? Budget and finance is an area in which many new to a command staff position feel they need additional training. And with the increased emphasis on evidence-driven rationales for budgetary decisions, all law enforcement leaders need to have a robust understanding of budgeting, contract negotiation, finance, and staffing/resource allocation. This course will expose students to different types of budget models and how they function in a public safety environment. Key learning concepts include performance-based, line-item and zero-based budget models, along with best practices for finding, writing and securing grants that are often key to organizational goals.

Course Highlights:

  • Using a real budget from a large agency, students will complete a project using actual data, making decisions on how to allocate resources and presenting their rationales.
  • Students will complete a unit on grant writing with an outside expert who has had success securing grant funding for public safety agencies.
Student Comments:

“Budget and Finance for Law Enforcement Leaders is an excellent course, and I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity to take the class. Was it difficult? It was. However, in every command staff interview I have attended, there frequently is a question about budgets. I had limited experience throughout my career, but I have a much stronger foundation in this area after taking this course. For any future questions about budgets, I will be able to present a more robust response.”
-Fall ’23 Student

“This course work has be relevant and lined up to match most of law enforcements built in timelines. For example, the budget section is now and we are approaching mid-year budget talks. This is also a time of the year when many agencies are ramping up for contract negotiations. Well done! I am approaching my final semester and will be a much better version of my professional self because of what I have gleaned from the course work and my peers.”
-Fall ’23 Student

“Prior to this course, I had extremely limited experience with budgeting and the budgeting process. So, for me, the entire course contributed to my learning. I thought it was well thought-out and presented in a manner that was easy to follow/understand. I would now feel very comfortable to sit in on a budget meeting, knowing I would not feel lost.”
-Fall ’23 Student

“The aspect of the course that helped me the most was just learning more about the budgeting process in general. I am a Lieutenant, and I am definitely involved in our budgeting process, but nobody gave me any class when I started. Last year was my first involved in the process, and I went through it blind. Now, I will have a much better idea of what I’m doing, and how the process works.”
-Fall ’23 Student

“This entire course was extremely well managed. As a novice in budget and finance processes, I was initially concerned that the pace would be beyond my comprehension. The pace of the course was perfect, and I never once felt behind in the concepts being discussed or written about. Additionally, Prof. Voss was extremely communicative and responsive to any questions. I was immediately at ease and was able to focus on the course without being worries that I would fall behind and not get my questions answered.”
-Fall ’23 Student

“The entire course has very practical value to my career. The final project in budget development is applicable to any law enforcement professional who will ever have any involvement with the budget at their agency. The rest of the course is all valuable preparation and build-up to the final project.”
-Fall ’23 Student

“The LEPS 590 – Budget and Finance for Law Enforcement Leaders course was an eye-opener to the administrative side of law enforcement for me. It allowed me to better understand the decisions made by law enforcement leaders on the basis of budget and finance. I recommend this program to all as it makes you comfortable with what you thought was uncomfortable!”
-Summer ’20 Student

“This is the first time I have attempted any type of budget course. I was walking in with complete hesitation and reservation that this would be utterly difficult. I am excited to say that I have a clearer understanding of the budgetary process and appreciate the pace that this class went for a student who does not like dealing with finances.”
-Spring ’17 Student

“I learned a lot about budgeting and plan to take an active role in my agency”
– Spring ’17 Student       

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