Life as a ‘team sport’


LAPD Chief Michel Moore, a lifelong learner, talks about how his U of R degrees helped him develop in the police force

Michel Moore ’93, ’99 had been in the Los Angeles Police force 10 years before he enrolled to get his bachelor of science in business and management at University of Redlands’ School of Business. It was a means to an end: “I recognized that if I was going to be a better manager and leader, going back to school was a necessity.”

But more than business skills, Moore, then a sergeant with an associate’s degree, realized he was a lifelong learner. Later also a graduate of the U of R’s MBA program and elected member of the school’s Whitehead Leadership Society, he maintains that the lessons he took from Redlands helped him build a framework to complement his development within the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD). “Policing in the 1990s was going through a great deal of change and challenges. We had the LA riots and civil unrest. Going through a university system allowed me to assess what was happening within the organization with a different lens.”

As a professional, Moore chose Redlands because he wanted a degree from a university with credibility and standing. “I knew I’d be proud of achieving this degree,” he says. He also knew he could finish his courses faster than at a public institution, where class schedules didn’t often jibe with the LAPD’s intense work shifts.

At Redlands, he learned about organizational management, marketing, the rise of the Internet, and the history of the global economy. In his MBA classes, Moore recognized parallels between running a business and working in public safety. “We recognize—just as a business owner does—that people are a precious commodity,” he says. “[My degree helped me] figure out how to use our resources and achieve the desired outcomes.”

A 37-year veteran for the force and Medal of Valor recipient, Moore encourages members of the police force to become—like him—lifelong learners: “As an organization we’re 13,000 strong. … We encourage our members to continue their education and develop and update their skills.”

Before joining the police force, Moore had taken classes to become a certified public accountant. “I had the business acumen to be a CPA, but I did not feel a sense of worth,” Moore said. “[Policing] offered a rewarding sense of making a difference.”

In June—after holding nearly every other top job at LAPD, overseeing everything from the budget to personnel to special operations—Moore was sworn in as Los Angeles’ 57th police chief. His goals include deepening the community’s trust in the LAPD; listening to the concerns of the department’s 10,000 sworn officers and 3,000 civilian employees; and partnering and collaborating with citizens of Los Angeles. “We need to be out in our communities,” he says, “talking with people and hearing their concerns, understanding their perspective and discussing how we can join together in this shared responsibility of public safety.”

The importance of teamwork was reinforced by Moore’s time at the U of R. “In my MBA courses, we worked as teams, with multiple individuals working toward a common goal,” he says. “It required preparation and collaboration, which is kind of like being in the police force. It’s also kind of like life. Life is a team sport.”


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