This essay introduces futures thinking and discusses how it can be a valuable tool for contemporary police leaders. It starts with an overview of the emergence of futures thinking and a description of how one long-term police chief was able to effectively use this tool during his career. The essay next explains what futures thinking entails and how it can be integrated into strategic planning and decision making. Finally, several prominent trends of relevance to policing are considered. The intent of the document is to orient the reader to what futures thinking entails and how it can be integrated into the work habits and routines of a police leader to increase her or his efficacy.
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