Ego That Kills Careers Subject of Police Chief’s Class

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Chambersburg Police Chief Ron Camacho is on a mission to help others learn a lesson he spent years learning the hard way.

Ego Kills Careers.

Police Chief Ron Camacho at his desk at Chambersburg Police Department. (FCFP Photo by Vicky Taylor)

In any job, or relationship of any kind, ego can be a person’s worst enemy. Learning to tame that ego is an important step in succeeding, both on the job or in life.

Camacho says he learned that lesson the hard way, and now he is sharing what he’s learned with others.

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In March, he will teach a course geared specifically toward law enforcement personnel.

Its short title takes a long form in an effort to clarify the reasoning behind the course: “Ego Kills Careers: How to navigate a successful law enforcement career and become a better leader through the suppression of ego.”

How the Course Came About

Camacho is a trained leader, a veteran law enforcement executive professional who worked his way up through the ranks to become York Police Department’s patrol Operations captain before retiring in 2013. Three years later, he came to Chambersburg Police Department as its new chief.

In between, he worked as a patrol commander for the Old Dominion (Va.) University PD, and spent time in Afghanistan and Mexico as an international trainer.

It wasn’t until he left York, however, that he learned the lessons he now uses to teach the officers he commands at CPD to tame their ego and become better public servants.

“When I became a lieutenant and then a captain, I was very focused on the mission,” he said. “I ran roughshod over people.”

Along the same time, Camacho’s marriage began falling apart and he went into counseling.

“I learned a lot about myself,” he said. “It started me on a path of introspection, self-reflection, and change.”

The epiphany about how his ego was interfering with both his personal and work-related relationships didn’t save his marriage, but it did help as he trained police in countries like Afghanistan and Mexico.

“I was a civilian with no power,” he remembers. “In Mexico, I was the youngest on the staff. Some of the guys (on the team) were retired federal agents with 30 or more years in law enforcement.”

The experience benefitted him when he came home and went to work at Old Dominion University.

Putting It All Together

When he came to Chambersburg, he said he “sort of put all those experiences together.”

CPD’s Lt. Rick Morrissette was also an influence here, Camacho said.

“I had a discussion with the lieutenant about the staff, and I asked questions,” he said.

He decided that a lot of staff problems often boil down to an ego problem.

He and Morrissette developed a strategy to tame egos and work toward a department that would run more smoothly.

“Police work is very stressful and frustrating at times,” he said. “By learning to conquer and control our egos, it changes our interactions not only with our fellow officers but the public also.”

He said CPD officers have embraced that philosophy. He hopes it is also changing the public’s perception of arrogant police officers.

“I think this (ego-busting training) will greatly improve police-citizen interactions also,” he said.

“I’m still learning, just like my officers,” Camacho said.

He tells of a meeting with a group of civilians to discuss a joint project when he “said some things I shouldn’t have said.” Morrissette later, in private, talked to him about it.

Camacho went back and apologized to everyone that was in the meeting.

“Almost everyone to a person said I didn’t need to do that,” he recalls. “But I did. I needed to do it for myself.”

Details About the Course

WHERE: Franklin County Public Safety Training Center, 3075 Molly Pitcher Highway, Chambersburg.
INSTRUCTOR: Chief Ron Camacho
CLASS DATE: March 11, 2020, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
REGISTRATION INSTRUCTIONS: Go to the FCPSTC website and use the training class link.
FEES: None

The class is open to any law enforcement professional in the area.

Course Description

Most personnel problems can be tied to Ego. As law enforcement professionals, if we can readily identify the elements of Ego in ourselves, solving problems becomes easier and more effective. The material for this course comes from multiple books (Ego is the Enemy, Extreme Ownership, Emotional Awareness 2.0, and several more) and the instructor’s personal experiences leading and managing diverse civilian and police agencies. By suppressing his ego through humility, emotional intelligence, and self-awareness, the instructor has developed a philosophy of success that he will share with students, teaching them to have fruitful and positive law enforcement careers.

… Chief Ron Camacho

Learning Objectives: 

  • Understanding the Problems Associated with Ego
  • Combating the Excesses of Pride
  • The Gift of Humility
  • The Value of Emotional Intelligence
  • How to develop Self Awareness
  • Using Introspection to Gain an Overall Understanding of Self

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