Five Law Enforcement Tips to Prepare and Respond to Cyberbullying

October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month, and with the rapid growth of technology in recent years, there has been an influx in a new type of youth victimization known as cyberbullying. Cyberbullying is bullying through technology, such as computers and cell phones.

We are in an era where 95% of teens communicate through social media and nearly 80% of teens use a cell phone regularly. Of those, 45% have experienced cyberbullying from these forms of communication.[1] To ensure an effective response to cyberbullying incidents, it’s important that law enforcement and allied stakeholders have a full understanding of the unique issues associated with these types of incidents.

When addressing cyberbullying in your jurisdiction, consider these five tips:

  1. Know the laws pertaining to cyberbullying in your state, which may fall under harassment, stalking, or other statutes, as well as federal civil rights laws on discriminatory harassment. Visit IACP’s cyberbullying resource page for information on state legislation.
  1. Consider how officers will respond to the victim and alleged offender, manage the digital evidence, conduct the investigation, and refer victims and alleged offenders to counseling.
  1. Discuss law enforcement and school procedures with local school districts and determine in advance how cyberbullying complaints should be addressed when they occur at school (e.g., if and when police should be called and how evidence is collected).
  1. Recommend to appropriate partners (e.g. school, prosecutor’s office and courts) that the offender attend educational workshops, conduct community service, or complete diversion programs.
  1. Consult counseling professionals to see if assessment and treatment are recommended for any children involved.

These tips and more can be found in Preparing and Responding to Cyberbullying: Tips for Law Enforcement, a tip card recently released via a collaboration between the IACP, the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) and the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), Office of Justice Programs, U.S Department of Justice.

This resource presents over 20 recommendations from subject matter experts working in law enforcement, youth trauma, mental health, computer crimes, victim services, and education.

Download a free copy of the Tip Card in English or Spanish now or request hard copies by contacting us at 703-647-6830 or

[1] “Cyber Bullying Facts.” 2014. (accessed September 11, 2014).

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IACP 2014 Day In Review: Tuesday, October 28, 2014

After a busy few days at the Convention Center, things have started to wrap up but today was still full of events.

Tuesday’s schedule included:

49 Educational Sessions

9 Meetings

1 Networking Event

Here are some of the highlights:

  • At the Second General Assembly, the IACP life members, retired chiefs, and associate _D6A5610members were recognized for their service. President Zakhary delivered remarks on his past year as president and President Beary gave brief remarks on his initiatives for the coming year, which include cybercrime, tactical trauma care and the PSOB program. The assembly also heard from:
    • Gil Kerlikowske, Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection
    • John Edward, Chief of Police of the Oak Creek Police Department, WI
    • Michelle Leonhart, Administrator, Drug Enforcement Administration
  • Another successful year in the Expo Hall was concluded today at 2 PM.
  • The 3rd Plenary Session- Preparing for and Responding to Active Shooter and Other Complex Attacks held a discussion about lessons learned when encountering an active shooter situation, including how to handle casualty care, managing victims and witnesses, and crime scene management.IMG_2378
  • Annual Banquet: President Beary and the Board of Officers were sworn in. Good luck to President Beary on his initiatives and the year ahead.

Thank you to everyone who sponsored, participated, or attended this year’s conference. We can’t wait to see you all next year in Chicago!

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IACP 2014 Conference Plenary Session: Preparing for and Responding to Active Shooter and Other Complex Attacks

The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Executive Assistant Director Robert Anderson Jr.  joins Miami Beach Police Chief Daniel Oates (formerly Chief of the Aurora (CO) Police Department) as he guides a discussion among small and large law enforcement agency officials who detail the lessons learned of preparing for and responding to active shooters and other attacks. This session will include information on managing multiple victims and witnesses, casualty care in high threat environments, crime scene management, the increased use of IEDs in the domestic environment, and how to successfully leverage FBI and other federal law enforcement resources to enhance response efforts.

The FBI recently released a study of 160 active shooter incidents that occurred between 2000 and 2013 throughout the U.S. The primary purpose of the study? To provide law enforcement partners—normally the first responders on the scene of often dangerous and fast-moving events—with data that will help them to better prepare for and respond to these incidents, save more lives, and keep themselves safer in the process.

Because many of these incidents unfold rapidly, Special Agent Katherine Schweit—who heads the FBI’s Active Shooter Initiative—says she hopes the study “demonstrates the need not only for enhanced preparation on the part of law enforcement and other first responders, but also for civilians to be engaged in discussions and training on decisions they’d have to make in an active shooter situation.”

A Study of Active Shooter Incidents in the United States Between 2000 and 2013 contains a full list of the 160 incidents used in study, including those that occurred at Virginia Tech, Sandy Hook Elementary School, the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, Fort Hood, the Aurora (Colorado) Cinemark Century 16 movie theater, the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin, and the Washington Navy Yard, as well as numerous other tragic shootings. Here are some of the study’s findings:

  • Active shooter incidents are becoming more frequent—the first seven years of the study show an average of 6.4 incidents annually, while the last seven years show 16.4 incidents annually.
  • These incidents resulted in a total of 1,043 casualties (486 killed, 557 wounded—excluding the shooters).
  • All but six of the 160 incidents involved male shooters (and only two involved more than one shooter).
  • More than half of the incidents—90 shootings—ended on the shooter’s initiative (i.e., suicide, fleeing), while 21 incidents ended after unarmed citizens successfully restrained the shooter.
  • In 21 of the 45 incidents where law enforcement had to engage the shooter to end the threat, nine officers were killed and 28 were wounded.
  • The largest percentage of incidents—45.6 percent—took place in a commercial environment (73 incidents), followed by 24.3 percent that took place in an educational environment (39 incidents). The remaining incidents occurred at the other location types specified in the study—open spaces, military and other government properties, residential properties, houses of worship, and health care facilities.

This plenary session will take place today in room  W209ABC, from 1:00 PM-3:00 PM

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IACP 2014 Day In Review: Monday, October 27, 2014

Today was another busy day at the IACP Conference!

Monday’s Schedule included:

59 Educational Sessions

28 Meetings

2 Networking Events

Here are some of the highlights:

  • Uniform Day: Thank you to all those who wore their uniforms._D6A4007
  • First General Assembly: The IACP/Target Police Officer of the Year and the Motorola Webber Seavey Award winners were recognized. FBI Director Comey and Attorney General Holder also spoke to the crowd and President Obama sent a video message to attendees.
  • The 2nd Plenary Session on Police Interactions with Suspect with Mental Illness: Panelists took an in-depth look at how suspects with mental illness endanger officers and suspects. Strategies on successful engagement were also
  • Networking Reception: Thank you to all those that attended the reception.
  • Host Chief’s Night: It was a great night to explore Universal’s Islands of Adventure, every section of the park looked packed.

Coming Up Tomorrow:

  • The Second General Assembly will begin at 10:00 AM in the Valencia Ballroom.
  • The Expo Hall is open from 10:00 AM- 2:00 PM.
  • Poster Sessions from 11:30 AM-1:30 PM in the West Hall A3 Lobby.
  • Preparing for and Responding to Active Shooter and Other Complex Attacks: Evolving Challenges to Combat the Growing Threat Plenary Session, 1:00 PM- 3:00PM, W209ABC.
  • Annual Banquet starts at 6:00 PM. Join IACP for the swearing-in of the President and the Board of Officers.
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The Mental Health of Arrestees and Its Impact on our Officers Plenary Session

As first responders, law enforcement professionals encounter individuals with mental illness or intellectual/developmental disabilities every day. Family members or members of the community are often involved as well. And while some individuals are in an emotional crisis, others exhibit behavior that may be or is perceived to be linked to criminal acts. Sometimes crisis can occur because the disability was not recognized quickly enough. Too often these encounters result in tragedy.

Budget cuts to our mental health system have significantly reduced the level of treatment resources available for individuals with mental health and intellectual/developmental disabilities. One result is that these individuals, rather than receiving treatment, are sometimes incarcerated, turning our jails and prisons into de facto mental health facilities.

It is important for responding officers to make every effort to prevent violent interactions using an array of tools and resources necessary for positive, successful outcomes. With sound policies and collaboration with the mental health community in place, these interactions with individuals dealing with mental health problems or intellectual/developmental disabilities can end without injury or death to either the officers or the individuals in emotional crisis.

Recognizing the impact these encounters have on policing, both as a public safety and as a public health concern, addressing these encounters should be a priority for law enforcement leadership. Law enforcement executives can influence and provide input to a broad range of public policy and resource allocation decisions relevant to community mental health systems and services. They must also develop successful strategies to reduce the possibility of injury or death occurring to the officers or the individuals in these encounters. Individuals with mental health issues or intellectual/developmental disabilities also deserve well-crafted police response policies.

When law enforcement executives assume leadership on this topic through policy and behavioral change, and community partnership, they positively impact organizational culture within their agencies and in the community at large. Partnering with mental health professionals, advocates, non-profit organizations, and family members, can lead to the development of successful strategies on the forefront of policing.

Please join IACP President Yousry “Yost” Zakhary and former Boston Police Department Commissioner Edward Davis on Monday, October 27 from 1pm-3pm in room W209ABC for an in-depth look at how suspect mental illness endangers officers and suspects alike, and strategies to ensure successful engagement during these calls.

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IACP 2014 Day in Review: Sunday, October 26, 2014

Sunday’s schedule included:

  • 80 Educational sessions_D6A3087
  • 38 Meetings
  • 14 Networking events

Here are some of the highlights:

  • The IACP 2014 Expo Hall opened today with a ribbon cutting ceremony. Opening remarks were given by IACP President Yost Zakhary along with Chief John Mina, Orlando Police Department. Dueling Pianos livened up the festivities with a great performance.
  • Many IACP committees and sections help their annual meetings to discuss new and ongoing projects and hear presentations from federal agency representatives, IACP staff, and other partners.
  • The first IACP 2014 Plenary Session brought law enforcement leaders together to discuss violence and crime on our streets.

Coming up tomorrow:

  • Monday is uniform day. Celebrate law enforcement’s diversity by showcasing your agencies uniform.
  • The Fist General Assembly will begin at 10:00 AM in the Valencia Ballroom.
  • Police Interactions with Suspects with Mental Illness: How to Keep Officers and Suspects Safe and Reduce Injuries Plenary Session 1:00PM – 3:00PM, W209ABC.
  • Expo Hall open: 10:00AM – 5:00PM
  • Brand new this year is the Expo Hall Networking Event from 3:30PM – 5:00PM in the Expo Hall. Enjoy complimentary refreshments while you make new connections.
  • Host Chief’s Night starts at 7:00 PM. Enjoy all of Universal’s Islands of Adventure theme park, with unlimited access to rides and attractions, meet-and-greet with characters, and delicious food.
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IACP 2014: Violence and Crime on Our Streets Plenary Session

“Violence and Crime on our Streets” is the first featured plenary session at the 2014 IACP Annual Conference and Exposition in Orlando, Florida, and will feature several well- known law enforcement leaders including:

  • IACP President Yousry “Yost” Zakhary
  • Chief Dean Esserman of New Haven, Connecticut
  • Director of the COPS Office and former Chief of the East Palo Alto Police Department- Ron Davis
  • Assistant Chief Craig Howard of the Prince George’s County, Maryland, Police Department

This session will take an in-depth look at all aspects of street violence, particularly violence by youthful offenders, and to learn how you can adjust your agency’s strategy to reduce the violence.

IACP President Yost Zakhary made street violence a top priority for the IACP and this past year appointed a committee and focus group of both law enforcement and community leaders to examine all aspects of street violence including prior and current research, trends, impact on the community, and police strategies to address the problem.

The panels also examined aspects of prevention, intervention, aggressive enforcement, prosecution, enhanced penalties, innovative intervention approaches for both at-risk youth and misdemeanor offenders to reduce street violence, and created specific recommendations to law enforcement leaders to impact this violence.

This plenary session will take place on Sunday, October 26, from 1PM-3PM in room W209ABC.

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IACP 2014 Day in Review: Saturday, October 25, 2014

IACP 2014 officially kicked off today, and many attendees from around the world made their way to sunny Orlando to start their conference experience.

Saturday’s schedule included:photo 2

  • 38 Educational sessions
  • 31 Meetings
  • 5 Networking events

Here are some of the highlights:

  • At the First-timers’ Orientation, a packed room heard tips on how to navigate the educational sessions, networking events and Expo Hall in order to make the most of their IACP 2014 conference experience.
  • The Orlando Police Department led 110 delegates on the 2014 Motorcycle Law Ride. Riders enjoyed an escorted ride from Orlando Harley Davidson to the Daytona International 1
  • At the Opening Ceremony, IACP President Yost Zakhary officially called IACP 2014 to order. Attendees heard from Chief John Mina from the Orlando Police Department and Mayor John “Buddy” Dyer.

Coming up tomorrow:

  • IACP/Orlando Police Department Golf Tournament: 8:00AM to 2:30PM
  • Expo Hall Ribbon Cutting Ceremony: 9:45AM, West Hall A4-B1 Lobby
  • Expo Hall open 10:00AM to 5:00PM
  • Violence and Crime on our Streets: How Police Leaders Can Improve Prevention and Response Strategies Plenary Session: 1:00PM – 3:00PM, W209ABC
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Conference General: NIJ Saturday Session

Budgets are getting tighter, and leaders are expecting great things from you. Sound familiar? Then you are keenly aware of how important it is to make choices and investments that produce the most effective policies and practices.

With that in mind, the IACP and the National Institute of Justice  – the U.S. Department of Justice’s research and evaluation agency – have created a special full-day plenary on cutting edge policing research and technology. “NIJ Saturday Session: What Works and What Matters in Policing” will feature robust discussions between law enforcement leaders who tell you how they are using research to make wise decisions. Panelists at the Saturday session will explore the evidence about what works in a range of challenging situations.

The sessions begin at 9 a.m today and last until 3 p.m.  We look forward to seeing you in Orlando!

Lineup for Saturday:

Reducing Traffic-Related Officer Injuries:  New findings have revealed a number of factors that lead to law enforcement vehicle crashes and injuries. Researchers will discuss what you can do to mitigate risk and increase officer safety.  Law enforcement executives will discuss innovative practices to increase traffic safety and inspire culture agency-wide culture change.

Domestic Radicalization: Trends, Ideology, and Preventing Violent Extremism in Our Communities: We are starting to understand more and more about domestic radicalization and violent extremism. Researchers, federal officials, and police executives will explain the issues and the things law enforcement can do to implement community-level responses to prevent and mitigate radicalization in their jurisdictions.

Technology: Tools for Working Smarter, Safer, and Cheaper: Experts will present the newest and most promising NIJ-funded technology, including a project to optimize the use of video technology to improve criminal justice outcomes, an effort to identify the most effective lighting and marking for emergency vehicles to prevent accidents, and projects related to low-cost unmanned aircraft.  

 Keeping our Communities Safe:  Increasing Firearm Safety through Research and Technology: Police practitioners and researchers will discuss what we know works to reduce gun violence in our communities, what we need to know in order to increase safety, and innovative practices law enforcement agencies can implement to better trace and interdict illegal gun transfers in their jurisdiction.

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Conference General: What to Eat While at IACP 2014

As our guests make their way to Orlando over the next few days, the question might come up about where to eat in-between sessions.  Since IACP staff is already here, we have done the research for you.

Opening Friday:

  • Florida Citrus Grill: Florida inspired salads and sandwiches. Located on Level 2.
  • Hill of Beans Café: Fresh brewed coffee, barista inspired specials, assorted pastries, muffins, and breakfast breads. Located on Level 2.
  • Coffee Carts: Multiple locations. Level 1 near registration. Level 2 outside the Expo Hall A1. The Level 2 stand opens on Saturday.

Opening Sunday:

  • Florida Surf & Turf: Salads, sandwiches, and entrees with unique regional flavors. Located on Level 2.
  • Little Italy: An Italian restaurant located in the Expo Hall with various Italian themed carts around the Convention Center.
  • Cuban Café: Expo Hall Restaurant with various Cuban themed carts around the Convention Center.
  • Food Carts will also be located throughout the Convention Center and Expo Hall
    • Pita Hut
    • Sandwich Zone
    • Crepe Factory
    • Pretzels
    • Taste of Asia
    • Café New Orleans

Don’t forget to download the IACP2014 App for maps and complete information about the conference. See you all this weekend!

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