Art Around the Rock

Guest Blogger: Commander Jason Lyons, Castle Rock, Colorado, Police Department

Can Badges, Brushes, and Paint Change History?

Castle Rock, Colorado, Police Department’s (CRPD) Art around the Rock program proved the answer to that question is yes. The project came to fruition after Officer Seth Morrissey spent the summer of 2013 on the Castle Rock Police Bike Unit. He and his partner rode the Castle Rock trails system every day as part of their daily duties and noticed that some of the trails and overpasses had many years of unaddressed graffiti. That summer they took multiple reports of graffiti type vandalism along the trails and knew something had to be done. Later that year, the CRPD hosted a Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) course, which Morrissey attended. One of the main points discussed in the course was the benefit of designing an area which encourages people to come and spend some time. If you can bring people to an area where individuals do not normally frequent; it will increase the amount of “eyes” on the area and lessen the chances that crime will occur.

In 2014, Morrissey transferred to the department’s Community Oriented Policing and Problem Solving Unit and put his CPTED training to work, focusing on cutting down on the increasing graffiti problem. Initially a reactive response to an ongoing criminal concern, Community Policing officers initiated the mural project, which came to be known as“Art around the Rock”. Officers looked at 18 areas that were “tagged” regularly and came up with a goal to complete three murals that summer. Partnering with local artists, organizations, businesses, and other Town of Castle Rock departments, the first mural began in May 2014. By the time the Colorado winter began, Community Policing officers had orchestrated the work and completion of 15 murals throughout Castle Rock. The program was so successful, a proactive response is underway to paint murals in areas not yet subjected to graffiti.



Murals Are Done, Now What?

One of the main concerns while the murals were being painted was “what if they get tagged”? Morrissey and his partner Officer Kevin Torrens utilized trail cameras to keep an eye on the murals until an “anti-graffiti” coating could be applied. What they found was a major increase in pedestrian traffic in the area and citizens spending time in front of the murals. Some even had picnics. The idea of creating an environment where people would come and spend time worked… even better than expected.

“Are My Tax Dollars Being Used On This Project”?

Believe it or not, officers heard that question from only one citizen, but that was the only citizen complaint. The Town of Castle Rock’s Facebook page was filled with positive comments about the project. Citizens were posting “selfies” of themselves in front of the different murals. One of the favorites was painted by Artist Janene DiRico-Cable and titled “American Heroes”. It features a 25 foot tall American Flag with 18 foot tall silhouettes of a police officer, firefighter and soldier. Along the pillars that hold up the bridge that it is painted under are 8 foot tall silhouettes of all branches of the Armed Services.


Not a single tax dollar was spent on the mural project. Collaborating with local businesses, more than 500 gallons of paint were donated by organizations and corporations.

Documenting the Process.

Fifteen murals were painted during the summer of 2014, with two more due for completion this summer. The program has been successful in eliminating acts of graffiti in areas where murals have been painted. The Town of Castle Rock still experiences the occasional act of graffiti related vandalism, but not a single incident where a mural has been designed. The use of our trail system has increased substantially and the overall quality-of-life for those who use the system has increased immeasurably.
The Community Policing officers documented the project from the beginning. Below are some before and after shots. The Town of Castle Rock designed an interactive map which shows the locations of each mural, along with photos and a description.

Questions or comments can be directed to Seth Morrissey at or 303-663-6153.

Posted in Community Policing | Leave a comment

Calling all Law Enforcement Exploring Alumni

Guest Blogger: Bob Tompkins, Chair, National Law Enforcement Exploring Alumni Association

Former Law Enforcement Explorers often go on to have distinguished police careers, many rising to command and executive level positions within their agencies. Are you one of them? If so, the National Law Enforcement Exploring Alumni Association would like to hear from you!


The newly formed alumni association is working hard to connect former Explorers with each other and with current and future Explorers. By collecting and cataloging alumni success stories, the group hopes to inspire a new generation of Explorers. The IACP is helping share these stories – like this one from Major Karen “K.C.” Carr – by posting them to the association’s nationwide police recruitment website, under the Real People, Real Stories section.

Law Enforcement Exploring, for more than 55 years, has helped over 3 million young adults, ages 14 – 21, make more informed decisions about future careers. Today’s youth are still looking for hands-on, real world career experiences from subject matter experts. If you are a former Explorer, reconnect, share your memories, and help a new generation of Explorers with their career decisions.

The IACP has a long-standing relationship with Law Enforcement Exploring. IACP Past President Richard Clement (1975-1976) of Toms River, NJ, served as the first National Chairman for Law Enforcement Exploring in 1976. Since that time the Association has held a seat on the National Law Enforcement Exploring Committee and been actively involved in the planning and execution of Exploring’s biannual conference.

Join the National Law Enforcement Exploring Alumni Association and share your story with the Alumni Association Chair, Bob Tompkins at

Posted in Uncategorized

Moving Barriers and Building Trust

Guest Blogger: Director Todd Miller, Mankato Department of Public Safety, Mankato, Minnesota

Building trust with a community is easier when the police agency is representative of the citizens they serve, but it also requires that officers get out of their squad cars and spend time in direct contact with citizens.

Martin Luther King Jr. said, “People don’t get along because they fear each other. People fear each other because they don’t know each other. People don’t know each other because they haven’t properly communicated with each other.”

At the Mankato Department of Public Safety, each officer is assigned a neighborhood or area of responsibility and his duty is to get to know the citizens, build trust, and work together to address neighborhood problems. The department’s mission statement reads “Leading the Way… Making a Difference.” Officers are free to do most anything in their assigned areas as long as it meets the mission.

Here is a link to a story about how Mankato’s first Somali officer is achieving that mission:

Officer Mohamed’s neighborhood consists of many residents of the immigrant community, but it is not exclusively so, and he, like all Mankato officers, works with each resident, no matter race, gender, or culture. Mankato doesn’t believe that it takes a Somali officer to work with Somali residents, any more than it takes a female officer to work with female residents. In fact, Mankato has an Arab officer mentoring to mostly white children in a charter school, a white officer running a fishing program for Somali and Sudanese children, and a white female officer working with parenting classes for new immigrants.

Mankato recruits for diversity, but hires for character, and holds staff accountable with high expectations. The Department of Public Safety partners with citizens, along with the other departments of the city, through their community governance philosophy, which is a community-wide advancement of community policing. The department builds trust, solves problems, and makes a rapidly growing, diverse community, as safe as possible for all. Having the agency named as a winner of the 2013 IACP and Cisco Community Policing Award, and having a member of the management staff recently named as the YWCA Woman of Distinction for outreach work within the immigrant community that eliminates racism while promoting peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all, shows that the staff of the Mankato Department of Public Safety is truly “Leading the Way… Making a Difference.”

Posted in Community Policing

Last Chance to Respond to Census of State and Local Law Enforcement

As you may know, the Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics is conducting the 2014 Census of State and Local Law Enforcement Agencies (CSLLEA). The IACP supports this data collection effort and we are hoping you will see the tremendous value of the study and complete your survey. The CSLLEA is the only national census of law enforcement agencies that provides complete personnel counts, agency operating budgets, and the characteristics and functions of every law enforcement agency in the U.S. Without your agency’s data, the results will not be complete and accurate. The information collected will benefit your agency in a variety of ways including: providing comparisons with other agencies, identifying agency needs, and justifying budgets and budget requests.

The 2014 CSLLEA data collection period is coming to an end. If you have already completed your survey, please accept our sincere thanks! If not, to ensure your agency is included, we ask that you complete your survey by April 15th, 2015.

You can complete the questionnaire online at:

If you have any questions on completing the survey, need your Personal Identification Number (PIN), or if you prefer to receive a hard copy, please contact NORC at or call toll free at 877-233-5671. If you have general comments about the CSLLEA program, feel free to contact Andrea Burch, at

We appreciate your help with this extremely important and valuable study.

Posted in Uncategorized

Safe, Fair and Effective Pretrial Justice is Crucial to Law Enforcement

Guest Blog By: Mike Ward, Chief of Police, Alexandria, KentuckyPJI Blog

In 2008, the Campbell County Kentucky Police Chiefs were approached by our County Judge Executive. They asked for help in reducing our rising jail population and the costs associated with it. Through a series of meetings, we implemented a local policy whereby police officers making arrests for minor traffic and/or misdemeanor offenses would cite and release in lieu of lodging them in the county jail. Admittedly, the policy was not initially popular with an officer who subscribed to the old adage “if you do the crime you have to do the time” however, that quickly was overcome. Through the various databases accessed through their Mobile Data Computers (MDC’s), officers were able to quickly determine if an individual resided locally, had ever been in trouble before, or otherwise determine if they were a flight risk or not. As a result, we significantly reduced the cost to our county. We were not paying for people to sit in jail waiting for trial, allowing them to continue working, if employed, and reduced our costs. That alone was a major achievement because so many people lost their jobs due to being incarcerated for only a few days.

We started what eventually grew into a state initiative culminating in the passage of House Bill 463 (HB 463) during the 2011 Kentucky General Assembly. In the decade before the passage of HB 463, Kentucky had one of the fastest growing prison populations in the nation. Kentucky’s inmate population saw a 45 percent growth between 2000 and 2010, compared with 13 percent in the US prison system as a whole. This high growth rate was not because our crime rate grew; on the contrary, our serious crime rate was far below the national average. The trickledown effect from the state to our local county jails was causing local governments to expand facilities just to accommodate state prisoners.

HB 463 put in place a formal process thus eliminating the discretion our officers were attempting to employ locally. Pretrial Services now employs an objective risk assessment tool designed to gauge flight risk (FTA). The risk assessment tool was validated by researchers at the JFA Institute in 2010 who found “Kentucky’s instrument is producing a strong association between the risk levels and high FTA and pretrial arrest rates.” Of course, there are previsions made for officers to articulate special concerns as they relate to lodging an arrestee when they present a danger to themselves or others. In Campbell County we now release 51.1% of persons arrested and as a result have 15.4% of those FTA and only 6.0% who are re-arrested before trial. Our success speaks for itself.

For law enforcement, risk-based pretrial decision-making is just one of the tools to help us achieve our primary goal: public safety. This system also keeps our officers safer and allows arrestees to meet their court obligations while meeting their familial and community obligations. It is a model that is working in Kentucky and other jurisdictions and can be utilized by justice systems across the U.S.

Posted in Pretrial Justice Reform

Four things keeping police departments from deploying body-worn cameras

This blog post is sponsored by Microsoft.

After launching a body-worn camera program, the Oakland Police Department reported 18 months without an officer-involved shooting, in a city that used to average about eight a year.1 Still, many law enforcement agencies nationwide are slow to adopt. Why?

  • Citizen privacy. Privacy considerations need to be balanced against the need for police transparency and evidence collection.
  • Impact on community relationships. Policies need to include open communications about cameras with community members to respect and protect their positive community relationships.
  • Compliance requirements. Video connected to a criminal case is required by the FBI to comply with CJIS Security Policy.
  • Logistical and resource requirements. Security, reliability, cost, and technical capacity are all essential factors when choosing a data storage method.

In Police Body-Worn Cameras: Lessons from the Early Adopters, you’ll get insight into the privacy, relationship, logistic, and compliance concerns that police forces must consider.

Read about the solutions made possible by the Microsoft Cloud for Government

1 CBS, SF Bay Area, Oakland Mayor Says Police Body Cameras Have Cut Use-of-Force Incidents Significantly in 5 Years, December 17, 2014.

This blog post is sponsored by Microsoft.

Posted in Uncategorized

The IACP’s Community Policing Committee Meets in Phoenix

On March 12th and 13th, the IACP’s Community Policing Committee met for its annual mid-year meeting in Phoenix, Arizona.  The new Chair of the Committee, Dr. Ronal Serpas, lead discussions ranging from the IACP/Cisco Community Policing Awards to the IACP/COPS project Community Policing: The Next Generation.

Bob Stanberry, Solution Business Development Manager and Senior Law Enforcement Advisor at Cisco Systems, proposed adding a special technology category to the awards.  There was also a presentation by Greg Wilburn of Presidio Networked Solutions regarding technology available to better connect police departments with public services and the community. An update on the IACP/Cisco Community Policing Award winners analysis was shared with Committee members and suggestions are being integrated into the document outline.

Dr. Serpas discussed the Cure Violence report that looks at increasing the understanding of generational cycles of violence and its effect on crime. Cure Violence is an NGO that works to stop the spread of violence in communities by using the methods and strategies associated with disease control. This report addresses the need to get resources on the ground to help mediate the impact of mental illnesses, such as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

The meeting closed out with an update from the FBI and an update on the IACP’s Protect and Serve Initiative.  New Orleans was chosen as the location for the Mid-Year Meeting of 2016.

Posted in Awards, Committees, Community Policing | Tagged ,

Best Practices and Lessons Learned in Commercial Vehicle Enforcement: A Perspective from the Tennessee Highway Patrol

The International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) and the U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) have come together to focus on developing strategies and deliverables to enhance the Drive to Save Lives/Drive Toward Zero Campaign by incorporating large truck and bus enforcement. The IACP’s Divisions of State and Provincial Police and State Association of Chiefs of Police have been working together to develop regional and highway-based enforcement efforts to reduce crashes, promising practices and share lessons learned. Most recently, the IACP’s S&P and SACOP Division met to discuss the project and to determine the best ways to support law enforcement’s large truck and bus enforcement mission. The International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) has recognized the Tennessee Highway Patrol with the Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Award in 2005 and 2014. The Tennessee Highway Patrol (THP) has been seen as a leader in invocative commercial vehicle enforcement (CVE) strategies for many years. Colonel Tracy Trott, head of the Tennessee Highway Patrol, has provided best practices and lessons learned below for all agencies to utilize.

Guest blog by: Tracy Trott, Colonel, Tennessee Highway Patrol (First-Vice Chair, IACP’s State and Provincial Police Division)

In 2004 Tennessee elected to merge our Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Officers into State Troopers. This was a controversial move because it required salaries and job responsibilities to be equalized. State Troopers were required to learn to be a North American Standard Level III Inspector (Level I for some assignments) and complete at least 32 commercial vehicle inspections per year. Commercial Vehicle Officers had to learn more about traffic enforcement and crash investigation.

This transition set the stage for innovative work in commercial motor vehicle enforcement in the state of Tennessee. A partnership was formed with Oak Ridge Laboratories and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to create a “Technology Corridor” in several of the Tennessee Highway Patrol (THP) scale facilities using advance technology to enforce standards. There are six inspection sites that are being re-built or updated with the latest pre-screening technology. This move is to assure the best in accuracy and efficiency in utilizing manpower and resources to inspect commercial vehicles. These advanced technologies include Performance Based Brake Testers (PBBTs), Smart Infrared Roadside Inspection Systems (SIRISs), DOT readers and License Plate Readers (LPRs).

Using and creating innovative strategies have helped THP accomplish the state’s goals for road safety. THP currently utilizes a state owned commercial vehicle semi-truck and motor coach to target seat belt violations and texting drivers in three of our THP Districts. Other examples can be found below.

  • Knoxville and Chattanooga districts have established strike forces which set up along areas where the Troopers utilize the semi-truck and spotter to easily identify drivers who are engaged in distracted activities such as texting along with seat belt violations and will alert nearby road personnel who can pull the vehicle over and enforce these infractions.
  • Nashville district has established Operation Round-about where troopers utilize a state owned motor coach and two spotters within in the unit to travel around the Interstate systems in the Nashville area. Upon identifying violations for distracted driving or texting, unmarked units used in conjunction with the assignment make the traffic stop and take the appropriate enforcement action.

The Tennessee Mobile Inspection Station (MIS) is a full scale facility on wheels and is another resource. It is utilized to reach CMV’s in rural and urban areas where no fixed facilities are available. It is also equipped with the same state of the art technology as the fixed inspection facilities. The MIS is equipped with mobile PBBTs, portable scales, as well as LPRs, DOT readers, and the Infrared Inspection System. This mobile inspection station is another example of how the Tennessee Highway Patrol has chosen to blanket the state. It enables law enforcement to maintain safety in rural areas, as well as the heavily travelled connecting interstates.

After 10 years, it is safe to say the merger was a good idea and a success for Tennessee. All Troopers now have the ability to do Level III Inspections and enforce the Federal Motor Carrier guidelines. Many Troopers are Level I certified along with Hazardous Material, Cargo, and Tanker certifications. State Troopers now man all scale facilities and DUI and Interdiction enforcement in those facilities have vastly improved. North American Standard Level III training has become the norm in our academy and Level I certification is desirable by many Troopers to compete for certain promotions. There are nine commercial vehicle weigh station facilities. Tennessee has approximately 65 troopers assigned to fixed scale facilities.

Tennessee is most proud of its recent educational accomplishment which is a first of its kind in the country. It is an interactive driving simulator known as the “Teens and Trucks” simulator. The primary focus is to educate teen drivers regarding sharing the road with large trucks. The six individual simulators Contained in the tractor trailer allow teen drivers to experience driving around commercial vehicles via the virtual simulator with seven different scenarios. This tool is in high demand by high schools across the state.

Building upon partnerships with local intuitions and the federal government have helped THP and the state of Tennessee greatly. The combination of technology, equipment, innovative approaches and educational tools have been very impactful for commercial vehicle safety in our state. I hope the above examples will help you with your commercial vehicle enforcement efforts. Don’t forget, bad behaviors are bad behaviors no matter if it is a car or truck. No matter the size of the agency, keeping our roadways safe is a team approach. If you have any questions about commercial motor vehicle enforcement or what is specifically going on in the state of Tennessee please contact,

Posted in Best Practices, Divisions, Highway Safety, Partnerships, Traffic Safety

Portland police pair data with professional insight to help tackle domestic violence

This blog post sponsored by IBM.

Learn how the Portland Police Bureau increased domestic violence investigations by 111% and arrests by 21%

Manually prioritizing domestic violence cases took Portland’s police several hours each day – time that they wanted to spend pursuing suspects. Using analytics to predict which suspects are likely to re-offend now gives investigators more time to pursue the most dangerous offenders.

Download the case study now and get the details on how IBM predictive analytics software has helped the DVRU focus its resources on apprehending the most dangerous offenders, improve investigator productivity, boost case investigations by more than 111% and increase the number of cases cleared via arrest by 21%.

This blog post sponsored by IBM.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , ,

Nominations for IACP August Vollmer Excellence in Forensic Science Award

IACP recognizes the significant impact forensic science has on the criminal justice system. The August Vollmer Excellence in Forensic Science Award honors the proactive, innovative use of forensic technologies by law enforcement.

Nominations for selection of the 2015 awards are now being accepted in the following categories:

  • Current or Past Contribution by a Police Agency or Individual
  • Current or Past Forensic Science Collaboration
  • Innovation in Forensic Technology (by an Individual or Forensic Science Provider in the Public or Private Sector))
  • Significant Investigative Value in a Major Crime

Complete information, application, and submission criteria can be found at: Submissions must be received by May 15th, 2015.

For further information contact IACP Forensic Committee staff liaison Michael Rizzo at or 800-843-4227 ext 818.

Posted in Forensic Science Committee | Tagged ,