Vests: Protecting Law Enforcement’s Loyal Partners

K-9 units have become an integral part of modern police departments and they provide an invaluable service in keeping both police officers and the public safe. The unique role of police K-9’s puts them in very dangerous environments where they are at great risk of being maimed or killed. According to the Officer Down Memorial Page, 118 K-9’s have been killed in the line of duty over the last 10 years. Of those, 38 have died as a result of being stabbed or shot. Police officers have addressed these dangers for themselves through the use of ballistic vests, but K-9’s are rarely afforded same level of protection. There are currently no government funded programs for police K-9 vest acquisition and so the burden of funding them falls to individual departments and the general public.

Fortunately, there are a variety of non-profit charitable organizations that assist in providing K-9 ballistic vests to departments. Citizens can donate to any number of programs to assist in buying K-9 bulletproof and stab proof vests. If you have an interest in contributing contact your local, county, or state police agency. This is also an area a police foundation can become involved in products to protect the K-9 officers.

The IACP/DuPont™ Kevlar® Survivors’ Club® recognizes officers who have survived a life threatening incident because they were wearing their personal body armor. We actively promote safety through vest usage and officer safety overall. Please visit the Survivors’ Club website to read more about this program. It is our hope that by honoring those officers saved by the vest, the Survivors’ Club® program will reinforce the message of wearing body armor daily for all who wear the badge.

For more information about the Survivors’ Club please visit www.theiacp.org/survivorsclub.

 

Posted in Center for Officer Safety and Wellness, Officer Safety, Projects | Leave a comment

Best Practices and Lessons Learned in Commercial Vehicle Enforcement: A Perspective from the Ohio State 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 (S&P) and State Association of Chiefs of Police (SACOP) have been working together to develop regional and highway-based enforcement efforts to reduce crashes, develop promising practices, and share lessons learned. Most recently, the IACP’s S&P and SACOP Divisions met to discuss the project and to determine the best ways to support law enforcement’s large truck and bus enforcement mission. Ohio State Highway Patrol has developed a number of unique approaches to commercial vehicle enforcement (CVE) safety, this blog will outline some best practices and lessons learned for agencies to adopt on how to bring awareness to large truck and bus safety.

Guest blogger: Colonel Paul A. Pride, Superintendent of the Ohio State Highway Patrol

March 20, 2015 on US 68, in Hardin County, a car traveling from Virginia to Michigan impacted head on with a tractor-trailer, killing all four occupants; Ohio’s 76th fatal crash involving a commercial motor vehicle. This crash increased the number of people killed involving large trucks to 87. At the same time, the Ohio State Highway Patrol’s License and Commercial Standards Section (LCS) was at their second meeting to establish a strategy for reducing commercial-related crashes in Ohio. The state of Ohio averages around 25,000 commercial-vehicle-related crashes annually, and about 161 people are killed in these crashes.

The LCS section for the Ohio State Highway Patrol is responsible for the oversight and enforcement of large truck and bus safety standards. The Patrol’s LCS section deploys troopers and civilian inspectors to combat the crash problem through enforcement of state law and federal motor carrier regulations. The basic mission of this office is to vigorously enforce the federal safety standards through routine vehicle and driver inspections, as well as targeted enforcement of traffic laws. Many states have similar systems in place to increase safety around large trucks and buses.

Ohio’s trend for commercial related crashes, where the commercial vehicle is at fault, is similar to that of the nation; the majority of Ohio’s commercial crashes, 67 percent, are a direct result of vehicles traveling around the trucks. Many know this by the “two-thirds rule.” As you look to increase safety around large truck and buses, under this philosophy, any crash reduction plan for commercial vehicles should ideally have 60-70% of your efforts focused on the behaviors of vehicles in and around the trucks and the rest of your time focused on the industry safety.

The LCS section initiated a program called Road Watch 100 to reduce these crashes. Road Watch 100 is a comprehensive effort to reduce commercial-vehicle-related fatal crashes to below 100 by the year 2020, and to reduce the impact of human trafficking and other criminal activities in and around the trucking industry across the state of Ohio. The objective is to use statistical software to assist in deploying human resources to the high crash and crime areas, to deploy an aggressive messaging campaign directed at truck safety and crime reduction, and to partner with private and public sector entities in order to increase our level of community-wide involvement. Statistics have been a driving force as we deploy these safety strategies and should be a priority when implementing similar programs.

As a part of the Road Watch 100 crash reduction goal, three programs were initiated in the LCS section:

  1. Inspection Principled Adjustment Program
  2. Commercial Vehicle Related (CVR) Enforcement Program
  3. Statewide Messaging Campaign

Inspection Principled Adjustment Program

Similar to other agencies, the Ohio State Highway Patrol has 115 officers who are certified to conduct inspections in the MCSAP program. Of those officers, 48 are non-sworn employees without arrest powers. As a result, these employees have been primarily focused on conducting commercial vehicle inspections. The state of Ohio conducts around 75,000 CMV inspections annually. For years, the culture of the commercial enforcement program had gravitated toward the vehicle as the primary mission. Most of these inspections were being conducted in places that were safe enough to conduct Level one inspections (full vehicle-driver inspection), such as rest areas and weigh stations.

The problem with staying near these types of locations is that our data did not show a crash problem where the bulk of our inspections were being conducted. The LCS section was stuck in an inspection culture where the mission had become grinding out vehicle inspections all day. In the previous five years, only three fatal crashes involving large trucks were attributed to a vehicle safety issue; that is 3 out of almost 800 fatal crashes. It was clear our primary vehicle inspection focus was not addressing the crash issue. As part of Road Watch 100, the 115 officers are now operationally re-aligned to work where the crashes are happening, and to focus on Level three inspections (directed at the driver) and driving behaviors.

Each officer is required to spend a minimum of 60% of their patrol time in a high crash area. Additionally, 80% of Level three inspections must be conducted in areas that are both inside high crash zones and outside of rest areas and weigh stations. These expectations are monitored through data mapping software and reported monthly.

Commercial Vehicle Related (CVR) Enforcement Program

In an effort to focus on the two-thirds rule, sworn officers in the LCS section were challenged to focus their efforts on the vehicles around large trucks and buses. These contacts with vehicles breaking traffic laws around large trucks, which directly affects the travel of the commercial vehicle, are captured as commercial vehicle related (CVR) in the computer-aided dispatch (CAD) system. Now officers are spending about two-thirds of their time in high crash areas with a major focus on CVR incidents.

To assist with this program, the LCS section has implemented the “Trooper in a Truck” initiative. Much like putting a trooper on a train for railroad crossing violations, or in a school bus for school bus violations, troopers from LCS ride in a large truck to spot traffic violations that meet the CVR definition. A couple officers in marked vehicles ride ahead of the truck to make the traffic stops. In a recent operation, a trooper rode in a large truck for two hours across three different interstate systems. Seventeen violations were observed during this Trooper in a Truck operation. Aircraft are also used to spot these violations when putting a trooper in a truck is not operationally feasible at the time.

Statewide Messaging Campaign

As part of any traffic safety initiative, the goal is to achieve a high number of driver compliance to traffic laws through education and awareness campaigns. Starting in October of this year, the Ohio State Highway Patrol’s Public Information Office will begin a statewide media campaign, in support of the LCS mission, that educates non-commercial vehicle drivers about the dangers of driving in blind spots of large trucks, or in violation of traffic laws around large trucks. Through the use of social media, LCS will drive the message to a large number of drivers.

Statewide media outlets will also be afforded opportunities to ride with troopers during the Troopers in a Truck program to help spread the message further. Ride-a-longs with troopers are encouraged for the media to observe safety operations in all facets of the commercial safety program. Through partnerships with the trucking industry, the Ohio State Patrol has forged great relationships that have resulted in a strong industry-wide message for driver safety, as well as spreading the messaging campaign to non-commercial vehicles through signage on trailers.

It is our belief that with the two-thirds rule, operational decisions based solely upon their potential to reduce crashes, and relationships built with stakeholders in the crash reduction environment, the Ohio State Highway Patrol can achieve its mission of reducing commercial-vehicle-related fatalities to below 100.

Interested in starting a similar program, have any questions about commercial motor vehicle enforcement or what is specifically going on in the state of Ohio please contact, drive2savelives@theiacp.org.

 

Posted in Best Practices, Divisions, Highway Safety, Traffic Safety | Leave a comment

Deadline Extended for IACP Excellence in Law Enforcement Research Award

GREAT NEWS: The 2015 IACP Excellence in Law Enforcement Research Award application deadline has been extended to August 17, 2015. Read more information about the award below.

Sponsored by the Laura and John Arnold Foundation, the IACP Research Advisory Committee (RAC) has established an annual research award in which three law enforcement agencies are recognized for exceptional research performed either with a research partner or exclusively by the agency. The purpose of the award is to recognize law enforcement agencies that demonstrate excellence in initiation, implementation, and research to improve police operations and public safety and to promote the establishment of effective research partnerships among law enforcement agencies and criminal justice researchers.

Here are just a few examples of past winners:

  • Houston, Texas, Police Department, Robbery Division, used a randomized experiment to test four methods of presenting photo spreads to robbery witnesses. Overall, there were few meaningful differences between the methods in terms of filler selection rates (i.e., known selection errors) and suspect selection rates.
  • Kent Police, United Kingdom, for KIRAT, which is a risk assessment tool that strives to identify, from the available intelligence, those individuals most at risk of committing contact sexual offenses.
  • California Commission on Police Officer Standards and Trainings (CalPOST) for their SAFE (Situation-Appropriate, Focused, and Educated) Driving Campaign aimed at saving lives and limiting costs by reducing the overall number of law enforcement traffic collisions.
  • Boston, Massachusetts, Police Department for the Safe Street Teams Hot Spots Policing Research Initiative. This program involved teams of BPD officers assigned to violent crime hot spots and required to use community problem-solving techniques to address the underlying conditions and dynamics that cause violence to cluster in these small places.

Applications are now being accepted for the 2015 IACP Excellence in Law Enforcement Research Award. The deadline for submission is August 17, 2015. For detailed award application information, please visit the IACP/Laura and John Arnold Foundation Excellence in Law Enforcement Research Award webpage, or contact Liberatore@theiacp.org.

To learn more about this award, and to see how other law enforcement agencies are addressing critical policing issues through research, we encourage you to visit the IACP Research Advisory Committee page.

Posted in Awards | Leave a comment

#WhyIWearTheBadge Wednesday – Tips for Sharing Your Stories Through Video

This post is part of our ongoing #WhyIWearTheBadge Wednesday blog series.

ChrisCookGuest blogger: Lieutenant Christopher Cook, Arlington, Texas, Police Department

This is the second blog post in a series on #WhyIWearTheBadge campaign. In the first article, we spoke about how to implement a program through the use of images. Let us now talk about how easy it is to transform your campaign from photos to video. We all know that video affords us a great way to tell our stories and deliver messages in a way that photos just simply can’t match. This blog post will be a basic overview as future editions will go more in-depth on each particular app and piece of equipment we utilize.

Let’s begin by looking at where to start. First and foremost, we need to determine the audience and how we will tell the story. The great thing about IACP’s #WhyIWearTheBadge campaign is that the audience can be two-fold. The community is the real target audience, however we have found that by showing the videos to our internal employees, it can enhance a feeling of satisfaction serving the community that comes along with other officers seeing the stories of their peers.

WIWTB10Now that the audience has been identified, we need to think in terms of shots and how we will piece the video together. This is where your creativity and imagination can come in full swing. In Arlington, we decided to create a catchy intro and splice it together with some cool music in order to grab the viewer’s attention and keep them engaged to watch the videos. There has been a lot of research done showing that 20% of viewers click away within the first 10 seconds and almost half are gone within the first minute so you need a hook to keep them watching.

After we created the intro using an automated template, we began to identify our approach. In our series, we planned to profile 3 officers in each video highlighting the diversity and humanistic stories that we knew would resonate with our viewers. We then used various types of camera equipment to film the officers. Even if you do not have a large media budget with fancy equipment, anyone can create these types of videos using only a smart phone.

WIWTB5While we are not allowed to endorse any product or vendor, we use a variety of companies to purchase equipment to outfit our smart phones in order to create professional films. iOgrapher is one such site that sells microphones and lights for the iPhone. What we have found is that the external mics on smart phones do not lend themselves to producing good quality audio so an external wired or wireless mic is essential. Bad audio or poor lighting can make great looking video appear terrible.

As far as actually doing the filming, one of our favorite apps is called FiLMiC Pro which allows you to conduct a white balance, color correction, monitor audio levels, and it provides a whole host of other professional options for any serious filmmaker. I have included a few photos of the equipment used to create these videos. After obtaining the footage, we typically edit on the Apple Mac platform on Final Cut Pro X. Even if you don’t have access to a professional editing suite, iMovie or any number of similar programs are available on Android and ios platforms.

WIWTB9By keeping your finished product short and adding some music to the video, your viewers will stay engaged and share your content. Having fun is the real key ingredient to making any successful video. Experiment with different camera angles and background settings that add life to each of your videos. In the next series, we will drill down and take a closer look at automated templates and Final Cut Pro X. Don’t hesitate to contact us if you need additional help or have questions.

To view APD’s #WhyIWearTheBadge videos visit the Arlington Police Media YouTube Channel.

Posted in Best Practices, Community Policing, Social Media | Leave a comment

Ballistic Body Armor Saves Pilot

… by not wearing it?

On June 5th at approximately 1730 hours, a U.S. Customs and Border Patrol helicopter sustained damage from small arms fire while on patrol in a drug interdiction mission on the border of Texas and Mexico. The helicopter took two direct hits from suspects on the ground.

Many helicopter pilots involved with narcotic interdiction work on the Mexican border keep their ballistic body armor beneath their seat instead of wearing it.  In this case, it worked! One round penetrated the cabin of the helicopter and was stopped by the pilot’s vest directly under his seat.

In a short telephone conversation with Border Patrol agent and National Border Patrol Council Local 455 Chapter President Hector Garza, this practice is not uncommon as the biggest threat to pilots’ safety comes from the ground.

U.S. authorities state the shooting took place in an area known as La Bota Ranch, a subdivision of Laredo Texas.  The helicopter and the crew were part of a coordinated effort to interdict a load of narcotics coming from Mexico into Texas.  Local authorities believe that the Mexican drug cartel Los Zetas, might have been involved.  The Los Zetas drug cartel headquarters is located in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, just across the border from Laredo.

At the time of the shooting, U.S. Customs and Border Patrol, the FBI, Homeland Security and the Texas Rangers all responded to the scene.  The suspects fled from the scene and got away.  The crime scene was processed by the Texas Rangers and the FBI. This is an active ongoing investigation being conducted by the FBI.

The IACP/DuPontKevlar®Survivors’Club® recognizes and honors those deserving law enforcement officers, who have survived a life-threatening or life-disabling incident as a result of wearing their body armor.  It is our hope the award presentation will be used to reinforce the importance of wearing body armor daily. We sincerely feel the presentation will also foster a greater relationship between the department’s management and their front line officers.

For more information please go to: http://www.iacp.org/survivorsclub

Posted in Center for Officer Safety and Wellness, Officer Safety | 1 Comment

#WhyIWearTheBadge Wednesday – IACP Edition, Jose Mariscal

This post is part of our ongoing #WhyIWearTheBadge Wednesday blog series.

The IACP is fortunate to have several staff members who served their communities and their country as law enforcement officers. While they no longer wear a badge, their dedication and commitment to law enforcement still remains. Today’s post is from Jose Mariscal, IACP Project Manager and former Texas State Trooper.

Mariscal

Jose during his service as a Texas State Trooper.

I joined the law enforcement profession to make a difference in my community by providing a safer environment and helping those that did not have the same opportunities as I did. For me, the idea of being able to make a difference started when I was a kid. At a young age, my parents instilled in me the values of integrity, commitment, and respect. As I got older, I could not see any other profession aside from policing that would allow me to enhance and build on those values.

For over eight years I had the privilege and honor of serving with the Texas Department of Public Safety (TxDPS). TxDPS played a key role in my development not only professionally, but as an individual. As a Trooper, the most enjoyable aspect of the job for me was the men and women I served alongside. Every day I witnessed those same men and women carry out their duties to the best of their ability and strive to uphold the department’s core values of integrity, excellence, accountability, and teamwork.

Jose now serves as IACP Civilian Law Enforcement Military Cooperation Committee staff liaison. Here is he with former CLEMCC member and Hampton, Virginia, Police Chief Terry Sult.

Jose now serves as IACP Civilian Law Enforcement Military Cooperation Committee (CLEMCC) staff liaison. Here he is with former CLEMCC member and Hampton, Virginia, Police Chief Terry Sult.

A big reason I chose to come to IACP is because I knew I would still have the opportunity to interact with men and women similar to those I served with in my department. Since my time at IACP I have been able to assist in providing a key operational component of most law enforcement agencies by facilitating training developed by IACP on two different law enforcement topics. Through the IACP’s Alzheimer’s project I was able to travel across the country and assist in providing law enforcement personnel with training on how to better interact with those affected by Alzheimer’s and other dementias. In my current role as part of the IACP’s Leading By Legacy project, I manage a project that is responsible for providing first line supervisors, command staff, and executive law enforcement officers with some of the best leadership training available.

I am proud to have worn the badge and I am proud to be a part of a great organization like the IACP. By Serving the Leaders of Today and Developing the Leaders of Tomorrow, we can continue to prepare the men and women of law enforcement meet some of the challenges of 21st century policing.

Posted in Law Enforcement Leadership, Projects | Leave a comment

#WhyIWearTheBadge Wednesday – Simple Words, Strong Statements

This post is part of our ongoing #WhyIWearTheBadge Wednesday blog series.

The #WhyIWearTheBadge campaign is still going strong as agencies from around the world share their reasons for wearing the badge and choosing to protect and serve their communities. So far in this series we have heard from individual officers, seen posts from across agencies, and looked at how photos and video can be great mechanisms for sharing these messages.

Sometimes, all it takes is some simple words. Below are just a few examples of how law enforcement has taken to Twitter to share #WhyIWearTheBadge messages in 140 characters or less. They use simple words, but the statements they share are strong and are important for their agencies and their communities.

tweets

Posted in Community Policing, Law Enforcement Leadership, Social Media

Best Practices and Lessons Learned in Commercial Vehicle Enforcement: A Perspective from the Nevada Department of Public Safety, Highway Patrol’s, Badge on Board Program

Guest blogger: Colonel Dennis Osborn, Nevada 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 (S&P) and State Association of Chiefs of Police (SACOP) have been working together to develop regional and highway-based enforcement efforts to reduce crashes, develop promising practices, and share lessons learned. Most recently, the IACP’s S&P and SACOP Divisions met to discuss the project and to determine the best ways to support law enforcement’s large truck and bus enforcement mission. Nevada Highway Patrol’s Badge On Board Program is a unique and effective commercial vehicle enforcement (CVE) program that can provide many agencies advice on how to bring awareness to large truck and bus safety. Colonel Dennis Osborn, Nevada Highway Patrol, has provided best practices and lessons learned below for all agencies.

In 2013 more than 4,000, or more than 10%of total, fatalities were the result of approximately 3,800 crashes that involved at least one large truck or bus. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) Data Dashboard (March 2011) reports that in 2010, non-fatal collisions involving passenger vehicles were approximately 47% of all large truck crashes in Nevada that year. In 2008, fatal and non-fatal collisions involving passenger vehicles reached a high of 56 percent of all crashes in Nevada. The Nevada Department of Public Safety, Highway Patrol (NHP) recognizes the role passenger vehicles play in large truck crashes and have utilized a campaign to drive enforcement and public relations on the subject.

badgeonboardThe Badge On Board (BOB) program is designed to improve commercial vehicle safety by focusing on the driving behaviors of passenger vehicles around large commercial trucks. The Nevada Highway Patrol uses both enforcement and public education to improve safe driving behaviors, allowing motorists to share the road safely with commercial motor vehicles.

It is no secret that unsafe driving behaviors can lead to major crashes resulting in the loss of life. A BOB event conducts an enforcement campaign that uniquely targets moving violations of both passenger vehicles and commercial motor vehicles, which occur near large trucks. During a BOB event, a trooper is in the passenger seat of a large commercial truck, which is identified with a graphically designed wrap on the trailer portion containing Badge On Board messaging – transparency with the public is a key part of this program. Once the trooper observes a violation, information is provided to marked patrol units in the vicinity identifying the violation and the violator’s vehicle description. The trooper noting the violation while riding in the truck ensures the correct vehicle has been stopped, in a coordinated effort with patrol troopers. The BOB truck is typically operated by one of the Division’s Commercial Vehicle Safety Inspectors, who has a commercial vehicle driver’s license endorsement.

In 2014, through the assistance of a high priority grant worth just over $400,000, ten Badge On Board enforcement events were held in each of the two major urban areas of Nevada. As the majority of the crashes occur due to unsafe driving behaviors by the passenger car driver, enforcement was centered on the following violations: speeding, unsafe lane change, failure to signal lane change, failure to yield the right of way, following too closely, failure to use due care, and aggressive driving (a combination of two or more behaviors). Just this year, events in Reno resulted in 828 passenger vehicle contacts, 38 CMV contacts, and 980 violations. Over the last five years (2010-2015) Reno has seen 33 events, 2295 passenger vehicle contacts, 108 CMV contacts, and 4005 violations (1029 Speeding, 465 handheld device, 283 following too closely, 233 failure to signal and 228 unsafe lane change). Events in Las Vegas have resulted in 981 passenger vehicle contacts, 1129 violations, and from 2010-2015, there has been a total of 26 events, 4496 passenger vehicle contacts, 168 CMV contacts, and 6151 violations (1799 Speeding, 798 handheld device, 392 following too closely, 345 failure to signal and 299 unsafe lane change).

truckersWhen looking to adopt a similar program keep in mind enforcement events are geared towards increasing public communication and typically conducted in ten-hour shifts over a three-day period. Tractor units and trailers are leased through corporate partnerships and media campaigns are used to build public awareness about truck/passenger safety and the Badge On Board enforcement program. This year, 10 digital billboards have been placed in Las Vegas, 4 digital billboards have been placed in Reno, 6 rural billboards have been placed, 15- and 30-second radio spots played in Las Vegas, Reno, and rural stations, online YouTube video promotion, and Facebook promotion.

Thirty-three thousand lives lost on our roadways is unacceptable. Through high visibility campaigns, media relations, and transparency with public in programs like Badge On Board, that target unsafe driving behaviors, there is no doubt lives will be saved.

If you are interested in starting a similar program, have any questions about commercial motor vehicle enforcement, or want more information on what is going on in the state of Nevada please contact drive2savelives@theiacp.org.

Posted in Best Practices, Highway Safety, Traffic Safety

#WhyIWearTheBadge Wednesday – Tips for Sharing Your Story Through Images

This post is part of our ongoing #WhyIWearTheBadge Wednesday blog series.

ChrisCookGuest blogger: Lieutenant Christopher Cook, Arlington, Texas, Police Department

The Arlington, Texas, Police Department has been posting regular updates across all of our social media platforms to support the #WhyIWearTheBadge campaign. This blog posting will highlight some easy ways to show off the great work through photos that is consistently occurring in your organizations. With the national debate on the legitimacy of policing that is occurring across communities around America, it is now more important than ever to showcase the reason why the majority of us joined this honorable profession.

Let’s face it. All of us have a reason why we raised our hand and swore an oath to protect our community and this great nation. We have to continually earn the right to police our communities every single day and essentially, our badge, along with the great responsibility it symbolizes, are considered “on-loan” to us from our communities. This vast responsibility requires us to be proactive and share the countless stories that highlight our diversity as a profession and demonstrates our unwavering commitment to upholding our oath. By participating with IACP, community trust can be elevated through the personal sharing of stories via social media posts, videos and other testimonials at community events and meetings.

IACP2As the proliferation of social media continues to evolve, it is now easier than ever to support the IACP #WhyIWearTheBadge initiative. Let’s look at one of the simplest ways to get started, which deals with photos. It has been said many times that a photo is worth a thousand words. It has been our experience that a photo can captivate the community thereby increasing the reach of a particular post.

Arlington will take a nice photo of an officer or we will utilize an action shot that someone may have sent us. We then utilize a mobile app to add some simple graphics and text to the photograph. We typically brand the photo also with our badge and patch logo. After the graphic has been created with the photo, we then post it on Twitter and Facebook along with a highlighted story about why the officer joined the profession.

IACP8The community feedback has been amazing. Most of us already know that social media allows law enforcement organizations to humanize their staff through the sharing of photos, videos and stories. The #WhyIWearTheBadge campaign is a natural fit for social media to spread the word quickly while at the same time breaking down barriers that might exist in the community. Here are some of the specific steps we use to create a simple photo graphic that you can replicate. It only takes about two minutes from start to finish.

IACP71. Take a picture of an officer or deputy
2. Save a blue line onto your photo reel on your mobile phone (The line should be transparent PNG)
3. Load the photo into a mobile app called “Union” on the iPhone platform
4. While in the mobile app, place the photo in the “Background” and place the blue line in the “Foreground”
5. Next, export the photo to your camera roll and then load it into a text app that lets you write text within the blue line
6. We use “Phonto” but any text app should work
7. We brand each photo with the hashtag #WhyIWearTheBadge and then export the image back into the camera roll
8. Next, if you so desire, you can use an app called “iWatermark” to add a transparent organization logo
9. Cross promote the photograph and story across all your social media platforms to enhance the overall reach

IACP6It is literally that simple to create a professional looking graphic through a mobile phone. Yes, you can certainly do the same thing with Adobe Photoshop or some other commercial program, however we typically post things quickly directly from our mobile devices in the field. I want to touch real quickly on where the talent and stories come from. No matter how small or large your organization is, there are people that have amazing stories on why they put their badge on every day. Stories could also come from a hero type of event where someone saved another person from a burning building or car crash. The possibilities are only limited by your innovative thinking on how we can do a better job as a profession in promoting our law enforcement personnel in a positive light. We have posted #WhyIWearTheBadge stories on interacting with youth, singing the National Anthem at a ballgame, and pulling kids to safety during traumatic events. All of these types of feel-good stories resonate with our community and position our police department on higher ground.

Our next blog postwill focus on how to create a simple video to support the campaign. In the meantime, don’t hesitate to reach out to us if you need help or you typically use the Android platform. Typically, Android has a similar program that mirrors iOS. We hope to see everyone in Chicago at the annual conference!

Posted in Community Policing, Social Media | 1 Comment

#WhyIWearTheBadge Wednesday – Sharing a Story Through Photographs

This post is part of our ongoing #WhyIWearTheBadge Wednesday blog series.

Guest blogger: Katie Berland, Community Relations Coordinator, Grand Junction, Colorado, Police Department

“What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us. What we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal.” –Albert Pike

The Grand Junction Police Department (GJPD) 2015 Portrait Series, the project began with a simple conversation that turned into something more. Nathan Lopez, the photographer behind the series, wondered: does anyone thank the power lineman after the electricity comes back on after a storm? From there, his decided to show the community that the men and women who serve them do so for a reason. They do it out of the goodness in their hearts.

The Grand Junction Police Department is located in the heart of Western Colorado and is home to gorgeous mountain views and hard working men and women—just like those at the GJPD. The GJPD prides itself on a higher standard of policing and proudly serves the community. These portraits capture the reason why our officers get up in the morning, put on the badge, and walk the thin blue line every day—not because they have to, but because it’s what they are called to do.

Officer Suzette Freidenberger has never known a time in her life that she didn’t want to be a police officer. “Being a police officer is in my blood, my family has been in law enforcement for generations,” said Officer Freidenberger. She considers the GJPD to be her family and proudly wears her badge and protects her community with honor.

Officer Suzette Freidenberger has never known a time in her life that she didn’t want to be a police officer. “Being a police officer is in my blood, my family has been in law enforcement for generations,” said Officer Freidenberger. She considers the GJPD to be her family and proudly wears her badge and protects her community with honor.

“This is what I was meant to do, and this is what I love to do,” said Officer Zac McCullough. Officer McCullough is a three year veteran to the Grand Junction Police Department. For Zac, he believes in leaving a positive impact, shifting preconceived notions and supporting both his work community and the community of Grand Junction.

“This is what I was meant to do, and this is what I love to do,” said Officer Zac McCullough. Officer McCullough is a three-year veteran to the Grand Junction Police Department. For Zac, he believes in leaving a positive impact, shifting preconceived notions, and supporting both his work community and the community of Grand Junction.

Officer Isaac Gallegos remembers where he was on September 11, 2001. That day would change him and shift his ideals. That day gave him a new understanding of “right and wrong” and “good and evil.” “I wanted to do something about it,” said Officer Gallegos. He decided to become a police officer. Isaac believes the children of the community are the future. He proudly advocates and fights for their rights and works to make his community a better place. He said, “Anyone can destroy something, but it is a gift to be able to change a life for the better.”

Officer Isaac Gallegos remembers where he was on September 11, 2001. That day would change him and shift his ideals. That day gave him a new understanding of “right and wrong” and “good and evil.” “I wanted to do something about it,” said Officer Gallegos. He decided to become a police officer. Isaac believes the children of the community are the future. He proudly advocates and fights for their rights and works to make his community a better place. He said, “Anyone can destroy something, but it is a gift to be able to change a life for the better.”

Deputy Chief, Michael Nordine, has known what he wanted to do in life since he was in the 9th grade. A 32-year veteran of the GJPD, he still finds purpose, drive and passion for what he does. Deputy Chief Nordine is an advocate for his community and approaches his line of work as a “people business.” He knows the importance of building relationships on an individual level and puts emphasis on strengthening the community. Deputy Chief Nordine has always known it was his place to serve the public and support those who do the same.

Deputy Chief, Michael Nordine, has known what he wanted to do in life since he was in the 9th grade. A 32-year veteran of the GJPD, he still finds purpose, drive and passion for what he does. Deputy Chief Nordine is an advocate for his community and approaches his line of work as a “people business.” He knows the importance of building relationships on an individual level and puts emphasis on strengthening the community. Deputy Chief Nordine has always known it was his place to serve the public and support those who do the same.

Police Service Technician, Cara Pellowski, has 14 years of law enforcement under her belt—10 of them with the Grand Junction Police Department. PST Pellowski has never been a sworn officer, though she proudly wears her badge in support of the community and her department. Cara is a proud mother, dog owner, and partner to her boyfriend. She has a drive to push herself to grow as a woman and a professional, that drive is the same reason she puts on her badge every morning.

Police Service Technician, Cara Pellowski, has 14 years of law enforcement under her belt—10 of them with the Grand Junction Police Department. PST Pellowski has never been a sworn officer, though she proudly wears her badge in support of the community and her department. Cara is a proud mother, dog owner, and partner to her boyfriend. She has a drive to push herself to grow as a woman and a professional, that drive is the same reason she puts on her badge every morning.

Posted in Community Policing