Statement of IACP President Donald W. De Lucca on Recent Shootings of Police

Today, I turned on the news only to watch as more officers were targeted by violence. Yet again, we find ourselves sending thoughts and prayers to those in the law enforcement profession and their families. In just a few short hours in the U.S. one officer has been killed and another five wounded. At least one of the situations appears to be an ambush attack, where one officer was killed and another gravely injured simply for the uniform they wear.

I grieve with the family and friends of the officer killed in Florida and hope for a swift and full recovery for the officers in Pennsylvania and Florida. I stand with these agencies as they seek to heal and find a path forward following these attacks.

The violence against police in the United States and around the world must stop. Not only does this violence strike at the core of the policing profession, but our communities suffer as well. Law enforcement leaders, community members, law makers, and others must come together to put an end to this violence.

Posted in Breaking News, IACP, Officer Safety & Wellness

Go Big or Go Home: NYPD’s Twitter Strategy

This blog series highlights some of the top Social Media Beat posts from the last couple years. For more information about IACP’s Center for Social Media visit the project webpage. This post was originally published on Thursday, September 17, 2015.

Guest Blogger: Yael Bar-tur, Digital Strategist, New York City, New York, Police Department

In New York City (NYC), we go big or go home. In a little over a year the New York Police Department (NYPD) has gone from 0 to 100 in the world of social media, quite literally. At the beginning of 2014, the NYPD had one centralized Twitter account; today we boast 109 accounts (with close to 500,000 followers among them), each serving as the voice of an individual commander or chief. The accounts are run exclusively by the commanding officers and uniformed members of their staff. While the guidelines and training are set by our office at 1 Police Plaza, the content is not. Commanding officers are encouraged to speak in their own voices and use these accounts to engage with their communities regarding specific issues relevant in their fields.

Before you rush to open 100 new Twitter accounts for your agency, it’s important to note that large-scale operations are not necessarily the best option for everyone. For most municipalities, one account on multiple platforms can serve as a great one-stop-shop for all updates. However, if you are speaking to a variety of different audiences and feel the need to expand your presence, consider the following tips based on our experience.

  1. Keep your audience, not just your agency, in mind

When deciding who in your agency should get a social media account, be selective. At the NYPD we give Twitter accounts to those who have communities to cultivate (such as precincts or housing service areas that oversee certain geographical areas) or specialty accounts that can provide their audience with interesting and topical content (have you met the NYPD bee keeper? You can watch him livestream his captures on periscope!). It may be tempting to base your decision on the rank of the person or their desire for an account – but every channel you open should complement the others, not detract from them by creating redundancies.

  1. Train the people on the ground

As you may have suspected, the NYPD doesn’t employ 109 civilian social media strategists. Each precinct commander runs his or her own account with the help of their respective staffs. And while few had any social media experience beforehand, it hasn’t been hard for them to learn. In nearly every training I conduct, an apologetic officer confesses that they “don’t know anything about computers.” I tell them that technology is the easy part. The challenge lies in creating the right content, disseminating relevant information, and fostering a sense of community– all things that the officers on the ground are well equipped to do. As a civilian member of service, I am proud to say that all NYPD accounts are managed by uniformed officers, who with the right guidance and training can represent themselves digitally better than anyone else.

  1. Set them free (almost)

How do we at the NYPD approve and control every single tweet? The answer: we don’t. The fast nature of Twitter won’t allow for multiple command chains and lengthy approval processes. As novel as the idea might seem in law enforcement, we rely on account holders to tweet using their own discretion. This allows for original content and unique voices to shine through, which is invaluable in a medium that cherishes authenticity above everything else. A great example of this is one of our most retweeted tweets ever from a precinct in Brooklyn following the assassination of Detectives Ramos and Liu. This painfully personal message that could not have been expressed through mass dissemination of one unified text from headquarters:

Go Big or Go Home

This leap forward has not been free of hurdles, from getting the right equipment to slowly changing the mindset regarding speaking publicly amongst lower ranking officers. However, the social media landscape is not waiting for police departments to catch up as it constantly evolves, and only those who are willing to take the risks associated with this playing field stand to gain from it.

 

Posted in Social Media, Technology

TAG – You’re It!

This blog post is part of a series highlighting best practices in community policing by police departments nationwide as part of IACP’s Community Policing: The Next Generation and Task Force on 21st Century Policing projects. The projects showcase innovative and effective solutions to building trust and creating opportunities to collaborate with community stakeholders to increase public safety. These projects are funded through the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Community Oriented Policing Services. Shakopee, Minnesota, Police Department is a recipient of the 2015 IACP/Cisco Community Policing Award

ShakopeeThe city of Shakopee, Minnesota, located 30 miles from downtown Minneapolis, is one of the fastest-growing cities in the United States and has a diverse population. Community policing has always been a top priority for the Shakopee Police Department (SPD). Volunteering is strongly encouraged and regular Coffee with a Cop programs and crime prevention seminars are held in both English and Spanish. The police department also continually engages partners in the community through in-person meetings and community surveys to identify and solve problems.

One area of concern for the community was one the police were not aware of prior to these meetings and surveys. Through a citizen survey, community members indicated that they wanted the city to curb gang activity and prevent youth crime, including graffiti. This input from the community was somewhat surprising, because graffiti never represented a high percentage of the police department’s call load. The SPD set out to address the prevalence of graffiti in the community and developed the Team-Up Against Graffiti (TAG) initiative.

The purpose of the TAG initiative is to move from reactively covering up graffiti to Shkopee 2proactively protecting public areas and reducing graffiti while engaging the public. Funding was secured through grants, donations, and community fundraising to purchase anti-graffiti coating and the group engaged the community and police officers to help apply the coating to frequently hit areas. Since the initiative began, more than 25,000 square feet of public space has been permanently protected against vandalism.

In addition to helping paint, the department sought to engage the community as observers to help prevent crime.  The agency engaged existing community policing components, including Night to Unite, the Dog Walker Watch, and Neighborhood Watch, in their anti-graffiti efforts. For example, through the Dog Walker Watch program, the department trains residents to effectively observe and report suspicious activity while walking their dogs in local parks and neighborhoods.

shapokee 3The SPD also utilizes social media to engage with the community including the youth. Since adapting social media in 2013, residents commented they feel more connected to the department and appreciate how the police interact with the community.

Because of the TAG initiative, the community has experienced a 65 percent decrease in graffiti over the last 3 years. Through the TAG initiative and other efforts, the Shakopee Police Department continues to engage and build strong relationships with the community.

Posted in Community-Police Relations

Resources for Law Enforcement on Hate Crimes

The International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) has always taken a stand against hate crimes in any form. Through projects, committee work, advocacy efforts, and other initiatives, the IACP continues to work to support law enforcement’s efforts to prevent, combat, and investigate hate crimes in communities around the world.

When these incidents do occur, law enforcement agencies need to be able to react quickly — below are resources to assist in policing efforts:

Posted in Human & Civil Rights, IACP

IACP and TASC Announce National Initiative to Combat the U.S. Opioid Epidemic and Mainstream Diversion Programs

The International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) and Treatment Alternatives for Safe Communities (TASC) have come together to promote an initiative to create robust alternative-to-arrest diversion programs for state, county, and local law enforcement agencies across the United States; in line with the Trump Administration’s announcement on responding to the current opioid epidemic.

The IACP/TASC collaboration seeks to greatly improve the means, ease, and speed with which law enforcement can partner with substance use and mental health treatment providers so that police can help people in need access treatment as rapidly as possible.  This collaboration is particularly timely, and more important than ever, given the announced national opioid epidemic emergency. For example, “Naloxone Plus” models are specially designed for law enforcement and treatment partnerships to prevent future overdose deaths.

“At this critical time for our communities, law enforcement efforts to connect people with drug treatment could not have greater urgency,” said IACP President Donald De Lucca, Chief of the Doral, Florida, Police Department. “Law enforcement officers, working side-by-side with treatment providers and community, will together help form the solution.”

To launch this effort, IACP and TASC will work through the Police, Treatment, and Community (PTAC) Collaborative, the first national effort to build a multi-disciplinary approach that ensures law enforcement, treatment professionals, and community members collaborate as equal partners to reduce crime in the United States.

The IACP and TASC initiative will: 1) identify the many variations on the concept of diversion across the United States, pinpointing programs with the most promising and measurable outcomes, 2) launch a significant nationwide pilot implementation approach using the identified promising models, 3) leverage the resources of the IACP Center for Police Research and Policy at the University of Cincinnati to measure and evaluate the results of the pilot implementation to ensure an evidenced-based approach, and 4) launch one of the largest pre-arrest diversion initiatives in the United States, seeking a sea change in policing (and justice) practices.

While diversion to treatment is not a new concept, this initiative adds a critical element that’s been missing: a dynamic and sustainable partnership that brings together TASC’s expertise in evidence-based responses to substance use and mental health disorders, along with IACP’s expansive and knowledgeable law enforcement network.

“We know from four decades of research and experience that formal connections to treatment can improve access and outcomes,” said Pam Rodriguez, president and CEO of TASC. “Across the U.S., prisoner reentry programs, court intervention programs, and prosecutorial diversion programs have proven successful for decades. Their lessons can be applied even earlier in the justice system—ideally before people even enter it.”

“This initiative can yield value across the U.S., including safer communities, healthier families, and officers returning home safely from duty,” said De Lucca.

###

About TASC

TASC, Inc. has a 40-year history of bridging justice systems and community-based substance use treatment programs. Offering direct services to more than 20,000 people annually in Illinois, TASC works in partnership with law enforcement, courts, prisons, child welfare programs, and community-based service providers to implement evidence-based services that increase health and reduce recidivism.

About the IACP

The International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) is a professional association for law enforcement worldwide. For more than 120 years, the IACP has been launching internationally acclaimed programs, speaking on behalf of law enforcement, conducting groundbreaking research, and providing exemplary programs and services to members across the globe.

Today, the IACP continues to be recognized as a leader in these areas. By maximizing the collective efforts of the membership, IACP actively supports law enforcement through advocacy, outreach, education, and programs. Through ongoing strategic partnerships across the public safety spectrum, the IACP provides members with resources and support in all aspects of law enforcement policy and operations. These tools help members perform their jobs effectively, efficiently, and safely while also educating the public on the role of law enforcement to help build sustainable community relations.

About PTAC

 The Police, Treatment and Community Collaborative (PTAC Collaborative) was launched in April 2017 with a mission to strategically widen community behavioral health and social service options available through law enforcement diversion. The purpose of the PTAC Collaborative is to provide national vision, leadership, voice, and action to reframe the relationship between law enforcement, treatment, and community. PTAC promotes the development and dissemination of a wide variety of pre-arrest diversion efforts, not limited to any single approach. PTAC seeks to avoid issues of racial disparity in practice as pre-arrest diversion initiatives grow across the country. We welcome the participation of representatives from law enforcement and other criminal justice entities, behavioral health, research, community, advocacy and related organizations in any of the strategic areas.


The International Association of Chiefs of Police

44 Canal Center Plaza, Suite 200, Alexandria, Virginia 22314

www.theIACP.org


Treatment Alternatives for Safe Communities

700 South Clinton, Chicago, Illinois 60607

www.tasc.org


Police, Treatment and Community Collaborative

PTAC 1-Page Brief

Posted in Drugs & Alcohol, IACP, Press Release

True Community Representation: The Albany Community Policing Advisory Committee

The Task Force on 21st Century Policing provides recommendations for rebuilding trust and including community stakeholders to promote a safer community for all. Some highlights include: promoting a guardianship mentality by policing from within, developing methods of communication and outreach between officers and the public, and engaging with communities in a non-enforcement manner.

 albanyIn recent years, the Albany, New York, Police Department (APD) has taken an active role in addressing neighborhood-specific problems through community policing. Police officers—in tandem with community partners and resident input— have the ability to empower their local communities with the knowledge, resources, and support to promote public safety. In turn, community members provide police officers with valuable insights and information regarding specific crime and disorder situations, allowing officers to perform their jobs more efficiently.

The APD has made important strides in integrating department-wide practices that foster this collaborative relationship with the community. The change in philosophy began in 2009, when APD administrative staff recognized the need for a change in procedure to better serve the citizens of Albany. The answer was community policing, specifically, a process and departmental culture that valued residents’ input as a key ingredient for transformative and successful policing.

A core feature of this process is the Albany Community Policing Advisory Committee Albany 2(ACPAC), a working group of community members and APD officers that aspires to:

  • encourage citizens and APD officers to participate in committee activities;
  • provide public forums to discuss community healing and community building;
  • promote partnerships between community organizations, businesses, and the APD.

To successfully provide direct communication between the community of Albany and the APD, 25 members serve on the committee, one appointed by each of the following: the Mayor, the Albany Common Council President, each of the 15 Common Council Members; four appointed by the APD, and four at-large members appointed by the Committee.

Albany 3The members of ACPAC  serve as the “eyes and ears” for the Albany community by relaying complaints and issues directly to police representatives. For instance, at an ACPAC forum earlier this year, Albany residents were briefed by Acting Chief Robert Sears on current APD community policing programs and the department’s pursuit of body worn camera technology. In return, police representatives were presented with questions and concerns regarding neighborhood safety and traffic problems. Additionally, in an effort to be transparent with the community, ACPAC members have hosted implicit bias training, given media interviews, maintained social media pages, and appointed liaisons as the go-between for officers, the public, and the Committee.

The efforts of ACPAC have built strong trusting relationships between the community and police in Albany. Community members have a direct link to officers and feel that the police department hears their concerns. Through essential feedback from the community, officers effectively mend differences immediately, pre-address concerns from the community perspective, and solve problems before they go too far.

The ACPAC model is straightforward. A proactive police department engages directly with its community by formalizing working groups that:

  • exist separate from the department;
  • are composed of key community champions that have deep insights into their neighborhood and its needs;
  • convene regular meetings with other community members to voice their concerns/complaints to police while simultaneously learning about progress being made the department.

The city of Albany, the APD, and ACPAC are all working collaboratively to be a true example of community-policing. Determined to include the community’s voice in every aspect of policing, the ACPAC is striving to reduce crime within its community. 

Would you like to know more about ACPAC?

This blog post is part of a series highlighting best practices in advancing 21st century policing as part of the IACP Institute for Community-Police Relations. Albany is one of fifteen sites selected for participation in the Advancing 21st Century Policing Initiative, a joint project of the COPS Office, CNA, and the IACP to highlight agencies who are actively embracing the principles in the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing.

COPS CNA IACP

Posted in Community-Police Relations

Abington CARES About Youth

This blog post is part of a series highlighting best practices in community policing by police departments nationwide as part of IACP’s Community Policing: The Next Generation and Task Force on 21st Century Policing projects. The projects showcase innovative and effective solutions to building trust and creating opportunities to collaborate with community stakeholders to increase public safety. These projects are funded through the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Community Oriented Policing Services. The project is funded through the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Community Oriented Policing Services. Abington Township, Pennsylvania, Police Department is a recipient of the 2016 IACP/Cisco Community Policing Award

abington

After the Abington Township, Pennsylvania, Police Department (APD) won the IACP/Cisco Community Policing Award for 2013, for the Abington Youth Deterrence and Development Initiative, they did not rest on their laurels. They went on to create the Abington C.A.R.E.S. Program, which helped them win the award again in 2016. This project provides identifies seriously at-risk children and families and provides them with Collaborative Assessment and Response for Expedited Services. By providing specific resources and services before a tragedy occurs, this program has driven down crime, delinquency, and other negative behaviors. Some of the more than 30 partners involved include hospitals, churches, township government, the YMCA, Abington Parks and Recreation, Probation, Parole, and the Office of Children and Youth. All are committed to serving the youth and families of Abington Township from a wide variety of perspectives.

While the APD, the Abington School District, and the Abington Youth Deterrence and Development Initiative were developing proactive youth deterrence programs, many at-risk youth and families were not getting the needed assistance until a crime was already committed or there was other intervention. The communication and collaboration occurred at the organizational level by partner organizations, but this was not being mirrored at the operational and “case” level by those handling the cases and providing the services.

After discussing modifications to existing procedures, consensus was that a new system of interaction and analysis was needed. Bureaucratic obstacles were impeding the already busy social service caseworkers. A core group of agencies began Abington C.A.R.E.S. with the following objectives in mind:

  • Maintain a consistent flow of information beneficial to all agencies
  • Identify high-risk situations in the community-based on multiple perspectives from the diverse agencies involved
  • Quickly respond with the precisely-selected agency or combination of agencies
  • Collectively evaluate the impact of the intervention and determine if further assistance was needed
  • Monitor the situation from different perspectives

Abington Cares

In one year, the Abington Social Service HUB (the organizational representative of the C.A.R.E.S. initiative) considered 100 potential cases and determined that 48 qualified as multi-systemic, high-risk scenarios requiring timely, multi-agency intervention and support. Included were those with mental illness, drug and alcohol issues, and family/children domestic situations.  Over half of these cases involved persons under the age of 30.

Some of the lessons learned include:

  • Good programs don’t always necessarily deliver good services
  • Ownership must occur at every level of the endeavor
  • Pay attention to the data
  • Remain focused on results, not just the activities
  • Police leaders must continue to adapt to the public expectations of the police; and
  • Police departments must have partners who can provide the expertise that is beyond that of their officers.

The APD and the Abington C.A.R.E.S. program has reduced crime while improving quality of life through a collaborative, multi-disciplinary approach.  They have expanded their reach as a police department to ensure that no child, or family at-risk slips through without receiving personalized service.  Together with the more than 30 service providers involved, the APD and the Township of Abington will make a difference in their community.

 

 

 

Posted in Community-Police Relations

IACP and the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve

Last week, the IACP signed a Statement of Support for the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR). The Statement of Support commits the IACP to recognizing and supporting those who serve in the National Guard and reserves, providing supervisors with the tools they need to effectively manage those who serve, and honoring and enforcing the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994.

ESGR 3

Why is this important to law enforcement? Because many of the men and women who serve their communities as law enforcement officers also choose to serve their country in the National Guard and reserves. They train throughout the year and respond in times of crisis and natural disasters.

The IACP now challenges our U.S. members to join us in honoring America’s service men and women and veterans by signing your own Statement of Support. By signing a Statement of Support and posting it conspicuously within your organization, you are publicly affirming your agency’s and the law enforcement profession’s support for the brave men and women who serve voluntarily in the National Guard and Reserve. Such a commitment can make an important difference for your community and the United States.

You can obtain a Statement of Support by calling Tom Bullock, ESGR Chief of Employer Outreach, at 571-372-0709 or email Thomas.s.bullock6.civ@mail.mil.

Posted in IACP, Leadership

Getting the Most Out of Police Chief Online

CaptureWhile visiting the Police Chief magazine website to read our weekly bonus articles, take a few minutes to check out the site’s other features and resources.

  • View the article guidelines and the editorial calendar. If you are interested in contributing, you can submit an article online, as well.
  • Search past issues or specific articles in the archives. This section of Police Chief Online provides you with easy and immediate access to all the Police Chief articles published in the past 13–14 years.
  • Looking for a particular column—perhaps Technology Talk or Traffic Safety Initiatives? Find it under our Columns tab.
  • If you’re interested in a particular topic, you can use the Topics menu to find articles on any major category, such as such as Crime & Violence, Ethics, Terrorism, Global Policing, and more!
  • Share your thoughts via an online poll—each month, the poll focuses on an important law enforcement topic. (Results are published in The Dispatch, a monthly feature in Police Chief.)

Police Chief Online has many valuable resources for IACP members, Police Chief subscribers, and law enforcement professionals worldwide—don’t miss out!

Posted in Police Chief magazine

Necessity of Criminal Justice System Partnerships to Address Violent Offenders and Enhance Officer Safety

This blog post is one in a series related to IACP President De Lucca’s Task Force to Address Global Violence Against the Police.

The necessity of leveraging interagency resources and increasing partnerships to effectively address the most violent offenders is more essential than ever. The strengthening of existing relationships and creation of new partnerships across the criminal justice system can be highly effective in the apprehension and maximum prosecution of violent offenders. Below are a few often under-used resources to consider:

Involve Prosecutors. Cultivating the strongest possible partnerships with prosecutors is critical to ensuring that offenders with significant violent criminal histories are prosecuted to the fullest extent possible. The probability of prosecution is enhanced when prosecutors have been brought into the enforcement and investigative process at the earliest opportunity. Prosecutors and police are on the same team – building a strong case takes a collaborative approach.

Leverage Federal Criminal Code. The U.S. federal criminal code proscribes significant penalties that can assist local law enforcement in effectively removing violent criminals from their communities, particularly for offenders with a previous felony or who are otherwise prohibited from possessing firearms. Under the umbrella of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Project Safe Neighborhoods, the use of the statute prohibiting felons from possession of a firearm and other federal statutes is a successful strategy to consider for individuals who pose a threat to officers and the community through their illegal possession of firearms.

Pursue Federal Sentencing with U.S. Attorney’s Offices. Regional U.S. Attorney’s Offices are also crucial, and sometimes overlooked partners that can provide local agencies potential flexibility in ensuring maximum penalties are meted out to violent offenders. In certain jurisdictions in the United States, federal sentencing guidelines may be more effective in ensuring a criminal defendant remains incarcerated for a longer period of time. In the case of gang members, this has the potential added benefit of removing that individual from the state penal system where fellow gang associates may be housed.

Increased use of criminal justice system partnerships can yield considerable success in prosecuting offenders to the fullest extent of the law. Although increased use of such partnerships may not solely resolve the issue of violence against police, over time it is a strategy that can be effective result in addressing violent offenders and enhancing community and officer safety.

Posted in Crime and Violence, Officer Safety & Wellness | Tagged