IACP Launches New Leading by Legacy Online Resource Toolkit

Smaller law enforcement agencies often face unique challenges in the law enforcement field. Frequent changes in leadership and limited access to resources are some of the most common challenges. Many smaller agencies also face difficulties in bringing adequate leadership and management training to their departments. The IACP’s Leading by Legacy program was designed to address these challenges.

The IACP’s Leading by Legacy program began in 2009, and held its first training in July of 2010. The Leading by Legacy training course is an intensive and interactive 2.5 day event covering a host of leadership and management topics. One of the foundational elements of the Leading by Legacy program is the Leading by Legacy Resource Toolkit. Initially available via CD-ROM, the toolkit was limited in its ability to quickly update and meet the ever-changing challenges of today’s smaller departments.

With the support of the U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA), we are pleased to announce the launch of our new Leading By Legacy Online Resource Toolkit! This online toolkit provides first line supervisors, command staff, and police executives with information that will aid in their individual, organizational, and community legacies. The resources provided in this toolkit are intended to increase leadership skills, promote departmental stability, and facilitate community needs in smaller agencies. The online toolkit also features resources used and developed by Leading by Legacy trainers and advisors.

For further details and direct access to the online resource toolkit, please visit the Leading by Legacy webpage.

Posted in Best Practices, Education and Training, Law Enforcement Leadership, Projects | 1 Comment

Big Community Policing on a Small Island

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 project. The project showcases modern, innovative, and cost-effective solutions to crime problems and public safety issues through collaboration and partnerships between law enforcement and community stakeholders in order to adapt community policing efforts. The project is funded through the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Community Oriented Policing Services.

The Penobscot Nation Reservation sits on an island of roughly 7.5 square miles, in the middle of a river, in the center of the state of Maine. It is not a big island, but one that is protected by a department led by an innovative and future-minded police chief. Maine, known for its beautiful coastline and delicious lobsters, is not a densely populated state and one might not expect so much forward thinking coming from those living in a state known as the Vacationland.

Chief Robert Bryant, chief of police for the Penobscot Nation Police Department since 2007, testified at sessions of the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing, and speaks of building a foundation of trust in order to enhance police legitimacy for his citizens. His citizens, members of the Penobscot Nation tribe, are not your average demographic, but Bryant’s methods of community policing are no different than what needs to be done around the United States.

One difference Bryant does face as chief of police of a tribal nation is that he and his officers must constantly be aware of two sets of laws. Chief Bryant must make sure that his people are treated fairly when it comes to dealing with Maine’s laws, as well of those of the Penobscot Nation.

Chief Bryant is not that different from other law enforcement executives around the country. His department is hoping to incorporate more cultural awareness training, develop a better understanding of the community’s feelings and attitudes toward law enforcement, seek community and police officer buy-in, as well as collaborate more with other public agencies serving the citizens of that island.

For the past seven years the police department has sponsored and coordinated a race in the community, raising money to provide healthy snacks for those attending the youth program at the community center. In addition, the department raises awareness of the long history of running with the tribe and how it offers a healthy alternative and lifestyle choice. The department also purchases uniforms for the youth, assists them at practices, and speaks to them on drug prevention, anti-bullying, and self-esteem building.

Another successful community policing strategy has been the creation of the Wabanaki Law Enforcement Group. This working group consist of law enforcement executives from the five tribes in Maine and meets quarterly to discuss issues the tribes face and also how the tribes can enhance one another’s agencies. Issues ranging from drug abuse, mutual aid, relationships between the tribes, state government, and other law enforcement and public safety issues are regularly topics of discussion. A greater understanding of the different communities that the tribal law enforcement departments serve helps to increase the effectiveness of these agencies.

Chief Bryant is working hard to create a foundation of trust and legitimacy for his community. On that island of only roughly 7.5 square miles, there is a police department with leadership that will continually strive to serve its people in the best way it knows how.

The Penobscot Tribal Police Department is 1 of 10 agencies that will be featured in IACP’s upcoming publication on promising practices in tribal community policing, which is due out later this year. As a part of this project, Chief Robert Bryant presented a webinar on the importance of incorporating tribal culture into police operations. The webinar recording and more information about the project can be found on the IACP Tribal Community Policing page.

Posted in Best Practices, Community Policing

Advisory: The Growing Use and Misuse of Exploding Target Products

In this blog, the International Association of Chiefs of Police Arson and Explosives Committee provides information regarding the growing use and misuse of exploding target (ET) products and promoting personnel safety.

Exploding Targets are a pre-packaged combination of non-explosive chemicals that, when thoroughly mixed, form a high explosive. The products are typically sold containing two separate components, one of Ammonium nitrate (an oxidizer) and the other a fuel such as aluminum powder, zirconium or other finely ground metal (Figure 1). Because the component materials are not, by themselves, explosive, manufacturer packaged exploding targets are not classified as explosive materials and do not meet the definition of “Explosives” found in Federal statutes (27 CFR 555.11.) However, once the components are mixed together (Figure 2), the mixture is classified as an explosive material that is subject to all the regulatory requirements found in 27 CFR, Part 555 – Commerce in Explosives, which pertains to manufacturing, storage or transportation, and is subject to Federal, State and local laws[1].

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Figure 1: Exploding target ingredients (unmixed)

 

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Figure 2: Exploding Target Combined Mixture

Exploding Target Incidents

The use, and increasing misuse, of exploding targets (ET) has brought these materials to the attention of law enforcement agencies nationwide. Police Chiefs may find their departments responding to incidents involving these readily available explosive products and should insure that their personnel are aware of the characteristics and potential dangers posed by these items. A search of the United States Bomb Data Center’s (USBDC) Bomb Arson Tracking System (BATS), the national repository for reported explosives incidents, shows that, from 2010 until April of 2015, at least 40 states have reported incidents and/or recoveries of exploding targets by first responder agencies.[2] Law enforcement professionals should recognize the potential for criminal misuse of such products as well as the unintended consequences of the misuse of such materials.

Readily Available, However…

When used properly and in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions, the resulting mixture can be detonated when struck by a high velocity bullet, producing both an audible and visual effect for target shooters. The materials can be bought and sold without the need for a Federal explosives license or permit. Although a few states have enacted legislation restricting or banning the sale of exploding targets, they are readily available at many firearms and shooting sport equipment distributors across the country as well as through on line retailers. However, once mixed, the resulting composition is a high explosive and the transportation, storage and use may be subject to Federal regulations. In addition, the misuse of exploding target products may violate state or Federal laws if the explosive is used to construct a destructive device or is used as a weapon intended to injure or kill people or to damage or destroy property. In such cases, law enforcement should consult with prosecutors to determine if criminal charges can be applied.

Safety Risk from Misuse

While most people who use ETs do so in a recommended and responsible manner, a number of individuals have been seriously injured or killed by their misuse. These explosives produce a blast and, if misused, can potentially generate high velocity fragments that can cause damage to nearby objects and could injure or kill people. This advisory is designed to increase law enforcement’s awareness of these products, and to inform people using, encountering or in the proximity to ETs that, when mixed, they are high explosive materials and can pose a safety risk if used improperly. Each ET manufacturer includes instructions detailing the proper and safe use of its products, which should be followed closely.

Recent Examples of Misuse

Several incidents in 2015 have illustrated the ways in which law enforcement may encounter exploding targets and their consequences.

  • In Oklahoma, an 8-year-old boy was killed and a 22-year-old man injured after an individual placed an ET product in a stove and shot it with a high-powered rifle.
  • In Texas, a 9 year-old boy was severely injured when a relative placed an ET product into an improvised canon and shot it with a rifle, in an effort to launch a pumpkin.

In both cases, the misuse of the product resulted in the production of fragmentation propelled at high velocities resulting in tragedy.

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Figure 3: Visible effect produced by bullet striking an exploding target (ET) mixture.

When to Request Assistance of Trained Explosives Experts

The examples also illustrate the hazards that may face law enforcement officers responding to incidents involving exploding targets. Officers should realize that, when mixed, these materials are explosives and they should immediately request the assistance of personnel trained in the safe handling of explosive materials. If there is a question as to whether the material has been mixed or not, the safest option is to assume that the material is an explosive and request the assistance of trained explosives experts. As with any potentially explosive material, consultation with explosives experts should be a law enforcement officer’s first action when encountering exploding target products.

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Figure 4: Examples of commercially available Exploding Target products (before mixing.)

If you have any questions about this Advisory, please contact Donald Robinson, IACP Arson and Explosives Committee Chairman at Donald.Robinson@atf.gov or (256) 261-7602.

[1] Contact the local United States Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives office for questions concerning Federal regulation of transportation or storage of mixed exploding targets or other explosives.

[2] United States Bomb Data Center Advisory 15-31; Recovery and Use of Exploding Targets over the Past Five Years.

 

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The Safety and Justice Challenge

MacArthurThe Safety and Justice Challenge is a new five-year, $75 million investment by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation to engage jurisdictions to develop and model effective ways to keep people out of jail, more effectively reintegrate those who must be confined into the community upon release, and help them stay out of jail thereafter.

As a strategic ally selected by the MacArthur Foundation, the IACP will support participating Challenge jurisdictions and law enforcement agencies throughout the country through a series of activities to identify and develop safe and effective law enforcement strategies for reducing arrests and incarceration. These activities will include:

  • Holding a series of focus groups for line officers and command staff to explore alternatives to arrest while keeping communities safe;
  • Establishing a working group to develop model officer evaluation criteria; and
  • Promoting promising practices through a peer network for reform efforts.

A total of 20 Challenge Network jurisdictions were selected from a field of 191 interested jurisdictions. On April 13th, 2016, the MacArthur Foundation revealed their selection of the 11 jurisdictions that would receive Core Site funding:

Core Sites:
Charleston County, SC
Harris County, TX
Lucas County, OH
Milwaukee County, WI
New Orleans, LA
New York, NY
Philadelphia, PA
Pima County, AZ
St. Louis County, MO
Spokane County, WA
State of Connecticut

Partner Sites:
Ada County, ID
Cook County, IL
Los Angeles County, CA
Mecklenburg County, NC
Mesa County, CO
Multnomah County, OR
Palm Beach County, FL
Pennington County, SD
Shelby County, TN

The IACP looks forward to working with these jurisdictions throughout this project. For more information visit the IACP’s Safety and Justice Challenge web page.

Posted in Best Practices, Partnerships, Pretrial Justice Reform, Projects

Accessing Chemical Facility Information

In this blog, the International Association of Chiefs of Police Arson and Explosives Committee identifies how law enforcement and first responders can access information regarding chemical facilities within their jurisdictions from the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS) program and the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) and Risk Management Program (RMP).

DHS’s Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards

The Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS) regulation was established in 2007 as a means of regulating security at high-risk chemical facilities. High-risk facilities contain Chemicals of Interest (COI) that give rise to one or more security issues to include release of toxic chemicals, theft or diversion of chemicals, and chemicals that can be used for sabotage or contamination. Facilities determined to be high-risk are required to develop and implement Site Security Plans or Alternative Security Programs that meet applicable risk-based performance standards.

Law enforcement or first responders with a need-to know may gain access to CFATS information by contacting cfats@hq.dhs.gov.

CFATS Resource — Infrastructure Protection Gateway

DHS shares certain CFATS data elements with first responders and law enforcement on a geospatial map to help these individuals identify and prioritize potential risks and develop a contingency plan to address those risks. The platform on which this CFATS data is shared is the Infrastructure Protection (IP) Gateway. This permission-based system allows DHS to share CFATS information while appropriately balancing safety and security risks.

CFATS data is available in a For Official Use Only (FOUO) layer and a Chemical-terrorism Vulnerability Information (CVI) layer to authorized Federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial officials with an established “need-to-know” as determined by Regional Directors in DHS, National Protection and Programs Directorate, Office of Infrastructure Protection, Infrastructure Security Compliance Division (ISCD). FOUO access allows users to view information on any chemical facility that has filed a top screen with the CFATS program (such as name and geospatial information) within their respective jurisdictions, whereas CVI access includes additional information that constitutes CVI, such as a facility’s risk-based tier. Level of authorized access is assessed on a case-by-case basis.

To request access, contact your ISCD Regional Director by calling the Chemical Security Assessment Tool (CSAT) Help Desk at 1-866-323-2957 or emailing csat@dhs.gov.

EPA’s Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act

The Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) was established in 1986 to help communities plan for emergencies involving hazardous substances. EPCRA ensures that local communities and first responders have needed information on potential chemical hazards in order to develop community emergency response plans and respond appropriately to chemical emergencies that may occur. Under EPCRA, companies are required to disclose chemical information that surpasses a specified threshold.

Facilities holding a substance requiring a Safety Data Sheet (SDS) under the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s Hazard Communication Standard must submit an Emergency and Hazardous Chemical Inventory Form, called a “Tier II Report.”

This report must be submitted annually to that facility’s State Emergency Response Commission (SERC), Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC), and local fire department.

EPA’s Risk Management Program

The Risk Management Program (RMP) was established in 1996 as a means of preventing and mitigating the consequences of chemical accidents. Owners and operators of facilities that manufacture, use, store or otherwise handle any of the RMP’s list of flammable and toxic substances above threshold quantities are required to submit a risk management plan to the EPA. This plan must include information on the facility’s hazard assessment, accident prevention mechanisms, and emergency response measures. Facilities must update the plan every five years (or sooner if major changes occur).

Additional Resources

Posted in Committees, Counterterrorism, Information Sharing, Security

What is the National Motor Vehicle Title Information System (NMVTIS)?

The National Motor Vehicle Title Information System (NMVTIS) is an electronic data system designed to prevent stolen vehicles from being introduced into interstate commerce, reduce the use of stolen vehicles being used for illicit purposes, and protect consumers from title fraud and purchase of unsafe salvage vehicles. Administered by the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA), with oversite by the United States Department of Justice (DOJ), the NMVTIS database contains important vehicle data and is a helpful investigative tool for law enforcement.

NMVTIS captures data from two sources, vehicle information obtained through state motor vehicle agencies databases (DMV data); and vehicle data provided by entities that deal in five or more salvage motor vehicles a year (junk, salvage, insurance (JSI) data).

DMV data includes the vehicle identification number (VIN), vehicle title description, the name of individual or entity that the title was issued, and the odometer mileage. A title “brand” is a designation placed on a title record by a state DMV to identify the vehicle’s current or prior condition, such as rebuilt, junk, salvage, flood, or other designation that indicates a prior condition or use. Currently 38 states provide their DMV data in real-time, six states provide data to the system every 24 hours. Six state–Oregon, Kansas, Mississippi, Vermont, Rhode Island, and Hawaii– and the District of Columbia are not reporting. The DMV data linked to NVMTIS represents approximately 96 percent of all motor vehicles titled in the United States.

JSI entities are required to register with NMVTIS and report their involvement with any salvage motor vehicle through an approved data consolidator. These entities include: automotive recyclers, junk, scrap or salvage yards; insurance carriers; vehicle auctions, and towing companies. These companies report the following: company name, address, phone number, VIN, date the vehicle was obtained or designated as junk or salvage; name of the individual or entity from whom the vehicle was obtained, statement of whether the vehicle was declared salvage, crushed or sold (including to whom it was transferred); and if it was intended for export.

Access to the NMVITS law enforcement search tool is provided to sworn law enforcement and crime analysts. This real-time search tool can help law enforcement identify cloned or fictitious VINs, abandoned or reported stolen vehicles, odometer fraud, and vehicles that may have been declared salvage in other states. Access to the search tools is provided at no cost and gained through the Regional Information Sharing Systems or the Law Enforcement Enterprise Portal hosted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

To learn more visit the NMVTIS website, www.vehiclehistory.gov, for more information.

Posted in Highway Safety, Information Sharing, Traffic Safety

Meet Your Police, Community Engagement in an Urban Transit System

This blog post is part of a series highlighting best practices in community policing by police departments throughout the United States as part of IACP’s Community Policing: The Next Generation project. The project showcases modern, innovative, and cost-effective solutions to crime problems and public safety issues through collaboration and partnerships between law enforcement and community stakeholders in order to adapt community policing efforts. The project is funded through the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Community Oriented Policing Services.

Guest blogger: Sergeant Paul Grattan, New York City, New York, Police Department Transit Bureau

How do you build a relationship with a community made up of millions on the move? For the past two years some of the members of the New York City Police Department’s Transit Bureau have set upon answering this question. Recognizing a community engagement opportunity, they responded creatively.

I’m talking about the millions throughout the country who use our urban transportation systems. Here in New York City, some 5.6 million people rely on the subway each day to get them where they need to be. Policing metropolitan railways and buses is no small task in itself – but as we have recognized in our traditional neighborhoods for years, the citizens who take to the rails deserve to have a worthwhile relationship with the women and men who help to see them safely on their way.

There are no well-defined communities in the hurried world that exists between point A and point B. The subways are a conveyance, with lines that traverse the neighborhoods that they carry riders through. For practical police response, our transit district borders are built around train lines and stations, not around the better known residential areas above or below the rails. Within minutes, our officers can find themselves working from Bayside to Bensonhurst, the Upper West Side to the Lower East Side, and between Brooklyn and The Bronx. This means the mission of engaging residents and commuters can be difficult.

But not impossible.

The fact is, we have no shortage of highly capable and engaging officers. A “hello” or polite nod of acknowledgement for a passing rider. Offering directions to a lost passenger. Sharing some restaurant recommendations with a tourist. Helping a mother bring a stroller up the stairs.

NYPD5Nevertheless, there still exists a visible gap between subway riders and transit police. Our district station-houses, like many police facilities, are centrally located – most of them within subway stations. But as Lewiston, Maine, Police Officer Joe Philippon noted in a recent blog post, there are actual and perceived barriers at police facilities that too often prevent citizens from entering. An ingrained public apprehensiveness means few will visit unless they must.

NYPD2So we brought the officers in our districts outside into the stations. Literally. From the commanding officer, to the community affairs, crime prevention, and patrol teams – setting up shop in the middle of a busy subway hub for a day. We invited not only other city agencies to introduce themselves and share what they have to offer, but other community partners as well, including youth organizations, local clergy members, non-profit organizations, and social services agencies.

NYPD6The initiative, dubbed “Meet Your Police,” has attracted a lot of attention. Each of our twelve transit districts hosts several of these events each year – with district commanders often lightheartedly trying to out-do each other in producing highly visible events that bring their officers in contact with as many subway riders as possible. Few limitations are put on their approach, making each of the events unique to the particular district, its officers, and the neighborhoods they serve. They play music, have activities for the kids, serve food, provide information and giveaways, and most importantly they allow officers’ personalities to shine through. The hope is to show that our officers are approachable and that our police facilities are welcoming – staffed by real people. People who have kids. People who listen. People who chose careers of service.

The hope is that we garner trust, encourage crime reporting, and gain the public’s help in intelligence gathering and identifying crime conditions.

NYPD4One such event recently, which took on the moniker “Function at the Junction,” was centered on several murals created by young artists whose seek to reduce gun violence in their neighborhoods by drawing grassroots attention to the cause. Joining together with this young talent provided a powerful platform, in the middle of a busy Brooklyn subway station, to feature a campaign that promotes safer neighborhoods for police and residents alike. What better way to build partnerships than to demonstrate that we each have a good number of common goals?

Hardly a cure-all, this initiative is just one of the many approaches that we have found to be worth advancing. By effectively turning a transit police district inside out and planting it squarely in the middle of a metropolitan rail station we hope to showcase the resources we provide, humanize our incredibly capable men and women, and build trust through mutual understanding.

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Posted in Community Policing, Partnerships

A New Arrival

From IACP Executive Director/Chief Executive Officer Vincent Talucci

We are pleased to announce the arrival of a new, thoughtful leader to the IACP’s senior staff leadership team as of March 2016. Domingo Herraiz will be joining the IACP staff as Director of Programs. Many of us have been fortunate to work with Domingo in different capacities over the years – and he brings to the IACP proven leadership, extensive background in criminal justice programs / policy, and experience that crosses the not-for-profit, public, and private spheres.

Domingo has more than 30 years of government and public safety experience in dealing with local, state, and federal policies – most recently serving as Vice President for North America Government Affairs for Motorola. Before joining Motorola, he served as the Presidentially-appointed, U.S. Senate-confirmed director of the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA), leading the DOJ’s largest funding and policy unit for state, local and tribal criminal justice issues. Prior to his role as director of the BJA, Domingo served on the Ohio Governor’s cabinet as the director of Criminal Justice Services. He also served as the director of the Ohio Crime Prevention Association.

Please know how very excited we are to bring aboard someone of Domingo’s caliber – he is a great collaborator/communicator and we are excited about what he brings to our members and the field.

Posted in IACP Leadership | 1 Comment

The Door is Open

This blog post is part of a series highlighting best practices in community policing by police departments throughout the United States as part of IACP’s Community Policing: The Next Generation project. The project showcases modern, innovative, and cost-effective solutions to crime problems and public safety issues through collaboration and partnerships between law enforcement and community stakeholders in order to adapt community policing efforts. The project is funded through the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Community Oriented Policing Services.

Guest Blogger: Officer Joe Philippon, Lewiston, Maine, Police Department

In an attempt to break down the barriers that community members sometimes feel when meeting with the police, the Lewiston, Maine, Police Department (LPD) has based its Community Resource Team at the B Street Community Center, to improve our accessibility to the community. There are no walls or glass barriers, just officers waiting and wanting to help address the needs of the community they serve. The department identifies the needs of the community through identification, collaboration, and information sharing to develop and implement effective strategies to achieve desirable outcomes.

Under Chief Michael Bussiere, LPD placed a renewed emphasis on community-oriented policing in 2010, by assigning a small group of officers to focus on non-traditional law enforcement duties to better address community concerns. The Community Resource Team (CRT) is staffed by a sergeant and three patrol officers who act as liaisons and develop partnerships with community action groups, neighborhood/tenant associations, immigrant and refugee groups, and all other community-oriented service providing organizations working within the city.

The team works with community partners to make the city of Lewiston a safer place for people to work, live, and raise their family. CRT officers identify quality of life issues, and address and improve these issues in collaboration with community and business organizations and/or other city partners, such as Code Enforcement, Fire Prevention, property landlords, the District Attorney’s office, and the local schools.

The Community Resource Team participates in numerous community collaborative meetings to provide insight into the common issues patrol officers see on the streets. These meetings help the CRT, the police department as a whole, the community, and the various organizations and city departments to come together to identify issues and work on probable solutions. The ability of the CRT to facilitate connecting different partners has proven to be an effective way to assist those community members in need; especially those with needs that cannot be address by law enforcement.

Some of the specific groups in need are the elderly and those suffering with mental illness, both populations the police department often has contact with. The department connects those individuals with the proper service providers to improve their individual care and needs.

Also, with the rapid growth of the city’s immigrant population since 2001, the police department has taken a leading role in reaching out to our new neighbors to form partnerships and address the unique needs of our immigrant community. Newly arrived immigrants often are not aware of the resources available to them, and the CRT makes itself available to inform new residents of the resources available, and in many cases assist in bringing those resources directly to them. As a result of being committed to accessibility, we have developed strong and lasting relationships with community leaders and the community as a whole.

By incorporating flexibility in the hours of work within the context of a 40-hour work schedule, the officers are able to accommodate and participate in community events and programs which support LPD’s commitment to being accessible to the community.

The Lewiston Police Department’s Community Resource Team continues to have success in its three objectives: identify problems that are a concern to the community, continue to develop strong relationships between community members and the police department, and to identify and develop solutions to the issues that contribute to urban blight. These three departmental objectives and the use of a community-oriented policing model have made our community, Lewiston, Maine, a safer place.

Posted in Best Practices, Community Policing, Partnerships, Projects | 2 Comments

National Law Enforcement Challenge: No Losers, Only Winners

Guest blogger: Chief Robert Maynard, California Highway Patrol

IACP_NLEC_logo-star_borderThe National Law Enforcement Challenge (NLEC) is much more than a chance to add another accolade to your department’s award cabinet. There is a bigger picture to be seen here. Referencing the old saying, “you can’t manage what you don’t measure,” the NLEC is a unique tool that allows law enforcement agencies to take a hard look at their agency’s effectiveness in traffic safety. The NLEC provides an opportunity to take a systematic approach to identify your agency’s strengths and vulnerabilities regarding traffic safety. Likewise, the NLEC is more than just about enforcement stats and collision data. We have a duty to ask ourselves, “What can we do to improve traffic safety?”

Quantifying and describing your agency’s efforts enables you to easily demonstrate the value of your traffic safety program. It also provides transparency and a positive means to effectively engage your community. In addition, it provides information to those who are otherwise unfamiliar with your agency’s efforts to safeguard their lives. Participating agencies have found the NLEC brings a great deal of positive attention to their agency as well as improved traffic safety.

By the same token, documenting traffic safety efforts demonstrates accountability and the value of a strong traffic safety program. The NLEC showcases your agency’s efforts and achievements to your mayor, city council, board of supervisors, and those in your community. The information you gather can be valuable evidence towards renewing your agency’s contracts or even obtaining grant funding to enhance your community’s overall roadway safety. The format of the NLEC is simple, clear, and concise. With the use of the easy-to-follow How-To Guide, any agency can create a competitive submission.

California Highway Patrol Commissioner, Joe Farrow, is a strong supporter of the National Law Enforcement Challenge, stating, “The Challenge is a fundamental tool in expanding our partnerships in traffic safety.”

Many agencies put forth a great deal of money, a substantial amount of energy, and dedicate numerous personnel towards accomplishing their traffic safety goals. We have sworn to serve our communities, and have committed ourselves to the highest standards. What better way to display your agency’s efforts in traffic safety than by participating in the NLEC?

The question isn’t, why participate? The question is, why not?

For more information, visit the National Law Enforcement Challenge webpage.

Posted in Awards, Best Practices, Highway Safety, Traffic Safety