The Importance of the Right Person in the Right Place

The Task Force on 21st Century Policing offers recommendations for working in partnership with community stakeholders to increase public safety. Highlights include: engaging in multidisciplinary community team approaches, considering public trust when implementing strategies, and embracing a guardian mindset.

The Lowell, Massachusetts, Police Department (LPD) knew that they needed to strengthen their response to the growing opioid epidemic occurring in their area. In 2015, there were 56 opioid deaths, in 2016 there were 62 deaths, and there is an average of 2-3 non-fatal overdoses every day. Superintendent William Taylor was determined to create a program that would effectively get proper treatment for those addicted. The LPD approached the situation as a public health issue as well as a public safety issue. With that methodology in mind, the Community Opioid Outreach Program (CO-OP) was created.

Community Opioid Outreach Program

CO-OP is a partnership between Lowell House, Inc., an addiction treatment service organization, the Lowell Fire Department, and LPD.   The program team conducts follow up visits to overdose victims and families and connects them to the necessary services to help them fight the disease. The team also assists in the path to recovery by linking victims to residential and detox programs, counseling, and court assistance. The team consists of an outreach specialist from Lowell House, Inc., a police officer, and a firefighter who is EMS trained. The program started with no funding and part-time participation from the three team members. In its second year, CO-OP will add new personnel, new services, and an evaluation. With grant funds from the Smart Policing Initiative, the team will hire two part-time substance abuse personnel from the Health Department, a mental health clinician from the Mental Health Association of Greater Lowell (MHA) and a recovery coach from the Lowell House, Inc. While Superintendent Taylor formed the CO-OP team, Middlesex County District Attorney Marian Ryan created Project C.A.R.E. (Child Assessment & Response Evaluation) to further increase the areas response to the opioid epidemic. Project C.A.R.E. began as a partnership between DA Ryan’s office, MHA and the LPD to provide a 24-hour, 7-day-a-week rapid response intervention program for children who witness a parent or loved one suffer an overdose. The goal is to help these children cope with trauma, build resiliency and decrease the likelihood that substance abuse will be transferred from one generation to the next. CO-OP and Project C.A.R.E. are planning to work together to ensure that children who witness overdoses or whose loved one have experienced an overdose get the services they need.

The team has a partnership with the University of Massachusetts, Lowell, to analyze the data of fatal and non-fatal overdoses to detect if there is a pattern related to demographics. The study is looking for gaps along the way in these individuals lives who have overdosed to see where there could have been prevention or education strategies applied. The analysis will inform a targeted prevention strategy, as well as evaluate how well both CO-OP and Project C.A.R.E. works.

The LPD saw there was an issue that needed to be addressed immediately. CO-OP was developed quickly as a comprehensive, multi-disciplinary, collaborative solution to the opioid epidemic. The success of the program is due to the passion, understanding, community legitimacy and credibility of the program staff, especially that of the police officer team member, whose commitment to successful prevention of the problem helped get CO-OP off the ground.

Working with service providers, community non-profit organizations, academic institutions, and public safety the Community Opioid Outreach Program is collectively striving to greatly reduce and eliminate drug use and overdose deaths.

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. Lowell 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.

 

 

Posted in Community-Police Relations, Drugs & Alcohol, Partnerships, Victim Services, Youth

Enhancing Public Safety by Being a Good Neighbor

gun lake

The 21st Century Policing Report offers several recommendations for collaborating with the community to build relationships of trust between law enforcement officers and the community, including forming collaborative, multi-jurisdictional, multi-disciplinary partnerships to produce meaningful public safety results.

The Gun Lake Department of Public Safety in Michigan is a new agency, established in 2011, and it was built on a foundation of 21st Century Policing practices. Tribal law enforcement agencies often face unique jurisdictional challenges, so from the very beginning of the department’s development, the tribe recognized the importance of partnerships. The Gun Lake Public Safety Advisory Committee and the Director of Public Safety developed a close working relationship with the Allegan County Sheriff, which polices the county that the Gun Lake Department resides within. All Gun Lake officers and Allegan County deputies are cross-deputized, so that both can enforce laws on county and tribal land. All officers and deputies are certified by both the state of Michigan and Bureau of Indian Affairs Special Law Enforcement Commission. Given the tribe’s checkboard jurisdiction, this cross deputation is particularly important, because it means that the closest officer can respond anywhere in the county.

With a new public safety building that opened in August 2015, Gun Lake has state-of-the-art facilities and equipment, and it makes a point to share these resources with its neighbors. This helps strengthen relationships and supports the safety of the whole area. Neighboring tribal police departments regularly share equipment for large tribal powwow events. Gun Lake’s secure vehicle evidence bay is available for use by all area law enforcement. The Sheriff’s Office has benefitted from use of Gun Lake’s interview room, and the Allegan County Central Dispatch has utilized the Tribe’s mobile command unit on numerous occasions. The tribe even offers up use of its officer breakroom to sheriff’s deputies during their shifts and state troopers during winter storms, which fosters communication and camaraderie between departments. The Gun Lake Department of Public Safety also regularly loans out its training room to other agencies. The Michigan State Police recently held its Citizens Police Academy in the training facilities, and is scheduled to use it again from this spring, providing a unique opportunity for participants to become familiar with the State Police and the tribe. Gun Lake’s commitment to partnerships is so strong that it even wrote into its Department of Justice Coordinated Tribal Assistance Solicitation grant application to purchase a new training simulator that departments could share. The tribe received a new MILO System 180-degree training simulator in February 2017 and trained three officers who, in addition to training Gun Lake officers, will administer trainings for officers from neighboring jurisdictions and demonstrations for community members.

gun lake 2The Gun Lake Tribe’s commitment to partnership extends beyond equipment sharing. When a neighboring small town found itself understaffed and unable to continue 24/7 patrol, the Gun Lake Tribe agreed to provide officers to cover the 6:00am to 6:00pm shift, alternating weeks with the Michigan State Police. Gun Lake officers staffing the shift not only built relationships with the town police and government, but with the residents as well. The Gun Lake Tribe provided these services at no cost to the town, lacing a high priority on public safety and on being a good neighbor.

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. Gun Lake 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.

Posted in Community-Police Relations, Partnerships, Technology, Uncategorized

2017 IACP Division Midyear Recap

The 2017 IACP Division Midyear took place April 10-12, 2017 in Litchfield Park, Arizona. This meeting welcomed three of the IACP Divisions: State & Provincial Police (S&P), State Associations of Chiefs of Police (SACOP), and Midsize Agencies (MSA) – and provided members with the opportunity to share best practices, partake in critical training and network.

Midyear

The joint opening ceremony of the meeting.

Sessions

Attorney General Sessions speaking to the group about public safety and law enforcement partnership.

Session group photo

Attorney General Sessions meeting with members of IACP leadership.

Capture

Past and Present General Chairs of the Three Divisions meeting.

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Senior State Trooper Nic Cederberg of the Oregon State Police is awarded the 2016 IACP/ Motorola Trooper of the Year award.

Posted in Divisions, Leadership, Membership

The Unspoken Role of a Police Chief’s Spouse

The lifestyle and culture of law enforcement affects more than just the officers.  Spouses, partners, parents, children, and companions of law enforcement officers play an integral role in an officer’s health and wellness. The IACP’s Law Enforcement Families blog series highlights the importance of the dedication and support that law enforcement officers receive throughout their careers from their families.  This blog series will cover various issues that law enforcement family members face, and provide successful strategies for work and home. 

Guest Blogger: Laci Steele, Spouse of Chief Stewart Steele of Chickasha, Oklahoma, Police Department

This past October, I attended the IACP Annual Conference Companion Track series in San Diego, California. What I learned there helped me understand what resources are needed to support law enforcement spouses, and, more importantly, helped me understand that I am not alone in the challenges I experience. I learned there are many more women and men serving in a supportive role for their law enforcement partners but often lacking a support network of our own.

Many spouses, like me, relocated miles away for their spouse’s position. Coming into a new place without a support system can be difficult. At first, I found myself very lonely but after the first few months, very busy. When my spouse served as assistant chief for a much larger department, I did small things like proofread documents, but when he moved to the chief position in a smaller agency with fewer resources, I took on a much different role than I ever expected. My new role included starting and maintaining the police department’s social media accounts, monitoring both the official police department and police chief Facebook pages. I proofread policies, procedures, and media releases, and I sometimes created new documents for the department. I also attended functions alongside my spouse and in that I found myself held to different standards in the community, which can be socially challenging to navigate. Coming into this move, I knew the position my husband held would be challenging for him, but I never expected it would be so demanding for me.

I know that not all chief’s spouses take on the roles I currently have, but I imagine all spouses are serving in an unspoken role in various ways. My goal is to garner support for the role we serve. The IACP Annual Conference was eye opening for me. There were many other police chief spouses who were also looking for support, direction, and resources. IACP listened to our concerns and is taking steps in support of our role, and I am proud to be a part of this new and exciting movement. After the conference, I immediately reached out to IACP and our state association, the Oklahoma Association of Chiefs of Police (OACP), to get our spouse voices heard here in Oklahoma. As such, I will be hosting a class for our OACP Conference this summer, and the Companion Track will convene again at the IACP Annual Conference in Philadelphia this October. I hope these ground breaking steps encourage each of you to want more for us as spouses. Let’s grow together. I hope to see more spouses at the conference in Philadelphia, and I look forward to working together to expand law enforcement companion services and resources and to better understand the unspoken role we serve.

Posted in Officer Safety & Wellness

Engaging Faith Leaders to Build Community Trust

The Task Force on 21st Century Policing offers recommendations for building trust and creating opportunities for working with the community to increase public safety. Highlights include: developing outreach programs to improve relations with the community, knowing and understanding various cultures and faiths of the community, and acknowledging issues within the community and working with citizens to increase public safety.

arlingtonThe Arlington, Texas, Police Department has long prioritized engagement with all its community members. The department has a large and active volunteer unit that engages community members in unique ways. One key initiative is the Arlington Clergy and Police Partnership (ACAPP), which allows the department to engage with the community through direct outreach with faith leaders.

The Arlington Clergy and Police Partnership was created in 2009 by former Arlington Police Chief, Theron Bowman, and Crime Prevention Officer Kimberly Fretwell to support the Arlington Police Department and enhance relationships between police officers and the surrounding community. ACAPP continues to expand, and has developed into a non-profit under the leadership of Chief Will Johnson. With 28 church pastors, imams, and other faith leaders, ACAPP brings various faiths and denominations together in one cohesive network.

ACAPP members complete a 12-week training program facilitated by the police department that enables clergy members to gain knowledge of police functions and procedures by observing interactions with the officers and community. The information learned through ACAPP training prepares members to take these messages to their communities. ACAPP members work in non-traditional roles, with a primary focus on community outreach and restoration. Activities include: hosting prayer vigils and community forums; providing support and counseling in crisis situations; and assisting in domestic situations. In the past the group has helped rebuild a house that was destroyed in a fire, provided funds for laundry services, and bought clothing and furniture for domestic violence victims. arlington 2

ACAPP serves an important role in helping to support officers and reassure community members during critical incidents. When law enforcement located the body of a missing Muslim woman with dementia in an Arlington creek, information spread quickly throughout the community and family, friends, and neighbors gathered at the scene.

ACAPP board member Imam Mohamed Shakib was called to the scene to calm and disperse the crowd, so the police could continue their investigation. Imam Shakib reassured his community that everything would be fine and that officers would determine what happened to the woman. The police kept Imam Shakib informed regarding the investigation into the woman’s death, so he could relay information to his community.

Police continued to work closely with Imam Mohamed Shakib throughout the investigation, making sure to honor and respect the customs of the Muslim community. Because of this, the Muslim community gained considerable trust in the police department for their respect for Ramadan and the need to bury the dead 24 hours from the time of death.

The Arlington, Texas Police Department has demonstrated a genuine desire to build positive relationships with the members of their community through numerous outreach programs, especially Arlington Clergy and Police Partnership. ACAPP enables clergy members to effectively work together with police officers to ensure safety.

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. Arlington 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.

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Posted in Community-Police Relations | Tagged

Ten Reasons Why You Should Attend the 2017 IACP Annual Training Conference on Drugs, Alcohol and Impaired Driving

The 2017 IACP Annual Training Conference on Drugs, Alcohol, and Impaired Driving is right around the corner. This year’s event will take place August 12-14, 2017, in National Harbor, Maryland. Thinking of attending? Here are ten reasons why this is a must-attend event.

  1. Premier training. Whether you’re a drug recognition expert, highway safety advocate, law enforcement officer, prosecutor, toxicologist, or a private or non-profit program provider, the conference will provide you with exceptional training.
  1. Hot topics. With drugged driving quickly becoming a major highway safety and public health issue, the conference will focus on many of the impaired driving “hot topics” including the impact of various drugs on safe driving.
  1. Knowledgeable speakers. General sessions and workshops feature knowledgeable subject-matter expert presenters skilled in the areas of drugged driving, drug toxicology, and in the prosecution of challenging impaired driving cases.
  1. Networking opportunities. Opportunities through conference workshops and other activities will be available for formal and informal networking with others in the field.
  1. State-of-the-art technology. Numerous companies, organizations, and government agencies will exhibit the latest impaired driving products, programs, and publications.
  1. Professional development. Learning about new and proven strategies that will help improve your productivity and allow you to share important impaired driving information with others.
  1. Return on investment. You can expect to return from the conference with new ideas, best practices, and resources you can use right away.
  1. DRE Recertification. If you’re a drug recognition expert, the conference will fulfill your required eight hours of recertification training, and provide you with updated and relevant information that will benefit your agency, fellow DREs, and your community.
  1. Making roadways safer. One of the primary goals of this conference is reducing roadway injuries and deaths involving impairing substances. You will be able to take your knowledge from this conference to the next level and help make a difference.
  1. National forum. With over 1,000 attendees at last year’s conference Denver, CO; the conference continues to grow and evolve and has become a national forum for drug recognition experts and others with a professional interest on a broad array of new and emerging issues.

To learn more about the IACP Annual Conference on Drugs, Alcohol and Impaired Driving, and to register for the conference, visit the conference webpage.

Posted in Drugs & Alcohol, Traffic Safety

Traffic Enforcement through Social Media?

Guest Blogger: Saul Jaeger, Lieutenant, Mountain View, California, Police Department

Any police leader will tell you that traffic issues — collisions, congestion, speeding, even parking — are one of the leading points of consternation in their community. An increase in enforcement, sting operations, and saturation patrols are all common solutions to try to mitigate the issue.

But are those solutions really effective? At the end of the day, we’re talking about changing driving behavior. So, what does this have to with social media?

The answer has three components: reach, education, and humor. For example, a police department trying to slow drivers down decides to conduct focused enforcement at specific, high-volume collision areas throughout their city. During a five-hour operational period, the team issues 50 citations.

Those drivers who received citations are certainly affected. Those affected will likely talk (or complain) to one other person about getting a ticket. That’s potentially 100 people talking about speeding.

While people talking about enforcement efforts helps get the word out and can potentially positively impact traffic safety, how, in a city of 80,000 or 100,000, can your department make a bigger impact?

Consider a different approach that harnesses the popularity of digital media: make a funny video, talk about it on a podcast, live-cast part of the operation, post some photos, or even host a Tweet-a-long or a Snap-a-long, all while the operation is going on.

In other words, get the word out and do it creatively. You will reach so much more of your community. Instead of just affecting the people who received citations, you now have the power of ultimate reach via your department’s social media pages. The news will be shared and liked, residents will comment, and before you know it, not only will they be following you, they’ll be listening to your traffic safety messages.

Pro Tips:

1. Use officers who don’t shy away from being on camera and have a good video editor on hand – while officers may want to go in front of the camera, they may need a few takes.

2. Communities love to be part of the action and be in the know. Consider putting out the
locations of the operations. Don’t worry about tipping your hat; go ahead and pull the curtain back a little.

3. “Traffic safety” is too broad. Be specific. Make sure you have a clear theme regardless of the channel you use.

4. Utilize what’s around you and incorporate recognizable figures (i.e. Star Wars characters, Harry Potter characters, etc.)

5. Be humorous, but always stay professional. If it can’t be said at the dinner table with your kids, don’t use it.

6. Communication must be a two-way street. Make sure to answer questions and comments as they come up. It will do no good to just talk at your community.

At the end of the day, changing driving behavior is the goal, and you have the opportunity to do so on a very big stage. Social media is an amazing way to spark discussions and get more people talking about your traffic issues. So, strap on your helmet, adjust your mirrored sunglasses, and slip on the motor boots. Then, go digital, get on your social media channels, and start communicating.

For more tips and tricks about Law Enforcement and Social Media, check out Mountain View Police Department on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat.

Posted in Social Media, Traffic Safety

Statement by the International Association of Chiefs of Police on United States Immigration Enforcement Policy and Sanctions

Immigration enforcement is a complex and challenging issue for communities and their law enforcement agencies throughout the United States.

State and local law enforcement agencies are steadfast in their commitment to removing from their communities dangerous criminals and others who pose a threat to public safety. Any suggestion to the contrary is simply inaccurate.

The IACP agrees that illegal immigration and border security issues directly impact the safety of communities and that effective action is needed to meet this challenge.  At the same time, however, state and local law enforcement agencies depend on the cooperation of immigrants, legal or not, in solving a wide array of crimes.  Striking the proper balance between enforcement and cooperation requires the full participation of elected officials, community leaders and their law enforcement agencies.

The IACP has and always will strongly oppose the use of sanctions to drive policy; this was true with prior Administrations and remains true with the current Administration. The funds provided through the Department of Justice support a wide array of crime fighting, crime prevention and public health initiatives. Penalizing communities by withholding assistance funding to law enforcement agencies and other critical programs is counter-productive to our shared mission of reducing violent crime and keeping our communities safe.

We stand ready to work with the Administration to help identify thoughtful, effective solutions to this complex and challenging issue.

Posted in Breaking News, Community-Police Relations, Criminal Justice Reform, National Security, Policy, Press Release

Meet the Leadership Blog Series

The IACP Board of Directors is comprised of the IACP Executive Board as well as 33 law enforcement leaders appointed by the IACP President. The members of the Board of Directors represent agencies large and small around the globe and contribute to the governance of the IACP. In the IACP’s new Meet the Leadership Blog Series, the IACP will feature brief profiles of the 33 appointed members of the Board of Directors, in the months leading up to the IACP 2017 Annual Conference and Exposition.Brooks image

Name: William G. Brooks III

Title: Chief of Police

Agency: Norwood (MA) Police Department

Year joined the IACP: 2000

Reason for Going into Law Enforcement: I grew up next door to my local police chief.  He seemed to have an interesting job and he would come back and tell us what had happened during his shift.  Now I know that we received a very watered down version, but at the time it was interesting.

First Heard about IACP: When I started at the Wellesley (MA) Police Department, the chief at the time, Terrence Cunningham, was involved in IACP, so I joined right away and began to follow the Association closely.

Becoming More Involved in IACP: I had been involved in state policy and legislative issues for a few years, but when Chief Cunningham was elected as 4th Vice President of the Executive Board, I became more aware of issues across the United States and globally. Shortly after I became a chief, President Zakhary appointed me to the IACP Board of Directors, which was quite an honor.

Favorite Part About Being in Law Enforcement: One of my favorite parts of being a police officer is my interaction with the public.  When I was a rookie, I never liked being assigned to a walking beat. I believed that I’d never catch criminals if I was unable to zip around in a car. Now, I take the opposite view – as a police chief I make sure I walk one of our foot beats for an hour every day.

The Most Challenging Part of Law Enforcement: Over the past two years, the part of my job that has been difficult has been watching how issues in the national spotlight have affected police officers. But we as a department have used these situations as opportunities to emphasize that positive engagements with the public are more important now than they’ve ever been.

One Piece of Advice for the Leaders of Tomorrow: Take great care in how you communicate – oftentimes how you say something is as important as what you say.


Name: Steven Pare Pare

Title: Commissioner of Public Safety

Agency: City of Providence (RI)

Year joined the IACP: 1995

Reason for Going into Law Enforcement: It was a lifelong dream of mine to become a police officer, following in my Dad’s footsteps.

First Heard about IACP: As a commander while serving the Rhode Island State Police.

Becoming More Involved in IACP: I became more involved in the IACP because it offered me the ability to learn from and implement best practices in law enforcement, to solve problems confronting policing and to get an international perspective on issues facing law enforcement.

Favorite Part About Being in Law Enforcement: My favorite part is the constant changes, challenges, and uncertainty in public safety.

The Most Challenging Part of Law Enforcement: The most challenging part would have to be building trust and credibility with the communities that we serve.

One Piece of Advice for the Leaders of Tomorrow: Be patient, listen to advice, and be courageous in trying new methods and practices.  It’s important to sometimes break out of doing things the same way because “that’s how we always do it” mentality.


Name: Lianne Tuomey lianne dress flag

Title: Chief of Police

Agency: University of Vermont Police

Year joined the IACP: 2000

Reason for Going into Law Enforcement: I knew I wanted to do something criminal justice related so I don’t know that I was “drawn” to the work so much as “fell” into the work. Law enforcement was a good fit because I have always been able to easily connect with people and interacting with the public is such an important part of the job.

First Heard about IACP: I had seen some Police Chief magazines floating around the office over the years while at the Burlington (VT) Police Department and found the articles informative. Eventually, my then Chief at the University of Vermont suggested that I join the IACP and get active in the organization.

Becoming More Involved in IACP: I was asked to serve on a coordinating panel and a committee by the IACP President. I think it’s important when asked to serve that, if you can, you do. Being involved with IACP has provided me access to a myriad of perspectives, innovative thinking, and contemporary educational opportunities that can only benefit those I serve with and serve in a law enforcement role.

Favorite Part About Being in Law Enforcement: There was one call now over 30 years ago, I went to a suspicious person complaint at an elderly woman’s house.  She told me that someone was walking around her house and she was frightened. After I walked all around the house and saw no footprints, I returned to her front door.  She invited me in and offered me some coffee. As we talked, she shared her story with me, she was lonely and she needed someone to listen.  I listened that day and almost every week for 5-10 minutes or so for the next year until she passed away. I recall that day often, especially on those days when the job is hard. That’s my favorite part of the serving in this noble profession, making a difference, or at least trying.

The Most Challenging Part of Law Enforcement: The most challenging is bearing witness to the tragedies of other’s lives.

One Piece of Advice for the Leaders of Tomorrow: Care about others, do the best you can, and don’t take yourself too seriously.

Posted in IACP Leadership, Leadership

Simple Steps to Enhance Police Interactions with Community

Guest Blogger: Fabienne Brooks, Chief (retired), King County Sheriff’s Office and Co-Director/ Consultant Law Enforcement Programs, NCBI; IACP Associate Member

In this era, it is more critical than ever to enhance positive police interactions with community members.  Done well, these positive interactions result in safety for communities and officers as well as positive media coverage. In the Mantua Enhancing Police Interactions in Communities (EPIC) project, the National Coalition Building Institute (NCBI) used an implementation model that recognized that building trust and developing the structure of positive interaction does not occur with the completion of one event or training cycle. blog 1

This year long project was designed to build relationships between officers and community members who live and work in the Mantua area of Philadelphia, PA.

The first step in the approach to police-community engagement was to conduct a needs assessment to get to know the community, its strengths, and challenges.  Before any training was designed or delivered, the NCBI team reviewed the environment (community), occupation (law enforcement specific), individual needs for training, and how the term “community” was defined. The needs assessment process entailed learning what factors influenced police management and practices as well as what factors influenced or drove community concerns. NCBI staff spent time with members of the Philadelphia Police Department 16th District and Drexel University Police Department to develop an understanding of how the department functioned and what its members believed to be critical community issues.

No less significant was gaining a commitment from the community. A series of focus groups were held with members of the Mantua community to try and develop a deeper understanding of how the community viewed its relationship with the police department.

Trust-building was the second step in the NCBI model. This was accomplished by treating trust-building as a process, not a single event. Multiple opportunities, such as training workshops with community members and law enforcement, over extended periods of time were provided for trust to develop and grow.

Once a trusting atmosphere was created, a three-day Train-The-Trainer workshop taught important communication skills to members of the department and community.  Participants had the opportunity to learn from one another and build relationships in the classroom. The training approach included hands-on, experiential activities to teach skills such as:

  • Listening
  • Empathy
  • Reframing questions
  • Resolving conflict
  • Dealing with controversial issues

blog2This entire process lead to the ultimate goal: the development of a sustainable partnership between law enforcement and community leaders. The police department and community leaders will continue to offer opportunities for positive dialogue, interaction, and community-engagement, using what was learned in the training environment.

The program was evaluated at each step by Cedar Crest College for effectiveness and long-lasting change. The final evaluation report, completed in early 2017, documented changes with both the officers and community leaders.

This project was funded by a grant provided by DOJ/OJP/BJA Byrne Criminal Justice Innovation in partnership with the Mt. Vernon Manor, Inc. The EPIC project originally was developed in partnership between NCBI and IACP.

Posted in Community-Police Relations, Uncategorized