By Michael Wagers, Director, Division of State and Provincial Police, IACP
Local, state, and campus police from across the United States, along with federal law enforcement, wrapped up a two-day meeting at the Alexandria, Va., headquarters of the IACP on Friday last week. This group, which serves as the advisory body for the IACP’s Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) grant on Community Policing and Countering Violent Extremism, discussed ways to address the growing concern of homegrown violent extremism (HGVE).
This meeting of IACP members was one of the first attempts to respond to the White House’s Strategic Implementation Plan for Empowering Local Partners to Prevent Violent Extremism in the United States and was held in partnership with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
Recognizing the increased HGVE threat, the assembled group came to a consensus on a number of points, including
- honest, trusting community partnerships are the cornerstone to prevention, and
- problem solving is a key component to partnering with communities.
These two principles are the same staples that are and have been successful in dealing with a host of crime and public safety problems. They can be applied as easily to the threat of HGVE as they can be to issues of gang violence.
The IACP/COPS advisory board will continue to meet to design and disseminate useful products to assist state, local, and tribal agencies counter violent extremism. The IACP State and Provincial Police Academy Directors Section is meeting this week with DHS on countering violent extremism curriculum development. The IACP University and College Police Section is engaged with DHS and other partners to address the same issue on college campuses.