By James T. Bryan, Guest Blogger; and Program Manager, Division of State and Provincial Police, IACP
The North Atlantic section of the IACP Division of State and Provincial Police (S&P) met May 23-24 in Groton, Connecticut. More than 30 state police colonels; their command staffs; and other corporate, regional, and federal partners discussed a range of operational concerns, with a special focus on casino and gaming issues.
Vermont State Police Colonel Tom L’Esperance, chair of this regional group, joined Connecticut State Police (CSP) Colonel Danny Stebbins in hosting the event. Areas of discussion included
- gaming investigations,
- live interaction with social media,
- crime scene evidence technologies,
- Domestic Highway Enforcement Team activities,
- information sharing and the National Data Exchange (N-DEx), and
- Data-Driven Approaches to Crime and Traffic Safety (DDACTS).
During a working lunch, Colonel Stebbins made available for inspection and interaction his specialty unit personnel including members of the CSP dive team; chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, and explosive specialists; the Explosive Ordnance Disposal Unit; and police service dog personnel. On display were several specialty vehicles used by the Connecticut fleet. Following the lunch and exhibition, members of the Delaware State Police presented about police fatigue management.
Later that day, members traveled to the nearby Mohegan Sun casino for a behind-the-scenes tour with the troopers assigned to gaming operations and the private security personnel. Equipment and best practices techniques were shared, as many of the leaders present have direct responsibility for casino enforcement and investigation in their home states.
Thursday morning began with a session of state police leadership by Colonel James Baker (Retired), Vermont State Police. Baker, who works as a subject matter expert with the Nationwide Suspicious Activity Reporting (SAR) Initiative Program Management Office, challenged the decision makers in the audience to “go home and evaluate” their levels of engagement with the SAR Initiative. He reiterated the importance of collecting and submitting tips and leads through designated fusion centers (click here for articles about fusion centers) , including at gambling venues.
Colonel Frank Pawlowski (Retired), Pennsylvania State Police, followed Baker’s presentation. He emphasized the need to engage retired state police personnel in the group’s and the IACP’s efforts.
IACP Program Manager Tim Bryan, representing FBI N-DEx, shared scene photos and operational success stories attributable to information sharing–including cases in Delaware, Virginia, and New York–before Colonel L’Esperance adjourned the meeting.
The S&P Division’s membership is divided into four regions: Mountain Pacific, North Atlantic, North Central, and Southern. The next regional meting is June 13-14 in Saint Louis, Missouri, hosted by Missouri Highway Patrol Colonel Ronald Replogle.