By Meredith Ward, Guest Blogger; and Manager, Legislative and Media Affairs, IACP
Last month, the IACP announced that Laurie Robinson, former assistant attorney general of the U. S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs (OJP) from 2009 to 2012, and now professor of criminology, law and society at George Mason University, had accepted the position of IACP Research Advisory Committee (RAC) co-chair.
As a follow-up to that announcement, the IACP sat down with Ms. Robinson. This blog entry is the first of three that will be published today, tomorrow, and Thursday. Each day, a new response from Ms. Robinson will be highlighted. Today, Ms. Robinson’s response to question number one:
1. What is the most significant change in policing you have seen over the last decade?
First, I would like to say that I am very honored to have been asked by President McNeil to serve as co-chair of the RAC—I know I have some big shoes to fill. Professor CharlesWellford’s service to the IACP and the criminal justice community is unmatched. I am terribly pleased to have this opportunity and looking forward to working with my co-chair [Boston, Massachusetts, Police Commissioner Ed Davis]. The IACP has played a critical leadership role in research, officer safety, gun violence, homeland security, information and intelligence sharing, and providing innovative approaches to how officers and departments tackle challenges. I am proud to now be a part of that.
As far as changes in the last decade, we have seen a great maturing of the field. Oftentimes, we worry about the challenges we face, but I think the law enforcement profession has so much about which to be proud and optimistic. Law enforcement leaders are dealing with enormous challenges from the threat of terrorism, officer safety, gun violence, and narcotics, to diminished resources; yet our country has such low crime rates.
I like to think of law enforcement as the front line between the governed and the government, essentially the face of government to the public. And being on the front line is difficult. Yet among public servants, law enforcement continues to be very highly respected by the public and highly valued. With all of the challenges that exist, law enforcement has stepped up to the plate.
Be sure to check back tomorrow for Ms. Robinson’s response to our question number two and sign up for regular updates from the IACP Blog by entering your email address in the box to the upper right of your screen, above “Sign Me Up.” Then, click the button and receive new blog entries in your inbox.