IACP Holds Webinar on Officer Safety

Law enforcement from around the world tuned in this week for the IACP webinar on officer safety, sponsored by SAS. IACP President Walt McNeil opened the webinar by saying that, over the past year, “every issue we have worked on, in every meeting I have attended, and in every relationship fostered, the number one priority continues to be the safety of our officers.”

President McNeil was joined by Colonel Tracy Trott of Tennessee Highway Patrol, who described his decision to implement a mandatory vest wear policy in his agency. During the webinar Col. Trott said, “we [law enforcement executives] are in the position to act and do everything we can to keep our officers safe.”

Chief McNeil and Col. Trott took questions from participants on a range of issues related to officer safety—from seat belt wear to law enforcement suicide. Chief McNeil said, “over 150 officers a year in the U.S. take their own lives. We must continue to talk about this issue.” Chief McNeil then invited everyone to participate in a plenary on officer suicide at IACP’s upcoming conference in San Diego. The plenary, which will be held on Tuesday, October 2 at 1 p.m. in room 6A of the San Diego Convention Center, will offer an open, public dialogue and a national initiative for prevention of police suicides.

Chief McNeil went on to say, “we can’t afford to have even one of our officers killed. There are simple things we can do to prevent this.” Col. Trott added, “there is no acceptable level of line of duty deaths in our departments. I’m sure each of us feels the same way.”

Chief McNeil closed the webinar by announcing a new IACP initiative—the Center for Officer Safety and Wellness. McNeil said, “the goal of the Center will be to enhance the law enforcement profession’s ability to be well-equipped, well-trained, and physically and mentally prepared to confront violence and other threats and dangers.”

The four areas of focus for the Center will be:

  • Prevention of Violence Against the Police
  • Reducing Officer Injuries
  • Officers’ Wellness—including health, fitness, family support, and preventing law enforcement suicide—and
  • Traffic Safety

“The IACP has, and always will, put prevention of officer deaths and injuries as its number one priority and the Center for Officer Safety and Wellness is the next progression of that,” said McNeil. “We’ve learned a lot over the past decade and I think we are ahead of the curve in many ways but we need to more fully understand what is going on in the field and we need to know the best ideas that you are practicing every day.”

If you missed the webinar, you can view it by going to this link: http://www.sas.com/apps/webnet/webcast-viewer-2.0/index.jsp?index=wc_sa18sep12


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