The IACP Midsize Agencies Section Leans Forward: Building a Blueprint for a New Era of Policing

Gordon Ramsay, Duluth (MN) Police Department, Chair, IACP Midsize Agencies Section

The IACP Midsize Agencies Section recently wrapped up another successful midyear meeting.  This past week 43 police executives and city managers from 23 states convened in Alexandria, Virginia, to discuss our successes and challenges within the theme Sustaining and Advancing Community Policing in the New Economy.

Bill Bratton

Meeting highlights included Acting Associate Attorney General Tony West’s announcement of the COPS Office FY 2013 Community Policing Development grant program and a fantastic keynote address from renowned police chief, Bill Bratton.

Despite these distinguished guest speakers, the focus of the event was on us – the participating chiefs and our experiences.  Our charge for the day was to construct a transferable framework (a blueprint) that facilitates and advances thoughtful innovation in policing.  A tall order, but we were up to the challenge.  The format of the meeting was an interactive, facilitated discussion where participants talked through three broad topic areas:

• Economical approaches to management, staffing, and service delivery

• Data and technology as force multipliers

• The evolving definition and application of modern community policing

There was no shortage of lively discourse.  Participating chiefs offered successful examples and case studies, admitted challenges, as well as thought-provoking considerations for the future.  Key themes emerged proving midsize agencies are leaning forward in many ways.  We are:

• Innovating out of necessity,

• Embracing emerging and evolving practices, and

• Maximizing internal and external resources, from data and staffing to partnerships and consolidations.

Next steps are to synthesize the results of the discussion into an ongoing and evolving resource that will benefit not just the Section and midsize agencies but the broader police profession.  Look for more to come from the Midsize Agencies Section in this area.

Generous support from the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services and additional corporate sponsorship from CARFAX’s Police Crash Assistance and Motorola’s Real Time Crime Center helped make this midyear forum a reality. We are grateful for their assistance.

Midsize Meeting

The next meeting of the IACP Midsize Agencies Section will be at the IACP Annual Conference in Philadelphia, tentatively scheduled for Monday, October 21, 1pm to 4pm.

To get involved with the Midsize Agencies Section, visit the IACP website for more information or email me at

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