A Message from IACP President Richard Beary
I am pleased to announce the release of the report from the IACP National Policy Summit on Community-Police Relations: Advancing a Culture of Cohesion and Community Trust. Yesterday, I had the opportunity to present the report to President Obama’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing. It is our hope that the recommendations from this report will aid the Task Force as they continue the insightful work they are doing to examine and strengthen community-police relations.
We also hope that this report will be used as a call to action by every law enforcement executive and every law enforcement agency to take stock and recommit to the principles of justice and service that are at the core of the oath that police officers take.
The report stresses that law enforcement leaders should strive daily to build strong, trusting community-police relationships and recognizes that, in many areas, more can be done. The report also makes clear that the challenges we are currently facing, were not created in a vacuum, and will not be solved by law enforcement alone. Instead, the solution lies in making progress in a number of areas, and requires coordination and collaboration at all levels. Therefore, recommendations for key stakeholders, such as community and political leaders, are also included in this report.
As law enforcement leaders, we understand that policing is a unique profession. The reason each and every one of us took an oath to become a police officer is because we want to help others. We are highly committed to ensuring the safety of the public. We knew that wearing a badge would bring challenges, that we would sometimes be up against the worst of humanity, and we would witness some truly devastating things. But we also knew that for all the bad we would encounter, that our days would also be filled with good. We would have the opportunity to rescue the abused, assist the helpless, reunite missing children with their parents, prevent an individual from committing suicide, keep a child from going down the wrong path, and most importantly, save lives.
However, despite the nobility of our profession, recent events are a strong reminder that we must never be complacent in our efforts to sustain trust across police and the communities they serve. We must continue to reevaluate, recommit, and renew our focus on sustaining trusting relationships with all segments of the community. This movement is not “revolutionary,” but rather, “evolutionary.” It is change that takes time, patience, and, when successful, results in the betterment of all. This is an opportunity to lead for both police and community leaders that cannot go unattended.
As you continue your daily efforts to protect and serve your communities, I urge all of you to carefully review this report and its recommendations.