Would you like to win a trip to the 122nd Annual IACP Conference in Chicago, Illinois?
Has your agency implemented an innovative program that demonstrates a dedication to improving the quality of life within your community?
If you answered yes to both of these questions, consider applying for the IACP/Motorola Webber Seavey Award for Quality in Law Enforcement. Two representatives from each of the top three winning agencies will be recognized at the IACP Conference for their efforts. The deadline to submit an application is Friday, June 19, 2015. Application guidelines can be obtained at the Webber Seavey Award webpage.
Last year’s winners from the Hamilton Police Service, Milwaukee Police Department, and the Rialto Police Department showcased programs on crime prevention, student engagement, and body-worn cameras.
Hamilton (Ontario, Canada) Police Service – ACTION Strategy Initiative
Several studies concluded this city had potential, but there was a need to restore safety and security in the downtown core, which had become a hot spot for violent crime. Analysis revealed that officers continued to encounter repeat offenders and at-risk individuals. To develop alternative options to arrest, an evaluation was conducted into internal and external factors and stakeholders. Provincial and federal government grants provided the revenue to implement a crime prevention strategy in a city with very tight budget restrictions. Highly visible officers on foot and bike addressed violent crime and disorder issues. Uniformed volunteer auxiliary officers were deployed in the core for over 1,400 hours. The police service also worked with several partners to develop a street-level proactive wrap-around social service solution to help break the cycle of arrests. The strategy has led to a decrease in crime and an increase in the perception of safety and security. The downtown area is already in the process of revitalization.
Milwaukee (Wisconsin) Police Department – Students Talking it Over with Police (STOP) Program
This school-based program addresses the relationship between young leaders, ages 12-17, and police with the goal of decreasing an initial volatile interaction while cultivating sustainable positive relationships. For one hour per day, one day per week, for seven weeks, officers educate juveniles on not only the nature of police work, but also on how to appropriately communicate and interact with officers. A process and outcome evaluation assesses measurable effects of the training. Analysis results indicate that STOP is successful in improving general knowledge, proper behavior during a police stop and a better perception of the police. Officers are aware that juveniles have been informed of the appropriate ways in which police should act, thereby creating a two-way accountability mechanism. Approximately 94 percent of participants reported feeling better about the police after taking part in the program.
Rialto (California) Police Department – Body-Worn Camera Program
This partnership-based, yearlong study evaluated the effects of body-worn video cameras on police use-of-force and officer complaints. The randomized controlled trial represents the first experimental evaluation of body-worn video cameras used in police patrol practices. Frontline officers participated in the experiment and wore HD cameras. All data from the cameras were collated using a web-based computerized video management system. Comparing similar 12-month time frames, the study revealed significant reductions: Use of force incidents were reduced by 87.5 percent and complaints were reduced by 59 percent. Additionally, public contacts by officers increased by 3,200. Analysis of a second year of data showed little change to the experimental year results. This scientific approach to dealing with police misconduct introduces the concept of testing and evaluating new initiatives.
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