Guest Blogger: Cynthia Renaud, Chief, Santa Monica, California, Police Department and IACP 3rd Vice President.
With about 10 years of IACP conferences under my belt now, I certainly have my own thoughts about what I’ve received personally and professionally from attending, but this year I’m really considering why, as a chief, I take several people from my organization with me. I mean, this is a “chief’s” conference, right? So why am I bringing lieutenants, a captain, and a professional staff person along with me?
- Individual learning: First, you can’t beat the education tracks offered at the IACP conference. There is so much to attend, you almost have to bring people so you can divide and conquer! We usually get together ahead of time with the workshop agenda and decide who will attend what, then debrief to each other and our organizations when conference is over. It’s a great way to get the most information possible across the wide variety of workshops offered.
- Best practices and emerging trends: The IACP conference is the one place to hear about best practices from agencies around the globe, while also offering insight into emerging trends and technology sure to impact the future of our profession.
- Exhibit Hall: It’s a one-stop-location for equipment, technology, gadgets, vehicles, latest crime prevention tools, communication devices, and so much more! My department is looking at potentially making some technological changes over the next year, and we have been waiting for conference because we know all the companies we need will be brought to us in one location!
- Networking: I don’t have to tell any of you about the great networking opportunities available through conference attendance. It’s a chance to meet new professionals worldwide, connect with friends from different professional development programs, and see colleagues from so many other classes and courses we attend throughout our careers. But by bringing people from our organizations, it’s also a great chance for us to expose our next generations to our personal networks that we have built up over the years. Which leads me to my last point…
- Succession planning: As executives, one of our highest priorities is to build our benches, mentor, succession plan, and get the generation behind us (and the generation behind them!) ready to take the reins. When I bring co-workers with me to conference, I am able to spend several days steeping them in the current trends of the profession while allowing them to push their own boundaries and explore the future of our profession that they will create together. And in that piece alone, we, as chiefs, fulfill the mission of the IACP:
Serving the Leaders of Today…DEVELOPING the Leaders of Tomorrow
The IACP Annual Conference will be held October 6-9, 2018 in Orlando, Florida.