Connect and Learn at IACP 2017

The 2017 IACP Annual Conference and Exposition is less than three months away! Grow your network by connecting with old colleagues and making new connections through the conference’s events including:

Committee, Section, and Division Meetings: Meetings at IACP 2017 offer scheduled time to connect with professionals with similar interests and roles. You will have the opportunity to discuss trending topics, address challenges, and generate collective ideas to take back to your organization.

Meet-Ups in The Hub: Visit The Hub, in the center of the Expo Hall, for professional development and meet-ups with various pre-arranged groups. Download the IACP mobile app to stay in the know and to build your daily networking schedule.

Exposition Hall Networking Event: This event provides the opportunity to test drive the latest offerings from 600 exhibitors while catching up with colleagues and enjoying complimentary refreshments. This must-attend event is open to all!

Chiefs Night: Join friends and colleagues at the Philly-Oktoberfest Chiefs Night, a multi-venue, family-friendly festival. Beyond the food and fun in this historic Reading Terminal, gear up for friendly competition with interactive games and contests in the Grand Hall of the Pennsylvania Convention Center.

Be sure to register today to take advantage of these opportunities to connect and learn. Already registered? Invite a colleague to join you in Philadelphia!

Posted in Annual Conference and Exposition

Statement from the International Association of Chiefs of Police on Police Use of Force

Managing use of force is one of the most difficult challenges faced by law enforcement agencies. The ability of law enforcement officers to enforce the law, protect the public, and guard their own safety, the safety of innocent bystanders, and even those suspected or apprehended for criminal activity is very challenging. For these reasons, law enforcement agencies develop policies and procedures, as well as conduct extensive training, to ensure that any use of force is carefully applied and objectively reasonable considering the situation confronted by the officers.

Law enforcement officers are trained to treat all individuals, whether they are a complainant, suspect, or defendant, with dignity and respect. This is the bedrock principle behind the concepts of procedural justice and police legitimacy.

Posted in IACP

Do You Speak Digital?

This blog series highlights some of the top Social Media Beat posts from the last couple years. For more information about IACP’s Center for Social Media visit the project webpage. This post was originally published on Monday, January 11, 2016. 

Guest Blogger: Chris Hsiung, Captain, Mountain View, California, Police Department

There’s a new language sweeping the land. The younger generations speak it fluently. The masses are quickly adopting it. It sounds a lot like English but there are subtle nuances to it that are linked to pop culture and current events. Does your department speak it?

Many of us serve diverse communities that speak a number of languages. In the last few years, a new “community” has emerged across the globe. That community is digital and although English may go a long way in reaching that audience, the dialect is “digital” and it’s important that your department knows how to speak it.

Social media tweets and posts will never replace face-to-face communication. Visual cues like body language, eye contact, and even voice inflection help provide contextual cues for our day-to-day “in person” communications. When you take those cues away, it can be easy to misunderstand texts, tweets, and posts. In addition, our industry is famous for speaking in a “just the facts” voice and tone online. Is it any surprise that many like to paint our industry with a broad brush and stereotype us as robotic and insensitive?

Enter hashtags and emoticons. Both can help provide context to a tweet or reply. Like many things on social media, effectively using hashtags and emoticons are more “art” than “science.” For Twitter, one or two hashtags are acceptable while Instagram culture is more tolerant with 5+ hashtags. For more on using hashtags, SproutSocial has a great article that breaks down everything you need to know along with great tips on how to use them.

Do You Speak Digital 1

Hashtags can provide context when trying to respond in a humorous fashion

With emoticons, less is definitely more. Use them very sparingly, if at all. As a public safety agency, your voice and tone should be professional and relatable. For more on emoticons, check out this article from wikiHow on the do’s and don’ts you should follow.

Do You Speak Digital 2

Using a holiday themed pun along with emoticons can provide color to an otherwise boring tweet

As our world becomes more interconnected through social media, it becomes increasingly necessary for our police departments to know how to speak “digital” fluently. Read your tweets, posts, and content from the perspective of a follower. Get away from “cop speak” and strive to have your department “voice” be relatable. Followers want to have two-way conversations with you. Knowing the digital nuances of how you sound goes a long way in having those positive interactions.


Posted in Social Media

Engaging with the Community through Friday Night Lights and More

This blog post is part of a series highlighting best practices in community policing by police departments nationwide as part of IACP’s Community Policing: The Next Generation and Task Force on 21st Century Policing projects. The projects showcase innovative and effective solutions to building trust and creating opportunities to collaborate with community stakeholders to increase public safety. These projects are funded through the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Community Oriented Policing Services. Menlo Park, California, Police Department is a recipient of the 2016 IACP/Cisco Community Policing Award

Menlo Park

The City of Menlo Park, California is considered a culturally and economically diverse cities. With that diversity, there can sometimes be challenges and issues for the police department and the community.  To help address these issues and foster change, the Menlo Park Police Department (MPPD) decided it needed to earn the trust of its community members and to connect more closely with those living and working in the community. The department formed a Community Advisory Group, comprised of residents and business owners from throughout the city, to provide open lines of communication and to identify crime and community issues affecting the area. Since its inception in 2013, the Advisory Group has developed a number of comprehensive and coordinated plans to help neighborhoods with the most need.

The Community Advisory Group and the Menlo Park Police Department have implemented:

  • Strategic Traffic Plan. This plan increased traffic enforcement locations around all schools in the community and created a program that invited traffic officers into schools at the beginning of each school year to educate students and parents on bicycle and traffic safety.
  • Block Captains for Neighborhood Watch. Law enforcement officers took the lead and helped develop and train community members interested in participating in Neighborhood Watch programs. In a two-year period, the neighborhood gained 10 new block captains.
  • Improved Community Communication. The MPPD now uses numerous social media platforms to disseminate information to the public both socially and during emergencies. In addition to Blackboard Connect and Nixle, the MPPD now regularly utilizes Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Nextdoor.
  • Citizen’s Academy. The MPPD created a Citizen’s Academy to ensure that residents understood the community policing philosophy. Residents attended the sessions one night per week for nine weeks. They learned how local government works, how services are provided and how everyone, including the community, needs to work together to make the city a better and safer place to live. The program’s success led to the development of a Youth Academy that educates teens in local government processes and police operations.

Menlo parkIn addition to these programs, the department also hosts Friday Night Lights once per month during football season by featuring a rotating patrol team at different locations throughout the city. Friday Night Lights allows each officer to engage with the younger generation in the community in a fun tailgate-like atmosphere where they autograph team photos, share in food and snacks, and receive department memorabilia.

Because of the creative and unique steps the Menlo Park Police Department is taking, the citizens are responding by being more engaged in their community. Police staff were also more enthusiastic and open to engage with the city’s residents and business community. Together, the police department and the community are able to work together to foster partnerships and problem solve.

Posted in Community-Police Relations

Responding to Sexual Violence in LGBTQ+ Communities: Law Enforcement Strategies and Considerations

Sexual violence perpetrated against individuals who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning, and queer (LGBTQ+) warrants the full attention of law enforcement agencies. Because sexual assault is one of the least commonly reported crimes[1] and underserved communities are among the most at risk,[2] effectively handling sexual violence in LGBTQ+ communities is particularly critical for law enforcement agencies as they aim to reduce violent crime in their jurisdictions, provide a victim-centered response, and encourage victims to report crimes and participate in the criminal justice system.

Drawing from promising practices and innovative initiatives pioneered by law enforcement agencies throughout the United States, the IACP, in collaboration with a group of multidisciplinary subject matter experts, has developed a new, free tool: Responding to Sexual Violence in LGBTQ+ Communities: Law Enforcement Strategies and Considerations. The foundational information presented in this document is of particular importance for building trust and relationships with LGBTQ+ communities. The goal of Responding to Sexual Violence in LGBTQ+ Communities is to strengthen law enforcement’s understanding of and response to sexual violence in LGBTQ+ communities. The document is designed to be used in tandem with the IACP Sexual Assault Response and Investigation Policy and Training Content and Investigative Guidelines and Sexual Assault Incident Reports: Investigative Strategies. The considerations and assessment questionnaire will aid in strengthening overall agency strategies to promote an understanding of the complexities of sexual violence in LGBTQ+ communities and encourage the implementation of proactive procedures. It is imperative that agencies strive to build strong relationships with leaders and members of LGBTQ+ communities and implement effective practices department-wide through agency mission, policy, training, and personnel management to proactively address and prevent sexual violence in LGBTQ+ communities.

This resource was made possible through a grant from Raliance, a national leadership collaborative dedicated to ending sexual violence in one generation. Raliance’s grant program advances practices and policies that reduce the likelihood of sexual violence, improve the response to victims, and strengthen communities’ capacities to create safe environments. To access the document, please visit the Violence Against Women webpage. For more information about Responding to Sexual Violence in LGBTQ+ Communities, please contact Michael Rizzo, IACP Project Manager, at or 1-800-843-4227, ext. 818.

[1] Lynn Langton, Marcus Berzofsky, Christopher Krebs, and Hope Smiley-McDonald, Victimizations Not Reported to the Police, 2006-2010, report from the National Crime Victimization Survey, August 2012,

[2] Office for Victims of Crime, “Responding to Transgender Victims of Sexual Assault,”

Posted in Victim Services

The Expo Hall at IACP 2017

The 2017 IACP Annual Conference and Exposition will be held October 21-24, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Join thousands of law enforcement leaders from around the world as they gather for four days of education, exhibits, and networking.

The 2017 expo hall features more than 600 exhibitors showcasing the latest in law enforcement products and services.

New this year, the center of the expo hall will be transformed into The Hub, an area for professional development, networking, and access to IACP programs and services.

The Hub

Be sure to download the conference app to plan your conference experience and stay tuned for information on how to secure your space for one-on-one training and mentoring.

Register today!

Posted in Annual Conference and Exposition, Exposition Hall

Engaging Families for Recruitment and Retention

The lifestyle and culture of law enforcement affects more than just the officers.  Spouses, partners, parents, children, and companions of law enforcement officers play an integral role in an officer’s health and wellness. The IACP’s Law Enforcement Families blog series highlights the importance of the dedication and support that law enforcement officers receive throughout their careers from their families. 

 Police departments do not just hire individuals, they hire families. As law enforcement agencies continue to work through common recruitment and retention challenges – an increasingly young police force, senior officers’ retirements, lack of diverse candidates, and ever-present retention concerns – it is important to find innovative means to engage and nurture the families who will support police officers from recruitment through retirement.

The Rapid City, South Dakota, Police Department (RCPD) faced recruitment challenges similar to other agencies in the United States. The police force had limited diversity, with a good portion of recruits coming from outside of the area. As department leaders set about rethinking their recruiting efforts, they set a goal to better represent the local community by “home growing” their own officers, particularly from Rapid City’s large Lakota Native American community. The department designed a variety of methods to engage the families of aspiring local police officers to ease their transition into police work.

SD Families 1

Community members with an RCPD patrol car designed by a Lakota tribal member, featuring the traditional Lakota phrase “Mitakuye Oyasin,” which translates to “all my relatives.”

QUESTION AND ANSWER SESSIONS: The IACP Critical Issues Listening Tour participants indicated that the public image of law enforcement and the decrease in public trust are factors that inhibit recruitment and retention. Similarly, RCPD found generational distrust a significant barrier that creates hesitancy in minority police candidates and diminishes support from their families. RCPD is beginning to meet directly with local aspiring officers to provide support, and they encourage family members to be a part of the conversation to answer questions regarding careers in law enforcement. RCPD is also considering establishing a series of Question and Answer Sessions through social media avenues such as Facebook Live.

CITIZENS’ POLICE ACADEMY: The RCPD Citizens’ Police Academy is a 13-week program that exposes participants to a variety of police functions. Encouraging family members of aspiring officers to attend is a great way to earn trust and clear up misperceptions by helping them understand how law enforcement operates. Additionally, it allows family members to ask more in-depth questions and to get to know police personnel on a more personal basis.

SD Families 3

Officer Husfeldt ‘deputizing’ playground enforcement and the future of law enforcement

COMMUNITY POLICING EVENTS: Community events and forums are a great time to encourage the benefits of community policing and local recruitment. Highlighting how crime is impacting specific neighborhoods and how local community members can work with officers creates a good opportunity for discussing the potential impact police officers from that neighborhood could make. Analyzing the effectiveness of current community policing programs helps with these discussions. It is also a great time to suggest family/spouse support groups for those who have loved ones in law enforcement.

STUDENT – PROFESSIONAL SOCIETY: RCPD and the Western Dakota Technical Institute have a working relationship, as police personnel teach criminal justice courses at the school. Since Western Dakota Tech is the only local institution that has a law enforcement program, many recruits naturally come from there. Like the police department, the law enforcement program could use a boost in minority applicants. As a means to facilitate internal support amongst the students in the program, a professional society is being designed with Native American students. This program builds on the model of existing professional associations such as the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE) and the National Native American Law Enforcement Association (NNALEA) to provide education, advocacy, and support. This professional society will also be inclusive to students attending other South Dakota Regent colleges and universities.

MONTHLY POT LUCKS: The indigenous Lakota people are very communal and, like many other cultures, social gatherings are centered around sharing a meal. The Student Professional Society has a monthly pot luck incorporated into the meetings. These meetings feature education about Native American and Lakota traditional police societies, trends in law enforcement, and genealogy of Native American families known for serving in traditional police societies. Family members are highly encouraged to participate and to even share their family history of serving in traditional Lakota police or warrior societies.

An officer’s support group is just as important as the training they receive. Emotional and mental wellness is a critical issue defined by the 21st Century Policing Task Force Report. Friends and families are crucial to an officer’s emotional stability, and they are often the first to notice when the officer needs help. It is important to nurture, not only an active officer’s support group, but also an aspiring police officer’s support group.

Posted in Community-Police Relations

Downtown Engagement Project: Prevention through Education and Engagement

This blog post is part of a series highlighting best practices in community policing by police departments nationwide as part of IACP’s Community Policing: The Next Generation and Task Force on 21st Century Policing projects. The projects showcase innovative and effective solutions to building trust and creating opportunities to collaborate with community stakeholders to increase public safety. These projects are funded through the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Community Oriented Policing Services. Dayton, Ohio, Police Department is a recipient of the 2015 IACP/Cisco Community Policing Award

DaytonA growing concern in many cities is how to respond to individuals with mental illness and homeless people with care and respect. Dayton, Ohio is no exception. In 2013, the Downtown Dayton Partnership, a downtown advocacy organization, received complaints from downtown businesses and other residential and entertainment stakeholders regarding individuals in the downtown area who appeared to be experiencing mental health, substance abuse, homelessness, and/or co-occurring issues. The Downtown Dayton Partnership reached out to the Dayton  Police Department (DPD) for solutions to this situation.

The frequency of Dayton police officers’ encounters with people with mental illness over the years has steadily risen. Trips to jail or local hospitals were temporary solutions and not effective in addressing long-term care for those with mental illness. Overall, these interactions have consumed a great deal of police, health care, and corrections resources.

Members of the DPD Central Patrol Operations Division joined forces with the Montgomery County Alcohol, Drug Addiction, and Mental Health Services Board; Goodwill/Easter Seals of the Miami Valley; Projects for Assistance in Transition from Homelessness; and the Downtown Dayton Partnership to develop a strategy to address individuals with mental illness and homeless people in downtown Dayton. Out of this collaboration, the Downtown Engagement Project was formed.

After initial meetings between partners, all agreed that police officers do not have theDayton 2 formal training and expertise to properly assess the needs of the individuals with mental illness. In addition, partners felt the very uniform a police officer wears can sometimes be a barrier in connecting with people with mental illness, as the uniform can be symbolic of impending incarceration or an unwanted hospital stay. Engagement with mental health professionals was key to determining the needs of those with mental illness. The Downtown Engagement Project consists of the following components: information sharing, engagement, and community education in stigma reduction.

The engagement process looks like this: a certified social work professional along with a peer specialist conduct face-to-face contact with the individual to assess their current situations. Reducing stigma is important because without education, understanding, and support within the community, outreach to improve conditions for individuals with mental illness is not possible. The engagement team is a “boots on the ground” mobile field force that can spend a few minutes saying hello to a homeless individual or person with mental illness, or spend hours talking about their life history. The engagement team has more time than the average officer to get to know this population, and has the training and experience to direct them toward better solutions than hospitals or jails. To the partners of this initiative, engagement means more than interaction with those with mental illness. A community educated in the nature of mental illness is also an engaged community.

In the months after implementation, the partners met regularly to discuss how the target group was accepting the engagements. The project and the team have made a positive difference in the lives of people with mental illness and homeless individuals.

Posted in Community-Police Relations

The IACP’s One Mind Campaign to Date

In 2015, an estimated 43.4 million adults in the United States were living with mental illness[i] and it is estimated that 450 million people globally live with a mental illness[ii]. The identification and care of persons affected by mental illness has largely fallen to law enforcement in recent years due to a decline in the availability of community mental health resources. The International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) decided to confront this important issue of improving the encounters between law enforcement and persons affected by mental illness.

In March 2016, the IACP convened a panel of law enforcement and mental health experts to address law enforcement’s response and this collaboration resulted in the One Mind Campaign. Since its inception, the One Mind Campaign has focused on four promising practices to guide departments as they seek to improve their interactions with persons affected by mental illness:

  1. Establish a clearly defined and sustainable relationship with at least one community mental health organization
  2. Develop and implement a written policy addressing law enforcement response to persons affected by mental illness
  3. Demonstrate that 100 percent of sworn officers (and selected non-sworn staff, such as dispatchers) are trained and certified in Mental Health First Aid (MHFA)
  4. Demonstrate that 20 percent of sworn officers (and selected non-sworn staff, such as dispatchers) are trained and certified on the Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) training

Today, 139 agencies have taken the One Mind Campaign pledge and committed to completing the four promising practices within 12-36 months. The network of agencies continues to grow and as it grows, agencies will interact with each other and with the IACP in finding creative solutions to implement these practices within their own communities.

In June 2017, the IACP, in coordination with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) GAIN Center, hosted a Best Practice Implementation Academy (BPIA) with 23 agencies representing 3 projects: Data Driven Justice, the Stepping Up initiative, and the One Mind Campaign. Eight of the twenty-three agencies were departments recommended by the One Mind Campaign team; a combination of ‘best practices’ departments and departments working to implement the promising practices within their communities. The departments worked collaboratively to attend to individual challenges different locales face, bringing together new and innovative solutions to long-standing problems.

The goal of the BPIA was to share best practices and identify opportunities to provide follow-on technical assistance among departments. In August 2017, three of the eight BPIA participating police departments will host a regional symposium to encourage greater regional One Mind Campaign participation. The three police departments are: Arlington, Texas; Orland Park, Illinois; and French Settlement, Louisiana. The host departments are being asked to utilize their regional influence to encourage local departments and behavioral health professionals to attend the symposium and commit to taking the One Mind Campaign pledge.

To learn more about the One Mind Campaign visit the IACP website.

[i] Any Mental Illness (AMI) Among Adults. (n.d.). Retrieved June 28, 2017, from

[ii] World Health Organization. “Mental disorders affect one in four people.” Treatment Available but not Being Used (2001).

Posted in Mental Health

IACP 2017: Solutions for a Safer Society


IACP17_lockup2_bellThe 2017 IACP Annual Conference and Exposition kicks off in less than 100 days! Join thousands of law enforcement leaders from around the world as they gather for four days of education, exhibits, and networking.

With more than 200 sessions across 12 specialized tracks, IACP 2017 brings together subject matter experts from around the globe to share best practices and address challenges that affect agencies and communities today. View the educational program on the IACP conference website or by downloading the IACP Events mobile app.

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Need some assistance planning or justifying your attendance to supervisors or other decision makers? Use the IACP 2017 Justification Kit, which will help your organize your conference planning and, if needed, to assist you in justifying your attendance to supervisors or other decision makers we have developed a toolkit you can personalize to meet your needs.

New to conference and not sure what to expect from the education sessions? Over 60 recorded sessions from the 2016 IACP Annual Conference in San Diego are offered for viewing on the IACP members only page.

Not a member? Check out some conference highlights on our YouTube Channel!

See you in Philadelphia!


Posted in Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference General Information, Educational Tracks