Put a little pop (culture) into your PSAs

Guest Blogger: Katie Nelson, Social Media + Public Relations Coordinator, Mountain View, California, Police Department

Social media has shortened the public’s attention span significantly, and law enforcement agencies have known for some time that to captivate a non-captive audience, you have to be able to get your message across in mere seconds.

With the touch of a button, your publication has the potential to reach limitless screens, be it mobile, desktop, etc. But with roughly $80 billion projected to be spent on social media advertising for digital ads alone in 2017, how do law enforcement agencies compete with, or even outperform, those with big budgets to propel public safety messaging, a topic that can, at times, be totally dry?

The answer — pop culture.

Particularly in the coming year, Hollywood studios are launching films that will be a feeding ground for law enforcement to catapult their messaging to the next level. Characters from across generations will be gracing the silver screen and they have the power to draw significant attention for your agency. In fact, digital media and digital ads are expected to surpass all other forms of messaging for the first time by 2018.

No time like the present to join the fray. This past year alone, several agencies utilized the hype of Star Wars to retool the way in which they highlighted their own messaging standards, from the perils of drunk driving to recruitment efforts.

Example 1: Mountain View Police Department:

Example 2: Fort Worth Police Department:

Other agencies have found ways to incorporate pop culture phenomena like the rise of Pokemon Go or the Mannequin Challenge to send safety messages that captured the attention of viewers and ultimately, had them passing those messages along. The reach of those messages, thanks to their creative utilization of recognizable trends, games or characters, left an impression on those to think about safety measures that otherwise had the potential to be largely ignored.

Example 3: Locust Grove Police Department:

Don’t be afraid to be inspired by what’s around you. The more you can use popular culture to your advantage, the higher likelihood your messages about safety will cause others to watch or read what you have to say, and even more so, that people will actually listen to them. The goal is to not only catch someone’s eye, it’s to get them to listen to what you have to say.

Posted in Social Media | Tagged , , , ,

IACP Annual Conference and Exposition: A Family Affair

January is IACP Membership Month and to celebrate we will be highlighting some of our members and membership opportunities. The following post features two IACP members and their experience at the most recent IACP Annual Conference and Exposition.

iacp-members-father-son-1The IACP 2016 Annual Conference and Exposition in San Diego, California was a special one for Jim and Steve Fetterman, a father and son who are both law enforcement professionals. It was Steve’s first conference as an IACP member and Jim’s last.

Jim, a retired assistant chief from the Canton, Ohio, Police Department, has been an IACP member since 1977. He attended his first conference in Albuquerque, New Mexico in 1994 and has attended 11 conferences over the years. Steve is currently a Lieutenant with the Louisville, Ohio, Police Department and has been an IACP member since 2014.

When asked why he attended this year’s conference, Steve replied, “I attended the conference this year mainly because my dad, Jim, had asked me to attend with him as it would most likely be the last one he was going to. He’s 76 now and has gone to the conferences for many years. This was my first time as a member of IACP.”

Both father and son greatly enjoyed attending the education sessions at conference in order to further their professional development. They also enjoyed the opportunities to network with fellow law enforcement from all over the world as well as those from their home state of Ohio.

The best moment of this past conference for Jim? “Being there with our son on his first attendance as a police lieutenant. His mother and I are so very proud of him and look forward to the day he may become chief of police.”

Steven echoed his father’s statement. “I have always been very proud of my father and his career. For us to be together at a conference was pretty special. Kind of a passing of the torch.”

Learn more about the IACP Annual Conference and Exposition, which will be held October 21-24, 2017, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Posted in Annual Conference and Exposition, Membership

NESPAC 2016 Women in Law Enforcement Leadership Conference


The New England State Police Administrators Conference (NESPAC), which is responsible for hosting and planning various conferences and trainings for New England State Police agencies, hosted its first Women in Law Enforcement Leadership Conference in October. Massachusetts State Police Detective Lieutenant Carla Pivero and New Hampshire State Police Lieutenant Nicole Armaganian both sit on the NESPAC Women in Law Enforcement Leadership Conference Committee, and spoke with IACP regarding how the conference came to be, and the benefits to hosting a regional leadership conference dedicated to women.

The NESPAC Women in Law Enforcement Leadership Conference works to promote professionalism among women who serve in the field of law enforcement through education, training, mentoring, and encouragement by:

  • Providing a forum for information exchange between women in law enforcement,
  • Acting as a network and support system for women in law enforcement,
  • Serve as a resource for issues that affect women in the profession of law enforcement,
  • Foster formal and informal working relationships amongst attendees,
  • Enhance the overall image and recognition of women in law enforcement within the communities they serve.

Former New Hampshire State Police Colonel Robert Quinn originally suggested hosting a leadership conference for women after attending an IACP Women in Leadership training in 2012. Colonel Quinn realized how much of an asset the training was and wanted to create a similar in-house training that would be more accessible for all of his women troopers and those throughout New England.

After a couple years of individual agencies hosting small, in-house trainings dedicated to women, NESPAC formed a committee specific to the Women in Law Enforcement Leadership Conference. At least one representative from each state (Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, Rhode Island, and Connecticut) sits on the committee so that each state agency participates and contributes to the location, planning, and content of the conference. The NESPAC 2016 Women in Law Enforcement Leadership Conference was hosted by Massachusetts State Police (MSP) in New Braintree, Massachusetts at the Massachusetts State Police Academy.

 Conference Logistics

The conference took place October 20-October 21, 2016, and consisted of two full training days that included topics such as leadership/folnespac-2lowership, leadership during crisis, suicide prevention and awareness, and balancing home-work life. There was also a panel of women who have held executive command leadership roles, both retired and currently serving. The two-day conference was free to all attendees (excluding travel costs), and women were welcome to stay overnig
ht in the MSP Academy dorms if they were not from the area. MSP covered the cost of food during the conference, with contributions being donated from local restaurants as well. Over 160 female troopers from across New England attended the conference.

Key Takeaways

 Lieutenant Pivero and Lieutenant Armaganian cited informal and formal networking as one of the most important benefits to having a leadership conference for women in law enforcement. “We need to do a better job of recruiting women, but we really need to do a better job of keeping the quality troopers we have,” says Lieutenant Armaganian. The conference allows women to connect with other women in law enforcement and realize that they have colleagues and friends facing the same challenges. The conference received praise from women who are new to law enforcement as well as women who have been in law enforcement for 20-40 years.

The conference also received great feedback from men in executive leadership positions. Similar to how Colonel Quinn felt after attending WLI for the first time, colonels present at the 2016 Women in Law Enforcement Leadership Conference admitted that they cannot see the law enforcement field or the challenges it faces from a woman’s perspective—but that fostering such diversity in thinking is critical to retaining women troopers in their agencies and leading stronger agencies altogether.

The conference was a tremendous success, and has now become an important staple for NESPAC. With so much positive feedback, Lieutenant Armaganian and Detective Lieutenant Pivero agree that more states and regions should host law enforcement leadership conferences for women. Women account for only 12% of law enforcement officers nationally, so one of the most important features of a policing leadership conference specific to women is merely reminding women troopers that they are not alone in the field, and that women can and should excel in law enforcement executive positions. In January 2016, Detective Lieutenant Pivero and Lieutenant Armaganian attended IACP’s week-long Women’s Leadership Institute (WLI). This international training program develops current and future leaders and focuses on the unique challenges facing women leaders in law enforcement. As a result of their attendance, the New Hampshire State Police is hosting a WLI in Concord, New Hampshire, August 20-25, 2017. Lieutenant Pivero says: “It empowers women to take a look at where they want to be five years from now. You can do it! But you have to have goals; you have to have a strategy in place.” It is clear that the NESPAC Women in Law Enforcement Leadership Conference is an incredible resource for New England women looking to develop those strategies.


This conference also boasted the first-ever all-women NESPAC Color Guard.

Posted in Uncategorized

IACP Releases Four-Part Training Video: The Crime of Domestic Violence

The crime of domestic violence is complex and law enforcement officers often feel frustrated and discouraged when responding. Officers provide as much support to victims as possible, but when equipped with a better understanding of the nuances and dynamics of this intimate partner crime, they can more effectively address victims’ needs and hold offenders accountable. In order to present law enforcement with information to strengthen the response to victims of domestic violence, the IACP has created a four-part training video: The Crime of Domestic Violence, with support from the U.S. Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women. This video highlights the realities and complexities of domestic violence and provides strategies for effective investigations.

Segment 1: Critical Context

“Leaving is a process, not an event”

As first responders, law enforcement officers play a significant role supporting victims of violence and providing needed support. It is critical that officers build an understanding of the dynamics of power and control as well as the course of conduct nature of domestic violence. Until misconceptions and frustrations about victims and victim behaviors are addressed, the response to this crime will be unsuccessful and potentially harmful. This segment will begin to unpack many of these misperceptions and present information to strengthen the overall understanding of this complex crime.


Segment 2: On Scene Response

“You’ve got to look at the history”

Domestic violence is a course of conduct crime. There are often multiple incidents and abusive behaviors over an extended period of time. Responding officers need to be equipped with this understanding in order to capture pertinent details to support the victim, hold the offender accountable, and a conduct a thorough, comprehensive investigation. It is critical that officers build rapport and trust with victims when on-scene. The second segment provides information about documenting threats, intimidation, trauma, and fear, as well as effective report writing, and conducting supportive interviews to empower victims.

Segment 3: Offender Realities & Threats to Officers

“You can’t separate officer safety from victim safety”

Isolation. Coercion. Manipulation. Threats. The tactics that perpetrators of abuse use to control victims are often the same tactics they will use on responding officers. When the abuser’s power is threatened, domestic violence calls can put officers in risk of harm and, all too often, become lethal situations. Segment three highlights the danger/lethality of domestic violence calls, information about offender behaviors that may indicate increased risk for victims and officers, and details that officers should gather before approaching a scene.


Segment 4: Working Together   

You need everyone if you’re going to make a difference

Law enforcement alone cannot provide all the needed support and resources to victims; it takes partnerships. By establishing multiagency, multidisciplinary collaborations, the needs of victims and communities overall can be better provided for. The fourth segment presents compelling details about how partnerships and collaborations can impact the safety and healing of victims, as well as strengthen law enforcement investigations. Segment four highlights promising practices for responding to domestic violence and effective collaborative models, and the benefits of such alliances.

You can view the four-part training video, The Crime of Domestic Violence, online. To receive a DVD copy of the video, or if you have questions, please contact stopviolence@theiacp.org.






Posted in Victim Services | Tagged

Technology Education: From Concept to Real-World Application

Today’s law enforcement professionals face unprecedented challenges as technology rapidly emerges and changes. Offenders are using the latest technology to operate efficiently and cover their tracks, from cybercrimes that compromise personal information and muddy the jurisdictional waters to complex drug operations running within the shadows of their communities. The number of internet-enabled devices such as personal fitness bands or smart appliances—even children’s toys—that collect and record many forms of digital information are providing law enforcement with more and more sources of digital evidence.  While law enforcement rises to challenge every day, they need the tools and strategies to keep up in an evolving landscape.

PrintThe 2017 IACP Technology Conference, sponsored by the IACP Law Enforcement Information Management (LEIM) Section (May 22-24, 2017 in St. Louis, Missouri) is designed to do just that. Featuring 3 plenary sessions, 30 workshops, and an exhibit floor, attendees will be able to hear practitioners and industry experts share best practices and lessons learned in the innovative application of technology to improve officer safety and public safety, enhance efficiency and effectiveness of operations, and build enterprise-wide information sharing capabilities.

Workshops at the conference cover a broad array of law enforcement technology topics, and to aid attendees in selecting which workshops to attend, the Technology Conference educational program is organized into three tracks: Executive, Operational, and Technical. Sessions in the Executive Track include high-level discussions about the policy, operational, and legal considerations an agency should evaluate when implementing or managing a technology program. The Operational Track focuses on the planning, implementation, and management of technology projects. Sessions in the Technical Track discuss the technical side of projects, including data sharing, encryption, hardware, software, and much more.

The theme of this year’s conference is “Smart Communities = Safe Communities.” Technology is no longer in its own unique silo; it now plays an integral role in day-to-day policing with operational tools like body-worn cameras and CCTVs to digital evidence collection and using community informatics to identify traffic flow trends. The conference theme builds upon the smart cities concept of integrating multiple information and communication solutions to enhance the quality, performance, and interactivity of law enforcement services; reduce costs and resource requirements; and improve contacts between community members and government, regardless of agency or community type.

“Smart Communities = Safe Communities” also reflects the reality that federal, state, county, and municipal governments and law enforcement agencies across the country must work together to connect and share relevant public safety information. As with law enforcement agencies, information technology professionals, whether employed by a law enforcement or government agency, face various challenges depending on location, budgets, and existing infrastructure. In addition to workshops addressing these issues, the conference provides plenty of networking opportunities for attendees to meet with their peers and industry solution providers to learn new techniques, advance their knowledge and careers, and equip their agencies for ongoing success.

Registration for the conference is now open. We look forward to seeing you at the 2017 IACP Technology Conference!


Posted in Education & Training, Technology

New Year’s Resolutions with the IACP

The IACP would like to wish its members and all those in law enforcement a safe and happy New Year. With the new year comes resolutions, and this year, we’d like you to consider making IACP a part of your professional resolutions. Here are just a few ideas to help you make the most of 2017.

Connect: January is membership month! If you are already a member, this is a great time to renew your membership for 2017. If you have already renewed, consider sponsoring a new chief or encourage non-command level staff to become a member to begin developing the leaders of tomorrow. Not yet a member of IACP? Learn more about the benefits of being a member and join today.

Participate: Start the year off right and register for the IACP 2017 Annual Conference and Exposition in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Take advantage of the unmatched educational programs and opportunity to network with thousands of other dedicated professionals. Also consider attending the annual Technology or Drug, Alcohol, and Impaired Driving conferences. Both provide forums in which to share best practices and lessons learned as well as opportunities to network with leading experts in the field.

Learn: The IACP holds countless trainings throughout the year. Consider registering for a training opportunity to learn more about the latest techniques and trends in the field. The IACP already has trainings events on a number of topics scheduled for 2017. Secure your spot today.

Advocate: Reach out to elected officials for their support on important issues affecting law enforcement. Take a look at the IACP’s policy priorities or critical issue messaging materials to best prepare yourself to advocate for the profession.

Succeed: IACP has a plethora of resources to help your agency be the best it can be. The IACP’s services include: management studies, executive searches, technical assistance, and police promotional testing. Or check out the many programs and resources IACP has available including the IACP Model Policies, which can assist departments in developing law enforcement policy. Download a new resource or request more information about the services IACP provides.

We wish you a safe and happy 2017.

Posted in Education & Training, Membership

Reducing Crime and Disorder through Collaborative Community Engagement

The Task Force on 21st Century Policing offers recommendations for building trust and creating opportunities for working with the community to increase public safety. Highlights include: developing and adopting policies and strategies that reinforce the importance of community engagement in managing public safety, adopting preferences for seeking “least harm” resolutions, and establishing formal community/citizen advisory committees to assist in developing crime prevention strategies.

indio-patchThe Indio, California, Police Department knows the community can be a vital resource in reducing crime and increasing safety. The department’s Office of Community Safety engages, educates, and supports the community through such programs as Business Watch, Neighborhood Watch, the Crime Free Multi-Housing Program, Crime Prevention through Environmental Design, and the Community Outreach Resource Program (CORP).  Partnering research institutions, the University of California, Riverside and Arizona State University, evaluate the programs on an ongoing basis to monitor effectiveness.  One of the standout programs is the Community Outreach Resource Program (CORP), which utilizes the collaborative resources of community stakeholders, businesses, state and local organizations and agencies to identify and implement solutions to assist community members in need with getting the right help.  corp-flyer-new

Community Outreach Court

The main component within CORP is the Community Outreach Court, a program that prevents using court resources to prosecute homeless offenders in a revolving door of minor offenses, such as loitering, panhandling, and trespassing. The Indio Police Department recognized that a large amount of the calls for service were disorder crimes committed by the homeless population. Knowing that reducing homelessness would reduce crime and disorder in Indio, Richard Twiss, the chief of police at that time, created a committee comprised of law enforcement officers, courts, prosecutors, probation officers, public defenders, social service workers, behavioral health workers, workforce development service workers, and several non-profit executives to develop and run the Community Outreach Court.

This multidisciplinary strategy grants qualifying individuals with low-level pending criminal charges an alternative to traditional court that alleviates financial burdens, eliminates obstacles to future job prospects, and provides treatment services and education. Individuals are referred to the Community Outreach Court by community-based and faith-based non-profit organizations serving low-income families, transients, and homeless individuals, as well as by substance abuse and mental health service providers that work with the homeless and other vulnerable populations.

indio-court-graduationAfter the District Attorney’s Office completes a background check on the candidate, the court’s review committee discusses the candidate’s participation with external partner programs and his or her criminal background to determine fit for the program. Upon acceptance by the committee, an individualized treatment program is developed for each client. This may include education, job training, drug treatment, and mental health services. When the client successfully completes his or her treatment program, the court dismisses the fines and fees. Removing financial burdens and offering treatment programs help the clients overcome barriers and integrate more successfully into the community. Since the Community Outreach Court’s implementation in 2015, 81 clients have completed the program and nearly $200,000 in fines and fees have been dismissed.

Quality of Life Officers

Another primary strategy within CORP is the assignment of two full-time Quality of Life officers that focus on targeting disorder hot spots and minimizing the use of arrest. As The Task Force on 21st Century Policing recommends, community policing should focus on interventions and prevention through problem solving with building collaborative partnerships. The Quality of Life officers make use of the many resources within the community to try and get help for those in trouble without turning to incarceration.

The Quality of Life officers assist the Community Outreach Court in reaching out and connecting with the homeless population and in identifying potential participants for the program. The officers also educate local business owners on crime prevention through environmental design and go out of their way to let each community member they come in contact with know that they are there to help. The Quality of Life officers serve their community members well beyond enforcement.

The Indio Police Department understands that the best way to ensure the community’s safety is through utilizing community resources to assist those in need. By working collaboratively with a myriad of social service and criminal justice system resources such as the Community Outreach Court, the department is better able to manage public safety.


This blog post is part of a series highlighting best practices in advancing 21st century policing as part of the IACP Institute for Community-Police Relations. Indio is one of fifteen sites selected for participation in the Advancing 21st Century Policing Initiative, a joint project of the COPS OfficeCNA, and the IACP to highlight agencies who are actively embracing the principles in the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing.



Posted in Community-Police Relations

A Walk Through History Towards a Safer Future

The 21st Century Policing Task Force Report offers several recommendations for building enhanced relationships between law enforcement officers and the community that they serve, including
acknowledging the role of policing in past and present injustices. One of the recommendations notes the importance of embracing a guardian mindset.

An example of acknowledging past and present injustices is the history walk in the Atlanta, Georgia, Police Department (APD). There is a hallw5124281757_c645295718ay within the department that greets visitors and employees with images of the department’s past. There are pictures and newspaper clippings of the City of Atlanta and the police department’s historical moments. The pictures convey the great strides that the department has made. The history walk shows just how far the department has come in an effort to increase justice in the City of Atlanta.

scad-history-presentation-6In an effort to connect with the local community and get officers top-quality training, APD
has partnered with the King Center and their Nonviolence365Training.  Nonviolence365™ is an interactive, train-the-trainer model experience that engages participants in discussions about Dr. King’s nonviolent philosophy and methodology. The curriculum was integrated into the police training academy’s program to focus on guardian mentality and to highlight the history and culture of Atlanta.

new-imageDr. King’s nonviolent philosophy advocates for seeking to defeat injustice, to win understanding, and to have courage in the face of violence. Law enforcement officers are taught the nonviolent philosophy and methodology from a police perspective. The Nonviolence365™ training is way to ensure that future injustices are reduced and that officers and residents work together to produce a safe community. Atlanta PD and King Center.png

Together with the help of the community, the Nonviolence365™ training focuses on the core issue and not the symptoms to significantly reduce violence and disorder. The training is a holistic training that empowers the police and the community to make the necessary changes.

The next steps in the training will be for the King Center to work with APD and help train the community and various stakeholders, such as the faith community, businesses, school administration, probation officers, judges, and youth.


This blog post is part of a series highlighting best practices in advancing 21st century policing as part of the IACP Institute for Community-Police Relations. Atlanta is one of fifteen sites selected for participation in the Advancing 21st Century Policing Initiative, a joint project of the COPS Office, CNA, and the IACP to highlight agencies who are actively embracing the principles in the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing.


Posted in Community-Police Relations, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

IACP Gives Back

The IACP has always been committed to giving back to the community of Alexandria,holiday-1 Virginia, where headquarters is located. The association holds internal fundraisers throughout the year, as well as a holiday toy drive for a local charity. But this year we wanted to do something more.

holiday-2In a new spin on the annual holiday party, IACP staff remained in the office and dedicated time to give back to the community. This past Friday, staff gathered together to create 100 essential kits containing items like laundry detergent, soap, and other basic toiletries for the men and women of the Carpenter Shelter. The Carpenter Shelter supports homeless individuals in achieving sustainable independence through shelter, guidance,
education, and advocacy.

holiday-3IACP’s Executive Director/CEO, Vincent Talucci explained the change to the holiday party structure, “We are staying in this year to celebrate our good fortune and to give back to those who may not be so fortunate. It is a good reminder of who we are and who we represent, a nonprofit organization that serves public servants. This is our turn to give to a good cause.”img_7602

IACP staff was enthusiastic about the change, so much so, that that a community service project will become a quarterly event.




Posted in Uncategorized

Continued Commitment to Effectiveness

Guest Blogger: Chief Keith Humphrey, Norman, Oklahoma, Police Department

blog-1There have been many significant changes in the policing field since the 1970s. Training topics have expanded, there is more effort to diversify the force to reflect the community, and there is a much better use of technology to increase public safety. Despite those changes, it is still obvious more effective changes are required. Given recent events, such as the shootings in Ferguson, Missouri; Baltimore, Maryland; Tulsa, Oklahoma; and Charlotte, North Carolina, along with the critical views and reviews of our profession, we must continue to display professionalism and our commitment to effectiveness and excellence.

In order to continue a commitment to effectiveness, the policing profession must build and maintain trust within communities. For our profession to regain and retain credibility in all communities, humility and transparency must exist. Admitting that things can be done better is a good place to start. Review of policies, community relations, use of force protocols, and leadership must be thorough. Obtaining assistance from outside resources can end in positive results for all. Outside resources can include community groups, such as citizen police academies and community forums or meetings, and research from universities or law enforcement policy and research organizations.

We must also realize that there is more than one way to do something. Failure to change will always cause organizational stagnation. The law enforcement profession that we once knew is a thing of the past. Community policing is no longer a term that will be accepted by a community without its respective department having a strategic plan.
badgeEffective training for officers in the areas of communication, emotional intelligence, and implicit and explicit bias as well as a commitment to build strong partnerships between citizens and their police departments is imperative. Effective and efficient policing requires the elimination of complacency, the restoration of humility, and the expectation of unity by both internal and external stakeholders.

There are many possible solutions to developing more effective policing. One suggestion is requiring updated policies and procedures to coincide with federal and state requirements. Training in leadership, cultural diversity awareness, emotional intelligence, crisis intervention, and de-escalation should become standardized law enforcement programs. Lastly, honesty regarding the long history of concerns involving law enforcement and communities of color through external and internal conversations is crucial.

All communities expect and deserve quality customer service. Our profession must continue to demonstrate to our communities, and the nation, that we are committed in our efforts to restore trust and build partnerships.

This blog post is part of a series highlighting best practices in advancing 21st century policing as part of the IACP Institute for Community-Police Relations, particularly those that address recommendations from the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing final report. The Institute is funded through the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Community Oriented Policing Services and the Motorola Solutions Foundation. Learn more about the ICPR.

Posted in Community-Police Relations | Tagged