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Back to Archives | Back to November 2006 Contents 


Protecting Civil Rights: A Leadership Guide for State, Local, and Tribal Law Enforcement
The effectiveness of the police depends on the trust and confidence of the community. If civil rights of individuals or groups within a community are compromised, public trust and confidence in the police are diminished. Without trust, police become less legitimate in the eyes of the public. Compromised relations with the community result in strained relations and in less effective law enforcement.

With funding from and collaboration with the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS), a component of the U.S. Department of Justice, IACP produced this guide as a comprehensive overview of the civil rights issues and challenges that face today’s law enforcement leaders. The guide describes the processes by which agencies with alleged pattern-or-practice civil rights violations are investigated and monitored. It offers lessons learned, resources, and strategies for protecting and promoting civil rights across the varied communities’ police agencies serve.

Topics addressed include the following:
• Federal pattern-or-practice civil rights investigations and agreements
• Community policing
• Benefits of early intervention strategies
• Effective management of use of force
• Fair and open investigation of citizen complaints
• Bias-free policing
• Personnel and data management issues related to civil rights

Besides the COPS Office, IACP worked with other components of the U.S. Department of Justice in developing this guide.

The publication is available on the IACP Web site at .

For more information, please call John Markovic at the IACP at 800-THE-IACP, extension 801, or send a message to him at

2006 J. Stannard Baker Award for Highway Safety
Recipients of the 2006 J. Stannard Baker Award for Highway Safety were Deputy Commissioner Joseph A. Farrow of the California Highway Patrol and Lieutenant Joel A. Bolton of the Lake Charles Police Department in Lake Charles, Louisiana.

Sponsored by the IACP, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), and the Northwestern University’s Center for Public Safety, this prestigious award annually recognizes individual law enforcement officers and others who have made significant outstanding lifetime contributions to highway safety.

To receive this award, an individual must first be nominated by a law enforcement agency or other traffic safety group or official; the individual must also be a full-time paid law enforcement officer of a state, county, metropolitan, or municipal agency or be someone who has made a significant lifetime contribution to highway safety as a traffic engineer, educator, judge, prosecutor, or motor vehicle examiner or in another capacity.

Farrow was selected as a 2006 recipient for his sustained, continuous, and career-spanning initiative and creativity in developing, implementing, and improving traffic safety programs and technologies in the state of California and for his willingness to promote both nationally and internationally significant traffic safety issues.

Bolton was selected for his sustained, continuous, and career-spanning initiative and creativity in developing and promoting traffic safety programs in and beyond Lake Charles, Louisiana.

The award is managed by the IACP, and the selection panel is made up of the members of the IACP Highway Safety Committee.

The award presentation occurred during the annual IACP conference. For more information, please call Richard Ashton at 800-THE IACP, extension 276, or send a message to him at

IACP and ITT Recognize Five Agencies for Community Policing
The IACP and ITT Night Vision (ITT) selected five agencies from more than 100 entries to receive the 2006 Community Policing Award. For the third consecutive year, agency submissions also were reviewed for their efforts in homeland security, and two agencies were selected for special recognition.

Law enforcement agencies were eligible in five categories based on population. This year’s five winners are examples of community policing best practices. Their entries demonstrate the meaningful change that can occur when law enforcement officials and their communities are empowered to utilize all available resources for crime prevention. The winners are as follows:

Population 20,000 or fewer
Highland Village Police Department
Highland Village, Texas

Population 20,001 to 50,000
Leesburg Police Department
Leesburg, Virginia

Population 50,001 to 100,000
Greeley Police Department
Greeley, Colorado

Population 100,001 to 250,000
Royal Bahamas Police Force
Nassau, Bahamas

Population 250,001 or more
Minneapolis Police Department
Minneapolis, Minnesota

In addition, the committee selected
eight finalists:

Population 20,000 or fewer
Cherry Hills Village Police Department
Cherry Hills Village, Colorado

Gulf Breeze Police Department
Gulf Breeze, Florida

Population 50,001 to 100,000
Janesville Police Department
Janesville, Wisconsin

Mansfield Division of Police
Mansfield, Ohio

North Little Rock Police Department
North Little Rock, Arkansas

Population 100,001 to 250,000
Caguas Municipal Police Department
San Juan, Puerto Rico

Population 250,001 or more
Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department
Las Vegas, Nevada

Police Service of Northern Ireland Belfast

“Law enforcement roles are in flux as we wage war on both crime and terror, but community policing should always be the foundation,” said IACP President Mary Ann Viverette, chief of police in Gaithersburg, Maryland. “As law enforcement agencies continue to experience firsthand the positive impacts of effective community policing, we expect to see even more philosophical shifts and award-winning initiatives.”

The agencies recognized this year for their homeland security programs are the Los Angeles Police Department in Los Angeles, California, and York Regional Police in Newmarket, Ontario. These agencies demonstrated how community policing philosophy and practices are integral in terrorism prevention and response. Through involvement, awareness, and action, agencies and communities moved another step closer to winning the war on terror.

ITT and the IACP Community Policing Committee developed the Community Policing Award in 1998 to recognize outstanding community policing initiatives by law enforcement agencies worldwide.

“Cooperation among community members and law enforcement is vital to the successful implementation of policing initiatives,” said Larry Curfiss, ITT vice president and director of business development. “ITT Night Vision is proud to partner with the IACP Community Policing Committee to recognize agencies that use the power of partnership to make our local, national, and global communities safer from crime and terrorism.”

A preliminary judging panel of 24 and a final panel of five chiefs of police and law enforcement officials reviewed more than 100 nominations from the United States and 11 entries from six countries outside the United States (Canada, India, Northern Ireland, Royal Bahamas, Serbia, and South Africa) and the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico. The first panel selected the top 16 nominations. The final panel reviewed these nominations to select eight finalists and five winners.

For more information about the award program, visit .

Felons Buy Substantial Amounts of Ammunition
Felons and others who are prohibited by law from buying ammunition purchase substantial amounts of bullets and shotgun shells sold in Los Angeles, California, according to a new Rand Corporation study.

With support from the National Institute of Justice, researchers analyzed records detailing ammunition sales made during April and May of 2004 at 10 of the 13 retail stores in the city of Los Angeles that sell bullets and shotgun shells to the public.

A total of 2,031 persons purchased 436,956 rounds of ammunition during the study period. This included 10,050 rounds of ammunition purchased by 52 persons with felony convictions or other violations on their records that legally prohibit them from buying ammunition.

While federal and state laws prohibit certain people from buying ammunition, there are no mechanisms to enforce the rules. Los Angeles and a few other cities require ammunition sellers to collect information about the purchasers, but in the past those records were not routinely reviewed.

“Strategies to reduce gun violence in communities thus far have focused intensely on the guns,” said George Tita, a criminologist at the University of California, Irvine, and lead author of the study that appears in the October edition of the journal Injury Prevention. “More effective policies will need to address access to ammunition as well as access to guns.”

The study examined only a short period of time, but researchers say it provides the first reliable information about whether ammunition is routinely purchased by people who are barred from possessing ammunition.

“We found that it’s not uncommon for people with criminal records simply to buy ammunition at a retail store,” said Greg Ridgeway, coauthor of the study and a researcher at Rand, a nonprofit research organization. “It is particularly risky for communities to have guns and ammunition in the hands of such people.”

Past studies have shown that guns and ammunition possessed by felons and others prohibited from owning weapons are more likely to be used in violent crimes than weapons bought by people with no criminal histories.

People who buy ammunition in the city of Los Angeles must show a driver’s license or other photo identification and leave a fingerprint with the seller, who maintains records about the transaction. An unsuccessful bill introduced in the California legislature in 2005 would have required ammunition dealers in California to log all ammunition sales and their purchasers in a state database.

The Rand study says if lawmakers want to prohibit the illegal sale of ammunition they could extend the instant background checks required before guns are sold to also cover the sale of ammunition.

But unless such a step was taken at the state level, buyers could simply purchase ammunition in a nearby city to get around a local law. In addition, people prohibited from purchasing ammunition could begin buying ammunition from unregulated private sellers in the secondary firearms markets, researchers said.

However, studies conducted by other researchers in different communities with high levels of gun violence found that more careful enforcement of ammunition purchases may not necessarily lead to the creation of a black market in ammunition, according to researchers.

Another alternative is for law enforcement officials to take advantage of ammunition sales records to provide tips about felons who may illegally possess firearms, according to researchers. Ammunition logs have been used by Los Angeles area law enforcement officials to obtain search warrants that have led to the recovery of illegal firearms, according to the study.

Researchers say their study was limited by the small number of ammunition sales outlets involved and the relatively brief study period. Most of the outlets studied are located in the San Fernando Valley in the northern section of Los Angeles.

Other authors of the study are Anthony Braga of Harvard University and Glenn L. Pierce of Northeastern University. For more information, visit .


From The Police Chief, vol. 73, no. 11, November 2006. Copyright held by the International Association of Chiefs of Police, 515 North Washington Street, Alexandria, VA 22314 USA.

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