By Elizabeth Currier, Manager, IACP Division of State Associations of Chiefs of Police, Alexandria, Virginia
|Photographs by Erin Schrad, Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police|
he IACP Division of State Associations of Chiefs of Police (SACOP) recently concluded its 2007 midyear conference in Saint Louis, Missouri. Seventy-nine delegates representing 32 states met March 3–5 to address the concerns of law enforcement administrators and the state associations. Yost Zakhary, chief of police in Woodway, Texas, and general chair of SACOP, led the conference.
SACOP, one of three IACP divisions, regularly brings together the leaders of the state associations to help them establish new levels of communication, coordinate state association activities, and create a forum for balancing states’ views on significant law enforcement issues.
Federal Programs Affecting States
Senior public liaison specialist Tawana Waugh of the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS), U.S. Department of Justice, addressed SACOP members during the business meeting of the midyear conference. The COPS office continues to advance community policing through its grants, publications, training, and technical assistance. Since 1994, COPS has invested $11.4 billion to help law enforcement put officers on the street and in schools nationwide and to help purchase technology to improve community public safety. In addition, COPS offers innovative approaches to help law enforcement address school safety as well as crime problems such as gangs, methamphetamine abuse, domestic violence, and human trafficking through its publications, Webcasts, and training.
In the federal government’s fiscal year 2007, COPS was appropriated nearly $542 million to provide funding for programs in technology, methamphetamine abuse, interoperable communications, school safety, law enforcement training, tribal law enforcement, and community policing development.1 The president’s fiscal year 2008 budget requests $32 million for COPS, including $4 million for community policing development and $28 million for management and administration.2 (For additional information on COPS resources, please visit the COPS Web site at www.cops.usdoj.gov or call the COPS Response Center at 1-800-421-6770.)
Special agent Larry Leon of the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) provided attendees with an overview of intelligence-driven enforcement operations, which rely on predictive intelligence. Also from the DEA, special agent Lou Milione gave a presentation on the nexus between drug trafficking and terrorism, which illustrated the importance of a continued vigilance in the war on drugs.
Dean Kuznieski, senior highway safety specialist, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), addressed the members on Section 410 funding to the states and outlined the initiatives and priorities that the NHTSA has for the coming years.
The SafeShield Project is a long-term SACOP initiative that examines existing and cutting-edge technology for the purpose of creating a personal protective system for the police officer of the future. SACOP has begun to collect statistics on the type, frequency, and severity of injuries that officers sustain in executing their daily duties.3 Ultimately, the SafeShield project aims to use these data to help create a uniform that will provide officers with a protective structure, incorporating communication, information, and environmental protective systems. Additional factors in officer safety, such as training and policy development, are also addressed.
During the midyear conference, SACOP members and their corporate partners discussed the business plan of the project and how it can receive greater publicity and acceptance in the law enforcement community. A workshop of best practices in officer safety will be presented at the 2007 IACP Annual Conference in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Smaller Department Assistance
The SACOP Smaller Department Section, chaired by Terry Milam, chief of police in Saint John’s, Missouri, focuses on the needs of police departments that serve populations smaller than 25,000 or have fewer than 25 sworn officers. Those concerns include training, budgets, recruitment, annual IACP conference attendance, and retention. This group advises the IACP regarding use of a U.S. Department of Justice grant that provides services, support, and technical assistance to smaller police departments. Topics addressed during the midyear meeting included distance learning and the formation of a “scholarship” program to allow chiefs from smaller agencies to attend the annual IACP conference.
SACOP Educational Program
In addition to the plenary presentations, SACOP conducts specific educational programs for the leaders of the state associations. This year SACOP held roundtables for state association presidents and executive directors.
State Association President Roundtables: SACOP inaugurated a roundtable forum for presidents of the individual state associations. During the roundtable discussion, several items were discussed including fundraising, legislative issues in the states, and differences in reporting NCIC data among states. Attended by 15 chiefs, this roundtable will be expanded and formalized in future midyear meetings.
Executive Directors Roundtable/Training: Executive directors of the state associations were provided with training and an opportunity to discuss matters of concern for the associations. Items included prioritizing funding partnerships between the NHTSA and the states to advance traffic safety initiatives in the states, member database systems, annual IACP conference housing, and vendor presentations. Several items for future discussion were identified, including royalty agreements for the use of logos for revenue, sponsorship information, and insurance policies.
IACP Board of Officers
Members of the IACP Board of Officers attended the SACOP meeting. Second vice president Chief Russell Laine addressed the members during the general business meeting and at the annual banquet. Also contributing their support, advice, and insight to the division’s deliberations were third vice president Chief Michael Carroll, treasurer and vice president Chief Carl Wolf, and past presidents Chief William Berger and Chief Joseph Estey.
The SACOP midyear conference enjoyed the support of many industry leaders and law enforcement partners. Assisting the division with its work were the Security Industry Alarm Coalition, DynCorp International, Raytheon, DuPont Advanced Fibers Systems, Motorola, ITT Night Vision, the Motion Picture Association of America, D.A.R.E. America, W. L. Gore and Associates, Network Environmental Systems, NexPort Solutions, Glock, and Anheuser-Busch.
The Missouri Police Chiefs Association cohosted the event, providing a host chiefs’ night at the Ameristar Casino, spouse functions, and a hospitality room for networking and much-deserved relaxation after the daily meetings and training.
The Maryland Chiefs of Police Association will host the 2008 meeting in Alexandria, Virginia. The meeting will include the legislative Day on the Hill activities.
SACOP encourages all IACP members to become active in their state associations. State associations can have a tremendous impact on the focus and direction of the IACP.■
1Applications for funding of local initiatives in these areas are available in May 2007. To sign-up for e-mail alerts through grants.gov, go to www.grants.gov/search/subscribeAdvanced.do, select “United States Department of Justice” in the Select Agency box, and enter 16.710 in the CFDA Number box to receive notification of COPS funding opportunities.
2See International Association of Chiefs of Police, The Impact of the Proposed FY 2008 Budget on State and Local Law Enforcement, April 9, 2007, www.theiacp.org/documents/pdfs/WhatsNew/BudgetReportFY2008.pdf.
3See Executive Summary: SafeShield Project Officer Injury Survey, April 9, 2007, www.theiacp.org/div_sec_com/DIV/ExecutiveSummarySafeShield.pdf.