Chief Joseph Samuels Jr., Richmond, California
|Chief Joseph Samuels Jr. Richmond, California|
The last 12 months have been both professionally and personally challenging, exciting, and very rewarding. The opportunity to serve as your president has been one of the highlights of my life and law enforcement career. Please accept my thanks for your support of me over the years and your continued service to the International Association of Chiefs of Police and this honorable and noble profession.
Last year, during my inaugural address, I outlined eight initiatives that I believed would allow the IACP to successfully meet the challenges facing our profession and organization. These initiatives ranged from strengthening our research efforts to enhancing collaborative strategies with private sector security. As my term as your president draws to a close, I am pleased to report that we have achieved or made significant progress on each initiative.
Collaborate with Partners to Advocate Top Three Legislative Priorities
Over the last year, the IACP has worked closely with the National Sheriffs' Association, the Major Cities Chiefs Association, the Police Executive Research Foundation, and the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives on a variety of legislative initiatives of critical importance to the law enforcement community. For example, the IACP has joined with these organizations to advocate for higher funding levels for law enforcement assistance programs, for the development of the grant process for the Department of Homeland Security, and for additional radio spectrum. Our collective voice has been heard by and responded to by legislators, regulators, and administration officials.
Increase Cooperation with Private-Sector Security
Private-sector security represents a vast and vital resource, and we must expand our existing partnership with them.
I am pleased to note that the IACP, with support from the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services, will hold a national summit in January 2004 to examine the potential that innovative partnerships between public police and private security can bring to the problem of terrorism and public disorder response.
The goal of the summit will be the development of a national strategy and plan to enhance collaboration among and between public-sector police agencies and private-sector security, focusing primarily on terrorism prevention and response and civil disorder. The outcomes and deliverables from the summit will be presented at the IACP's annual conference in Los Angeles in 2004.
Implement Mission-Oriented and Results-Based International Activities
Internationally, the IACP has made great strides by establishing world regional offices, conducting international executive policing seminars, and expanding the use of translation services at the annual conference and on the IACP Web site (www.theiacp.org). To build on this success, the IACP is developing a plan designed to increase our international presence and serve as a roadmap for the future growth of the IACP International Policing Division. The plan outlines focus on four areas: communication, affiliation, operations, and assistance.
Under the leadership of Brigadier General Eric Patterson of the Air Force Office of Special Investigations and IACP International Vice President Luc Closset, who together chair the IACP Ad Hoc Committee on International Initiative, we have made great strides in developing this plan, and I am confident that these efforts will allow the association to meet the challenge of increasing IACP global presence and impact. The ad hoc committee will be presenting an update on its efforts to the association's leaders this month during meetings at the annual conference.
Continue Efforts to Resolve Radio Spectrum and Communications Interoperability Issues
Our ability to communicate clearly and quickly with each other and our public safety counterparts is not a luxury; it is a critical and fundamental tool that is necessary if we are to protect the lives and property of the citizens we serve.
Over the past year, the IACP has continued its efforts-in partnership with other law enforcement associations such as the Major Cities Chiefs Association, National Sheriffs' Association, and the Major County Sheriffs' Association, as well as our friends at the Association of Public Safety Communications Officials International and the International Association of Fire Chiefs-to secure additional radio spectrum for public safety use, to promote increased funding for the improvement of public safety communications, to increase public awareness of the growing communication crisis affecting public safety agencies, and to promote interoperability of systems and equipment.
The IACP Communications and Technology Committee, chaired by Harlin McEwen, has been actively working on the association's behalf to help the public safety community reach this goal. Specifically, we have had meetings with key members of Congress, filed petitions with the Federal Communications Commission, and advocated our interests and expressed our concerns to administration officials and regulators. I commend the committee's members for their tireless and ongoing efforts.
Establish Formal Relations with Universities and Colleges to Expand Our Research Capacity and Efforts
We all realize that preventing crime and achieving important public safety objectives is more than a matter of resources and equipment; it is also matter of knowledge and understanding. It is about new ideas, new thinking, and new solutions. It is about management of knowledge we have acquired. Our members need to have recent and relevant information derived from progressive research.
I am pleased that the IACP, through support from the National Institute of Justice, has initiated a series of meetings with leading researchers and academics in the criminal justice field to examine the current status of policing-related research and to discuss ways in which the IACP can increase its involvement in this critical area.
Reexamine Race and Ethnicity in Police-Community Relations
Even as we do all that we can to protect our communities from the specter of terrorism and other crime, we cannot lose sight of the fact that we must not alienate citizens or groups of citizens within our communities.
For these reasons, the IACP Civil Rights Committee is working with the Department of Justice's Community Relations Service to develop a document that will provide our membership with the information and tools that will help strengthen relationships between police departments and their communities.
In addition, I am pleased to announce that the IACP, through a grant from the COPS Office, will be working to address issues related to federal pattern and practice and civil rights investigations. It is hoped that this project will allow for the development of best practices documents that will assist departments in their relationships with their communities, and in being proactive in establishing and implementing relevant policies and programs.
Sharpen Our Focus on the Prevention of Juvenile Crime and the Development of Young People
There can be little doubt that one of the most troubling issues that we face as police chiefs is youth crime and violence. All too often, our officers and departments are called to situations involving youthful offenders and, tragically, youthful victims of crime.
Therefore, the challenge before us both as a profession and as an association is how best to accomplish these goals of preventing juvenile crime and fostering a relationship with our communities that will allow law enforcement agencies to serve as a positive influence in the lives of juveniles.
To answer this challenge, earlier this year, I asked each IACP committee, section, and division to identify or outline a program intended to help develop young people. The IACP Juvenile Justice Committee, under the direction of its chair, Chief Steve White, has completed its review of the submissions. The committee and staff will organize the information and post this information on the IACP Web site. It is my hope that the IACP will be able to present (and keep current) this data in order to provide chiefs around the world with a series of "youth development" best practices that will allow us to tailor programs to meet our local needs and requirements.
Expand Traffic Safety Efforts
We have maintained and expanded the IACP's emphasis on traffic safety issues this year. We have accomplished these ends through public appearances focused on drugged and drunk drivers and the use of seat belts. Traffic safety was also featured in the July issue of the Police Chief. In addition, through a grant from the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, the IACP Highway Safety Committee has initiated the Law Enforcement Stops and Safety (LESS) initiative, which examines the factors that lead to police injuries and fatalities which result from vehicle crashes.
Although it is clear that the IACP has accomplished much in the last 12 months, it is also clear that much more remains to be done. Ours is a profession that is constantly evolving, presents new challenges, and requires the service and commitment of many. The IACP will continue its efforts to ensure that its members are provided with the tools and information necessary to succeed in our mission of protecting our communities and leading our organizations.
In closing, I would like to express my thanks to the members of the IACP Board of Officers and the Executive Committee. The dedication and commitment you have demonstrated over the past year was the driving force behind our association's continued success. In addition, I wish to thank the truly dedicated men and women of the IACP staff who work hard each day to help achieve the purposes, goals, and objectives of the association.
The last year placed many demands placed upon my time and required numerous trips away from home. To my wife Sabrina and my son Joseph, thank you for your understanding and support this year. I owe you a lot and love you even more.
Finally, I wish to thank all of the members of the IACP for the opportunity to serve as your president. I will always be grateful for and remain humbled by this unparalleled opportunity to lead the oldest and largest professional organization of law enforcement executives in the world.