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Back to Archives | Back to September 2007 Contents 


2007 Webber Seavey Award

Congratulations to the top 10 finalists for the Webber Seavey Award for Quality in Law Enforcement. The 10 finalists were chosen from among the 25 semifinalists listed below. The three winning agencies will be chosen from among the finalists and publicly announced at the annual IACP conference, October 13–17, 2007, in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Table of Winners

To find out more about the Webber Seavey Award and the judging criteria, visit the IACP Web site. For additional information contact Wendy Balazik at 800-THE-IACP, extension 264, or via e-mail at

Police Chiefs Guide to Immigration Issues

The IACP recognizes that immigration poses challenges for law enforcement agencies in many nations throughout the world. In the United States, immigration patterns and projected growth make immigration an issue of continuing importance. The controversy surrounding the question of whether state, tribal, and local levels of law enforcement should be involved in the enforcement of federal immigration law has resulted in inconsistent law enforcement responses. However, achieving a successful local law enforcement response to immigration issues is not easy; the issues are complex and difficult. Positions on these issues vary radically among citizens, governing body leaders, and even law enforcement agencies themselves.

Addressing this issue, the IACP has developed a Project Response document to provide police chiefs with an overview of the issues surrounding immigration, both legal and illegal; provides background information on the current resources available to law enforcement; and examines the concerns and obstacles that currently surround the debate over immigration enforcement by the state, tribal, and local law enforcement communities.

The IACP’s overarching concern in publishing this guide is the pressure that immigration issues are placing on local law enforcement agencies. This national issue is also a very local issue, and local police leaders face a growing set of immigration-related duties in the face of scarce and narrowing resources. It is critically important for local agencies to avoid being caught in the middle of endless battles over immigration policy. Local law enforcement leaders should use this report to craft reasonable approaches that can be accomplished in collaboration with governing bodies and community residents.

For a copy of the Police Chiefs Guide to Immigration Issues visit the IACP Web site at or contact Katerina Karakehagia at 800-THE–IACP, extension 392, or via e-mail at

Law Enforcement Employment Grows

There were about 1.1 million full-time state and local law enforcement employees in the United States, including about 732,000 sworn personnel as of September 30, 2004, according to the latest census report from the U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS). Local police departments were the largest employers, with 447,000 officers, followed by sheriffs’ offices, with 175,000; state law enforcement agencies, with 58,000; and other types of agencies, with 52,000.

From 2000 to 2004, the number of full-time sworn personnel employed by state and local law enforcement agencies increased by about 24,000, a smaller increase than those of prior four-year periods. From 1996 to 2000, 44,500 officers were added; from 1992 to 1996, 55,400 were added. From 2000 to 2004, the nationwide ratio of sworn personnel to residents actually declined slightly, from 252 per 100,000 to 249 per 100,000.

The largest gains in sworn personnel were in police departments serving Las Vegas, Nevada (23 percent); Austin, Texas (19 percent); Fairfax County, Virginia (17 percent); Atlanta, Georgia (11 percent); and Albuquerque, New Mexico (11 percent).

There were 17,876 state and local law enforcement agencies with at least one full-time officer operating in the United States in 2004. This included 12,766 local police departments (municipal, county, tribal, and regional), 3,067 sheriffs’ offices, 49 state law enforcement agencies, 1,481 special jurisdiction agencies (those that served a special geographic jurisdiction or had special enforcement or investigative responsibilities), and 513 other agencies, mostly county constable offices in Texas.

The BJS administers the Census of State and Local Law Enforcement Agencies and publishes the results every four years. Previous census publications appeared in 1992, 1996, and 2000.

The newest report, Census of State and Local Law Enforcement Agencies, 2004 (NCJ-212749), was written by BJS statistician Brian A. Reaves. It can be found at For additional information about the Bureau of Justice Statistics, visit the BJS Web site at

Harvard University Innovations in American Government Award

Harvard University, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, invites police departments to submit their applications for the Innovations in American Government Award. Administered by the Ash Institute for Democratic Governance and Innovation at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, this award is given annually to programs that serve as examples of creative and effective government at its best.

All levels of law enforcement agencies—federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial—are eligible to apply. Each of the winners of the 2008 Innovations Award will receive a $100,000 grant to support replication and dissemination activities.

Applications and additional information are available at the award Web site, Applications are due October 15, 2007.

New Edition of Use of Computers in the Sexual Exploitation of Children Available

The 40-page second edition of Use of Computers in the Sexual Exploitation of Children (NCJ 214167), released by the U.S. Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, updates the original guide with concise, practical information for law enforcement officers investigating child sexual exploitation involving computers. The guide describes the behavioral characteristics and practices of sexual predators who use computers to target children, provides best practices for investigations involving computer evidence, and summarizes the legal principles governing the search and seizure of computer systems.

Print copies of the new edition can be ordered online at Search by document name for quick access. The publication itself is not available online.

Updated International Parental Kidnapping Guide Issued

The U.S. Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention announces the second edition of A Family Resource Guide on International Parental Kidnapping (NCJ 215476). This report provides practical advice about preventing international kidnapping and increasing the chances that children who are kidnapped or wrongfully retained will be returned. It offers descriptions and assessments of civil and criminal remedies, explains applicable laws, identifies public and private resources, and identifies strategies to help parents recover their children or reestablish meaningful contact with them in another country. Important developments in policy and practice since the publication of the first edition in February 2002 are covered.

This resource is available online at Print copies may be ordered online at Search by document number for quick access.

Cocaine Use Declines among U.S. Workforce

New data from workplace drug tests conducted by Quest Diagnostics indicate an unprecedented reduction in cocaine use among the U.S. workforce. According to a special 2007 midyear report from Quest, there was a 15.9 percent decline in the number of drug test positives for cocaine among the combined U.S. workforce during the first six months of 2007 when compared with 2006 (0.58 percent in January–June 2007 versus 0.69 percent in the 2006 calendar year). The combined U.S. workforce is composed of general workers and federally mandated safety-sensitive workers.

John Walters, Director of National Drug Control Policy, said, “These data are encouraging. Cocaine has destroyed thousands of lives in the United States and brought lawlessness and misery to our neighbors. But in recent years, we have had unprecedented cooperation with leaders in Colombia and Mexico. Now is the time to build on this progress.”

In July, separate findings from federal intelligence and law enforcement sources noted reports of cocaine shortages in 37 U.S. cities during the first six months of 2007. Several of the cities noted by federal sources are also reporting increases in the price of cocaine—and in some instances a rapid doubling of prices—suggesting that the U.S. market for cocaine may be under strain. These findings are consistent with the Quest Diagnostics data reflecting a decline in cocaine positivity rates among U.S. workers during the first half of 2007.

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From The Police Chief, vol. 74, no. 9, September 2007. Copyright held by the International Association of Chiefs of Police, 515 North Washington Street, Alexandria, VA 22314 USA.

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