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Back to Archives | Back to October 2007 Contents 

Project of the Historic Committee: Collecting, Preserving, and Displaying the IACP’s History

By Chief (Ret.) Mary Ann Viverette, North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, IACP Immediate Past President; Chief Michael J. Carroll, West Goshen Township Police Department, West Chester, Pennsylvania, IACP Fourth Vice President; and Chief (Ret.) David G. Walchak, New Braunfels, Texas, Chair, IACP Past Presidents Committee

Badge Presented to 1939 IACP Members

t the direction of the IACP Executive Committee, the association continues its efforts and commitment to capture the association’s history and bring it before various law enforcement and public audiences.

The IACP has made significant contributions to the development of the law enforcement profession since its establishment in 1893. From its early work on uniform crime records and fingerprint identification to today’s efforts focusing on community policing programs, less-lethal weapons, and terrorism, the IACP has a rich and significant history in working to lead and advance policing services around the world.

As an association we are working to pull the pieces of our history together in a manner that will allow us to tell our story or to share it with others through a display of historic artifacts. We need to collect these kinds of items to accomplish our goal, and this effort sets the IACP out on a long and somewhat complicated mission, which can be successful only with the support of the entire membership.

The IACP already has in its possession a variety of colorful and interesting items that are relics from our past. For example, we have a badge that was given to delegates at the 1939 annual meeting in San Francisco, California, pictured with this announcement. We also have a program from the Eighth Annual Convention, held in May 1901 in New York City; photos of all the delegates assembled in one place from a variety of conferences; and the content of a November 1892 letter that Chief Webber Seavey of Omaha, Nebraska—the IACP’s first president—sent to several police chiefs inviting them to join him in Chicago to discuss creating an association for law enforcement executives.

These are the kinds of items we seek, and we need to gather a good deal more.

To govern this collection process, the IACP Executive Committee approved a collections management policy document at its August 2006 meeting that governs our history-related activities.

The document outlines the type of items of historic significance the association needs to secure. It suggests items such as publications, original correspondence, reports, photographs, audio and video recordings, conference banners and badges, gifts presented to the association, uniforms, hats, and equipment. All items selected for the IACP collection must have a clear connection to the association.

The policy addresses how these artifacts will be solicited. Collection efforts will be made through notices in The Police Chief and on the IACP Web site; presentations made at meetings of the IACP Division of State Associations of Chiefs of Police, Division of State and Provincial Police, and the International Policing Division; and at the IACP exhibit at the annual conference.

Significantly, any items offered to the association are first to be described in correspondence to the IACP’s executive director. The policy requires that items offered will be assessed for value and exhibition potential, uniqueness, the ability of the association to care for the object submitted, and a clear understanding of ownership or title of the item.

No item offered to the IACP will be accepted if it presents a danger to people or property, is a living collection, is a part of human remains, or if it violates international treaties or agreement laws. Items submitted for the collection must be in good condition and should not require extensive restoration work. They can be made available to the IACP as a gift or bequest, or on loan.

Every proposed piece for the collection will be presented to the IACP Board of Officers, and it will decide if the item will be accepted by the association. Before physical possession of any item is made, the board must approve plans developed by the executive director for the care and use of all collection items.

We will be providing our second display under this initiative within the IACP booth at the conference this year in New Orleans. Copies of the collection policy and other information regarding this initiative will be available.

All members are urged to stop by the display and to learn more about this program. We look forward to seeing you in October!■



From The Police Chief, vol. 74, no. 10, October 2007. Copyright held by the International Association of Chiefs of Police, 515 North Washington Street, Alexandria, VA 22314 USA.

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