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Back to Archives | Back to October 2004 Contents 

President's Message

President's Message: The Year in Review

By Chief Joseph M. Polisar, Garden Grove, California


Chief Joseph M. Polisar, Garden Grove, California
Chief Joseph M. Polisar, Garden Grove, California

he 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 association and this honorable and noble profession.

Last year, during my inaugural address, I outlined several areas that would be the focus of the association's activities during my term as your president. These initiatives ranged from legislative efforts to strengthening our research efforts to enhancing collaborative strategies with private sector security. As my term draws to a close, I am pleased to report, in the paragraphs below, on the progress that we have made in these areas.

Leadership
As I stated in my inaugural address, it is my belief that one of the central responsibilities of the 21st-century police executive-and a critical prerequisite to organizational success-is leadership development. It is vital that we, as law enforcement executives, ensure that our organizations have programs in place that systematically develop leaders so our organizations have leadership in depth and are continuously preparing leaders for the future.

That is why the major focus of my presidency was the establishment of the Center for Police Leadership at the IACP. The center will be an institution in the IACP dedicated to assisting police chiefs and their agencies in their efforts to promote leadership at all levels. It will serve as a central training and resource point for law enforcement agencies around the world, providing on-site training and technical assistance and developing police leadership publications of both an academic and practical nature. It is the IACP's goal, through the work of the center, to provide quality leadership training and to provide leadership-oriented information to police agencies in the United States and around the world.

National Criminal
Intelligence Sharing Plan

On May 14, the IACP joined together with the Department of Justice, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Department of Homeland Security, and representatives of the federal, state, tribal, and local law enforcement community to endorse the National Criminal Intelligence Sharing Plan (NCISP). This event marked an important milestone in a critical journey that began at the IACP annual conference in 2001. It was at that meeting that the membership of the IACP identified the need for a comprehensive assessment to identify the inadequacies of the intelligence process that, in part, led to the failure to prevent the tragic events of September 11.

But it is also important to remember that the adoption of the NCISP represents only the start of a process that will require the full participation of all federal, state, tribal, and local law enforcement and homeland security agencies. We must work together to overcome the barriers and obstacles that confront us and forge a new partnership that will allow us to fulfill our mission and keep our promise to the citizens we are sworn to protect.

Legislative
As always, our legislative efforts on behalf of the law enforcement profession and police executives were a centerpiece of the IACP's activities. Throughout the year, the IACP has been actively involved in efforts related to public safety communications, highway safety, the use of DNA evidence, firearms regulations, and the reform of the national intelligence gathering system. While we did not always emerge victorious from these debates-for example, Congress failed to reauthorize the assault weapons ban-the IACP's viewpoint was always well known by policy makers.

In early March, the association held a very successful Day on the Hill event. More than 100 IACP members held more than 300 meetings with various senators and representatives to discuss the IACP concerns over critical issues related to federal funding for state, tribal, and local law enforcement agencies. This event received a great deal of positive media coverage both nationally-CNN and USA Today-and locally.

Events like Day on the Hill and the association's other legislative activities demonstrate that our elected leaders understand the impact their decisions have on public safety issues and on the ability of state and local law enforcement to provide the services and protection the citizens we serve expect and deserve.

IACP Foundation
The past year has been a dynamic and productive time for the IACP Foundation. Through the dedicated and focused work of an outstanding board of directors, the foundation has brought several programs on line that will benefit both specialized audiences as well as the whole of professional policing.

For example, the foundation has embarked on programs that will allow it to provide no-cost training to tribal and Indian Country law enforcement officers; support community crime prevention efforts; focus on issues of highway safety and emergency response driving; and provide funding that established a national fellowship program that permits law enforcement officers to serve six-month fellowships at IACP headquarters. In addition, the foundation has completed a planning study that will help guide our upcoming programs and fundraising activity.

I am sure that the IACP Foundation will continue to serve the needs of our members and the entire law enforcement community.

Cooperation by Private Security
and Public Law Enforcement

As part of our continuing effort to enhance the safety and security of communities throughout the United States and the world, the IACP, in partnership with the U.S. Department of Justice's Office of Community Oriented Policing Services and a broad-based group of private security and law enforcement professionals, released a comprehensive report that outlines a national strategy to strengthen existing partnerships between private security and public law enforcement agencies and to assist in the creation of new ones. The report is the outgrowth of a national policy summit on this issue that was held in January and provides law enforcement executives and our private security counterparts with the tools they need to accomplish this vital task.

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 they 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.

My family has sacrificed much these last eight years and I could not have fulfilled my many obligations to the IACP without their support. I thank them for their unconditional love.

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 this unparalleled opportunity to lead the oldest and largest professional organization of law enforcement executives in the world. ■

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From The Police Chief, vol. 71, no. 10, October 2004. Copyright held by the International Association of Chiefs of Police, 515 North Washington Street, Alexandria, VA 22314 USA.








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