By Carolyn Cockroft, Technical Management Specialist, Division of State and Provincial Police, IACP
he 2008 IACP Division of State and Provincial Police (S&P) held its midyear meeting March 3–7 at the Sheraton National Hotel in Arlington, Virginia.
S&P members joined with members of the IACP Legislative Committee and the Division of State Associations of Chiefs of Police for the Day on the Hill event. A briefing on IACP legislative issues was conducted on March 3; the next day, IACP representatives held individual meetings with members of Congress and their staffs explaining the IACP position on several important issues.1
Colonel Joseph (Rick) Fuentes, superintendent of the New Jersey State Police and S&P general chair, officially welcomed attendees to the midyear meeting during the opening ceremonies on March 5.
Each year, S&P holds a memorial service for those fallen in the line of duty. Joining S&P for this annual service was Craig Floyd, chairman and chief executive officer of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund. In 2007, 15 officers working for state police agencies in the United States and 2 constables of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police who made the ultimate sacrifice were honored and remembered in this moving ceremony.
Trooper of the Year Award
For 13 years, S&P has recognized the IACP/Motorola Trooper of the Year. This award acknowledges the dedication and courage of state and provincial law enforcement officers. For the 2007 award, nominations recognize officers for either a single event or multiple or interrelated events occurring between October 1, 2006, and September 30, 2007.
At the beginning of the award process, one nominee from each state police or highway patrol agency, one nominee from each of the provincial police agencies of Ontario and Quebec, and one nominee from each of the RCMP’s four regions are selected, and their nominations are submitted to the appropriate S&P regional chair. The S&P members of each region then select one finalist to represent the region. All participating member agencies have one vote when selecting a candidate to represent their regions.
| A panel of appointed judges reviews the nominations of the four finalists submitted by the regions and makes the final selection for the Trooper of the Year. The panel consists of one representative from each of the four S&P regions and one panel member from either the RCMP or one of the provincial police agencies. Members of the final judging panel are selected from agencies that do not have a finalist under consideration. The name of the Trooper of the Year remains secret until announced at the award banquet.|
The 2007 Trooper of the Year was announced on March 6, 2008, during the 2008 S&P midyear meeting. Trooper Amanda S. Reif of the New York State Police was named Trooper of the Year for her heroic actions in response to a domestic violence situation. In a confrontation with a convicted rapist, she was shot in the left chest and shoulder area. Despite her injury, she managed to fire a single round, killing her assailant and preventing him from inflicting further harm on his female victim and other officers responding to the scene.
All four regional winners and their spouses were guests of the division at the midyear meeting. Each of the finalists receives an eagle’s head bust inlaid with gold and silver and mounted on a marble base.
Presentations are important in any conference, and members attending the 2008 S&P midyear conference were able to get first notice of major announcements and activities from many organizations. Delivering keynote addresses to S&P members were Michael Chertoff, secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS); Robert S. Mueller III, director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation; Michael J. Sullivan, acting director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives; and Michele M. Leonhart, acting administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration. An engaging part of the S&P meeting is the opportunity to hold face-to-face discussions with heads of important federal agencies.
Colonel W. Steven Flaherty, superintendent of the Virginia State Police, presented a case study of the April 16, 2007, shootings on the Virginia Tech campus by a student gunman who fatally shot 32 people before killing himself. This presentation provided many lessons learned for implementation by other law enforcement agencies.
Gwen Boniface, S&P general chair from 2004 to 2006 and retired commissioner of the Ontario Provincial Police, Canada, is now the deputy chief inspector at the Garda Síochána Inspectorate in Ireland. Boniface provided insights into the Ireland policing experience to the S&P membership. The Inspectorate is a three-member team established on July 26, 2006, in accordance with Part V of the Garda Síochána Act 2005. The objective of the Garda Síochána Inspectorate is to ensure that the resources available to the Garda Síochána (Ireland’s national police service) are used to achieve and maintain the highest levels of efficiency and effectiveness in its operations and administration, as measured by reference to the best standards of comparable police services.
Law Enforcement Relations and Homeland Security
S&P members spent the greater part of a morning on the issue of homeland security. Edmund M. (Ted) Sexton, assistant secretary for state and local law enforcement, DHS, and Bart R. Johnson, director of Homeland Security and Law Enforcement Support and Outreach, Office of the Director of National Intelligence, joined S&P members for this discussion.
Department of Transportation
The organizational priorities of the U.S. Department of Transportation were a key part of this year’s agenda. Joining S&P members for this discussion were John H. Hill, administrator, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration; Marilena Amoni, associate administrator, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration; and Jeffrey A. Lindley, associate administrator, Federal Highway Administration.
Peer Sharing and Discussions
In addition to listening to the keynote presentations, S&P members engaged in roundtable discussions to share new techniques, problems, and solutions. Beyond the roundtables, regional discussions are held where the state police in the four regions of the United States and the Canadian provinces meet on regional issues.
S&P Business Meeting
S&P has the responsibility of organizing, directing, coordinating, and promoting IACP programs relating to the needs of state and provincial police agencies. The division is a membership organization comprising 49 state law enforcement agencies, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, and the Ontario and Quebec provincial police agencies. S&P business is conducted throughout the midyear meeting, with committees meeting and reporting to the membership on their findings.
The Committee on Nominations prepared its recommendations for officers of the division. Colonel Bryan Tuma of the Nebraska State Patrol was nominated and elected to the position of second vice chair. He will be officially sworn in at the annual IACP conference in San Diego.
On behalf of the Resolutions Committee, S&P first vice chair Mark Dunaski presented a request to have a special committee, the ad hoc S&P Highway Safety Committee, reconstituted and recognized as a subcommittee of the IACP Highway Safety Committee. S&P formed the ad hoc committee initially to address the unique challenges facing its membership; the committee has since successfully accomplished this task. Members voted to approve the resolution.
The ad hoc S&P Highway Safety Committee, the Bias-Free Policing Committee, and the S&P Homeland Security Committee reported during the business meeting. A Canadian report was provided as part of the business proceedings.
In addition to the committees, there are three sections within S&P that meet and report to the membership. The State and Provincial Police Planning Officers Section facilitates the exchange of planning information and experiences among its member agencies. The State and Provincial Police Academy Directors Section creates and sponsors activities that advance the principles and competence of professional law enforcement instructors. The State and Provincial Police Retired Officers Section provides a ready source of knowledge and experience to members in advisory and assessment capacities.
Every year, the division holds an annual meeting in conjunction with the annual IACP conference as well as a midyear (spring) conference in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area. The four regions of the division (North Atlantic, North Central, Mountain Pacific, and Southern) conduct regional meetings at their discretion during the summer months. ■
1Details about IACP legislative positions are available on the IACP Web site at www.theiacp.org; click on “Legislative Activities” in the left-hand navigation bar.
From The Police Chief, vol. LXXV, no. 5, May 2008. Copyright held by the International Association of Chiefs of Police, 515 North Washington Street, Alexandria, VA 22314 USA.