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Back to Archives | Back to June 2008 Contents 


Spanish-Language Guide to the Crime of Human Trafficking: El crimen de la trata humana

The Crime of Human Trafficking: A Law Enforcement Guide to Identification and Investigation is now available in Spanish.

Recognizing the international nature of human trafficking and the limited language resources and interpretation capabilities facing many police departments, the IACP Police Response to Violence Against Women Project has translated its training guidebook into Spanish. The Spanish-language version of the guidebook, titled El crimen de la trata humana, is an additional tool for local and state law enforcement agencies to use when working with victims and educating the community.

The English version of the guidebook has been widely distributed to local, state, county, campus, railroad, and federal law enforcement agencies in the United States as well as other countries.

This product, together with the accompanying roll-call training video (in English only), is available at no cost to law enforcement agencies and victim advocates. Readers can visit to obtain electronic copies or contact project manager Aviva Kurash via e-mail at to order printed copies.

Volunteers in Police Service Program Reaches Milestone

The IACP, in partnership with the Bureau of Justice Assistance, U.S. Department of Justice, is pleased to announce that its Volunteers in Police Service (VIPS) program has surpassed a major milestone: as of April 23, 2008, the VIPS program has assisted in the establishment of more than 1,700 local police volunteer programs, supported by 139,138 volunteers.

The VIPS program provides support and resources for agencies interested in developing or enhancing a volunteer program and for citizens who wish to volunteer their time and skills with a community law enforcement agency. The program’s ultimate goal is to enhance the capacity of state and local law enforcement agencies to use volunteers.

Through this program, promising practices from existing VIPS programs are shared with other law enforcement agencies. The VIPS staff is available to help police departments organize a volunteer program or expand their current programs.

The foundation of VIPS is its Web site, serving as a gateway to information for law enforcement agencies and citizens interested in law enforcement volunteer programs.

The VIPS Web site offers a directory summarizing volunteer opportunities available in law enforcement agencies across the country. The directory is a searchable resource for agencies that are looking to network and contact programs offering similar or desired volunteer roles. The site also maintains a library of sample documents and forms, including policies and procedures, training materials, and screening forms.

Included on the Web site is the resource guide Volunteer Programs: Enhancing Public Safety by Leveraging Resources, which assists law enforcement agencies in starting a volunteer program. VIPS in Focus is a publication series that builds on the resource guide, addressing specific elements and issues related to law enforcement volunteer programs. Another resource is a model policy developed in collaboration with the IACP’s National Law Enforcement Policy Center.

The VIPS program provides regional oneday regular training and advanced training, offering attendees the knowledge and skills necessary to implement a law enforcement volunteer program, as well as a technical assistance program to help local agencies determine their volunteer needs and design programs that will effectively meet those needs. A mentoring program pairs new law enforcement volunteer coordinators with experienced coordinators.

Continued support is provided by three additional resources. VIPS Info is a monthly electronic newsletter that provides news and events about the VIPS program and law enforcement volunteer activities across the country. VIPS in the News, a bimonthly electronic newsletter, recognizes law enforcement volunteer programs that have recently been in the news. VIPS to VIPS is a moderated online discussion group that enables law enforcement volunteer program leaders to share information and ideas.

For more information, readers can visit the VIPS Web site at or send an e-mail message to .

Police Chiefs Desk Reference, Second Edition

The Police Chiefs Desk Reference (PCDR), a major component of the New Police Chief Mentoring Project, is designed with the newer chief of a smaller police department in mind and contains a wealth of resources to assist chiefs in their new roles as police executives. The first edition of the PCDR was distributed to well over 10,000 individuals across the country.

The Smaller Police Department Technical Assistance Program and the New Police Chief Mentoring Project are pleased to announce that the long-awaited second edition of the PCDR will be released this summer. The contents have been updated and reorganized to be more user-friendly. Police chiefs from around the country who share a desire to pass along their knowledge and experience with their peers contributed many of the writings.

The second edition includes information related to the following topics:

  • Leadership and management

  • Personnel administration

  • Operations

  • Community outreach and crime prevention

  • Contemporary issues in policing

  • Funding and grant writing

  • Professional development and training

  • Additional resources

For participants in the New Police Chief Mentoring Project, the second edition of the PCDR will be provided as a complimentary resource. Readers can visit to find out if they are eligible to participate in the New Police Chief Mentoring Project.

Individuals interested in acquiring a copy of the second edition of the PCDR who are not eligible to participate in the Mentoring Project can purchase the reference at an affordable price through McGraw-Hill Publishing Company. Hardcopy binders are available for $35, and CD-ROMs are available for $24. The content will also be available online. For more information about viewing the second edition of the PCDR online or to place an order for a copy, readers can visit . This resource is produced in partnership with the Bureau of Justice Assistance of the U.S. Department of Justice.

For more information about the New Police Chief Mentoring Project or the second edition of the PCDR, contact Dianne Beer-Maxwell at 1-800-THE-IACP, extension 844, or via e-mail at .

High Fuel Costs: A Problem-Solving Challenge

As rising fuel costs put the squeeze on law enforcement agency budgets, chiefs are searching for ways to sustain their current level of operations while using less gasoline. For those faced with the puzzle of how to meet the increasing demands on police services while minimizing fuel costs, there are no easy answers. Officers—particularly those who patrol and answer 9-1-1 calls—need cars, and cars need fuel.

The Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS), in its May 2008 e-newsletter, Community Policing Dispatch, published some solutions that agencies have recently discovered. These solutions include differential responses to calls for service, modified patrol methods, and the use of vehicles that have better gas mileage or use alternative fuels.

The Community Policing Dispatch article noted that some agencies have issued caps (or recommended caps) on per-shift mileage. It went on to point out that this may help with budgeting, but as Eau Claire County, Wisconsin, sheriff Ron Cramer has noted, in the 1980s deputies in his county were limited to 125 miles per shift, but that also limited effectiveness in a county with 630 square miles to patrol. A different approach to reducing mileage might be offered by technological advances in patrol cars. Catawba County, North Carolina, Sheriff’s Office deputies have access to field-based reporting, allowing them to reduce the number of trips taken to headquarters. Deputies are allowed to sign in from their cars in their assigned communities at the start of their shifts instead of gathering at headquarters for daily squad meetings. Both measures actually increase the law enforcement presence in the community while reducing the number of miles driven for administrative duties.

Other agencies have considered eliminating their take-home car programs or restricting off-duty mileage for take-home cars. As with per-shift mileage caps, this potentially reduces police visibility in the community because marked cruisers are driven less. Still others have instituted reimbursement programs for the use of take-home cars, with officers paying one rate for portal-to-portal use and another rate for off-duty personal use of the vehicles. An additional cautionary note is that changes in take-home car programs could have an adverse impact on morale. In some departments, the program might even be a job benefit that is subject to contract negotiations.

The unintended consequence of some fuel-saving solutions could be a reduction of police services, but what about saving fuel while also improving service and community interaction? The Hickory, North Carolina, Police Department is encouraging its officers to walk or ride bikes in their assigned communities. They are also encouraged to get out of their car for 10 minutes per hour on duty to do property checks on foot. Similarly, Claremont, North Carolina, police officers are being encouraged to park their cars for 15 minutes every hour for community-networking and traffic-patrolling purposes. These sorts of policies are seen by some chiefs as having a positive side effect that encourages officer-citizen interaction and communication, something for which agencies strive as they try to enhance their community policing efforts.

Alternative call management strategies, many of which are discussed in the COPS Office guidebook Call Management and Community Policing, can also help agencies save on gas. Residents, for example, can be encouraged to use telephone reporting for minor property crimes or to meet officers at substations to make reports. This would allow one officer to take many reports without having to drive from house to house.

The authors of the article reported that the approaches to tackling this problem are as varied as the nearly 18,000 state and local law enforcement agencies across the United States. No solution will work for all agencies. Rising fuel costs probably will affect policing for the foreseeable future. The need to find innovative ways to save on fuel costs while continuing to provide the level of service communities have come to expect is likely to remain a long-term challenge.

The article was written by Karl Bickel, senior policy analyst, and Deborah Spence, senior social science analyst, of the COPS Office. It can be read online at the COPS Web site: . ?



From The Police Chief, vol. LXXV, no. 6, June 2008. Copyright held by the International Association of Chiefs of Police, 515 North Washington Street, Alexandria, VA 22314 USA.

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