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Candidates for 2008 IACP Office Craig T. Steckler

s a life member of the IACP, one that has been actively involved in the organization for most of my career, I wish to give back to the law enforcement profession by continuing to serve in a leadership role.

In addition to degrees from the University of California, Los Angeles, and California State University, Fullerton, I have over 22 years of experience as a police chief in both small and medium-sized cities. I have also led at the state level as president of the California Police Chiefs Association (CPCA). I was first appointed to the IACP Executive Committee in 1997 and served seven years. During that period, I served on five different committees and from 2004 to 2007 served as vice president at large. I also attended the 128th session of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s National Academy as well as its Law Enforcement Executive Development Seminar in Quantico in 1996.

The IACP is an outstanding organization that truly represents the interests of police chiefs worldwide. The IACP’s history is replete with examples of many great leading-edge research projects that have advanced our profession and have assisted the chiefs of yesterday and today. I pledge to build on this rich tradition in the future with all of you.

During this campaign, I have been fortunate to have traveled to 40 state conferences and a dozen more special group conferences. I have been able to discuss issues of concern with literally thousands of our members across the United States as well as from other countries about what is important to them, and it was with their help that our platform was developed and continues to be refined. Some of the principal platform issues are as follows:

  • The effect of technology on our profession

  • The political disconnect between the federal government and local law enforcement initiatives

  • Recruitment, retention, and how to manage the generation of officers being hired today

  • Immigration

  • Officer safety, with a focus not only on preventing deaths but also on preventing debilitating injuries

  • Distance learning and the expectation of today’s employees that much of their learning will be Web based

Together, we can build the future of the IACP. We all have seen change in our profession, but the amount of past change hardly compares to the degree and speed of change we are experiencing today and will, in my view, continue to see into the foreseeable future.

We cannot apply yesterday’s way of thinking to the world racing at us today—when the speed of computer processor growth doubles the world’s knowledge every six months, as our society moves toward an absolute loss of privacy, and when everything becomes known to everybody on the Internet instantly. How do we harness this explosion of information for our own purposes while simultaneously confronting those who use it to exploit innocent victims?

How do we meet the demands of new employees that want more, better, and faster technology? How do we as chiefs deal with social-networking sites like Facebook and MySpace, where our officers and professional employees have information showcased for the world to see? We need to continue to intently examine the issue of technology and assist our members in understanding the effects, costs, and policy development around technology issues.

The modern law enforcement profession demands that we be quick to respond to issues. We must enhance our organizational abilities to quickly identify trends that will affect our mission and profession. Together, we can respond to these changes and work on these issues.

I currently lead an organization in Fremont, California, that serves a population of over 212,000 and covers 92 square miles. The department manages this with an authorized staffing of 196 sworn and the assistance of 106 nonsworn professional employees. I have experienced the challenge of budget reductions and layoffs and the lack of funding that so many agencies are currently enduring. In Fremont, we have had to come up with creative methods of delivering police services. I am a strong supporter of collaborative efforts with allied agencies and the private sector and have been identified as a chief who thinks with effective originality.

I ask for your support and vote in San Diego. My promise is that the concerns and issues you have expressed will be acted on. I invite you to visit the CPCA Web site at to learn more about me and our platform and the endorsements we have received.

Finally, I wish to extend a special thank-you to all of the IACP members that I have met during this campaign and especially for your friendship and hospitality. This has truly been a wonderful and insightful journey.



From The Police Chief, vol. LXXV, no. 9, September 2008. Copyright held by the International Association of Chiefs of Police, 515 North Washington Street, Alexandria, VA 22314 USA.

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