By Russell B. Laine, Chief of Police, Algonquin, Illinois
he last year has 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 law enforcement career. Please accept my thanks for your support over the years and your continued service to the International Association of Chiefs of Police and this honorable and noble profession.
Throughout the past year, the IACP has continued its proud tradition of leadership in the law enforcement community, providing law enforcement executives with the tools, information, and programs they need to succeed. While it is simply not possible to detail all that has been accomplished, I would like to draw your attention to just a few highlights of this year and urge you to visit www.theiacp.org for information on the numerous other projects under way at the IACP.
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 working with the new administration, as well as with members of Congress, on a wide range of issues critical to public safety and the law enforcement profession. In the past several months, the IACP has been at the center of policy debates over law enforcement funding, forensics, public safety communications, highway safety, information and intelligence sharing, drug legalization and immigration enforcement, to name just a few.
Through each of these debates and meetings with Vice President Biden, Attorney General Holder, and Secretary Napolitano, the IACP has ensured that our leaders understand the impact their decisions have on public safety issues and on the ability of state, local, and tribal law enforcement to provide the services and protection the citizens we serve expect and deserve.
The IACP has historically engaged in a variety of media in order to communicate relevant news to our membership including: Police Chief magazine, press releases, newsletters, IACP Info bi-weekly e-mails, blast e-mails to the membership, and the IACP Web site. This year, the IACP launched a revamped Web site that provides easier access to the information that our members want and need. In addition, the IACP has also taken advantage of new technological tools and features (twitter, facebook, and podcasts) to complement existing efforts and to accomplish specific goals such as expanding dissemination of timely and relevant association information and relaying “breaking news” to members through a swift, accurate, and reliable mechanism. These enhancements will help maintain IACP’s reputation as the leader in professional law enforcement.
Projects and Policy Documents
The IACP also kept the membership updated about the current issues confronting policing through numerous projects and summits, as well as the release of numerous policy documents. These include the following:
- Building Trust between the Police and the Citizens They Serve: An Internal Affairs Promising Practices Guide for Law Enforcement
- Employing Returning Combat Veterans as Police
- Leadership Institutes on Violence Against Women
- Mentoring Program for New Chiefs of Smaller Agencies
In addition, the IACP followed up on last year’s National Summit on Intelligence with a very successful Information Sharing Strategic Planning Meeting, which will enhance state, local, and tribal law enforcement in information sharing and expand the utilization of fusion centers.
The IACP also held a very successful Summit on Police Response to Persons with Mental Illness. We will build upon the results of that summit to improve our efforts to ensure that our officers are trained and equipped to deal with these often difficult and confusion situations appropriately and safely. In addition, the IACP is continuing our efforts to address police officers’ mental health and the impact of drug and alcohol abuse on officers and their families.
Our International Program continues to grow. Already this year, the IACP has hosted or participated in a number of international gatherings of law enforcement officials, including:
- 1st IACP Middle East North Africa Executive Policing Conference in Doha, Qatar
- 10th IACP Asia/Pacific Executive Policing Conference in Taipei, Taiwan
- 2nd Annual Ameripol Meeting
- 26th European Executive Policing Conference in Tallinn, Estonia
Also, planning is well under way for IACP’s Global Policing Summit on Terrorism and the Prevention of Radicalization of Youth to be held this November in New Delhi, India. The summit will bring together law enforcement leaders from across the globe to discuss solutions to the problems of terrorism and the radicalization of youth that confront us all.
Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to note that although I have had the privilege of serving as your president, the success of this past year is the result of an incredible team. I am always amazed and proud of the work the IACP staff does for all of us. Staff members are highly motivated and professional and take pride in every project, task, or assignment they are involved in. They serve as the rock solid foundation upon which our success is built.
The governing body (Board of Officers and Executive Committee) challenges each other and all of us to make the right decision and to take the right action at the right time. Their election or selection was directed by an act of divine guidance.
Our Executive Director and Chief of Staff, Dan and Jim, have prepared me, counseled all of us, and guided us through our activities. Their efforts keep IACP in the prominent role we demand and the most trusted and respected name in law enforcement.
Without the support of my Village Manager, the Algonquin elected officials, and all the members of the Algonquin Police Department, I would never have been able to spend the countless hours representing the IACP.
Finally, my wife Patty is my soul mate and my champion. She continues to inspire me through her wisdom and example, and I am challenged to be a better man. During the time of my presidency, she did for me what I could not do for myself and, for the term of my presidency, she has stood beside me, held me up, and moved me ahead. It is time for me to give back to her and our family.
Thank you for the wonderful opportunities and the blessing you have bestowed upon me. I have always sought to honor IACP for IACP is its members.
Mike Carroll—You’re up!! ■