Employing Returning Combat Veterans Research Findings Available
Law enforcement professionals today are tasked with ensuring a proper transition for their officers who have been deployed supporting military operations overseas. IACP’s Employing Returning Combat Veterans as Police Officers Project has completed extensive research on the needs and transitional issues of combat veterans returning to law enforcement careers. These findings are presented in a publication entitled Supporting the Integration or Re-Integration of Military Personnel into Federal, State, Local, and Tribal Law Enforcement.
The top issues raised by the veterans during the research phase of the project included two that stood out: adequate time for transition or reintegration, and training. The research shows that 71 percent of veterans believe a transitional period, the time after veterans return from deployment and resume their law enforcement careers, could last up to six months. This may appear more than enough time; however, some veterans indicated they felt pressured to return to work almost immediately after returning from deployment. Veterans will probably require a different readjustment time based on their experiences and family situation. Therefore, law enforcement leaders need to understand the necessity for veterans to take all their accrued leave time and be respectful of the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act law that provides for a certain time frame for employees to apply for reinstatement based on the length of their deployments.
Veterans also request that they receive training that exploits their experiences and provides updates on new equipment and policies. One veteran remarked, “The patrol didn’t know what to do with me. I sat around for a week, so I had to read a bunch of policies and procedures. It was just very unorthodox. They just threw together some training for me.” Agencies should have a program in place to properly respond to and train their returning combat veterans. While many of the essential tactics and techniques veterans acquired to survive in combat are transferable to law enforcement careers, some of these ingrained survival skills such as aggressive driving and the rules of force require modification and should be integral components of a retraining program in order for veteran-officers to successfully return to a community-oriented policing environment. This report also offers recommendations that law enforcement leaders can implement immediately to support the veterans in their agencies.
The complete report is available on the IACP Web site at www.theiacp.org by clicking on “Publications & Guides,” then click on “Projects,” and finally “Employing Returning Combat Veterans Project.” For more information, please contact Arnold Daxe Jr. at 1-800-THE-IACP, extension 817 or by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Building Trust between the Police and the Citizens
The IACP released a new publication, Building Trust Between the Police and the Citizens They Serve: An Internal Affairs Promising Practices Guide for Local Law Enforcement, now available at www.theiacp.org, keyword Internal Affairs.
Building and maintaining community trust is the cornerstone of successful policing and law enforcement. The integrity of the police will always dictate the level of community trust. This guide attempts to place Internal Affairs in its proper context—not as a stand-alone activity, but as one component of a systemic, agency-wide, professional standards effort. After outlining some of the additional components necessary in the community trust continuum—hiring, training, rewarding excellent performance—the guide focuses on building an effective Internal Affairs approach for any size or type of agency. The guidelines for the Internal Affairs function address every aspect, from complaint processing to decision making, discipline, notification, and community transparency. Looking at the Internal Affairs process from a citizen’s viewpoint, this guide presents information on how local law enforcement agencies can be accountable to their citizens by engaging them in any number of trust-building initiatives, including citizen input for Internal Affairs determinations and discipline. The guide also addresses the critical relationship of the law enforcement leader and the governing body of the jurisdiction in trust building and in effective Internal Affairs practices. The final section of the guide includes a variety of community trust-building and Internal Affairs resources and tools.
These guidelines for developing a strong Internal Affairs capacity come from experts in the field and represent national promising practices. Most important, law enforcement leaders must view Internal Affairs as part of a continuum of trust building and not an isolated component of their agency. Once this is accomplished, the potential for community trust building increases exponentially.
Privacy Impact Assessment Report for the Utilization of License Plate Readers
This IACP document addresses the privacy impact of the enhanced collection, analysis, and dissemination of license plate data made possible by the advent of license plate reader (LPR) technologies.
Agencies interested in operating an LPR system do not have access to a uniform set of rules governing or even suggesting the appropriate uses and sharing of LPR data. This lack of regulation can cause the public to fear that the information collected by law enforcement agencies through their utilization of LPR systems might be mismanaged or misinterpreted with real-world consequences. Moreover, the potential misuse of LPR data may expose agencies operating such systems to civil liability and negative public perceptions.
The goal of this report is to set forth in a clear and concise manner the impact LPR systems can have on the public’s privacy interests and to make recommendations for the development of information management policies intended to govern an agency’s operation of an LPR system. For the report visit the IACP Web site at www.theiacp.org.
Sexting: The New Face of Teen Technology
The National Crime Prevention Council (NCPC) says a troubling teen texting trend is on the rise. It is called sexting—the act of sending sexually explicit messages or photos electronically, primarily between cell phones and other mobile devices.
NCPC, the organization best known for McGruff the Crime Dog, says parents need to pay attention to the “electronic fingerprints” their kids are making. NCPC has developed new reproducible brochures for both parents and teens that provide informative tips on what to do about it and how to prevent sexting.
Roughly, 20 percent of teens admit to sexting, according to a nationwide survey by the National Campaign to Support Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy. NCPC’s director of Children and Youth, Joselle Shea, says “online relationships should be based on respect and not just sharing sexual images of each other.”
NCPC believes it is important to teach young people to protect themselves proactively when they are online or using mobile communication devices. The new reproducible brochures on sexting can be found at the NCPC’s Web site.
For more information about sexting, or to schedule an interview, please contact Michelle Boykins at 202-261-4184 or Amy Vimislicky at 202-261-4156. For information on the National Crime Prevention Council, please visit www.ncpc.org. ■