2010 National Law Enforcement Exploring Conference
Colonel Bill Hitchens, commissioner of the Georgia Department of Public Safety; and Connie Patrick, director of the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center and chairperson of National Law Enforcement Exploring presided over the weeklong 2010 Law Enforcement Exploring Conference, July 19–24, at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, Georgia.
More than 35,000 active “explorers” (young adults pursuing training on the purpose, mission, and objectives of law enforcement agencies) exist in 1,662 posts internationally, and 3,000 participants attended this year’s conference. Elected as the National Law Enforcement Exploring Youth Representative during the conference was Kelsey Taylor from Post 521 in Bakersfield, California. Ms. Taylor, a college sophomore, serves from 2010 to 2012 as the youth representative.
The IACP organized the conference career fair and Exploring USA. At the career fair, explorers talk to recruiters from local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies to gather information on career choices. Many of the explorers enter into law enforcement, and those who choose other professions become local leaders in their communities and valuable supporters of the police department.
Exploring USA is an opportunity for posts to share their ideas and demonstrate local programs. Law enforcement exploring posts are deeply involved in crime prevention, community service, and individual projects to improve the overall quality of life in their communities. Using exhibits and demonstrations, the posts share their projects with other explorers.
Throughout the weeklong conference, the explorers participated in individual and team competitions. Events included a nonemergency-vehicle operations course; an air pistol competition; a drill team competition; a best uniform competition; police physical-performance testing; and bike policing. Several marksmanship events held include a 9mm pistol competition; a 9mm slow fire; a 9mm timed fire; and a 9mm rapid fire. Team competition events included an arrest-and-search event; a bomb threat event; a burglary-in-progress competition; a crime scene search; crime prevention techniques; a domestic crisis event; an emergency field first-aid competition; a hostage negotiation; a shoot/don’t shoot competition; a traffic accident investigation; a traffic stop; and a white-collar crime event.
For more information about the law enforcement exploring program, visit http://www.learning-for-life.org/exploring/lawenforcement or call the national office at 1-972-580-2433.
IACP Podcast Series
With podcasting quickly becoming a buzzword in association communication vehicles, the IACP is pleased to publicize its podcast series. The IACP Podcast Series provides online, audio content that is delivered via an RSS feed. Through podcasting, listeners can select the time and the place to listen to the provided content.
Listeners can retain audio archives to listen to at their leisure, and the IACP maintains the series on its website. Recent IACP podcasts include returning combat veterans to law enforcement, improving police response to persons with mental illness, violence against women, building trust between the police and the citizens they serve, and the SACOP SafeShield initiative.
To listen to the IACP podcasts, visit www.theiacp.org/Portals/0/podcasts/IACPPodcastSeries.xml.
Law Enforcement Congressional Badge of Bravery
Every day, federal, state, and local law enforcement officers engage in exceptional acts of bravery while in the line of duty. Often, such acts place officers at personal risk of injury or result in their sustaining a physical injury. To honor these acts of bravery, Congress passed the Law Enforcement Congressional Badge of Bravery Act of 2008 (Public Law 110-298), creating the Federal Law Enforcement Congressional Badge of Bravery and the State and Local Law Enforcement Congressional Badge of Bravery.
State and local law enforcement officers. State and local law enforcement officers are eligible for this badge if they are employees of state or local governments that have statutory authority to make arrests or apprehensions; are authorized by the agencies of the employees to carry firearms; are primarily engaged in or supervise the prevention, detection, investigation, prosecution, or incarceration of any person for any violation of law; or are involved in the protection of federal, state, local, or foreign government officials against threats to personal safety.
Federal law enforcement officers. To be eligible for the badge, federal employees must have statutory authority to make arrests or apprehensions; are authorized by the agency of the employee to carry firearms; are primarily engaged in or supervise the prevention, detection, investigation, prosecution, or incarceration of any person for any violation of law; or are involved in the protection of federal, state, local, or foreign government officials against threats to personal safety.
The term “federal law enforcement officer” includes law enforcement officers employed by the Amtrak Police Department or the Federal Reserve System.
The medals are awarded annually by the U.S. Attorney General and are presented by the recipients’ congressional representatives.
To meet the definition of “an act of bravery,” nominees for the Congressional Badge of Bravery must have sustained a physical injury while engaged in the lawful duties of the individual and, while being at personal risk, performing an act characterized as bravery by the agency head that makes the nomination. Officers who have not been injured but who are nominated must have been placed at risk of serious physical injury or death.
To nominate a law enforcement officer to receive the Congressional Badge of Bravery, agency heads submit their nominations to the Congressional Badge of Bravery Office, which is located within the Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Assistance.
Either the Federal Law Enforcement Congressional Badge of Bravery Board or the State and Local Law Enforcement Congressional Badge of Bravery Board considers the nominations and then submits a recommendation to the U.S. Attorney General. The nomination period is expected to open on or about December 15, 2010, and close on February 15, 2011. The act of bravery must have occurred during the calendar year immediately preceding the submission deadline for that year’s nominations.
When the application period is open, all nominations must be submitted through the online Congressional Badge of Bravery Application System, accessible through the BJA website. For more information, visit https://badgeofbravery.ncjrs.gov.
Law Enforcement Fatalities Surge 43 Percent
After reaching a 50-year low in 2009, the number of U.S. law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty surged nearly 43 percent during the first six months of 2010, according to preliminary data recently released by the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund (NLEOMF). If the midyear trend continues, 2010 could end up being one of the deadliest years for U.S. law enforcement in two decades.
Preliminary NLEOMF statistics show that 87 law enforcement officers died in the line of duty between January 1, 2010, and June 30, 2010. This compares with 61 officers who were killed during the first six months of 2009—an increase of 42.6 percent.
By June 30, 2010, officer fatalities had already reached 75 percent of the total for all of 2009, which was 116. That total represented the fewest line-of-duty deaths since 1959.
“It is certainly disheartening that last year’s encouraging news on officer fatalities has not continued into 2010,” said NLEOMF Chairman and CEO Craig W. Floyd. “These latest figures provide a grim reminder that even with all of the safety improvements that have been achieved in recent decades, our law enforcement officers still face grave, life-threatening dangers each and every day.”
He added, “As governments across the country face tighter and tighter budgets, we must ensure that critical officer safety measures such as training, equipment, and personnel are not sacrificed. If our dedicated law enforcement officers are to continue to drive down crime, as they have done so successfully in recent years, then they must have the necessary resources to protect our communities and themselves.”
All major categories of officer deaths rose sharply during the first half of 2010, according to the NLEOMF’s preliminary data.
Firearm-related deaths increased 41 percent, from 22 during the first six months of 2009 to 31 in the first half of 2010. Six officers this year died in three separate multiple-fatality killings.
The preliminary 2010 law enforcement fatality data were released by the NLEOMF in conjunction with Concerns of Police Survivors Inc. (C.O.P.S.), a nonprofit organization that provides critical assistance to the surviving family members and loved ones of officers killed in the line of duty.
Other preliminary findings from the midyear report include the following:
- Thirty states and Puerto Rico experienced at least one officer fatality during the first six months of 2010. California had the most officer fatalities with nine, including five officers with the California Highway Patrol who died this year. Three states—California, Texas (eight fatalities) and Florida (six fatalities)—accounted for more than one-quarter of all officer fatalities in the first half of 2010. In addition, five federal law enforcement officers have died in the line of duty this year.
- If current trends continue, 2010 will be the 13th consecutive year in which more law enforcement officers are killed in traffic-related incidents than die from any other single cause. Traffic-related incidents—which include automobile and motorcycle crashes, as well as officers struck while outside their vehicles—accounted for more than 48 percent of the fatalities between January 1, 2010, and June 30, 2010. Firearm-related fatalities made up nearly 36 percent, and deaths from all other causes combined accounted for the remaining 16 percent.
- The average age of the officers killed during the first six months of 2010 was just over 40, with an average of 11.3 years of law enforcement service. Eighty-two of the fallen officers were men; five were women.
The statistics released by the NLEOMF and C.O.P.S. are preliminary and do not represent a final or complete list of individual officers who will be added to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial for 2010. The NLEOMF 2010 Mid-Year Officer Fatality Report is available at www.nleomf.org/assets/pdfs/reports/2010_MidYear_Report.pdf. ■