Chief of Police
Greenbelt, Maryland, Police Department
Candidate for IACP Vice President at Large
y name is Jim Craze, and I am a candidate for the office of vice president at large. I am the chief of police for the city of Greenbelt, Maryland, a suburban community of 21,000 residents located in Prince George’s County, 10 miles north of Washington, D.C. Our service population includes major metropolitan throughways and a business community that swells our daytime population to approximately 80,000.
The Greenbelt Police Department is a full-service agency with a total of 69 employees—54 sworn. I have served the agency for 41 years, with 25 as chief. Our department is nationally accredited through the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA).
Prior to arriving in Greenbelt, I served four years in the Air Force as a canine security police officer during the Vietnam era. I am a graduate of the University of Maryland, the 146th Session of the FBI National Academy, and the 29th Session of the FBI LEEDS program at Quantico. I have served as president of the Police Chiefs Association of Prince George’s County and the Maryland Chiefs of Police Association.
On the national level, I have been honored to serve on a number of key IACP boards and committees for the past eight years, including the Executive Committee where I represent the states of New Jersey, Delaware, and Maryland; the Financial Review Committee that oversees the IACP budget; the Investment Committee; the Committee on Committees; the Election committee; and the State Association of Chiefs of Police (SACOP). I am proud to be a life member of the IACP.
I am especially honored to be a member of the Board of Directors for the IACP Foundation, which provides professional development for our members, support to officers who have suffered debilitating duty-related injuries, and scholarships to their children. I have also had the opportunity to be a judge for a number of years for the Webber Seavey Excellence in Policing Awards. My duties with the IACP have included meeting with the president’s cabinet secretaries and speaking on behalf of the association on Capitol Hill.
That said, I do not look upon achieving the office of vice president at large as an entitlement for services rendered. Rather, I view it as an opportunity to apply the knowledge and experience I have gained in further service to my police executive colleagues and this association.
I see many challenges ahead for the future of the IACP, not the least of which is to maintain relevancy to the membership. While serving on the Financial Review Committee, I have learned a great deal about the fiscal realities of running an international policing organization with more than 20,000 members spread over 100 countries.
With an annual budget for next year of nearly $27 million, more than half of the revenue needed to run this organization comes from federal grants and the profit from the annual conference. Dues account for only a fraction of the total revenue picture.
In many agencies, funding for membership and training have been reduced or eliminated. Police executives must make difficult decisions about how and where we spend the limited budget dollars we have for professional development. The leadership of the IACP must ensure that the organization remains affordable without compromising the value and the quality of the services provided to the membership.
If elected, my pledge to you is to maintain the association’s relevancy, preserve a sound business plan, and keep membership and participation affordable. No police executive or police agency should be denied the services of this organization because our fees become too great, nor should membership be determined to be expendable because the value of the IACP has been diminished because its benefits do not match your needs.
The quality, the value, and the importance of IACP membership to every police executive and police department in this country and the world must be the primary focus and goal of this organization and its elected Board of Officers.
I have spent the last eight years working within our fine organization to serve our membership and our profession. I believe the experience and knowledge I have gained in my career as a police officer, a police chief, the president of my state and local police chief associations, and an active committee member of the IACP have prepared me for the challenge and the responsibilities of the office of vice president at large, and I ask for your support.
Thank you. I look forward to meeting you in Chicago. ■