2006 Midyear Meeting Victim Services Committee
The 2006 midyear meeting of the IACP's Victim Services Committee was held at IACP headquarters on March 9 and 10. The newly appointed committee chair, Chief Tom Oetinger of Laconia Police Department in New Hampshire, facilitated the event.
John W. Gillis, director of the U.S. Department of Justice's Office for Victims of Crime (OVC), attended the meeting and discussed the objectives of OVC.
The Victim Services Committee comprises representatives from various law enforcement agencies as well as victim service providers and advocates. The committee spent two productive days redrafting and updating the committee's mission statement, receiving updates on all victim-related projects at IACP, and deter-mining goals and objectives for the committee to achieve this year and the future. In order to promote stronger collaboration among IACP program staff and committee members and to ensure that the committee provides continuous guidance on IACP's victim efforts, Chief Oetinger is formally appointed as committee liaison to each of the current victim-related projects at IACP. Indian Country Law Enforcement Section 2006 Midyear Meeting
IACP Indian Country Law Enforcement Section members from around the United States gathered in Las Vegas, Nevada, March 14 and 15 at the Las Vegas Paiute Tribal Headquarters. Chief Theodore Quasula once again hosted the meeting on behalf of the tribe. Chief Michael Carroll, IACP fourth vice president and board member with oversight of the section, attended on behalf of IACP Board of Officers. Representatives from various offices of the U.S. Department of Justice and the Bureau of Indian Affairs presented funding and resources updates to those in attendance and discussed border and other safety issues relevant to Indian Country. The section's annual meeting is scheduled for October 15, 2006, in Boston, Massachusetts.
For additional information, call the section liaison, Elaine Deck, at 800-THE-IACP, extension 262, or write to her at (email@example.com).
IACP Hosts Web Site Devoted to Nondeadly Force
The IACP, in partnership with the Department of Justice, is hosting a new Web site to help federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies develop, implement, and enhance policies governing the use of less-than-lethal technologies, (www.less-lethal.org).
Visitors to the Web site will find information on many topics, including sub-missions from international practitioners and members of the medical community. Presentation and format requirements are part of a dynamic process for providing the most current perspectives on nonlethal force, and suggestions for improvement and content are always welcome.
For more information on the Web site, please call David Paulson at 800-THE-IACP, extension 329, or send an e-mail message to him at (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Line-of-Duty Deaths Increase in 2006
As of March 5, 2006, 33 law enforcement officers have died in the line of duty, representing a 44 percent increase in line-of-duty deaths over the same period in 2005, when 23 officers made the ultimate sacrifice.
According to preliminary numbers, 14 officers have died either as the result of an auto crash or after being struck by a vehicle, often while investigating an accident or crime. Twelve officers have died from gunshots.
"This data is alarming on many levels," said Craig W. Floyd, chair of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund (NLEOMF), which released the data in partnership with Concerns of Police Survivors (COPS). "Firstly, our roads are rapidly becoming the most hazardous places for law enforcement officers. The public absolutely must be more aware of officers patrolling our roads, and how to respond to accident scenes. Only in these ways will we be successful in reducing these often preventable deaths. Every citizen who drives is responsible for making sure our officers are safe while they patrol our nation's highways and byways."
The 14 officers who have died thus far in 2006 in auto crashes continues a trend in which auto crashes are threatening to eclipse shooting deaths as the leading cause of death among law enforcement officers. In 2005, automobile and motor-cycle-related crashes (62) topped gunfire (60) as the leading cause of death. As a result of the trend, the NLEOMF and COPS are urging communities to equip all law enforcement officers with body armor and are encouraging officers to continue wearing the armor despite recent controversy over the effectiveness of some brands of armor. To reduce the number of officers injured and killed in motor vehicle-related incidents, the organizations are also calling for better driver training, safer automobiles, and better public awareness of proper procedures when encountering police and emergency vehicles.
Every officer who died in the line of duty during 2006 will be honored at a candlelight vigil in May 2007 during National Police Week. The officers will also be commemorated at the Hall of Remembrance exhibit at the National Law Enforcement Museum, which will open in 2009.
The museum will be located at the site of the National Law Enforcement Memorial at Judiciary Square in Washington, D.C. The Hall of Remembrance will include stories, photos, and personal mementoes of officers who have died in the line of duty. In addition to honoring fallen officers, the museum will feature numerous interactive programs and exhibits that enable visitors to experience the challenges faced by law enforcement firsthand.■