President’s Message: IACP Uncovers the Best Ideas in Policing

One of the most rewarding parts of being a member of IACP is getting to see the high-quality law enforcement work that is done around the world by truly innovative and progressive police leaders. One of the best things this association does is celebrate many of those achievements and share them with our membership.

Beginning on page 43 you will find an article describing six innovative policing strategies. These strategies are highlighted because they show that proactive policing can improve the quality of life in a community at little or no cost to a law enforcement agency. These programs were not designed to lead to major arrests; rather, they are examples of how to redirect everyday policing to solve community problems.

As you’ll see these programs were designed not by large, metropolitan police departments but by small agencies like yours and mine. As a result, these programs are neither expensive nor overly complex to implement. I think you will find this article quite interesting, and I hope that you can adapt some of these ideas to meet the needs of your own agency.

However, the IACP has much more to offer than just these six programs. Our association was founded, in part, to promote the exchange of innovative policing strategies among its members. If you take the time to visit our association’s Web site at (, you will find a vast amount of information that will assist you in leading your agency and protecting your community.

For example, if you choose the Research Center link and then, under the Projects heading, click Services, Support, and Technical Assistance for Smaller Police Departments, you’ll find a number of programs and projects that IACP is involved in, and pages and pages of information on each topic. There you will find best practice guides on subjects as diverse as budgeting in smaller police agencies, Generation X recruits and the field training experience, and Web site development.

For some additional ideas, visit the IACP Technology Clearinghouse Web site at (, and click the Technology Projects link to view dozens of programs being implemented by jurisdictions large and small. While you are there, also explore many of the other sections and view a wide variety of information on the latest technological advances in police work.

Under the heading of Committees, Sections, and Divisions on the IACP site, you will also find links under many of the identified groups that will lead you to valuable, informative, and current information on timely topics and critical issues.

Some of the IACP’s most important work is bringing these quality programs to light and sharing the information with the rest of the law enforcement community. Part of that work, the IACP awards program, has grown tremendously in the past few years. Ranging from the IACP/Parade Police Officer of the Year to the IACP Civil Rights Award, the association now administers 15 separate law enforcement–related awards programs.

These programs are vitally important to the growth of the law enforcement profession, for not only do they help promote successful ideas in the law enforcement community but they also provide meaningful recognition for those police leaders at the cutting edge of our profession whose work stimulates new ideas and advancements. To learn more about some of the winners of IACP awards in 2004, turn to page 30.

I invite you to participate in the process. Many award programs for recognition in 2005 are already under way. If you have a program that you think merits consideration or know of a program that should be celebrated, get in touch with IACP headquarters at 800-THE-IACP.