October 2011—President’s Message: The Year in Review

Mark MarshallThe last year has been rewarding, challenging, and exciting for me—professionally and personally. It has been my highest honor to serve this membership as the president of the IACP. I am proud that over the last year, the IACP has continued its long tradition of leadership in professional policing by providing law enforcement executives with the tools, information, and programs that they need to succeed.

I would like to draw your attention to a few of the many highlights of this year and urge you to visit http://www.theiacp.org for information on the numerous other projects currently under way at the IACP.

Policing in the 21st Century

We have known for some time now that the law enforcement community is faced with reduced budgets. Reductions in staffing are at an all-time high. The negative effect of reducing services to our communities cannot be overstated. In response, one of my top priorities this year was to make sure the IACP is a resource to assist our members when they are faced with difficult financial decisions. It is the goal of the IACP to be a one-stop shop that provides the law enforcement community with information on alternative funding streams, improved communication tools, and the identification and prioritization of cost-saving measures and other efficiencies.

We brought together more than 500 law enforcement leaders from all backgrounds, agency sizes, and experience levels, and we use our collective wisdom to discuss the challenges we all are facing and to identify solutions. Throughout this year, we have conducted surveys and roundtables, held our first two webinars, and launched an e-library resource to assist police chiefs as they are confronted with making tough budgetary decisions. The e-library, which can be found at http://www.theiacp.org/21C, contains hundreds of resources from model policies to articles to publications aimed at helping chiefs navigate through this new economy.

Officer Safety

I am proud to say that the IACP has continued its commitment to reduce officer injury and death. The IACP, in partnership with the Bureau of Justice Assistance, U.S. Department of Justice, is working on the Reducing Officer Injuries: Developing Policy Responses project. The project is looking at 18 agencies, including state and local law enforcement, and is charting the number and type of injuries that happen on a daily basis. The data collected will allow the IACP to assess the most prevalent risk factors related to officer injuries and make policy and training recommendations.

I also am proud to report that we have continued work on the Center for the Prevention of Violence Against the Police and officially launched last October. The center, funded by the Bureau of Justice Assistance, will gather comprehensive data from state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies in the United States on assaults and other acts of violence toward police officers. Center staff will then analyze that data to provide meaningful, lifesaving information and direction to the field on how to minimize officer injury and death.

Social Media

In October 2010, with funding from the Bureau of Justice Assistance, the IACP launched the Center for Social Media, available at http://www.iacpsocialmedia.org. Websites such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube are becoming a part of daily life for millions of people. The IACP has recognized this emerging issue and wanted to aid law enforcement agencies as they navigate this new and here-to-stay technology.

The center will address issues involving officers’ online conduct, conducting employment screenings using Internet tools, and investigating crimes perpetrated through online channels. Additionally, the center’s website serves as a clearinghouse of information and no-cost resources to help law enforcement personnel develop or enhance agency use of social media. Additionally, the center provides fact sheets, case studies, and other resources to build the capacity of law enforcement to use social media tools to prevent and solve crimes, strengthen police-community relations, and enhance services.

Information Sharing

This year, the IACP enhanced its no-cost training sessions on information sharing to law enforcement chief executives throughout the United States with our State, Local, and Tribal (SLT) 101 courses. The project, in partnership with the Bureau of Justice Assistance and the Department of Homeland Security, seeks to promote implementation of national information-sharing capabilities among state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies by providing training to chief executives. The training is designed to familiarize chiefs with key national programs, such as the National Strategy for Information Sharing and the Information Sharing Environment, and to enhance chiefs’ understanding of how to build and sustain effective all-crimes information-sharing environments in the agencies they lead.

I encourage you to read more about this groundbreaking program on the IACP website. In closing, I would like to express my thanks to all of the exceptional men and women I have been honored to serve with during my time on the IACP Board of Officers and the IACP Executive Committee. I am grateful for your dedicated service to the IACP. I applaud the continuing efforts of the IACP’s outstanding staff of truly dedicated individuals. I continue to be amazed at the amount of work and creative initiatives that are the ongoing products of their exceptional efforts. Thank you for your hard work.

No one can serve successfully in an IACP leadership capacity without the support of family, colleagues, and certainly one’s home jurisdiction. It has been a profound privilege to represent the citizens of Smithfield, Virginia, during this year as president. My wife, Deborah, our family, and our friends have been a constant source of love and support.

Finally, I would like to thank the IACP membership. I will always be grateful for this unparalleled opportunity to lead the oldest and largest professional organization of law enforcement executives in the world. ■

Please cite as:

Mark A. Marshall, “The Year in Review,” President’s Message, The Police Chief 78 October 2011): 6.