Director's Message: Serving the Profession II
As I stated in last month’s Dispatch, we are here to serve the law enforcement profession. We do so through the advancement of community policing and through the awarding of funds to hire additional personnel. Our primary goal going into FY2011 is to bring these two critical missions into closer alignment. In other words, we will always be in the business of assisting agencies to hire additional personnel, but we will do so with a specific purpose—to make America’s communities safer through the advancement of community policing.
I believe that we must also undertake an additional responsibility—we must be leaders in addressing current critical issues that face the law enforcement community. We can accomplish this through three specific methodologies: convening, funding, and responding.
Over the next several years, we will resume our traditional role of bringing the appropriate people together to discuss specific issues and to help the field develop solutions. We can do this through the Regional Community Policing Institutes, the Director’s Emerging Issues Forums, and specific meetings with targeted audiences. Next year, the COPS Conference will return as a forum where hot button issues can be discussed.
The second methodology is to provide funding to various groups that will in turn convene larger meetings around specific topics. We are working with PERF to convene topical conferences on issues that are critical to the field. The first one will be in July and will center on the use of Tasers.
Last, we will put together a response, under the Community Policing Advancement Directorate, to evaluate law enforcement incidents of national significance. That group will make recommendations to the Director about what response, if any, COPS should undertake. I will share more about this in the weeks ahead.
We also will participate in meetings with local law enforcement that might not directly involve COPS funding in order to maximize our familiarity with the issues confronting our stakeholders. Such responses have occurred recently in New Orleans and in Detroit.
COPS has historically been a leader in the law enforcement profession. The profession turns to us when it is striving to address sensitive issues. We provide the highest quality training and technical assistance available to the profession.
The Chiefs and Sheriffs of this country have expressed to me repeatedly their appreciation of the COPS Office and the people who work here. Allow me to add my own appreciation to theirs. More to follow...