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DEA Officer Safety Alert: Fentanyl Can Kill You

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) recently released a 3-minute video warning law enforcement about the danger of exposure to fentanyl, a synthetic opioid about 40 to 50 times stronger than heroin. Commonly sold as heroin, the smallest amounts of fentanyl ingested or absorbed can be lethal, a point emphasized in the video by two New Jersey detectives that were poisoned after accidentally inhaling only a small amount of the drug. To ensure officer and canine safety, the DEA urges law enforcement to take appropriate precautions and forego field testing when dealing with the drug. For more information, please see the DEA roll call video below or visit


Chief Flynn Discusses Race and Law Enforcement During Presidential Town Hall

FLYNNEdwardAMilwaukee Police Chief and Police Foundation Executive Fellow Edward Flynn took part in the nationally televised town hall forum with President Obama on Thursday, July 14, 2016. The forum tackled race relations and law enforcement, two issues that have been at the forefront of the nation in recent weeks. Chief Flynn addressed both the issues of minorities’ mistrust of law enforcement and the easy availability of high-powered weapons. Read More & Share

If We Open Our Ears and Our Minds, We Can Reconnect with Our Communities

Higgins-Photo-originalBy Ronnell Higgins
Chief of the Yale University Police Department

In the business of policing, we often talk about lessons learned.

Let me tell you something, from my perspective as chief of the university police, we sure have had ample opportunities to learn some lessons here at Yale University over the past year.

Last January, my department came under fire after one of my officers drew his weapon while stopping a young black male who matched the description of an intruder seen at another nearby college where there had been a series of burglaries. It turned out the young man was not the intruder—he was a Yale student. It also turned out the student was the son of a New York Times columnist who took us to task at a time when policing in America, especially in communities of color, was under intense scrutiny. Read More & Share

President Obama Issues “Open Letter” to America’s Law Enforcement Officers

White House logoOn Monday, July 18, 2016, President Barack Obama issued an open letter to America’s law enforcement community, expressing gratitude and support for their heroic efforts and grief over the recent loss of too many of America’s heroes who serve in their communities. We applaud the President for taking this extraordinary and much needed step to make clear that law enforcement officers deserve our support and that we must all protect our protectors. The Police Foundation is pleased to share this letter and wholeheartedly supports the President’s statements.

On Policing: Orlando Tragedy Spurs Memories for San Bernardino Chief

PF On Policing logo final versionIn the newest On Policing essay, San Bernardino Police Chief Jarrod Burguan discusses the tragic attack that occurred in Orlando, FL, early Sunday morning, drawing upon his own personal experiences and reflections from the terrorist attack in San Bernardino, CA, on December 2, 2015. Be sure to check out the essay here or visit

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Orlando Tragedy Spurs Memories for San Bernardino Police Chief

Burguan_JarrodBy Chief Jarrod Burguan
San Bernardino Police Department

With a very heavy heart, I watched the tragic news unfold out of Orlando this past weekend.

It was painful for me to hear of the unconscionable loss of life. It made me proud to see law enforcement responding forcefully and effectively to prevent more people from being slaughtered.

But it was also an odd situation for me, being on the other side of things. It was just seven months ago that I found myself front and center after my city of San Bernardino fell victim to a terrorist attack from a husband and wife who shot and killed 14 innocent people. Read More & Share

Identifying and Developing Latent Diversity in Policing

Johnson ID photoBy Jeremiah Johnson, Ph.D.
Patrol Sergeant
Darien, CT, Police Department

The present crisis in policing has gathered the winds of reform, generating important conversations about what policing should look like in the 21st century.  A clear consensus is often hard to achieve given the constituencies involved, yet there is almost universal agreement that our profession can begin to turn the ship around through improved hiring practices.  This avenue of reform is typically framed within the context of racial and ethnic diversity, the ideal being that a police agency should reflect the face of the community.  This is indeed an important end that can enhance police legitimacy.  The call to increase the number of women in policing is less pronounced, but no less important.  In fact, increasing female representation is arguably one of the most effective ways to reduce the rate of extralegal force.  We would be remiss, however, to straighten our rudder upon reaching some semblance of diversity on these fronts alone. Read More & Share

LEO Near Miss Featured in May Issue of IACP’s Police Chief Magazine

As our nation continues to remember and honor the sacrifices of fallen officers following National Police Week, it is critical that we remain focused on reducing and preventing these tragedies.  In this month’s Officer Safety and Wellness issue of the IACP’s Police Chief magazine, Chief Frank Straub (Ret.) and Commissioner Robert Haas explain how law enforcement agencies and officers can take tangible steps towards this goal. Entitled “Learning from Near Misses: The Law Enforcement Officer (LEO) Near Miss System”, the article calls upon and encourages law enforcement leaders to do more by reporting and learning from near misses that occur within their agencies.

Utilized extensively in other fields such as aviation, medicine, and fire & rescue, the systematic reporting, collection, and analysis of “near miss” incidents is fundamental to reducing risk, improving safety, and saving lives. For every tragedy, there are literally dozens of “near misses”—incidents that could have resulted in significant injury or death if not for a fortunate break in the chain of events. As law enforcement agencies and organizations, such as Below 100, continue to strive towards reducing the number of line of duty deaths, it is critical that agencies look, not only to these tragedies, but also to near misses for lessons learned that can be applied to future operations in order to improve safety.

Memorial wall cropped

LEO Near Miss, developed by the Police Foundation with funding support from the COPS Office, provides law enforcement agencies and officers with the ability to view and report near miss incidents in one online, anonymous, and voluntary system. For more information on the system and the benefits it offers to law enforcement, please see this month’s article in The Police Chief magazine and be sure to visit the LEO Near Miss website at


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Tracking Data is Key After a State Legalizes Marijuana

CHIEF Marco Vasquez_croppedBy Chief Marco Vasquez
Chief of Police in Erie, Colorado

My home state of Colorado recently released its first study of the consequences of legalizing marijuana for recreational use.

What surprised me the most is how much we still do not know after six years of commercial marijuana legalization. The study examined as much data as could be found. But therein lies the problem: No one had been effectively tracking marijuana statistics prior to 2010 when Colorado legalized the drug to allow for commercial, medical, and then, in 2012, for recreational use.

It’s why I am here to tell you something important: If your state has not legalized marijuana, you can expect that there is a pretty good chance that will change in the future. What I see across the country is that law enforcement leaders are generally in denial that it will happen in their state. And if it does, the reaction is, “Hell no, we are going to resist it at all cost.”

That was the thinking of Colorado law enforcement leading up to the vote. We simply did not think it would happen, and then when it did, the reaction was: Holy cow, what do we do now? Read More & Share