Erica Richardson, Author at National Police Foundation

Archives Erica Richardson

National Police Foundation to Attend 33rd Annual Candlelight Vigil to Honor Fallen Officers During Police Weekend 2021

October 14, 2021—Today, the National Police Foundation will attend the 33rd Annual Candlelight Vigil, produced by the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, on the National Mall in Washington D.C. to honor the hundreds of law enforcement officers who died in the line of duty during 2019 and 2020.

The ceremony will formally dedicate the names of 701 law enforcement officers—including 434 who died in 2019 and 2020, and 267 prior-year fatalities—to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, D.C., where their names will be added. NPF President Jim Burch will be among those reading aloud the names of the fallen officers.

“As a member of the Memorial’s Board of Directors, the National Police Foundation has the distinct honor of participating in the Candlelight Vigil and reading the names of officers from the State of Texas who have made the ultimate sacrifice,” said NPF President Jim Burch. “We honor and we remember them all and we recommit ourselves to doing all we can to keep officers safe and to promote their wellbeing.”

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, in-person events usually held during National Police Week in May were postponed to Police Weekend 2021 (Oct. 13-17, 2021), an event that continues this week to offer the same honor, remembrance, and peer support as the extended National Police Week, while allowing law enforcement, survivors, and citizens to honor the fallen.

In the law enforcement community, 62 percent of deaths in 2020 were a result of COVID-19. Those individuals are now part of the 22,611 fallen law enforcement officers—from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, U.S. territories, federal, corrections, railroad, and military police agencies—who have died in the line of duty throughout U.S. history.

Surviving family members, friends, law enforcement colleagues, and supporters are all encouraged to attend the ceremony in-person at 6:00 p.m. ET on the National Mall or virtually via Facebook or

Note: The National Park Service requires wearing of masks if not 6 feet apart.

To find the names of officers added to the Memorial, visit:

To learn more about Police Weekend 2021 events, please visit:

Save the Date and Register Today for the 2021 Destination Zero Virtual Conference for Officer Safety and Wellness (Friday, October 15, 2021)

October 12, 2021—The Destination Zero Conference for Officer Safety and Wellness (OSW), presented by the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, is an annual gathering of law enforcement officials who are dedicated to improving the safety and wellness of their employees. Open to all law enforcement officers and leadership, this year’s event will feature topics on OSW initiatives like cardiac wellness, SAFLEO and suicide prevention, and officer roadway safety. The Conference will be followed by the 2021 National Officer Safety and Wellness Awards Ceremony.

Learn more and register here:

NPF Launches New Data Science Blog

October 7, 2021—The National Police Foundation (NPF) is pleased to announce its new Data Science Blog site, which will feature content that highlights some of the work done by NPF’s Data Science Team. Much of the research and analyses done by the team ends up being public, but not often in a format that is oriented for data scientists or other quantitative researchers. This platform will allow the data science team to highlight interesting findings and analysis relating to a variety of NPF’s policing research projects.

The first blog post, “Do Something. Do The Right Thing. An Evaluation of the Impact of Active Bystandership Training,” presents part of an ongoing evaluation of Active Bystandership (AB) training that has been conducted in the Baltimore Police Department.

To view the blog, please visit:

National Police Foundation Begins Innovative Study Examining Adverse Impacts of Organizational Stress on Officer Health, Wellness, and Other Outcomes

September 29, 2021—The National Police Foundation (NPF) announces the start of an innovative research study, “Adverse Impacts of Organizational Stress on Officer Health and Wellness: Causes, Correlation, and Mitigation”—being led by Drs. Karen L. Amendola (NPF), Travis Taniguchi (NPF), and Jenn Rineer (RTI International), along with Ms. Maria Valdovinos Olson (NPF)—that is aimed at developing a greater understanding of the health and wellness impacts of organizational stressors on law enforcement and correctional officers.

There is a long history of research on the causes and consequences of stress among law enforcement officers. Research on stress has demonstrated that officers’ perceptions of organizational stressors (e.g., administrative burdens, perceptions of unfairness, organizational politics, and work hours) are more impactful than operational stressors (e.g., danger, exposure to violence, etc.). Moreover, organizational stressors have been linked to a variety of adverse outcomes including poor health, quality of life, and performance, as well as psychological distress and sleep problems.

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Law Enforcement, Communities, and Faith-Based Organizations to Come Together for National Faith & Blue Weekend (Oct. 8-11)

September 28, 2021—The National Police Foundation, along with every major national law enforcement group, state, and regional associations representing 47 states, the U.S. Department of Justice Office of Community Oriented Policing Services, and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, is partnering with Atlanta-based MovementForward, Inc.’s One Congregation One Precinct (OneCOP) initiative to jointly organize the most consolidated police-community outreach project in history—National Faith & Blue Weekend 2021 (Faith & Blue).  The effort is sponsored by FirstNet, Built with AT&T and the Motorola Solutions Foundation. The mission is to facilitate safer, stronger, and more unified communities by connecting law enforcement officers and residents through local faith-based and community organizations.

“For the past several years, we’ve seen enormous strains in the relationship between law enforcement and communities,” says MovementForward CEO and Faith & Blue lead organizer Rev. Markel Hutchins. “Recent times have proven that we cannot simply march and protest away the problems — we have to turn our pain into power,” continues Rev. Hutchins.  “Our pathway to progress around policing as a nation is a collaborative one that focuses on our commonalities rather than our differences.”

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Counter-Terrorism After 9/11—An interview with Dr. Frank Straub, Director of the Center for Mass Violence Response Studies at the National Police Foundation

Counter-Terrorism After 9/11—An interview with Dr. Frank Straub, Director of the Center for Mass Violence Response Studies at the National Police Foundation

Reprinted with permission from the International Centre for Counter-Terrorism (ICCT) – The Hague

Twenty years ago, Frank Straub was a first responder on the scene of the attacks in lower Manhattan. Looking back, we go through his experience of the day and his perspective on how counter-terrorism in policing changed after the attacks. Interviewing him is Dr. Joana Cook, an ICCT Senior Project Manager and Editor-in-Chief of the ICCT Journal.

JOANA COOK: Dr. Straub, thanks for joining us today. Can you please introduce yourself to our audience?

FRANK STRAUB: I’m the director of the National Police Foundation’s Center for Mass Violence Response Studies. I joined NPF approximately five and a half years ago, after spending thirty years in federal, state and local law enforcement in the United States. Early in my career, I worked in the counter-terrorism, counter-extremism space with the US State Department, and the US Naval Investigative Service. I left and then joined the US Department of Justice Inspector General’s office with the intent of working on public corruption cases. In 1993, when the first attack on the World Trade Centre happened, I ended up becoming involved in that investigation as a result of an individual that we had arrested on bribery charges.

About two weeks after the 9/11 attack, I joined the NYPD as the Deputy Commissioner of Training. I served in that position for about six months and then I was asked to help stand up the counter-terrorism division in the New York City Police Department. After doing that, I went up to a small community about thirty miles north of New York, where I was the Public Safety Commissioner and was there for about nine years and then left and went out to Indianapolis, Indiana, as the Public Safety Director for the city, and then out to Spokane, Washington, where I was the Police Chief. I then joined the National Police Foundation.

COOK: Where were you on the morning of 9/11? What do you remember from that day?

STRAUB: I was working about six blocks south of the World Trade Centre complex. While I was in the elevator, I felt the building shake. I got down to the ground floor and went outside and everybody was looking at the World Trade Centre. I looked up at it, it was an absolutely crystal clear day, and it was clear that a rather large aircraft had hit the tower. From my perspective, it was impossible that it was an accident for a plane, a commercial aircraft, to hit that building. [Based on] my work in the 1993 case, and my work in the Terrorism Task Force, I concluded pretty quickly that this was an intentional attack.

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Remembering 9/11 – Looking Past Hate Toward the Greatness of Unity

September 11, 2001 changed the lives of many. For those who lived through it, we will never forget the exact moments when we learned that a horrible tragedy was no accident, searing the visions in our minds forever. Almost 3,000 lives were lost on that day and more than 6,000 injured; in addition, a significant number of the heroes who responded to the attacks have died or are suffering from mental illness or diseases that are a result of exposure to the scene—in the deadliest terrorist attack in our history. As the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks approaches, we remember and we reflect on the impact those attacks have had on our nation, especially our law enforcement officers, firefighters, and other first responders who willingly and knowingly risked or gave their lives to save others.

Much of a first responder’s job is to help people during their most difficult and trying life events, however, September 11, 2001, was undeniably different than what most of us have experienced in our lives. The sacrifices of our first reponders have not been forgotten—in fact, 9/11 is a solemn reminder to us, that even in our darkest moments, our first responders will always show up to protect our communities, even at their own peril. For those who were able to physically survive the attacks, they have faced longstanding physical and mental trauma and an increased risk of heart, respiratory, and cancer-related illnesses. While most of us remember that day on its anniversary, these heroes relive and struggle with 9/11—every day.

Because of the courage and dedication of our first responders, and the unity born out of tragedy, terrorism did not win that day, just as it will not win today or tomorrow. Instead, we, as Americans, and the world demonstrated that justice shall prevail. In honor of those who serve, we offer our gratitude, support, and deepest respect. Let us continue to honor the legacy of those who perished, support the survivors, and commit to telling our children how sacrifice, hope, bravery, and courage prevailed, and how we—as Americans and the world—came together in unity. Though hate may have brought us momentarily to our knees, the power of unity and hope will always be much greater.

Co-Responder Models in Policing: Better Serving Communities

By Dean Esserman
National Police Foundation Senior Counselor

Over the last 30 years, a growing number of agencies have increasingly adopted police-mental health collaboration (PMHC) programs, also known as co-responder models, to provide an enhanced response to victims of crime or people in the throes of an emotional or behavioral health crisis[1]. Utilizing this model, law enforcement and mental health clinicians respond to these calls for service together, providing an improved and immediate response to crisis situations by conducting a more accurate needs assessment on scene for the person in distress, and connecting them and their families to community-based resources. While co-responding is certainly not new, it is an essential piece of the puzzle when it comes to working with victims of crimes. The journey of a victim does not end with a simple 9-1-1 call, in fact, it is only the beginning of what may be a long journey toward recovery. As law enforcement and community leaders, it is our responsibility to ensure that our efforts are not limited to a law enforcement response but rather includes holistic victim services and support.

My first experience with PMHC programs came in 1992, when I was part of a team that built a partnership between the New Haven Police Department and the Yale Child Study Center that focused on children exposed to violence. This collaboration led to the creation of the Child Development/Community Policing Program, in which law enforcement officers and clinicians established training and orientation sessions for one another and worked to establish and implement joint protocols. Eventually, the partnership evolved into responding together to calls for service. The work we did in New Haven was later recognized by the White House, which designated the Yale Child Study Center as the National Center for Children Exposed to Violence.

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“Neighborhood-Driven Policing Revisited”: New Paper Available

NPF Announces New “Innovations in Policing” Series and Publishes First Paper on the Neighborhood-Driven Policing Model 

August 24, 2021—The National Police Foundation is pleased to announce a new essay series, Innovations in Policing (IIP), intended to stimulate new ideas and approaches to policing and safety and to encourage further discussion on how policing may become more effective as a result. IIP seeks to generate greater dialogue within the profession about  innovative concepts or approaches that may depart from traditional methods and invites conversation from a variety of perspectives.

In conjunction with the announcement of the series, the first paper as part of the series, “Neighborhood-Driven Policing Revisited,” is now available. In 2005, Levin & Myers wrote an article describing a model of policing referred to as Neighborhood-Driven Policing (NDP). NDP, which builds on the principles of community policing, introduced a non-traditional and aspirational vision of policing. As futurists, Levin & Myers offered the NDP model in the hope it would stimulate thought leaders to reflect and recommend changes in how the police could better serve their communities. Now, more than a decade later, the NDP model is being revisited by policing reform advocates as several key elements of NDP encapsulate various changes that have garnered widespread consideration in recent years. In particular, the events of the spring and summer of 2020 have provided us with the opportunity to rethink the NPD model. While much has changed in the fifteen years since the original piece was published, many other issues remain stubbornly entrenched.

“Neighborhood-Driven Policing Revisited” involved conducting an analysis of research and seeks to describe an updated vision of how NDP might better-meet the needs and expectations of both police and residents in contemporary communities. The authors offer this revisitation of NDP as a starting point for more imaginative conversations about how we should rethink basic assumptions about police staffing, police deployment, the skills of policing, and the nature of police-communication roles and relationships. Furthermore, the paper encourages ways to think about the position and role that police and residents occupy in their relationship with each other as they seek to enhance shared goals, namely community safety and resident well-being.

To view the paper, please visit:

NPF Releases New Report, “The Proliferation of Ghost Guns: Regulation Gaps and Challenges for Law Enforcement”

August 9, 2021—The National Police Foundation (NPF) is pleased to release a new report, The Proliferation of Ghost Guns: Regulation Gaps and Challenges for Law Enforcement.

Ghost guns (also known as privately made or unserialized firearms) have become a significant concern to law enforcement and public safety. The term “ghost gun” encompasses a variety of firearms produced from components that are not currently regulated by federal firearm laws. Most commonly, ghost guns are produced from components purchased from businesses and individuals that most often include nearly finished aluminum, polymer frames, or receivers.

Advances in ghost gun parts manufacturing facilitates homemade production of firearms by non-technical users. Public safety and gun violence prevention advocates cite the growing representation of ghost guns in crime as well as the ease of production, lack of background checks, and poor traceability as reasons that ghost guns components and kits should be regulated like all other firearms.

In response to this issue, NPF conducted a study of 24 diverse law enforcement agencies (LEAs), which addressed current knowledge gaps by exploring law enforcement’s experience with ghost guns to provide a national overview of current perceptions, practices, and recommendations for improving public policy. Interviews with command, patrol, forensics, and specialized units from 24 LEAs revealed that there was a patchwork of experience with, and strategies to address the public safety risk created by ghost guns. Policy recommendations based on this research include halting the proliferation of ghost guns through regulating the production and sale of ghost gun components and kits by updating the outdated definition of firearm. Recommendations for improvements on the process of tracking and reporting ghost gun data, training, within-agency information sharing, and research are also discussed.

To view the full report, please visit: