Archives Erica Richardson

National Partnership Launches Training Initiative for Law Enforcement Executives & Managers Exploring, Evaluating and Implementing Advanced Technologies

NEW YORK — At the conclusion of a two-day Regional Information Sharing Summit hosted by the New Jersey State Police, the New York Police Department and many other federal, state and local law enforcement agencies spanning the I-95 Corridor, law enforcement leaders concluded that existing information technology continues to provide public safety advantages while emerging technologies hold incredible promise for future capabilities to prevent and effectively intervene against violent and serious crime and the networks that perpetrate such crime.

“Selecting and implementing new technology in law enforcement deserves and requires unique considerations, not the least of which is the impact on officers and the community.” – Jim Burch, @PoliceFound on partnership with @ijisinstitute and @RutgersSCJ

Tweet this

During the Summit, a new national partnership among the IJIS Institute, the National Police Foundation, and the Center on Policing at Rutgers University was announced, offering a unique and customized training program for federal, state and local law enforcement executives, managers and staff who are seeking or implementing emerging and enhanced technologies in their agencies.

The public safety community is often overwhelmed by the amount and sophistication of new technologies available to agencies, with developers and marketers promising the best and most advanced technologies available. Yet no formal training program to prepare executives for the process of sorting through the available technologies, selecting the most appropriate solutions, and effectively implementing the solution within the agency’s existing environment and consistent with community norms and expectations is available specifically for law enforcement and public safety.

“The exploding introduction of new technologies in policing makes it very difficult for police executives to know what a given technology can do to improve operations and what pitfalls should be avoided,” said Ashwini Jarral, Executive Director of the IJIS institute. “This training program offers practical advice on selecting and managing technology implementation.”

The partnership will launch with an inaugural seminar entitled “The Promises & Perils of Law Enforcement Information Technologies.” The two-day executive seminar offers case-studies on current and emerging information technologies and the benefits and challenges that such technologies may bring. The seminar will emphasize lessons learned in harnessing the benefits of such technologies and mitigating the risks through proven strategies and strong project management and planning.

“Police executives and other staff overseeing the selection and implementation of new technologies in law enforcement can learn from the valuable lessons of others, including their successes and failures,” said Tom O’Reilly of the Center on Policing at Rutgers University.

Seminar topics include the discussion of justifying the adoption of new technologies, developing community support and acceptance, privacy concerns and safeguarding strategies, managing the acquisition of technology, measuring benefits, risk management, developing policies on the use of data, and more. Participants will also learn about the current and coming state of the art of police information technology.

The sponsoring partners will also be offering a course for senior managers responsible for implementing information technologies in law enforcement concentrating on best practices for managing implementation of advanced technologies. A third course will be offered for project managers. Additional courses on related topics are being considered. Technologies discussed include CAD & RMS Systems, Predictive Policing Solutions, Body Worn Cameras, License Plate Readers, Gunshot Detection and other Sensor Technologies, Early Intervention Systems, Machine Learning/Artificial Intelligence, Communications technologies including NG911 and FirstNet-related capabilities.

The seminar aims to enhance skills among law enforcement decision makers and planners that will enable them to independently consider what technology is actually needed versus desired, understanding solution and project scope and rightsizing and the implications this may have for cost, complexity and the likelihood of success, understanding basic information technologies and concepts and thinking forward about how the solutions may impact agency operations and the community perceptions, including privacy and civil liberty impacts.

“As has been said before, we cannot allow technology to happen to us and this is particularly true in policing and public safety where the needs are great, but the risks may in some cases be even greater,” said Jim Burch, Interim President of the National Police Foundation. “Selecting and implementing new technology in law enforcement deserves and requires unique considerations, not the least of which is the impact on officers and the community.”

Additional courses in Emerging Law Enforcement Information Technology and Law Enforcement Technology Project Management will be offered in 2019. Those completing the courses will receive a certificate and continuing education credits from Rutgers.

Agencies interested in receiving more information on this training initiative can sign up here.


The IJIS Institute is a nonprofit alliance working to promote and enable technology in the public sector and expand the use of information to maximize safety, efficiency, and productivity. IJIS has members and associates working within and across several major public-sector domains as our areas of focus: Criminal Justice (Law Enforcement, Corrections, Courts), Public Safety (Fire, EMS, Emergency Management), Homeland Security, Health and Human Services, and Transportation. The IJIS Institute brings together the innovative thinking of the private sector and the practitioners, national practice associations, and academic organizations that are working to solve public sector information and technology challenges. Founded in 2001 as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, the IJIS Institute includes member companies and individual associates from government, nonprofit, and educational institutions from across the United States. For more information, visit our website at: and follow us on Twitter @ijisinstitute.

The Center on Policing (COP), formerly known as the Police Institute, was founded by Dr. George Kelling in 2001. Our Center is composed of individuals with a broad range of experience in the public safety arena. The COP’s mission is to integrate research and evidence-based best practices into police operations, violence reduction, problem-solving, community policing, education, training, and the development of criminal justice policy and practice. The center will achieve its goals by focusing on the following three areas: Research, Technology, and Education & Technical Assistance.

The National Police Foundation is a U.S.-based, non-partisan, non-profit organization dedicated to advancing policing through innovation and science. For nearly 50 years, the Police Foundation has conducted research, provided training and technical assistance, and has led the way in promoting and sharing evidence-based practices and innovation among law enforcement in the U.S. and internationally. The National Police Foundation is conducting research on the perceptions of police officers regarding available and needed technologies and their impacts and has recently completed a study on law enforcement units and operations related to unmanned aerial systems. In recent years, the National Police Foundation has initiated efforts to engage law enforcement agencies in assessing the privacy impacts of surveillance systems, promoted the use of open data and transparency in law enforcement, and examined the potential impacts of autonomous vehicles and robotics in policing. For more information on the National Police Foundation, please visit or contact the Foundation at


National Police Foundation
Erica Richardson, 240-682-2206

Interim National Police Foundation President Jim Burch and Board Chairman Barney Melekian Welcome Board of Directors

On Wednesday, January 30, 2019, Interim Police Foundation President Jim Burch, Board Chairman Barney Melekian, and the staff of the National Police Foundation (NPF) will welcome the Foundation’s Board of Directors to Washington for the first board meeting of 2019. This will be the first board meeting since the retirement of the Foundation’s past President Jim Bueermann, who served in the capacity of President for nearly 7 years.

The January 2019 board meeting will take place at NPF headquarters. At this meeting, the NPF will welcome its newest Board Members:

Michael L. Brown
Police Chief
Alexandria Police Department Alexandria, VA

William J. Galloway 
Real Estate and Investments Manager
Pasadena, CA

Daniel Isom
University of Missouri – St. Louis St. Louis, MO

David Klinger
University of Missouri – St. Louis St. Louis, MO

Ronal W. Serpas
Loyola University New Orleans New Orleans, LA

Michael P. Valenti
Beechwood Capital Advisors Short Hills, NJ

as well as welcome its returning members:

Henry DeGeneste
HDG Consulting, Inc. Ocala, FL

Cheryl Anthony Epps
Epps Consulting, Inc. McKenney, VA

Jonathan Knowles
Explorer Autodesk
Los Gatos, CA

Joseph Mancias, Jr.
Nash Nogales, LLC Alexandria, VA

Bernard Melekian, DPPD
Assistant CEO for Public SafetySanta Barbara County Executive OfficeSanta Barbara, CA

Mark Mellman
President and CEO
The Mellman Group Washington, DC

The meeting will conclude on Friday, February 1.

NPF Executive Policing Fellow Captain Ivonne Roman Selected as a TED Fellow

Captain Ivonne Roman, National Police Foundation Executive Policing Fellow and the co-founder of the Women’s Leadership Academy, to present at TED2019, joining the newest class of 20 global visionaries.

NEW YORK, JANUARY 23, 2019 — Newark, NJ, Police Captain Ivonne Roman has been selected as a TED Fellow, joining a class of 20 change-makers from around the world to deliver a talk on the TED stage this April in Vancouver. Roman was selected for her work to improve the recruitment and retention of women in policing through the use of evidence-based practice and mentoring.

Roman says, “Women make up just 12% of police officers in the United States, yet research since the 1970s shows that women are invaluable to police departments and communities. Countries like Canada, Australia, and the UK have significantly higher rates of police women and New Zealand is seeking gender parity by 2021; we can and must do better.”

Roman explains, “By far, the biggest barrier to increasing representation of women in policing, is arbitrary fitness standards that vary from state to state. Research evidence informs our work, which shows women can achieve police required fitness levels, when the training design is grounded in the science of physiology.  The US Marshalls, FBI, DEA, ATF and the United States military fitness programs are designed to test fitness without causing disparate outcomes based on gender. However, there is no uniformity among the 18,000 police agencies in the United States, contributing to low levels of women in policing and limiting the pool of qualified applicants. The Women’s Leadership Academy is working to address gender disparities in recruitment and retention of women in police academies through advocacy and mentoring of women preparing for careers in law enforcement, filling a gap that currently exists in the police recruitment efforts.”

“We are thrilled to announce the newest class of TED Fellows, who give voice to some of the most exciting ideas we’ve seen in the program’s 10-year history,” said TED Fellows Director Shoham Arad. “This year’s class includes a police captain designing systems to support women in policing, a space environmentalist building technology to monitor space debris, and an artist exploring the ethical implications of emerging technology. The Fellows program is committed to using its resources and platform to help scale Fellows’ ideas and impact, and we are so excited to have these Fellows become an integral part of our global community.”

Founded in 2009, the TED Fellows program has 472 Fellows from 96 countries, whose talks have been viewed more than 250 million times overall. In its ten-year history, the TED Fellows program has created a powerful, far-reaching network made up of scientists, doctors, activists, artists, entrepreneurs, inventors, journalists and beyond.

As a TED Fellow, Captain Ivonne Roman joins a community that includes Perry Chen, the artist who co-founded Kickstarter; Amanda Nguyen, the activist whose organization RISE helped write the Sexual Assault Survivors’ Bill of Rights, which passed unanimously through US Congress; and Essam Daod, the psychiatrist who founded Humanity Crew to provide psychological aid to refugees.

The TED Fellows has also yielded a wide variety of collaborative projects, including PEEK, the social enterprise that recently raised a $1 billion fund to eradicate preventable blindness in the developing world; BRCK, the technology company that builds mobile WiFi routers that can work anywhere, even in the harshest conditions; and Fine Acts, the international collective bringing together artists and activists to instigate social change.

Applications for the 2020 TED Fellows class will be open later this year. Interested applicants should visit the TED Fellows program website for information and updates about the fellowship:

The Women’s Leadership Academy was established within the Newark Police Superior Officers Association by its President, Captain John Chrystal, in response to high female attrition rates in Newark Police academy classes.  The project is funded by the Open Society Foundation, Implementing the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing program.

About the TED Fellows program

The TED Fellows program brings together young innovators from around the world and across disciplines, who display both outstanding achievement and exemplary character, to raise international awareness of their work and maximize their impact. The program offers Fellows full participation in a TED or TEDGlobal Conference, a two-day pre-conference of workshops and activities, a Fellows Retreat, ongoing professional coaching and mentoring, dedicated PR coachingand active participation in the TED community, including the global TED Fellows network.

Learn more:

Complete list of all new 2019 TED Fellows and TED Senior Fellows:
Playlist: Top 10 talks by TED Fellows


Twitter: @tedfellow

National Police Foundation to Participate in National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day (L.E.A.D.) on January 9, 2019

On January 9, 2019, the National Police Foundation will participate in National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day (L.E.A.D.).

Our mission is to advance policing through innovation and science. Fundamental to our mission’s success is respect for and dedication to  law enforcement — America’s most noble profession.

Although we express our appreciation for law enforcement officers each and every day through our work, including officer safety and wellness initiatives, research translation that brings the power of science to policing strategies, and through the identification of innovative technologies and approaches, a special day of thanks and recognition is clearly warranted.

On January 9, we will proudly stand beside those in our communities to pay tribute to our nation’s law enforcement officers — for their sacrifice, bravery, and commitment to protecting others. We especially would like to honor those officers and their families who have made the ultimate sacrifice, including the 148 officers who died in the line of duty in 2018.

Below are some of the ways NPF, other organizations, and community members can show support on National L.E.A.D. January 9:

  • Change your profile picture on social media to the .jpg image provided at
  • Wear blue clothing in support of law enforcement.
  • Send a card of support to your local police department or state agency.
  • Share a story about a positive law enforcement experience on social media.
  • Ask children in your community to write letters in support of law enforcement.
  • Participate in Project Blue Light – Proudly display your blue light in support of law enforcement.
  • Organize an event or a rally in support of your law enforcement officers.
  • Advertise your support through local media outlets/billboards.
  • Post the public service announcement supplied by C.O.P.S. to your organization’s web page or social media pages
  • Most importantly, if you see a police officer, thank a police officer.

End of Year Message from the National Police Foundation

December 31, 2018

Dear Friends,

As 2018 draws to a close, we want to express our gratitude to the men and women wearing the badge this weekend, working around the clock and through the holidays to serve and protect communities across the country. We also want to thank you, our community of supporters, who know and value the work we do to advance policing through innovation and science, promoting effective ways to fight crime, and making our nation safer for all.

We also want to announce that we were recently awarded the Gold Seal of Transparency by Guidestar, the largest source of information on nonprofit organizations. Check out our profile for more information. In addition, we’ve launched our 2018 Annual Report webpage, which highlights many of our innovative 2018 projects.

Looking ahead, in 2019 the National Police Foundation is excited to continue to conduct critical policing research and promote evidence-based guidance focused on ensuring police do their work safely, justly, and effectively. Please consider making an end-of-year donation to support our important work.

We wish you a joyful and peaceful holiday season. Thank you!

Laura Caldwell
National Police Foundation

Donate to the National Police Foundation

National Police Foundation Publishes Best Practices Guide for Police Open Data

As more police departments are adopting open data practices within their jurisdictions, the National Police Foundation releases a five-part series to guide agencies through the process.  

WASHINGTON — The National Police Foundation, a non-profit, non-partisan, policing research organization, is pleased to announce the publication of its five-part best practices guide series Open Data and Policing. Drawing from promising practices used by law enforcement agencies that take part in the Police Data Initiative, the guide series aims to guide executives and members of local law enforcement agencies as they develop and release open data.


The Police Data Initiative, managed by the National Police Foundation through funding from the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS), promotes the use of open data to encourage joint problem-solving, innovation, enhanced understanding, and accountability between law enforcement agencies and the communities they serve.

To date, more than 140 local law enforcement agencies have joined the Police Data Initiative, and as of November 2018, over 380 open data sets have been released with many more in development. These open data sets contain raw, incident-level data that can be accessed online in a digital machine-readable format. These data sets can be accessed, downloaded, and analyzed by community members, researchers, and others at no cost to the user.


According to the National Police Foundation’s Law Enforcement Executive’s Guide to Open Data, “with increased access to accurate information, police officers and community members alike are empowered to develop a fact-based perspective on community-police relations by understanding the actual public safety and crime problems within their jurisdictions and how the police are responding to those problems.”

Police departments can use open data sets to help them to better engage with their communities and identify and analyze local challenges, which can better inform responses to topics such as crime hot spots and specialized challenges such as hate crimes. Publishing data sets that address frequently-requested statistics can additionally help to streamline common media inquiries.

“The leaders involved in this community of practice have taken extraordinary steps to demonstrate transparency and to engage those they serve in a partnership for public safety,” said Chief (Ret.) Jim Bueermann, President of the National Police Foundation. “Open data is more accessible, timely, and provides a more accurate picture and allows for informed dialogue to take place between law enforcement and community members.”


With funding from the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) Office, the National Police Foundation developed a five-part series Best Practices Guide, covering topics throughout the process of developing and releasing open data for the first time through real-word examples. Topics include creating a data plan and choosing types of data sets to release, creating new open data sets, sharing open data sets with the community, regularly updating data, and using open data as an opportunity for further community engagement.

5-part series:

  1. Developing Open Data
  2. Practices for Opening Data
  3. Sharing Open Data
  4. Updating Open Data
  5. Building Community Partnerships

“Open data can improve transparency and create an informed community, but it is important to take the time to make sure the data you share is accurate and ethical,” said Commander Mike Krantz of the Portland Police Bureau.

Portland PB is one of ten unique agency case studies within the Open Data and Policing series that provide first-hand accounts of open data development from interviews with “data champions” in each public safety agency. Case studies include comprehensive narratives from Austin (TX), Chapel Hill (NC), Ferndale (MI), Lincoln (NE), Long Branch (NJ), Norman (OK), Northampton (MA), Rochester (NY), South Bend (IN), as well as many other references to participating agencies in the Police Data Initiative community.


Agencies interested in viewing the guide or joining the Police Data Initiative can visit or contact Garrett Johnson, Research Assistant at the National Police Foundation, at For a look at how police departments, as well as community members and cities, are using open data, please see this feature article on

The National Police Foundation is a U.S.-based, non-partisan, non-profit organization dedicated to advancing policing through innovation and science. For nearly 50 years, the National Police Foundation has conducted research on all aspects of policing, provided training and technical assistance in all aspects of policing, and has led the way in promoting and sharing evidence-based practices and innovation among law enforcement in the U.S. and internationally. For more information on the National Police Foundation, please visit or contact James Burch, Executive Vice President, at

This project was supported by cooperative agreement number 2016CRWXK001, awarded by the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services, U.S. Department of Justice. The opinions contained herein are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the U.S. Department of Justice. References to specific agencies, companies, products, or services should not be considered an endorsement by the author(s) or the U.S. Department of Justice. Rather, the references are illustrations to supplement discussion of the issues. The Internet references cited in this publication were valid as of the date of this publication. Given that URLs and websites are in constant flux, neither the author(s) nor the COPS Office can vouch for their current validity.

A Message from National Police Foundation President Jim Bueermann

Dear friends,

At the end of each year, we watch line of duty death statistics and hope that they will be fewer than last year. Although law enforcement deaths were down in 2017, this year, as of November 25, 2018, firearms fatalities of law enforcement officers are up 14%, and overall officer fatalities are up 4%.

I find myself thinking not just of a number or statistic, but of the individuals and the families impacted by these tragedies – the sacrifices they made as these officers served and protected our communities. And I am reminded of the heroes that surround all of us – in our neighborhoods, our schools, and at local events – and their dedication to keeping all of us safe. I think of the Sheriff’s Sergeant in Ventura County who rushed into a nightclub earlier this month to confront an active shooter, making the ultimate sacrifice as he tried to save lives. I also think back, to the sacrifices made by many of our colleagues nearly 18 years ago, responding to the World Trade Center, more than one of whom we lost just this year, including one federal agent who succumbed to the implications of his sacrifice just last month. These are my reflections at the end of each year, and it is these reflections that remind me that it is time to again recommit to protecting the protectors, so that they can best protect those they serve – our communities, our cities and counties, our country.

The National Police Foundation will never forget why we do what we do. Our work to improve community and officer safety continues to expand. This year, we launched a Center for the Study of Mass Violence, to better prepare public safety, government, school, and community leaders to prepare for and respond to the challenges posed by mass casualty events. We’ve also launched a Center for Public Safety Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) to assist law enforcement in responsibly implementing drone programs, with close attention to privacy protections and with community input. We’ve continued our efforts to work with cities and agencies desiring policing reforms to enhance trust between the police and those they serve.

The National Police Foundation works in a unique space – one that objectively and independently focuses on advancing policing through research and science. To continue this work, we rely on support from our partners and colleagues in law enforcement, and those protected by law enforcement – our communities.

On #GivingTuesday, we hope that you will support us by donating to the National Police Foundation. Every donation supports this important work, as we join together in protecting our communities.

We thank each and every one of you for your ongoing support.


Chief (Ret.) Jim Bueermann
National Police Foundation

Donate to the National Police Foundation

Police Foundation Partners with CALEA to hold first law enforcement accreditation conference in Mexico

Members of the Mexican Federal Police Honor Guard present flags of the four countries (United States, Mexico, Canada, and Barbados) currently participating in CALEA accreditation during the Inaugural Ceremony of the 1st CALEA Commissioners Meeting in Mexico City, MX. (Photo: Erica Richardson/Police Foundation)

Mexico City, November 8, 2018 – Yesterday the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc. (CALEA) inaugurated its first accreditation meeting in Mexico with the support of the Merida Initiative and the Police Foundation. The U.S. Department of State, together with the Police Foundation, supports the accreditation of Mexican law enforcement agencies by CALEA. There are currently more than 30 state, municipal, and federal law enforcement agencies pursuing CALEA accreditation in Mexico, including police departments, public safety training academies, and public safety communication centers.

Law enforcement agencies achieve accreditation following a multi-year self-assessment phase and a meticulous site-based assessment of community engagement, policy, procedures, equipment and facilities by CALEA assessors. Each agency then goes before CALEA’s Board of Commissioners, which reviews all findings and makes an independent determination regarding the agencies’ accreditation status.

On Friday, November 9, six Mexican criminal justice agencies will present at hearings in order to earn CALEA accreditation: Querétaro State Police and Communications Center, Sonora State Police and State Training Academy, Tabasco State Training Academy, and Metepec Municipal Police. CALEA Executive Director W. Craig Hartley Jr. will award accreditation to those agencies approved by the Commission, signifying excellence in public safety and commitment to the community.

Most of the agencies presenting at hearings this week have been supported by the Police Foundation with funding support from the State Department’s Merida Initiative.

At the conference, Tobin Bradley, director of the Merida Initiative office at the U.S. Embassy in Mexico noted, “Accreditation increases public trust in institutions; it gives citizens confidence that their complaints will be heard, that their police forces will do what they should, and if they don’t – that they will be held accountable.”

CALEA’s Executive Director W. Craig Hartley, Jr. added, “The process of CALEA accreditation is a proven model for success in public safety. CALEA’s partnership with the Police Foundation and the United States Department of State serves to further assist public safety leaders and practitioners in Mexico to achieve continuous organizational improvement.”

Jim Burch, Executive Vice President of the Police Foundation, and Virgil Young, International Program Manager at the Police Foundation, give a presentation during the conference on how the Foundation is helping Mexican law enforcement agencies achieve CALEA accreditation. (Photo: Erica Richardson/Police Foundation)

“We are honored to provide technical assistance and guidance to Mexican law enforcement agencies as they pursue international accreditation and we are grateful for the State Department’s critical support. This program has already resulted in the accreditation of multiple agencies across Mexico and has generated interest from dozens of others, demonstrating a strong desire to enhance professionalism and to advance Mexican policing,” said Jim Burch, Executive Vice President of the Police Foundation.

The Merida Initiative is a bilateral security cooperation agreement between Mexico and the United States of America. Through nearly ten years of implementation, the Merida Initiative has led to greater cooperation between the United States and Mexico. It provides tangible support to Mexico’s law enforcement and judicial institutions, strengthens border security, and helps to counteract the activities of transnational criminal organizations and the illegal trade in narcotics. To date, through the Mérida Initiative the United States has delivered USD 1.8 billion in equipment, training, and capacity building assistance to the government of Mexico.

The Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc., (CALEA®) was created in 1979 as a credentialing authority. The purpose of CALEA’s Accreditation Programs is to improve the delivery of public safety services, primarily by: maintaining a body of standards, developed by public safety practitioners, covering a wide range of up-to-date public safety initiatives; establishing and administering an accreditation process; and recognizing professional excellence. This accreditation program provides public safety agencies an opportunity to voluntarily demonstrate that they meet an established set of professional standards based on industry best practices and approved by an all-volunteer board of commissioners.

The Police Foundation is a U.S.-based, non-partisan, non-profit organization dedicated to advancing policing through innovation and science. For nearly 50 years, the Police Foundation has conducted research on all aspects of policing, provided training and technical assistance in all aspects of policing, and has led the way in promoting and sharing evidence-based practices and innovation among law enforcement in the U.S. and internationally. For more information on the Police Foundation, please visit ( or contact James Burch, Executive Vice President, at

Utilizing Data and Science to Reduce Serious Injury and Fatality Crashes on Rural Roadways

By Captain Ken Clary
Iowa State Patrol

This article was reprinted from Translational Criminology Magazine (Fall, 2018), with the permission of the Center for Evidence-Based Crime Policy.

As commanders within state police and patrol organizations, we are charged with protecting the citizenry traveling on our roadways. Although some might view violations of traffic laws as lesser offenses, those infractions can often lead to death and/ or serious injury if not corrected. In 2016, a total of 37,461 people lost their lives on U.S. roadways,1 while, in comparison, 16,250 people were reported by the FBI’s Uniformed Crime Report as murdered that same year. Traffic crashes result in an enormous loss of life annually and are consistently a leading cause of nonhealth related deaths in the United States. Read More & Share

Congresswoman Val Demings Delivers Keynote Address at the National Police Foundation Annual Dinner & Meeting at IACP 2018

Representative Demings, Former Orlando Police Chief, delivers inspiring message about policing; says it is a higher calling 

ORLANDO — On Sunday, October 7, 2018, more than two hundred law enforcement and public safety leaders from the United States and abroad joined together for the National Police Foundation Annual Dinner & Meeting at the IACP Conference.

Amongst the leaders in the room was Congresswoman Val Demings, who previously served as the 36th Chief of Police of the Orlando Police Department. Congresswoman Demings represents Florida’s 10th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives. The Congresswoman delivered the keynote address, “A Higher Calling,” to a room full of police executives and public safety leaders, after being introduced by Foundation executives and recognized for her long career in law enforcement and for “working across the aisle” to obtain bipartisan support for legislation related to protecting law enforcement officers, which was met with applause from the audience. .

While Demings addressed the current challenging state of law enforcement in America, she says she prefers to talk about policing as a “higher calling.”

As a police officer, police chief, and Congresswoman — while each are different positions with different assignments — Demings has taken the oath three separate times to “protect and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.”

Demings then said police work is a higher calling.  

The constitution, that document that was written for, “we the people.” That document that is the guiding light for everything that we do in our official and sometimes unofficial capacity as public servants and community leaders.

Although I retired from police work seven years ago, I am still in awe at the men and women who are willing to do the job. Brothers and sisters who go to work every day, not knowing if they will survive the night; make it back home; kiss their spouse again; hug their children again. I am still amazed at the willingness to live and die to protect and defend, ‘we the people.’

It must be a higher calling. I am still amazed at the thousands of young men and women who press their way to sign up and join the ranks of the men and women in blue. In spite of all the negative stories; in spite of the generalizations; the dangerous streets; being outgunned and still outmanned.

It must be a higher calling.

We thank God for them, but how do we protect the integrity of the profession that we hold dear; how do we maintain and in some instances restore public trust and take care of the men and women who risk their lives to take care of us?

Let’s go back to basics. We must still hire those with the highest ethical and moral standards. we must be careful about who we let in the door. It’s a lot easier to hire than to fire.

We must continue to recruit a diverse workforce, a force that reflects the community you serve. And then we must work with local, state, and federal governments, to make sure that communities have the resources to handle issues that should not require a police response.

In other words, we must stop calling the police for everything.

I believe former Dallas Police Chief David Brown, after five Dallas police officers were shot and killed, said it best:

“We’re asking cops to do too much in this country. Every societal failure, we put it off on the cops to solve. Not enough mental health funding, let the cops handle it. Here in Dallas, we got a loose dog problem; let’s have the cops chase loose dogs. Schools fail; let’s give it to the cops. That’s too much to ask. Policing was never meant to solve all those problems.”

We must work hard to give each officer the best chance to survive physically, emotionally, and mentally. We must make sure they understand that we are just as concerned about their invisible wounds as we are about their visible wounds.

That’s why I was proud to sponsor, along with Representative Susan Brooks from Indiana, the Law Enforcement Mental Health and Wellness Act, which directs the Department of Justice to work with the Department of Veteran Affairs to identify mental health programs that can be adopted by police agencies, including funding through the COPS program for mentoring, hotlines, and services from mental health professionals specially trained to work with law enforcement officers.

We can never talk enough about the importance of training, especially when mass shootings are all too familiar in all too familiar places: church, movie theatre, concert, at the mall, at a nightclub, in our schools. And let me say this regardless of your politics, we have got to work harder to keep guns out of the hands of the mentally ill, felons, and terrorists.

So, when we accept a higher calling, when we raise our hand and talk the oath of office, we must always remember that everybody counts but everybody is accountable–including us.

We must practice what we preach by holding ourselves to the highest ethical and moral standards.

We must fall in love again with the community we serve.

Law enforcement officers must work hard to be the best, most inspiring role models for our youth.

We must not let the naysayers control the narrative. We must tell our own story.

When we mess up; we must fess up.

There is no job quite like that of a law enforcement officer because when people are alone, afraid, in crisis, they call the cops believing that things will get better.

How do we get better? How do we bring much needed change? Everybody in this room has a role to play. I leave you with this quote from the 44th President of the United States (President Obama):

“Change will not come, waiting for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change we seek.”

Again, thank you and may God continue to bless the work of the Foundation.

“It was an honor to have Congresswoman Demings deliver the keynote address at this year’s dinner,” said Chief (Ret.) Jim Bueermann, President of the National Police Foundation. “Her speech was inspiring and moving. We commend Congresswoman Demings for her leadership, service, and commitment to law enforcement for the betterment of our country.” Having Demings as the keynote speaker provided an opportunity for the National Police Foundation to also recognize and applaud all women in law enforcement and public safety, including those who work in non-sworn capacities and places like academia.

In addition to Demings’ remarks, The National Police Foundation announced its partnership with Mark43 to improve near-miss reporting through Mark43’s Records Management System. Officers who experience a near miss, an incident in which they are almost seriously injured or killed while on duty, will now be able to seamlessly submit these reports to the National Police Foundation LEO Near Miss database, which collects and analyzes these reports to provide officer safety insights to departments which can be used to inform training and policy. For more information, please see the article featured on GovTech.