Through these combined initiatives, face masks, hand sanitizer, and disposable gloves have been distributed to requesting agencies.
No level of planning could have fully prepared us for the difficult news coming from our nation’s jails and correctional facilities. Heightened levels of contagion, and the associated stress and anxiety are impacting our medical, security, and behavioral health staff that work in these facilities as well as those in custody.
What more can we do to address the crisis, reduce the risk, and provide much-needed support? If I were still on the job today, these six steps would be on my to-do list and I hope they’re on yours as well.
With funding support from the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, the National Police Foundation is currently providing technical assistance to 75 public safety agencies, including municipal law enforcement agencies, communications centers, and training academies, throughout Mexico in order to help agencies achieve CALEA Accreditation.
Visa, Inc. is the first major corporation to make a contribution to the Corporate PPE Sharing Center—donating 10,000 pairs of disposable gloves.
Distribution of PPE is being coordinated in partnership with Axon Enterprise, Inc., who recently launched a global campaign with the NPF to provide masks and other PPE to first responders. To date, 8,195 agencies have asked for help through Axon’s COVID-19 Support Center, representing 1,148,819 public safety officers. Axon has received requests from all 50 states and 9 countries. The Corporate PPE Sharing Center will complement this initiative to meet the demands of more agencies.
As Chief of Police in the City of Pasadena (CA), I, along with all of my other colleagues in law enforcement, am responsible for guiding our police agency in this difficult time, as well as provide public safety services during the COVID-19 pandemic. This national emergency is unlike any other emergency or crisis law enforcement has ever prepared for. As many of us experienced the ’92 civil unrest as well as managed the many challenges of the post 9/11 environment, the lessons learned from those experiences are quickly assisting us in striking the right balance between protecting the safety of our officers, their families, and providing essential public safety services to our community. The inability to ensure we have enough personal protective equipment (PPE) and essential supplies elevates the situation as well as the challenges of leading our workforces in these trying times.
Here is what we have experienced after nearly a month and I hope sharing this provides an understanding that we are in this together.
These are the worries all Police Chiefs and Sheriffs are confronting in our Departments:
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz., April 9, 2020/PRNewswire/ — Axon (Nasdaq: AAXN), the global leader in public safety technologies, today announced that it has committed over $1 million for personal protective equipment (PPE) for first responders, including a partnership with the National Police Foundation and will match up to $500,000 in community donations. 100 percent of funds will go directly towards helping reduce first responder exposure to COVID-19 by purchasing medical masks, gloves and hand sanitizer. Donations may be made to the #GotYouCovered campaign through May 31, 2020: https://charity.gofundme.com/o/en/campaign/got-you-covered.
“We are extremely proud to be partnering with Axon on this incredibly important initiative to supply PPE to first responders,” says the National Police Foundation President, James Burch. “We are working through an unprecedented time in modern history, but times like these are a good reminder of the positive impact we can have when we work together. We are thankful for Axon’s support and are motivated to help our first responders and communities as much as possible over the coming weeks.”
In the midst of the COVID-19 crisis, many leaders are coping with the impact of officers in their organization being on quarantine, hospitalized, or simply calling in sick. This is occurring against a backdrop in which many agencies are struggling to achieve full staffing. The forecast from many police futurists, however, is that this situation is only going to get worse, independent of the COVID-19 situation. Most agencies have a high proportion of personnel who are retirement-eligible or approaching eligibility. Exacerbating this are the ongoing recruitment struggles that have been well documented. Add to it now the suspension of many police academies and the cessation of recruitment and selection efforts, and the staffing forecast for 2021 and 2022 is challenging. If COVID-19 results in cycles of regional or national workforce disruption, as some medical experts are projecting for the next 18-24 months, police agencies might only be seeing the beginning of their challenges to provide core services and to care for their personnel.
The interactive tool allows agencies to provide confidential, real-time updates that are instantly incorporated into the national dashboard and map. The dashboard identifies the number of officers exposed, officially tested with a positive diagnosis, placed in off-duty status due to exposure, and that are self-isolating due to symptoms or off-duty exposure. The dashboard also estimates the availability of necessary PPE, the most critical PPE that agencies are lacking, and current and projected shortages of PPE. The data is then aggregated and mapped at the state-level in order to show impacts across the country. Individual agencies will not be identified. Law enforcement agencies can then compare impacts in their state with those of other states.
MARCH 12, 2020—The National Police Foundation extends heartfelt condolences to the family, friends, and colleagues of Hubert Williams, who passed away earlier this week on Tuesday, March 10, 2020. Williams served as the president of the National Police Foundation (formerly Police Foundation) from 1985-2012—becoming the longest serving president in the organization’s 50-year history.
Williams—a Harvard Law Fellow, Graduate of Rutgers Law School, a founding member and former first President of the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement (NOBLE), and the youngest and first African American to serve as Police Director in Newark, NJ—was a trailblazer and influential leader in the policing profession.
Williams was appointed Police Foundation president in 1985, following the retirement of NYPD Commissioner Patrick V. Murphy. Prior to his appointment as president of the Police Foundation, Williams served as police director in Newark, New Jersey, from 1974 to 1985, and under his leadership the Newark Police Department served as the laboratory for two groundbreaking Police Foundation studies pivotal to the evolution of community policing—The Newark Foot Patrol Experiment and the NIJ-funded reducing fear of crime experiment.