As we work with law enforcement officers and leaders across the U.S. and beyond, we have the privilege of witnessing the dedication and commitment to service, integrity, fairness and respect that countless officers have and demonstrate each and every day, even in the face of adversity and, at times, confrontation. This video and the behaviors observed do not represent them well. Instead, these actions (and inaction) jeopardize the gains that have been made through the sacrifices and courage of many.
While the full investigation may reveal additional details and facts that are unknown to most of us today, we should all come together in agreement that the glimpse we have into this encounter is not consistent with the oath that officers take or the courage and integrity that the vast majority display each and every day.
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The National Police Foundation is examining traffic crashes and fatalities from an initial sample of five states: Florida, Iowa, Ohio, Massachusetts, and Missouri. While the number of traffic and fatal crashes decreased across the states, fatality rates increased across each state during April and in parts of March compared to 2019 data. These data may suggest a probable increase in behaviors that should cause concern among policymakers, including what appears to be an increase in excessive speed and reckless driving among motorists.
Despite the challenges that exposures to the coronavirus (COVID-19) present to police operations, agencies around the nation continue to respond to public safety issues in our communities. According to the National Police Foundation’s (NPF’s) Law Enforcement Impact Dashboard, thousands of law enforcement officers across the country have been exposed to COVID-19. As members continue to respond to the call to serve and protect, data collection and analysis is helping the Baltimore Police Department (BPD) make informed decisions about staffing and resource allocation that ultimately affects the safety of our members and the level of service we provide to our community. At the same time, our agency has an eye on ways that this data could help us and our federal, state, and local partners plan and prepare for the next wave of COVID-19 or the next pandemic we are faced with.
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.