National Police Foundation Selects New President

National Police Foundation Board of Directors selects former U.S. Department of Justice executive and champion of evidence-based policing and police-community trust as new President

April 29, 2019

WASHINGTON — The National Police Foundation (NPF) Board of Directors recently announced their decision to name Executive Vice President Jim Burch as the organization’s new President. This announcement comes after the retirement of the former President and retired police chief Jim Bueermann in 2018. Burch has been serving as interim President since December and will begin serving as President immediately.

Burch has served with the Foundation — a non-partisan, non-profit research organization dedicated to improving policing through innovation and science — since 2015. During his tenure, he developed and led multiple research, training, and technical assistance projects related to violent crime reduction, officer safety, transparency and technology, and international policing development efforts, resulting in substantial growth of the Foundation’s programs serving police and communities alike. Burch joined the Foundation after serving more than 20 years in both federal service and the private sector. Burch served as an Acting Assistant Director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, & Explosives, the Deputy Assistant Attorney General for DOJ’s largest agency dedicated to supporting state and local law enforcement, and as Acting Director of the U.S. Department of Justice Bureau of Justice Assistance where he led the development of many resources and programs designed to support and encourage the use of science in policing.

“I am extremely pleased and honored to announce that the Board of Directors has selected Jim Burch as our new President,” said Bernard Melekian, Chairman of the NPF Board of Directors and Assistant County Executive Officer over public safety in Santa Barbara, California. “Jim is a visionary leader and has a long and distinguished public service career. His strong dedication to NPF’s mission and proven record for developing effective and innovative strategies to enhance policing and justice makes him uniquely qualified to lead our organization at this transformative time.”

As President of the National Police Foundation, Burch has identified two major areas of focus within the mission of the NPF — enhancing and strengthening the profession’s reliance on science and evidence-based policing in order to better protect communities and officers, and working with police and community leaders to strengthen the positive relations that exist and to rebuild strained and broken trust where it exists in the U.S. and in fragile democracies across the world.

“Equipping police and political leaders with actionable and science-based information about effective crime reduction and police operations, and working to improve trust, understanding and cooperation between police and communities across racial and demographic divides is essential and must be priority number one for the Foundation,” said Burch. “The Foundation will return to its roots, established nearly 50 years ago, as it seeks to advance policing at a time when the police are so positively viewed by many and yet looked upon with skepticism, distrust or fear by others. We cannot take a one-sided view and for the good of our communities and the profession, we must confront the divides that keep us apart.”

Burch is a nationally-recognized voice in law enforcement and criminal justice and has participated in many panels, television, radio, and print interviews, to discuss trending topics.

About the National Police Foundation:

Established in 1970, the National Police Foundation is a national, non-partisan, non-profit organization dedicated to improving policing through innovation and science. For nearly 50 years, the Foundation has conducted research on all aspects of policing and is leading the way in promoting and sharing evidence-based practices and innovation among law enforcement. The Foundation is currently working with hundreds of police agencies nationwide, as well as internationally, providing research and translation, training, technical assistance, and modern technology implementation. The Foundation is a leader in officer safety and wellness, community policing, open-data, investigations, and law-enforcement technology. The Foundation’s main goal is to improve the way police do their work and the delivery of police services, in order to benefit officers and the communities they serve, as well as reduce crime.

For more information, please visit the National Police Foundation website. For media inquiries, please contact Erica Richardson at erichardson@policefoundation.org or at 202-833-1466.

National Police Foundation Board of Directors Chairman Bernard Melekian Receives Distinguished Service Medal

Distinguished Service Medal recipients Evalee Treen (left), retired administrative office professional; and Bernard Melekian (right), retired undersheriff. (Photo: Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office)

The National Police Foundation is pleased to announce Bernard Melekian, Chairman of the Foundation’s Board of Directors, was recently awarded a Distinguished Service Medal by the Santa Barbara Sheriff’s Office, in recognition of his 40-plus year career in law enforcement and his guidance and leadership during his time at the Sheriff’s Office.

The medal was presented on April 12, 2019, during an annual recognition awards ceremony, where the  Sheriff’s Office recognized a group of individuals and/or units who demonstrated exemplary performance.

“This award means a great deal to me, primarily because when I left Pasadena PD in 2009, I assumed I would never return to active law enforcement,” said Bernard Melekian, NPF Board Chairman and Assistant County Executive Officer over public safety in Santa Barbara, California. “From the moment the Sheriff asked me to join his team in 2015, I always said that it was a privilege for me to be there. I would sometimes shake my head in wonder at being able to keep working in this profession that I love so much.”

Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown shared that “He [Melekian] was a mentor to many of our people and he had a tremendous impact on our agency during his tenure.”

During Melekian’s tenure as Undersheriff, he helped to build a new leadership team where he developed a plan for expanding staffing with minimal cost increases, oversaw the building of a new structure for contracting Sheriff’s services, and completely revamped the disaster alerting system. Also notable was he led a team that responded to two of the worst fires in California history, including the Thomas Wildfire and the subsequent January 2018 Debris Flow in Santa Barbara County, which was the most devastating event Melekian says he has worked in his 45-year law enforcement and public safety career.

“In short, I was honored to receive this medal because it means that perhaps I made a difference for our profession which is what has become my objective.”

The National Police Foundation is honored to have Mr. Melekian as its Board Chairman. Mr. Melekian served as a board member for the NPF from 2013-2017 and accepted the role of Chairman in 2017.

Bernard Melekian is the Assistant County Executive Officer over public safety in Santa Barbara, California. Prior to that he was appointed as Undersheriff for Santa Barbara County in January 2015. He has 36 years of local law enforcement experience, including serving as the Police Chief for the city of Pasadena for 13 years. He also served with the Santa Monica Police Department for 23 years where he was awarded the Medal of Valor in 1978 and the Medal of Courage in 1980. He was selected as the Director of the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) by Attorney General Eric Holder, serving from 2009-2013. He oversaw the development of the concept of Collaborative Reform, a widely acclaimed alternative to the traditional consent decree. This work was first utilized in collaboration with the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department in 2012. He is a nationally recognized expert in police practices, with specific experience in achieving collaborative change in the culture of law enforcement organizations. His doctoral work on Values-Based Discipline in Law Enforcement Organizations received the Sol Price Award as the outstanding doctoral project of 2012 in the School of Policy, Planning and Development by the University of Southern California. Dr. Melekian served in the United States Army from 1967 to 1970. As a member of the United States Coast Guard Reserve, he was called to active duty in 1991 during Operation Desert Storm and served in Saudi Arabia. Dr. Melekian served a second tour of active duty in 2003 when he served for eight months in the Pacific area. He retired from the Coast Guard Reserves in 2009, after 26 years of service.

Fraud Alert: Calls Soliciting Donations for the “National Police Foundation”

The National Police Foundation, a national, Washington, D.C.-based non-profit organization dedicated to advancing policing through science and innovation, has received information from several individuals who have been contacted by solicitors asking for donations in support of the “National Police Foundation,” or in some cases the “National Police Fund” in which we are not affiliated with.

The Police Foundation does NOT solicit donations from anyone via phone. If you have been contacted via telephone and asked to make donations to the National Police Foundation in Washington, D.C., this is a scam.

Please note that many legitimate local (and unaffiliated) police foundations and organizations may solicit donations from local communities via telephone and mail. If you receive such a call, we encourage you to take note of who is calling (by name and number), the date and time. We also encourage you to require donation information to be sent to you via U.S. Mail before considering any donation.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) maintains an online reporting system for telemarketing and other scams, which can be found at https://www.ftc.gov/faq/consumer-protection/submit-consumer-complaint-ftc and many State Attorneys General offer assistance in reporting and responding to fraud.

The National Police Foundation will closely monitor the information and complaints it receives and will share information with authorities as appropriate.

PRIVACY POLICY AS IT RELATES TO MAKING A DONATION TO THE NATIONAL POLICE FOUNDATION  

Our donations are handled through a third party service provider: Give Lively, LLC, which has its own privacy and security policies.

For more information, please view the National Police Foundation’s Privacy Policy: https://www.policefoundation.org/privacy-policy/

The National Police Foundation was awarded a 2019 GuideStar Platinum Seal of Transparency — the highest rating for non-profit organizations.    

NPF and City of Phoenix to release Phoenix PD Officer-Involved Shooting Study

Media advisory issued by the Phoenix Police Department

PHOENIX — On Friday, April 19, 2019, at 10:15 a.m., Phoenix Police Chief Jeri Williams with Mayor Kate Gallego and Chairman of the Public Safety & Veterans Subcommittee District 7 Councilman Michael Nowakowski, along with Jim Burch, President of the National Police Foundation (NPF), will hold a press conference at Phoenix Police Headquarters to announce the release of the final report on the study of the 2018 Phoenix Police Officer-Involved Shootings.

A copy of the report, as well as background and supporting documents, may be downloaded by visiting www.phoenix.gov/oisinfo. Our speakers will be available for brief questions following the announcement. Those outlets in attendance may sign up for limited one-on-one time with Chief Williams (must be in attendance to sign up). The conference will be streamed live on the Phoenix Police Facebook page at www.facebook.com/phoenixazpolice.

Background: In May of 2018, Phoenix Police reached the total number of OIS for all of 2017 (21). Proactive steps to examine and address this disturbing spike were begun, to include increased training, releasing a publicly available OIS Data Showcase/Dashboard, and requesting that City Council grant permission to commission a study. The National Police Foundation, an independent, non-profit, non-partisan organization was chosen to conduct the study. By the end of 2018, there had been 44 Phoenix Police OIS, 37 of these suspects were armed with firearms; 35 total suspects were injured, and 22 were fatally injured.

“As chief, I am committed to taking each of the National Police Foundation’s recommendations seriously and working through the process to implement them,” said Jeri Williams, Phoenix Police Chief.

Jim Burch, Interim President of the National Police Foundation. Mr. Burch has over 20 years of policing and criminal justice experience at the US Department of Justice, and has served as the Assistant Director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms, Acting Director at the Bureau of Justice Assistance, and as Deputy Assistant Attorney General.

Dr. Justin Nix, researcher for this endeavor. Dr. Nix is an Assistant Professor at the School of Criminology & Criminal Justice from the University of Nebraska at Omaha. His research centers on policing with emphasis on procedural justice, legitimacy, and officer-involved shootings.

For media inquiries, please contact media@policefoundation.org.

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Update: A copy of the report is now available to view/download on our website here. To view a recording of the press conference, please visit the Phoenix Police Department Facebook page here.

April Policing Updates Newsletter

April 3, 2019 — This month’s newsletter features our police professionalism and public safety accreditation work in Mexico in collaboration with CALEA and INL, two new publications on UAS implementation and Early Intervention System implementation, a new OnPolicing blog, resources for agencies, NPF Policing Fellows spotlight, upcoming events, and more!

View the Newsletter

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New Report: Building and Managing a Successful Public Safety UAS Program

The National Police Foundation, in collaboration with the National Institute of Justice, U.S. Department of Justice, has just released a new report for public safety practitioners interested in using unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) for public safety operations.

The report, entitled Building and Managing a Successful Public Safety UAS Program: Practical Guidance and Lessons Learned from the Early Adopters, examines seven public safety agencies that were among the very first agencies in the country to deploy UAS. Drawing upon the experience from these early adopting agencies, the report provides practitioners, with or without aviation experience, with practical guidance on the development of a UAS program, including considerations such as community engagement, regulatory compliance, UAS policies and procedures, training, system selection, and data collection. The report also provides a variety of resources that may prove helpful in the management of a UAS program.

 

To view or download a copy of the report, please click here.

Public Safety Agencies in More than Half of All States in Mexico Sign on to Police Professionalism Grant Under U.S. State Department 

Law enforcement agencies in 21 out of 32 states in Mexico aim to achieve the “gold standard” in public safety accreditation

MEXICO CITY, March 12, 2019 — Law enforcement agencies in more than half of all states in Mexico have officially committed to pursuing international law enforcement accreditation through the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc. (CALEA). CALEA was established in 1979 and is a credentialing authority that awards accreditation to public safety agencies in the US, Canada, Barbados and Mexico that demonstrate meeting an established set of professional standards based on industry best practices.

This initiative, made available to law enforcement agencies in Mexico, is funded by the U.S. Department of State’s Merida Initiative, with additional training and technical assistance provided by the Police Foundation.

There are currently 50 state, municipal, and federal public safety agencies pursuing or maintaining CALEA accreditation in Mexico, including police departments, public safety training academies, and public safety communication centers. In November of 2018, CALEA inaugurated its first accreditation hearing in Mexico City, where six Mexican law enforcement agencies presented before CALEA’s Board of Commissioners and earned CALEA accreditation. These agencies are required to undergo annual on-line audits and an on-site evaluation by trained CALEA Assessors every four years in order to maintain their accredited status.

“The growing number of Mexican law enforcement agencies interested in pursuing CALEA accreditation demonstrates a commitment to organizational improvement, excellence, and professionalism — not just in one state, but across the entire country of Mexico,” said Jim Burch, the Interim President of the Police Foundation. “We are optimistic that even more Mexican agencies will apply to earn CALEA accreditation, demonstrating significant commitment to professionalism by Mexican law enforcement and new hope for Mexican citizens.”

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 if the agency complies with all applicable CALEA standards before conferring accredited status.

With regard to the significance of Mexican law enforcement earning CALEA accreditation, Tobin Bradley, Director of the Merida Initiative office at the U.S. Embassy in Mexico, stated, “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 National 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.”

“We are honored to provide technical assistance and guidance to 39 Mexican public safety agencies, including 18 training academies, 11 communications centers, and 10 law enforcement agencies, as they pursue international accreditation through CALEA and we are grateful for the State Department’s critical support,” said Jim Burch, Interim President of the National Police Foundation. “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.”

Background:
The Merida Initiativeis 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 an independent, not-for-profit 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 Foundationis 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 www.policefoundation.org (www.fundacionpolicia.org.mx). For media inquiries, please contact media@policefoundation.org.

Averted School Violence “Near Miss” Initiative Featured in Congressional Briefing

From left to right: Dr. Dusty Blakey, Ed.D., Superintendent, Colonial School District, New Castle, DE Jim Accomando, President, National PTA Board of Directors, Fairfield, CT Kristina Alzugaray, Student and SAVE Promise Club National Youth Advisory Board Member, Cutler Bay High School, Cutler Bay, FL Moderator: Mark Barden, Parent and Managing Director, Sandy Hook Promise, Newtown, CT Mark O’Neill: Center Roads Solutions Frank Straub, Ph.D., Director, Center for Mass Violence Response Studies, The Police Foundation, Battle Creek, MI

March 8, 2019 — Dr. Frank Straub, Director of Strategic Studies and the Center for Mass Violence Response Studies at the National Police Foundation, participated in the Sandy Hook Promise and AASA (The School Superintendents Association) Congressional Briefing today on “Keeping Students Safe: Proven Programs to Prevent School Violence.”

Dr. Straub, who oversees the National Police Foundation’s Averted School Violence Database, joined four other panelists (Mark Barden, Parent and Managing Director, Sandy Hook Promise; Jim Accomando, President, National PTA; Dr. Dusty Blakey, Superintendent, Colonial School District, New Castle, Delaware; Kristina Alguzaray, Student, Cutler Bay High School, Cutler Bay, FL) to speak to a room full of Congressional Staffers, advocacy organizations in the education, mental health and law enforcement field, and the press in order to educate senior-level Congressional staff on violence prevention programming, examples from education and law enforcement officials on school violence prevention, and perspectives from students and administrators on proven methods for student safety.

Dr. Frank Straub was asked several key questions relating to school safety based on data collected through the National Police Foundation’s Averted School Violence Database.

From your research on averted school violence, what is the most surprising thing you have learned as it relates to school shootings?

“I think there is a very important theme that emerged from our research – we have to spend more time on the prevention piece of the discussion. By that I mean we have to focus on developing supportive and resilient cultures in school environments that set- up all students for success. Within that context we have to put in place thoughtful policies and strategies to identify students who are becoming disenfranchised and/or isolated from their peers and adult role models – either because of bullying and other behaviors that adversely effect students who are ‘different’ or because of personal, family or other challenges that are causing them to withdraw.

We need to increase funding for mental health practitioners in school environments; school resource officer mental health/crisis intervention training that is specific to the social/emotional/intellectual developmental stages of the student populations they serve; greater emphasis on adverse childhood experiences (ACE) and trauma-informed approaches; encouraging supportive social-emotional and normative learning environments.

Sometimes our work needs to be about returning to the basics of education – ensuring that allstudents have the opportunities they need for success and engaging those students who are becoming isolated and disconnected.”

Based on your research, what policy recommendations would you make to Congress in this area?

“I think it is important for Congress to support holistic approaches to prevention, response and recovery. Local and state-level anonymous reporting systems are invaluable to protecting our children and should be linked to the Averted School Violence Database to create a national ‘public health’ surveillance system to provide solid data to policy makers, educators, law enforcement, mental health providers and the public on what works to protect our children.”

For more information on the the Averted School Violence initiative, please visit the ASV website.

Major County Sheriffs of America Selects National Police Foundation as Independent Research Partner

 

The National Police Foundation is very pleased to announce a new partnership with the Major County Sheriffs of America (MCSA) to serve as MCSA’s research partner. Our goal is to provide independent and objective research on a variety of issues, translational services, policy analysis, technology assessments and reviews, evaluations, and the development of promising and evidence-based resources for the MCSA. This work will be done in support of MCSA’s mission and in recognition of their leading role in American policing.

The National Police Foundation’s mission is to advance policing through innovation and science. We are the oldest nationally-known, nonprofit (501c3), nonpartisan, and non-membership-driven organization dedicated to improving America’s most noble profession – policing. Our work promotes research and innovation to reduce and prevent violent crime, improve officer safety and wellness, advance police organizations, and promote science and evidence-based practices in policing.

The Major County Sheriffs of America (MCSA) is a professional law enforcement association of elected sheriffs representing counties or parishes with 500,000 population or more. They are dedicated to preserving the highest integrity in law enforcement and the elected Office of the Sheriff. Their membership represents over 100 million Americans. MCSA works to promote a greater understanding of law enforcement strategies to address futures problems and identify law enforcement challenges facing their members. MCSA is  committed to advancing legislative issues that will enhance the safety of communities, and also aggressively pursues the development of innovative education along with prevention and enforcement strategies and programs.

New Reports Examine Averted and Completed Acts of School Violence

The National Police Foundation’s Center for Mass Violence Response Studies, in collaboration with the COPS Office, United States Department of Justice, has released two new reports examining both averted and completed acts of school violence.

The first report, entitled A Preliminary Report on the Police Foundation’s Averted School Violence Database, analyzes 51 averted incidents of school violence selected from the Averted School Violence database to begin to improve our understanding of averted school attacks. The report begins with a case study of one averted attack and then details findings on the 51 averted incidents in the study. It concludes with recommendations for law enforcement and school administration to improve school safety. To view and download the report, click here.

As a companion to the first report, the second report, entitled A Comparison of Averted and Completed School Attacks from the Police Foundation Averted School Violence Database, compares and analyzes 51 completed acts of school violence with 51 averted incidents from the ASV database. It includes findings on the demographics of individuals who plan attacks, victims’ demographics in completed attacks, and community characteristics. The report also provides important recommendations to minimize school violence and improve student and school safety. To view and download the report, click here.

The Averted School Violence database was developed to systematically collect and analyze incidents of averted and completed acts of school violence, submitted by school safety practitioners, to identify promising practices in order to grow the body of knowledge related to successful attack prevention. Please help us grow this body of knowledge by submitting all such incidents at avertedschoolviolence.org. The ten minutes you take to report an incident can provide lessons learned that can save lives.

COMING SOON!
New Police Foundation Reports and Training Opportunities!