Community Policing - My Past and Future

I have recently returned to work from attending another great IACP Annual Conference, this one in Chicago, IL, USA.  At the conference, the winners and finalists of the 2015 IACP and Cisco Community Policing Awards were recognized and the Community Policing Committee put on another great and well attended workshop, this one dealing with Terrorism, New Threats to Officers, and What Community Policing Can Do For You. 

I have been associated with the IACP Community Policing Committee since 1999, after my agency won the Community Policing Award and I was asked to join the committee. The past 16 years have been great, I have learned so much about Community Policing from the members of that great committee and from the 77 winner and 139 finalist agencies who have been recognized through the IACP and Cisco Community Policing Award process since 1998. The commitment of law enforcement from around the world to work together with their communities to reduce crime, improve safety and improve overall quality of life for everyone is really an inspiration. When I read in award submissions about how police agencies have made a difference in their communities by working with the homeless, the mentally ill, and even by helping to build roads and bring water and electricity to small villages, as some of our international winners and finalists have done, it really brings to the forefront the power and value of law enforcement agencies and officers around the world who are utilizing the community policing philosophy to make the world a better place. I don't think there is a portion of government that is more important in people's lives or that impacts more people positively than does law enforcement, and we need to appreciate and recognize all of your efforts. 

I saw many past winners and finalists of the Community Policing Award at the IACP Conference in Chicago and re-connected with many community policing practioners from all over the world that I had previously met or worked with.  Seeing them, and recognizing the large number of workshops at the conference that dealt with community policing topics, caused me to think: I was pleased with the direction of the profession, with the work of the IACP in promoting community policing, and with the work of individual officers and agencies to better serve their communities.  I also realized that there is still more work to be done.

At the Community Policing Award Reception, I announced that after 16 years on the committee, after being a final judge for the awards process for most of that time, and after serving for 9 years as the Chair of the Community Policing Committee, I was stepping away from the committee to let other great law enforcement leaders carry the torch.  I know they will.

I truly enjoyed all my time on the Committee and all the work that went with it, but I also realized that I wanted to do some other things to promote and advance what I have been passionate about for the entire 39 years I have been a Chief of Police; Community Policing and Community Governance.  If you have paid attention at all to the profession and the world happenings, you will understand why I believe that community policing, and taking that to the next level as community governance, is something that is so very important to our communities, our agencies and to our officers.

What I have decided to do, besides to continue to work as a Chief of Police, is to get involved with a great group of community policing, community governance and leadership subject matter experts and form Policing Leadership Group, LLC.  We plan to work within the profession, and with great organizations like the IACP, to advance these philosophies to make a difference in the lives of citizens.

I encourage all of you to continue to support and promote community policing, to support IACP, and to continue to submit your great initiatives to be considered for the IACP and Cisco Community Policing Awards for 2016 and beyond.  In the future, if you ever want to chat about community policing or community governance, have any questions, or maybe need some advice, I would be honored to speak with you.  I can be reached at ToddM@policingleadership.com.

 

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