The IACP Civil Rights Committee established the Civil Rights Award to recognize outstanding law enforcement achievements in protecting civil and human rights. The Civil Rights Award is sponsored jointly by V.H. Blackinton & Company and Hilliard & Heintze. The Committee awardees include law enforcement agencies and individuals who have pioneered activities that range from professional criminal investigations of civil rights violations to innovative police community programs that serve vulnerable and disenfranchised populations. Eligible applicants may be selected from U.S. national and international law enforcement agencies. The Civil Rights Awards for 2012 were selected for the following categories: Single-Agency Program or Project Award – two agencies tied for this award and the Individual Achievement Award.
Single-Agency Program or Project Award:
The Auburn, Maine Police Department (Chief Phillip Crowell) – “Not Here” Coalition to End Human Trafficking
The Auburn Police Department took the lead to initially host a conference to begin a call to action against human trafficking. The U.S. Attorney offered opening remarks setting the tone and providing information about trafficking – a modern day form of slavery. The Conference was attended by more than 150 professional that included local and state representatives, social services agencies, law enforcement personnel, and public health and emergency room physicians, ICE, FBI, Catholic Charities, Give Way to Freedom, International Justice Mission and MECASA. A victim and survivor of familial human trafficking shared a personal story and a film entitled “Sex and Money” was shown. The goals from the conference moving forward to action included efforts to achieve a stand-alone human trafficking statute, a victim centered approach, a transformation in approach in the law enforcement culture, an understanding of the business model involved in human trafficking and a collaborative approach to address human trafficking by engaging law enforcement, victim services, prosecutors, faith based groups, medical personnel and community groups and members.
The Department engaged in surveys and solicited feedback from participants. The Maine Attorney General used the information from the conference to initiate legislation to develop a Human Trafficking Task Force. This Task Force is focused on developing training for law enforcement, outreach in public awareness campaigns and finding one organization to coordinate all services within the state. The Department’s efforts also resulted in two law enforcement networks that meet regularly to discuss law enforcement activities occurring within the state that now identify trafficking models and share investigative tools to combat trafficking.
The Miami-Dade, Florida, School Police Department (Chief Charles Hurley) – “Youth Crime Intervention Strategy”
The Miami-Dade Schools Police Department (M-DSPD) received the 2012 Single-Agency Program Award for the Miami-Dade Schools Police Department Youth Crime Intervention Strategy (Strategy). The Department was successful in developing and implementing a youth diversionary program that addresses delinquency prevention and reduces the number of juvenile minorities who come in contact with the juvenile justice system. When considering the schoolhouse to jailhouse juvenile delinquency pipeline, M-DSPD made the decision to reform this cycle by offering a holistic approach for youth ages 12 and under, misdemeanor juvenile offenders. The program has several components, a Civil Citation Program whereby a civil citation is issued in lieu of arrest to eligible first and second time juvenile misdemeanor offenders. Thereafter, the offender receives a comprehensive assessment from the Juvenile Service Department that includes drug and alcohol screening, family and household evaluations and mental health services, as deemed necessary. The youth receive essential services such as counseling, drug and alcohol treatment, anger management and other valuable assistance. This program is paired with a Youth Mentoring Program that partners officers and students in a one-to-one mentoring environment to improve students’ self- confidence. The Strategy was assessed over a period of years and was recorded as the largest decline in school related juvenile delinquency referrals across the state. It was determined that some of the juveniles were fosters kids who had been moved from home to home 10 times or more in one county, bullied by other children, removed from domestic violent homes and sometimes subjected to abuse. The Strategy was developed to address the incarceration of too many children. “Incarceration at such a young age was ruining their lives,” Commander Fox said,” we decided that were going to make a change.”
Individual Achievement Award:
This year’s Individual Achievement Award was given to Terrance Gainer, United States Senate Sergeant at Arms. Washington, D. C. Mr. Gainer was recognized for his commitment, leadership, and contribution to the law enforcement profession in the area of civil rights. Mr. Gainer began his law enforcement career as a police officer in Chicago, Illinois in 1968. He served as an attorney and chief legal officer for the Chicago Police Department, Deputy Inspector General in Illinois state government, Deputy Director of the Illinois State Police, U.S. Department of Transportation Special Assistant to the Secretary and later Director for Drug Enforcement and Compliance, Director of the Illinois State Police and in 1998 he became the Executive Assistant Chief of the D.C. Metropolitan Police. He revitalized Hate Crimes policies in the D.C. Department, assigned personnel to the Hate Crimes Task Force and instituted mandatory training for every officer. The Task Force he created began monthly meetings that brought together the prosecutors, local and federal police, and community members to discuss hate crimes issues. He helped to create the first gay and lesbian liaison unit. He created an innovative program called the Law Enforcement and Society Lessons of the Holocaust (LEAS) in a partnership with the National Holocaust Museum. The program uses the history of the Holocaust to increase law enforcement professionals’ understanding of their relationship to the people they serve as protector of the Constitution. Participants examine modern policing against the back drop of the role of law enforcement in the Holocaust. During his tenure as Chief of the D.C. Metropolitan Police Department and Capitol Hill Police Department he worked to ensure diversity in ranks in the departments. As Chief of the Capitol Hill Police, he advocated for and routinely requested the establishment of a Diversity Officer, a position that was approved. As the current Sergeant at Arms for the U.S. Senate, he is committed to the internship program that allows young people of all backgrounds the opportunity to garner work experience in the Nation’s Capital. He also sits on the Capitol Police Board and has worked to address issues surrounding the lawsuit brought by the U.S. Capitol Black Police Association.
For more information about the IACP Civil Rights Award, visit the awards section of the IACP Web site, www.theiacp.org, or contact Brandon Gardner at the IACP, 515 North Washington Street, Alexandria, VA 22314-2357; by phone at 1-800-THE-IACP, extension 234; or via e-mail at Gardner@theiacp.org.