Since 1998, the IACP’s Community Policing Committee has recognized outstanding community policing initiatives undertaken by law enforcement agencies worldwide through the annual IACP Leadership in Community Policing Award, sponsored by Cisco Systems.
The award identifies and rewards best practices in community policing by recognizing police organizations that use the power of collaboration and partnerships to make local, national, and global communities safer from crime and terrorism.
From Our Award Sponsor – Desmond Racicot, Chief (Ret.), Cisco
"Cisco is honored to be a part of the IACP Community Policing Awards. The awards recognize outstanding community policing initiatives around the world. As a former police chief, for 14 years, I know how important it is for departments to use the power of collaboration and partnerships to make communities everywhere safer. This is an opportunity to recognize the great lengths the men and women who serve police departments go through to ensure they best protect the people they are sworn to defend."
2017 Winners –
Agencies Serving a Population Fewer than 20,000 – Oelwein, IA, Police Department
Avoiding the truth is not a characteristic present within the Oelwein Police Department. Recognizing the often-rising level of mistrust for law enforcement, the Oelwein Police Department believes that it is up to each department to identify the problem and take steps towards guiding people to see the human side of law enforcement. In response, the Oelwein Police Department implemented a program called Project One to allow for more positive interactions between the public and officers. Project One allows officers to work alongside residents by having officers organize various events and activities throughout the area. This new initiative displays that one action, effort, gesture, community, team, or person truly makes a difference. It is a multi-faceted approach that utilizes the various talents and passions of the officers while working with various community groups and partners to accomplish tasks. When officers are allowed to develop a project around something that they enjoy doing, they have greater buy-in and they want to ensure that it is successful. Examples of those projects are:
- working with a local group that works with individuals with special needs to have a bowling outing where the officers are present and interacting with the participants
- partnering with other emergency services and the local campground to host “Camp with a Cop” where attendees are young boys that are guided on leadership and character
- partnering with a local nursery to plant trees in a park
- partnering with St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital to host a motorcycle poker run to benefit their patients
- food drives
- blood drives
- visiting nursing homes to serve meals to the residents
- utilizing officer donated funds to provide food gift cards to those in need during the holidays
A major lesson that the department has learned is that it does not matter if you are a department of 1 or 1,000, small projects and partnerships can be made. The path to the success of the program was not without bumps in the road. During the initial phases of this project, the struggle was getting the officers to have buy-in. Having officers that were trained and spent years having the warrior mentality to switch gears to a guardian mentality was not always an easy transition. In addition, the projects associated with the Project One initiative are constantly evolving and new programs are being implemented each year.
Agencies Serving a Population of 20,001 to 50,000 – Monrovia, CA, Police Department
A diverse community in Los Angeles County, the Monrovia Police Department has been committed to community policing for 26 years. Their style of community policing is called "Community Activist Policing" (CAP). Police officers are expected to become community "activists" to affect change and solve long-term problems, utilizing any resource available in the community. The agency has spent many years developing relationships and partnerships with stakeholders in their community. To this agency, community policing is not a tactic, technique or program; rather it is a proven way of delivering full-spectrum police services. During the latter years of the department’s 26 years of service, the Monrovia Police Department observed that trust in law enforcement was declining around the U.S.
The police department realized that if any kind of rebuilding was going to take place concerning the mistrust of law enforcement then they would have to reach out to the groups within the Monrovia community who currently feel a negative disposition towards law enforcement. The question was, how to get in contact with these individuals? The answer was in plain sight. The police department began to reach out to ministerial associations as well as the Monrovia Area Partnership, better known as MAP (who are apart of neighborhoods that have suffered gang violence). If the department had any hope of alleviating any feelings of mistrust between the community and its officers, they need to start building partnerships with these groups.
After about three months of relationship building, the ACT (Achieving Community Trust) initiative was formed. The ACT meetings created a safe space where residents and officers could relate to one another and feel at ease. Some impactful parts of the meeting include a specified time where officers could stand and share their personal life stories. One common goal of these meetings was to build trust that would, in turn, help diminish the fear between local community members and their police department. It was only through these efforts and years of relationship building with local faith leaders and MAP neighborhood leaders that the program could be a success. It was relationships with key individuals that proved to be the key to getting this collaborative effort accomplished.
Agencies Serving a Population of 50,001 to 100,000 – Roanoke, VA, Police Department
In September 2016, Roanoke Police Captain Morrison met with leaders of Feeding America Southwest Virginia (FASWVA) about turning a Roanoke property into a community kitchen to better serve those northwest area neighborhoods. This building was previously a neighborhood restaurant known for its delicious home cooked meals and family environment. Over the last eight years this property became notorious for disruptive crowds, shootings, and other violence that disrupted the quality of life in the community. In search of ways to improve services to this community of Roanoke, FASWVA expanded Morrison's vision to a "community solutions center," that would include not only a community kitchen, but also household job training programs and a satellite office for the Roanoke Police Department.
The synergy was electric as churches, the local food bank, and Goodwill of the Valleys worked together to make a true difference in the community. Using a community block development grant secured with the help of the City of Roanoke, the partners formally announced the purchase of the property in the Spring of 2017.
This initiative is the first of its type that was driven by a law enforcement agency in collaboration with faith based, 501(c)(3) agencies, and community development grant funding to achieve outcomes within a distressed community.
The department learned that it doesn't take some big "think tank" committee to turn a vision into a reality. Sometimes the best ideas involve a single individual engaging several members of a committed community, and then working together with a forward-thinking agency and a devoted local government to move that community forward.
Agencies Serving a Population of 100,001 to 250,000 – Fujairah Police General Head Quarters, Minister of Interior, United Arab Emirates
In May 2011, community policing was introduced to the Fujairah Police General Head Quarters, Minister of Interior in the United Arab Emirates. Since then, the Community Police Department has followed a clear procedure to communicate with partners and stakeholders on a regular basis to activate partnerships as well as guarantee the partners' involvement by briefing them on continuing challenges in the area. These briefings enabled them to develop solutions and methods of implementation, establish roles, identify requirements, facilitate the review and evaluate solutions after their implementation, and collect feedback.
The Community Police Department recognized that drugs in school was a problem, specifically Tramadol pills and narcotics. In light of this increasing epidemic, a new initiative was developed "Anti-Narcotics and Addiction to Tramadol in Schools”. The main obstacle faced by the community police department and stakeholders in implementing these initiatives was convincing parents to undergo training to increase their awareness of this problem and the role they play in eliminating drug issues. Parents had to be convinced of the severity of the problem and that they were an essential component to the solution to end drug use. To overcome this difficulty, the initiative involved community ambassadors, students who had been selected and trained to convince parents as well as other students, who in turn persuade their parents to attend these lectures.
By the end of the year, the strategic planning group measured the benefits of this initiative. Results uncovered through the assessment included a reduction in the number of drug cases. While there was an increase in arrest of suspects in drug cases in 2016 there were no cases of addiction found among students in 2016.
Agencies Serving a Population Over 250,000 – Arlington, TX, Police Department
Arlington Police Department (APD) is being acknowledged for their collaborative efforts and overall success with the Walmart Restorative Justice Program. The Walmart Restorative Justice Program is an illustration of how law enforcement can be one piece of a solution, but that a community response is required to take ownership of community problems. Using community policing practices as a foundation coupled with the problem-solving components of geographic policing, the agency analyzed that the pre-existing conventional strategies for theft and shoplifting calls for service that presumably focused on offender detection and crime prevention were ineffective.
The key lesson learned from the use of the partnership’s tactics and strategies encompasses the understanding that enforcement is not solely incumbent on arrests, rather exercising opportunities to serve as change agents to community issues and quality of life concerns.
Best Use of Technology in Support of Community Policing Initiatives Special Recognition – Halton Regional Police Department, Ontario, Canada
The strength of communities is a product of addressing shared priorities through strong relationships and collaborations. Community policing in Halton is a philosophy based on the concept that police officers and private citizens work together, in partnership, resulting in creative ways to solve community problems related to crime, fear of crime, social and physical order, and neighborhood decay.
Until recently, Halton’s approach to operations was siloed to reflect the four municipalities it served. This framework contributed to a lack of consistency and connectivity, not just internally, but also in how the agency partnered with community agencies and services. In the agency’s new regional mobilization framework, the Community Mobilization Officers came together to share successes and challenges and seek commonalities, thus providing opportunities for joint learning, encouraging greater connectivity, and providing clarity of expectations. As of June 2017, the Situation Table, which is a gathering of key community partners who meet and discuss elevated risk cases, has intervened to support more than 415 situations of acutely-elevated risk. The goal is to find the most appropriate place, and approach, to address problems and mitigate risk. Halton Situation Table remains the only Regional Table in operation in Ontario. Halton Region's ranking as the safest regional municipality in Canada year after year is a testament to the strength and depth of the collaboration between the Halton Regional Police Service and the many agencies and organizations who serve the residents.
At times, collaboration across various sectors can bring about various inefficiencies, but in their experience, Halton has seen greater efficiencies with this approach. Agencies and police services must continually seek opportunities and partnerships outside of their sectors to better serve the most vulnerable in communities. Agencies and services must be committed to engaging with each other in meaningful ways and participate in active listening to identify gaps in services and system inefficiencies. When community partners collaborate, community safety and well-being increase.
Special Homeland Security Recognition – Office of Superintendent of Police, Bastar, India
Bastar has been at the epicenter of instability for the last 3 decades. This environment has created a number of challenges that have led to the under development of the region and widening of the trust deficit between the local tribes and the police.
The police department decided to implement new dimensions of community policing through a program titled Amcho Bastar, Amcho Police (Our Bastar, Our Police). This initiative involves all stakeholders to forge a new cooperative relationship to reduce the incidents of violence, to protect the lives of civilians and security personnel, to create development inducing infrastructure and to reclaim the lost ground by instilling trust among the people. During district crime meetings, it was determined that the traditional principles of city policing were not applicable in the community and a more tribes-friendly proactive approach needed to be used.
For the department, the initiative output was not the only achievement. The other success was the change of attitude and behavior of the people triggered by the program towards the police as well as their own safety and well-being, proving that the said initiatives have successfully acted as “consciousness-raisers”. The Amcho Bastar, Amcho Police initiative has been a journey of learning and organizational introspection.
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