2020 IACP Leadership Awards Blog Series: Emerging Issues
This blog is part of a series highlighting the 2020 IACP Leadership Award Winners, who have made meaningful contributions to both their communities and the police profession. Their achievements are representative of the incredible leadership displayed by police organizations around the world.
IACP Leadership in Public Information Management Award
The IACP Leadership in Public Information Management Award recognizes the accomplishments of an individual public information officer and their ability to effectively disseminate information to the public. Special consideration will be given to nominees who demonstrate innovative use of social media and successful informative management during a critical incident.
Public Relations Director
Nebraska State Patrol
Since 2017, Public Relations Director Cody Thomas has single-handedly revamped the Nebraska State Patrol’s (NSP) communications with the media and the community through several innovative efforts. His proactive strategy involves tracking sentiment scores for media stories and social media, increasing media releases, increasing photo/video opportunities, and highlighting NSP involvement in community activities. However, Director Thomas’ most impressive initiative comes from his work on social media. Through a vast team of social media contributors, Director Thomas has generated creative posts that work to highlight NSP’s personality, community connection, diverse workforce, and provide an outlet for serious public safety information as well as light-hearted posts. One example includes the efforts that showed NS troopers working to save lives and property throughout the March 2019 blizzards and flooding; another example showed a humorous clip of troopers making a traffic stop of a vehicle made entirely of snow. Hailed by the department for his ability to humanize the troopers and effectively handle critical incidences such as line of duty deaths and critical incidents, Director Thomas has made a significant impact on the NSP.
IACP Leadership in Law Enforcement Research Award
The IACP/Arnold Ventures Leadership in Law Enforcement Research Award recognizes law enforcement agencies that demonstrate excellence in conducting and using research to improve police operations and public safety. The goal of this award is to promote the establishment of effective partnerships among law enforcement agencies and researchers.
Dubai Police and the Khalifa Empowerment Program – Aqdar
To address the differences in learning and technology that has developed over recent years, the Dubai Police in partnership with the Khalifa Empowerment Program – Aqdar, have conducted an innovative implementation and evaluation of virtual training as an alternative to traditional field training. The Dubai Police were interested in increasing retention of information, decreasing cost of implementation, and bringing more advanced methods to the policing profession. The partnership began with researchers studying training in traffic accident investigations to pilot a virtual training program. A field study was done to gain greater understanding of the investigation process and identify current problems facing current training within the department. Next, the researchers conducted a pre- and post-test experiment to determine suitability and impact of virtual training on novice and experienced traffic accident investigators. The findings suggest that there is a statistically significant improvement in the performance of both novices and experienced investigators who were trained using the virtual training compared to those who were not. Results helped identify focuses of the traffic accident investigators and acceptance of the new technology as a learning tool. Positive results have led to the implementation of a similar virtual based training in crime scene investigations.