The COPS 2nd Annual National Community Policing Conference: Working Together for Safer Communities enabled law enforcement officials, criminal justice professionals, and civic leaders to exchange ideas, lessons learned, and best practices on a variety of important and timely issues. Conference participants attended workshops that were divided among the following seven tracks.
Homeland Security: Community Policing Principles for Effective Results
The homeland security track will focus on sharing strategies that demonstrate the effectiveness of applying community policing approaches within a homeland security context. Implications of the increasing roles and responsibilities of state and local law enforcement in homeland security issues will be discussed, as well as the needs and concerns of youth in this new security conscious environment. These sessions will highlight practical community policing efforts addressing topics such as community fear, partnerships with other governmental units and the community, the use of problem-solving to promote community safety, and effective communications and media strategies.
Integrity: Building Trust and Shared Responsibility
The police integrity track will focus on proven and innovative approaches to strengthen integrity systems that can lead to improved police-citizen partnerships, as well as organizational accountability. Topic areas may include: the development of early identification and intervention systems, ensuring accountability to the community, recruiting quality recruits from local communities, use of force policy and training, police-stop data collection and analysis, command staff integrity training, and other mechanisms that can enhance trust and mutual respect between police and citizens.
Technology: Using It to Improve Effectiveness
This track will include presentations aimed at assisting state and local law enforcement agencies in technology utilization. Presentation topics will include discussions on information-sharing systems, database utility, software, technology implementation and interoperability, and leveraging IT to support community policing practices. These presentations will explore examples of successful projects, problems encountered in the field, and problem-solving strategies used by agencies to overcome barriers associated with technology implementation.
School and Campus Policing
Topics will include issues in and around primary and secondary schools, as well as higher education. Issues may include crisis management, terrorism, bullying, or a means to resolving the issues, such as forming partnerships. These should be issues that impact students, parents, faculty, staff, law enforcement, communities, and public safety directors of college and university campuses.
Problem-Solving Strategies: Successful Approaches
Problem-solving refers to the process that is at the core of problem-oriented policing which often relies on problem-solving models such as SARA (Scanning, Analysis, Response, and Assessment). This track will allow practitioners to share successful problem-solving strategies, models, and tools for addressing a range of public safety and quality of life issues.
Partnerships: Community Safety and Community Engagement
This track will focus on law enforcement agencies that have successfully partnered with other organizations in their community policing efforts. Examples include faith-based initiatives, community oriented government, volunteers in police service, reentry programs, and mental health services. In addition, this track will explore issues related to engaging citizens through mass communication and community relations, including practical tips for getting a message out and making communication an inclusive, two-way process.
Contemporary Issues in Community Policing
This track will focus on such contemporary issues as using technology to improve community safety, mobilizing residents, engaging volunteers in policing, practicing community oriented government, improving accountability, and exploring the future direction and implementation of community policing.