The e-newsletter of the COPS Office | Volume 2 | Issue 12 | December 2009

2009 International Association of Chiefs of Police Community Policing Awards

Since 1998, the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) Community Policing Committee has given out the IACP/CISCO Community Policing Award recognizing the best practices of agencies from around the world that feature innovative ideas utilizing the power of community policing, through collaboration and partnerships, to make local, national, and global communities safer from crime and terrorism. Committee Chair, Todd A. Miller provides the leadership, with great assistance from the members of committee, to enhance community policing strategies by identifying and selecting the top annual award winners. CISCO Systems, Inc., which designs and sells networking and communications technology and services globally, sponsors the Community Policing Award and a reception for the winners and finalists at the IACP Annual Conference.

This year’s winners in each population category were:

Finalists selected by the Committee were:

The Homeland Security Special Mention was awarded to Kochi City Police of Kerala, India.

Highlights from the submissions of the Gainesville and Wilson police departments, as described below, are examples of the quality and innovation of the 2009 IACP Community Policing Award winners.

Gainesville Police Department
721 N.W. 6th Street
Gainesville, FL 32601

Contact: Interim Chief Tony Jones
352.393.7501(t); 352.334.2504 (fax);

In 1987, the Gainesville Police Department took notice of the disproportionate number of arrests among young African-American males, who were often lost in the cycle of recidivism. Realizing that increasing enforcement and arrests were not the solution, Sgt. Tony Jones, Mr. Richard Baxter (a counselor at the Corner Drug Store), and Ms. Rosa Williams (Community Activist and Chairperson of the Black on Black Crime Task Force) decided they must address the underlying conditions that give rise to this issue in order to make a difference. Starting out with their own out-of-pocket funding, over the next 20 years, they built the successful Reichart House Youth Academy.

Through their mobilization of partners from numerous state and local government agencies, schools, clubs, and community members, they were able to raise and construct a $700,000 facility that provides opportunities for these youth, including tutoring, life skills, vocational skills, leadership training, mentoring, performing arts, music and video production, and educational field trips. To date there are over 600 graduates from the Reichart House. By their own estimates, the successful transition of Reichart House graduates have saved the criminal justice system an estimated $11,520,000 per year by helping these young men find a more meaningful purpose than a life of crime. The Reichart House enjoys a 100 percent graduation rate for students involved in the program and 90 percent success rate in job attainment after graduation.

The lesson learned—it is never too late to reach out to at-risk juveniles, and the Reichart House Youth Academy is a good example of how community partnerships, time, commitment, creativity, and tenacity can lead to great accomplishments.

Wilson Police Department 120 North Goldsboro Street
Wilson, NC 27893

Contact: Chief Harry Tyson
252.399.2317 (t); 252.399.2346 (fax);

A targeted community policing approach can be seen in the successful Snowden Drive Initiative implemented by the Wilson Police Department. The selected target area stretches across four city blocks, and contains 139 lower income houses which are mostly rental units. The housing consists of single or duplex dwellings that historically have been plagued by violence, property crime, and substandard living conditions. Through a residential survey, the police department determined that gangs and drug activities were the resident’s primary crime concerns. Survey results also revealed that the residents did not trust the police and believed that neither the police nor the property owners cared about their neighborhood. Thus, this community policing initiative focused not only on addressing crime problems, but also on rebuilding strained relationships.

The Wilson Police Department mobilized this community through the assistance of the My Brother’s Keepers Group, which is comprised of clergy members from local churches. This group played a significant role in building a partnership between the community and the police to work jointly on crime problems. They also helped to enhance relationships and improve communications. In a follow-up survey after the initiative, the results showed a 90 percent approval rating for the police, with a 38 percent reduction in calls for service from 2007 to present. The Wilson Police Department attributes their success to three things. First, never underestimate the community’s desire to reside and raise their families in a safe, model community. Second, the local clergy were the strongest organized link to the community, which made the Snowden Drive Initiative successful. Lastly, police transparency is the greatest tool for collaboration because it keeps the organization “open” and approachable to everyone and helps to build trust.

For complete summaries of all the 2009 IACP Community Policing Award winners and finalists and to see videos created by the winners on their initiatives, please visit the IACP Community Policing Committee’s new web site at At this site, you will find links to all award winners and finalists since 1998 as well as information on how to apply for the 2010 IACP/CISCO Community Policing Award. The Committee has created short videos that explain the award submission process and what the judges are looking for in each area of the submission. Even if your agency is not contemplating applying for an award, the videos and the information on the web site will provide you with information on how to implement the philosophy of community policing in your agency or try new initiatives. The Committee’s new web site is also set up to serve as a social networking site for community policing practitioners and community policing agencies that want to reach out to their communities and exchange ideas to improve their citizens’ quality of life. We encourage you to check it out!

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