Podcast Series: The Beat

Welcome to the COPS Office's podcast series, The Beat. The Beat features interviews with experts from many disciplines and provides law enforcement with the latest developments in community policing. Below, you will find the most current The Beat podcasts. To access previous episodes of The Beat, visit The Beat archive.

We'd like to invite you to share your feedback and suggest topics you're interested in hearing more about. Also, do not miss a single podcast by subscribing to receive The Beat in your inbox.

The opinions contained herein are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the U.S. Department of Justice. References to specific agencies, companies, products, or services should not be considered an endorsement by the author(s) or the U.S. Department of Justice. Rather, the references are illustrations to supplement discussion of the issues.

Featured Episodes

Recruitment and Retention Strategies from Rapid City


Recruiting and retaining high-quality law enforcement officers has been a struggle for departments across the United States over the last few years. The Rapid City Police Department in South Dakota was one of those agencies, but turned things around in 2023 through a holistic approach that addresses a wide variety of factors that influence who joins the department and is retained.

Discover on Apple Podcasts | Listen/Download MP3 | Read Transcript

Current Episodes

Milwaukee Shoot Review Process: The Need for Collaborative Public Safety Reviews of Homicides and Shootings

Each week, the Milwaukee Police Department holds a shoot review meeting where they break down information about the reasons and specifics of each incident in a way that informs their ability to prevent further gun violence. This is common practice throughout the field. However, effectively engaging community partners in the process differentiates Milwaukee from most departments, and it is paying dividends. Assistant Chief Paul Formolo discusses Milwaukee’s unique approach in this episode of The Beat.

Discover on Apple Podcasts | Listen/Download MP3 | Read Transcript

Art Acevedo: A Profile in Law Enforcement Leadership

Art Acevedo often finds himself on the national police leadership stage. Not because he is intent on being there, but because he calls balls and strikes in a strident manner that endears him to the communities he has served. His views on policing and his leadership of the Austin (TX), Houston (TX), and Miami (FL) police departments can be hard to categorize in traditional terms. He has been as likely to adopt uncompromising approaches toward fighting crime as to drive reforms that reflect contemporary public sentiments about needed advancements. Acevedo currently serves as Chief of the Aurora Police Department in Colorado and joins The Beat to share his thoughts on leadership and the direction of American law enforcement.

Discover on Apple Podcasts | Listen/Download MP3 | Read Transcript

Ed Flynn: A Profile in Law Enforcement Leadership

The unyielding and ‘around-the-clock’ demands placed on law enforcement departments and officers create an unavoidable draw to become engrossed with focusing on responses to crime and disorder – rather than solutions. Ed Flynn is among a cadre of prominent voices in law enforcement who serve as a constant reminder that impactful solutions require that we look upstream and develop sound strategies instead of simply chasing the tail of crime. Over the span of his 47-year career, he has worked in small towns, big cities, and even served as the Director of Public Safety for the State of Massachusetts. In this episode, Flynn joins The Beat to share his insights during a discussion guaranteed to leave listeners inspired and informed.

Discover on Apple Podcasts | Listen/Download MP3 | Read Transcript

Daniel Hahn: A Profile in Law Enforcement Leadership

Affectionately known as the ‘City of Sacrament’ and the ‘River City,’ Sacramento, California is not immune to the complexities that affect many metropolitan areas. It is only fitting that the recently retired Chief of the Sacramento Police Department, Daniel Hahn, has a first-hand understanding of those complexities based on unique insights he has gained during an unconventional childhood in a hard-edged Sacramento neighborhood. During this episode of The Beat, Retired Chief Hahn discusses lessons of community service taught to him by his adoptive mother, his journey through a 34-year career in policing, and the need for collective understanding of how law enforcement and low-income communities can move forward together.

Discover on Apple Podcasts | Listen/Download MP3 | Read Transcript

The Holistic Assistance Response Team: Changing Responses to Certain Nonviolent Calls for Service

Never-ending changes to the demands facing law enforcement, municipal funding levels, and public expectations have increased local efforts to establish alternative response models for certain nonviolent calls for service. Barbie Robinson, Executive Director of the Harris County (TX) Department of Public Health, joins The Beat to discuss their Holistic Assistance Response Team and how it works in conjunction with the Harris County Sheriff’s Office to enhance public safety.

Discover on Apple Podcasts | Listen/Download MP3 | Read Transcript

Investigating Elder Fraud Online Scams

Online scams targeting elders and others are the unfortunate byproduct of our increasing reliance on the internet for shopping and efficiently moving funds with the click of a few buttons. Internet-based platforms are also an efficient means for criminals to identify and prey upon victims. Felix Salazar is an investigator with the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office and his efforts to build cases against online scam artists are quickly becoming the cheat-sheet for law enforcement and prosecutors to successfully convict these elusive criminals.

Discover on Apple Podcasts | Listen/Download MP3 | Read Transcript

Overcoming Recruiting Shortages by Applying Industrial and Organizational Psychology Practices

Throughout the law enforcement community, recruiting the next generation of professionals has presented new challenges and departments are seeking updated approaches to address their needs. Jenn Rineer and Rick Jacobs from the Society of Industrial and Organizational Psychology join The Beat to share their experiences and expertise employing industrial and organizational psychology practices in support of departments seeking to attract the best and brightest candidates.

Discover on Apple Podcasts | Listen/Download MP3 | Read Transcript

We Regret to Inform You: Trauma Notifications

Making trauma notifications to a victim’s next of kin is one of the many sobering and personally challenging duties experienced during a career in law enforcement. It is also a responsibility for which there is often a lack of adequate training. The FBI’s Dr. Staci Beers joins The Beat to discuss best practices for making notifications and provides information on the Bureau’s no-cost, online training.

Discover on Apple Podcasts | Listen/Download MP3 | Read Transcript

National Faith & Blue Weekend

National Faith & Blue Weekend (NFBW) encourages law enforcement agencies, houses of worship, civic organizations, and community members to come together for the purpose of conducting service projects, improving trust, and collaborative problem-solving. During last year’s NFBW, state and local law enforcement agencies from all 50 states hosted 2,000 events under the NFBW umbrella. Reverend Markel Hutchins joins The Beat to discuss Faith & Blue and shares information on how to host an event in 2022.

Discover on Apple Podcasts | Listen/Download MP3 | Read Transcript

Community Policing and Tactical Proficiency Are Not Mutually Exclusive

A core component of community policing is identifying individuals and situations that pose threats to a community. It follows that apprehending violent criminals is an unavoidable part of that process. Thor Eells, Executive Director of the National Tactical Officers Association, joins The Beat to discuss the resources that his organization provides, responding to active threats and issues of tactical proficiency.

Discover on Apple Podcasts | Listen/Download MP3 | Read Transcript

Building Law Enforcement Alliances with LGBTQ Communities

The existence of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ) liaison officers and units has increased significantly over the last 15 years. However, officers who staff these functions and the services that these units provide too often fall short of meeting the needs of LGTBQ communities. Greg Miraglia, Executive Director of Out To Protect, a partner organization of the COPS Office, joins The Beat to discuss the support his organization provides and how to effectively engage in June Pride Month activities.

Discover on Apple Podcasts | Listen/Download MP3 | Read Transcript

Cincinnati Police Department’s Veterans Response Program

There are an estimated 18 million veterans in the United States, and when they are in crisis, law enforcement officers are often the first to make contact with them. However, arrest is not always the best tool, or the only tool, needed to support those who have served. Sergeant Dave Corlett from the Cincinnati Police Department and Ron Michaelson from the Veterans Administration Medical Center join The Beat to discuss their Veterans Response Program and how it can easily be replicated.

Discover on Apple Podcasts | Listen/Download MP3 | Read Transcript

Talking Tribal Policing and De-escalation with Chief Jacob Molitor

There are an estimated 18,000 state and local law enforcement agencies throughout the country, and while there are many similarities between jurisdictions, there are also many differences. Jacob Molitor, Chief of the Meskwaki Nation Police Department in Iowa and Chair of the Small and Rural Law Enforcement Executives Association, joins The Beat to discuss unique aspects of serving a small tribal jurisdiction. Chief Molitor also discusses an innovative approach that his department has implemented to institutionalize robust de-escalation practices.

Discover on Apple Podcasts | Listen/Download MP3 | Read Transcript

Oklahoma City Police Department’s Return to Duty Program

Officers throughout the country who have been involved in a response to a critical incident can expect to hear a standard question from their fellow officers and supervisors: “Are you good?” On far too many occasions, it can seem that this is a throwaway question and that there is only one acceptable answer. However, that is not the case for the men and women of the Oklahoma City Police Department. Lieutenant Don Holland joins The Beat to explain how the OCPD is meeting the needs of officers, their families, and the community’s safety in the aftermath of a critical incident.

Discover on Apple Podcasts | Listen/Download MP3 | Read Transcript

Mike Chitwood — A Profile in Law Enforcement Leadership

At heart, Mike Chitwood is a hard-charging cop who got his start chasing criminals through Philadelphia’s subway system and now serves as the elected Sherriff of Volusia County, Florida. He is a dichotomy, viewed equally as a reformer and someone whose style and results endear him to traditionalists. Sherriff Chitwood joins The Beat to discuss his unyielding approach toward fighting crime, strategic improvements being implemented in his agency, effective community engagement, and contemporary issues in policing.

Discover on Apple Podcasts | Listen/Download MP3 | Read Transcript

Life Aid Research Institute: Building Bridges and Improving Community Safety

John Wordin is well known for transitioning from a 260-pound college football player to a 185-pound professional cyclist in 16 months. Today, he has transitioned into an entirely different realm, and is the founder of the Life Aid Research Institute. Life Aid is a suicide prevention program for military veterans and first responders by applying a whole health approach and peer support. John joins The Beat to spotlight those who are at risk of suicide and also examines how their families are impacted.

Discover on Apple Podcasts | Listen/Download MP3 | Read Transcript

First Responder Fitness: Rethinking the Work-Life Balance

Marc Hildebrand is a currently serving law enforcement officer with over 18 years of experience. He struggled through a 100-pound weight loss journey while losing touch with his family and blamed it all on the unavoidable demands of police work. After successfully getting into the best shape of his life and establishing emotional balance he now works to help other officers get in shape, connect with their family, and change the trajectory of their career through his First Responder Fitness program.

Discover on Apple Podcasts | Listen/Download MP3 | Read Transcript

Chuck Jordan — A Law Enforcement Leadership Profile

Chuck Jordan retired as the Chief of the Tulsa Police Department in 2019, and during his 50-year career he made quite a mark on the profession. From his very first day on the job when he responded to an armed robbery call, to serving as a Commander of the United Nations Civilian Police Mission in war-torn Kosovo, Chief Jordan has seen a lot. As the Chief in Tulsa, a city with a well-document history of trauma stemming from the 1921 Black Wall Street Massacre, Jordan led his department’s response to a high-profile police involved shooting and a racially motivated spree of shootings that threatened to open old wounds from 1921. Whether you are a patrol officer, supervisor, or executive, Chief Jordan’s conversation with The Beat offers insight into contemporary issues in policing that should not be missed.

Discover on Apple Podcasts | Listen/Download MP3 | Read Transcript

Center for Council

Center for Council focuses on intensive training in wellness, empathy and resilience to address officer health and performance -- and builds on those skills with powerful opportunities to foster improved community relationships, effective de-escalation practices and meaningful procedural justice. Center’s Executive Director, Jared Seide, along with one of their law enforcement counselors, Rich Goerling, join The Beat to discuss their law enforcement programs.

Discover on Apple Podcasts | Listen/Download MP3 | Read Transcript

Kathleen O’Toole — A Profile in Law Enforcement Leadership

Kathleen O’Toole worked her way through the ranks to become arguably the most experienced woman in the history of American policing. She has served as the Chief of the Seattle Police Department (WA), Commissioner of the Boston Police Department, Lieutenant Colonel of Massachusetts State Police, Secretary of Public Safety for the State of Massachusetts, and Chief Inspector of Ireland’s National Police Service. Chief O’Toole (Ret.) joins The Beat to share her experiences and discuss current law enforcement issues.

Discover on Apple Podcasts | Listen/Download MP3 | Read Transcript

Black Voices in Policing — Perspectives of Someone Who Wore the Badge

Matthew Horace began his 28-year career with a local law enforcement agency, and concluded it as the Special Agent In-Charge of an Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Field Office. He is also the author The Black And The Blue, a book that details his experiences serving as an African American Officer and Special Agent in a work environment that was often unaware of, or insensitive to its’ own biases. He joins The Beat to discuss how law enforcement can move beyond an all too frequent disconnect with communities most in need of effective policing, and the participation of law enforcement officers in the January 2021 storming of our nation’s Capitol Building.

Discover on Apple Podcasts | Listen/Download MP3 | Read Transcript

Black Voices in Policing — Texas Southern University’s Center for Justice Research

The Center for Justice Research is housed at Texas Southern University in Houston, which is one of our nation’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU). The Center is a research organization devoted to data-driven solutions for an equitable criminal justice system. Howard Henderson, Ph.D. is the Founding Director of the Center, and he joins the Beat to discuss their focus on culturally-responsive, evidence-supported solutions and strategic engagements.

Discover on Apple Podcasts | Listen/Download MP3 | Read Transcript

Black Voices in Policing — Uniting a Community Divided by Hate Crimes

Dr. RaShall M. Brackney spent 30 years with the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police before taking command of the Charlottesville Police Department in Virginia. She arrived in Charlottesville shortly after the Unite the Right rally in the summer of 2017. Her charge, help move a traumatized community past the experience of being invaded by hate. Chief Brackney shares her thoughts, as a leader and African American law enforcement professional, on unifying a diverse community, post-hate.

Discover on Apple Podcasts | Listen/Download MP3 | Read Transcript

You Are Not Alone: A Law Enforcement Approach to Monitoring the Needs of Vulnerable Citizens

Throughout our communities, seniors and individuals with disabilities live alone, and may face challenges that put them at risk, or result in neglect of their basic needs. The Paradise Valley Police Department’s (AZ) You Are Not Alone (YANA) program is an automated, proactive approach that supports these citizens without overburdening department resources. Officer Steven McGhee and Patricia Wagner join the Beat to discuss YANA.

Discover on Apple Podcasts | Listen/Download MP3 | Read Transcript

Resilient Minds on the Front Lines

Resilient Minds on the Front Lines is a program developed to support law enforcement and other first responders with tools and knowledge that can help them cope with the stress inherent to a profession requiring self-sacrifice in the name of serving the ‘public good’. During this episode of The Beat, the team behind Resilient Minds discusses techniques and resources available to help first responders continue helping others.

Discover on Apple Podcasts | Listen/Download | Read Transcript

NYPD Coronavirus Operations

The NYPD’s Patrol Services Bureau is responsible for operations conducted by the majority of the department's uniformed officers. These officers work out of 77 precincts that each serve a population of between 70,000 and 150,000 people. Deputy Chief Pichardo speaks with The Beat about how the Department responded to the Coronavirus, and shares his perspectives on the commitment of NYPD officers.

Discover on Apple Podcasts | Listen/Download | Read Transcript

Jail Operations in the Coronavirus Era

A career public servant, Sheriff Peter J. Koutoujian oversees one of the nation’s oldest law enforcement agencies - the Middlesex Sheriff’s Office. Sheriff Koutoujian joins The Beat to share his experiences and lessons learned leading his organization through the height of the coronavirus.

Discover on Apple Podcasts | Listen/Download | Read Transcript



 

7 Habits of Unsuccessful Departments

Leadership is critical to the success of every department. However, perceptions of what constitutes effective leadership can vary depending on when and where officers enter the profession. Chief Joel Shults (Ret.) joins The Beat to provide insight gained during his 30-year career about successful police leadership.

Discover on Apple Podcasts | Listen/Download | Read Transcript
 

Accessing Free Online and In-Person Training through the COPS Office Training Portal

In this episode of The Beat, Sheila Gunderman and Evan Mishler from the Virginia Center for Policing Innovation (VCPI) discuss the training resources offered through the COPS Office’s Training Portal. The Portal is a no-cost resource for entire departments, academies, and individual officers to access a high-quality, interactive e-Learning curriculum.

Discover on Apple Podcasts | Listen/Download | Read Transcript
 

Building Personal Resilience

The Madison (WI) Police Department’s Building Personal Resilience project was developed in coordination with the University of Iowa’s College of Nursing and focuses on helping officers dissipate stress and effectively self-regulate as they endure the rigors of the job. Captain Mary Schauf (ret.) and Sandra Ramey, PhD, RN, join The Beat to share Madison’s experience.

Discover on Apple Podcasts | Listen/Download | Read Transcript

Wounded in the Line of Duty: One Park Ranger’s Story

Brody Young is a Utah State Parks Ranger who was shot nine times, left to die in a remote location, and is back on the job today. Ranger Young speaks candidly about the incident, his recovery, and how the experience has changed his life.

Discover on Apple Podcasts | Listen/Download | Read Transcript

 

Mitigating the Risk of Heart Disease in Officers

Jon Sheinberg is a Lieutenant with the Cedar Park Police Department in Texas. Lieutenant Sheinberg is also a practicing Cardiologist, and he shares information about the prevalence of heart attacks among officers and offers suggestions on how cops can reduce their risk of heart disease.

Discover on Apple Podcasts | Listen/Download | Read Transcript

Counseling Officers: Perspectives of a Police Psychologist

Mark Kirschner is a Clinical Psychologist who has spent his career working directly with law enforcement officers. Dr. Kirschner shares information about how officers can offset the unavoidable emotional stress that comes with wearing the badge.

Discover on Apple Podcasts | Listen/Download | Read Transcript

 

The Beat: Archive