It doesn’t seem quite possible–I was notified late last year that I have earned life membership in the foremost police leadership organization in the world–the International Association of Chief of Police. It means I have been a member for 20 years. I first joined when I was a lieutenant at the Meridian Township Police Department. I wanted to join the IACP because I aspired to be a police chief but few resources were available to me. One of the first hurdles I met was that to be a member you have to be sponsored by a current member. Getting a sponsor was no easy task –not many of the local chiefs thought I could or would be a chief and some thought I just shouldn’t be seeking it because I am a woman. But I finally managed to talk a member into it and I joined in 1992.
The IACP is a tremendous leadership organization for police and police leadership –they mentor and are thought leaders of police around the world–it is truly an international organization. And effective police leadership means effective police agencies and as we know, democracy is made possible by the actions of police who respect and uphold the rule of law.
I am proud to be a member in an organization that rises to meet the challenges of law enforcement. They have high quality initiatives in such important issues as violence against women, immigration, gun violence, less than lethal force use, officer wellness and suicide prevention and many, many others. They publish model policies to help chiefs direct their departments through the complex and ever-changing world of policing.