Recent International Association of Chiefs of Police Conference in Chicago

I recently attended the International Chiefs of Police annual conference in Chicago.  Interestingly it created national news because the President of the United States spoke–no president had spoken to the IACP in 20 years they say.  Although I’ve been attending these conferences for 20 years and I don’t ever recall any president ever speaking, despite being invited every year.  I sat with Chief Mary Sclabassi of Taylor to hear his address.  The news has reported part of what he said but here is the whole address (it is about 1 hour long):

President Obama at IACP

and FBI Director James Comie’s remarks have become quite

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controversial.  He suggested that police are hesitating to engage in distressed communities because of the potential of a viral video.  Both he and the president recognized that the police are not the solution to every social problem.  In some respects police are the scapegoats for problematic things society has not dealt with–like mental health, substandard housing, lack of jobs and opportunities, school discipline.

I agree that there needs to be recognition of what we need to do our jobs effectively.  There was comment about how police should rebuilt trust with their communities but no one mentions the impact of the economic recession on police.  Our work-forces have been reduced taking away time we used for community policing activities.  Our core responsibility is call response so that is where our resources must go it minimizes the time we have for  community problem solving and positive contact with kids.   While we attempt to do our best with what we have, there is no mistaking that there has been an impact.  Here are Comie’s comments in their entirety.

When I attended the General Assembly on Monday, October 26th I was thrilled to see AHPD Officer Farah Hilliker’s photo and caption from the IACP’s Why I Wear the Badge Twitter campaign as the first face on the video.  #WHYIWEARTHEBADGE video

As you might guess, the conference was particularly intense this year given all that has happened over the last 12 months.  But the discussion was good–I got information on many topics which is giving me lots to think about and consider. In particular we heard details about the 21st Century Policing Task Force report and what it means to our profession from top instructors from around the country. We heard from legal experts, psychologists, federal government attorneys, other chiefs from agencies large and small on best practices from their agencies.  We heard about terrorism, and current trends in force use and force use reporting, officer selection and training, sexual assault investigation in university towns and the current focus of the US Dept of Education and Dept of Justice on issues around Title IX among many others.

All of the Michigan police who attended the IACP including 58 from the MSP alone.
All of the Michigan police who attended the IACP including 58 from the MSP alone.

I met law enforcement officials from around the world since it truly is an international conference.

I appreciate the opportunity the city gives me to attend.  I learn the newest and the most significant trends in the policing world.

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I'm the Chief of Police for the Auburn Hills Police Department.