I am very fortunate to be allowed by the City to attend the annual International Chiefs of Police conference. It is held in various cities around the county–this year in San Diego. It is my opportunity to grow my skills and learn the most cutting edge information from the best minds in our business –from around the world.
Last week I attended from September 28th through October 3rd. The conference is huge with 13,000 attendees and 800 events. Every major police group meets at this conference including IADLEST and PERF. The federal agencies have their internal meetings, the IACP has a track for legal officers, for police psychologists, for police physicians, for public information officers, for major cities chiefs, for smaller agency chiefs, technology tracks and several others. A conference attendee can go to most sessions with only a few by invitation only. We had a chance to hear from the US Attorney General Eric Holder, DEA Director Michele M. Leonhart, NYC Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly and other international speakers from Interpol and other police organizations. It is the largest exhibition of police equipment in the world. It is a truly amazing event.
This is a particularly landmark year for me since the IACP notified me shortly before the conference that I had achieved life membership meaning that I have been an active member for 20 years. (I didn’t even realize it–time flies when you are having so much fun!) I’m now saving the city a bit now too since I’m now exempt from paying dues.
We were addressed by speakers on important topics like preparing to deal with an increasing population of Alzheimer affected people; traffic safety impacts of senior drivers; strategies and tactics for dealing with the increased amount of violence toward the police, terrorism, risk management, line of duty death. One difficult session was on the topic of suicide by police. It is well-known in our profession that we have high rates of suicide. The session addressed how to help our personnel confront this important issue.
One of the most interesting aspects of the conference is always Uniform Day. Officers from around the world wear their uniforms and show their pride and traditions.