Cybele K. Daley, Acting Assistant Attorney General
Office of Justice Programs
International Association of Directors of Law Enforcement Standards and Training Business Meeting
New Orleans, LA
October 14, 2007
Thank you, George.
I appreciate the opportunity to discuss with you some of our activities at the Office of Justice Programs and ways we can continue to work together to support law enforcement standards and training.
We value our relationship with IADLEST, and I want to thank George, Pat Bradley, and Pat Judge, as well as Ray Franklin, for their work with us on several key projects. More about those in a minute.
Violent Crime Reduction Partnership Initiative:
I want to begin by addressing a topic that’s on everyone’s minds, and that is the latest crime report from the FBI.
The UCR shows that the overall crime rate in 2006 is the lowest in 30 years. Rates of reported rape and aggravated assault are down, and the property crime rate continued a four-year drop. That’s the good news, and I think it’s important to remember that there is good news.
The bad news, of course, is that the rate of violent crime generally increased slightly – by one percent. And although large cities are seeing decreases in violent crime, violent crime rates in small to mid-sized cities have seen some increases.
These upticks are neither universal nor dramatic, but we’re very concerned about them, and we continue to work with our law enforcement partners to address the issues behind them.
Beginning last fall, the Justice Department sent teams to visit 18 cities to get a better understanding of the causes for both the increases and decreases that were observed for 2005. Not surprisingly, we found that every community faces unique challenges.
But we also found some common themes – for example, the high incidence of violence committed by loosely organized street gangs, and a disturbing trend in violent offenses committed by juveniles. Of course, often these activities are interrelated.
We continue to work to understand the reasons behind this phenomenon, but we’re also taking action.
In addition to funding already announced for Project Safe Neighborhoods in FY 07, we awarded 75 million dollars to multi-level violent crime task forces through our Violent Crime Reduction Partnership Initiative.
These task forces bring together state and local law enforcement agencies to address specific violent crime problems.
In addition to the FY 07 funding, the Justice Department’s 2008 budget request includes 200 million dollars under the violent crime initiative.
These resources will help our state and local partners address the violent crime problems facing many of our communities.
One of the keys to an effective response to violent crime is ensuring that law enforcement officers are adequately trained and that they are performing in accordance with certain measurable standards.
We’re continuing a couple of important initiatives with IADLEST – the Officer Decertification Index and the IADLEST POST-Net project.
As you know, the decertification database consolidates information regarding causes for the dismissal of police officers, and it’s one of the tools hiring agencies can use in reviewing applicants.
I understand that it now has more than 9,000 records, and they can be searched by name, date of birth, and ID. number.
The POST-Net Web site links POST agencies through the Internet, and it includes organizational information about membership requirements, by-laws, and model minimum standards, as well as membership directories. It’s been a good avenue for exchanging information between POST agencies.
I’m also pleased that recently, through our National Institute of Justice, we were able to award a grant to IADLEST for the National Law Enforcement Academy Resource Network, known also as the National Academy-Net project.
What this network will do is to give law enforcement academies the capacity to communicate with each other via the Internet and share information about current training efforts and priorities.
A central feature of this project will be a national accreditation database that will provide POST agency approval status of both government and commercial training offerings.
I learned about the concept for this at your winter meeting at the National Sheriffs’ Association conference in February, and I’m proud that it’s already a reality.
This initiative, the decertification database, and POST-Net are about sharing information, which is at the heart of effective law enforcement in the 21st century.
Another of our efforts that you’ve been actively involved in is our Law Enforcement Leadership Initiative.
Most of you are aware of the wide array of training opportunities that OJP has made, and continues to make available to law enforcement.
But one thing that historically has been overlooked is the skills that officers need to become effective leaders.
As line officers assume a greater role in organizational decision-making, developing leadership competencies should be a central concern.
Through the leadership initiative, which is managed by our Bureau of Justice Assistance, we’re working to develop leadership competencies.
We’ve identified what those competencies are. Now we’re working to determine how we can move them to a set of nationally agreed upon standards.
I want to thank IADLEST for its efforts under this initiative, particularly for keeping us focused on the needs of state and local law enforcement agencies.
These are just some of the things I wanted to hit upon during my time here. I’d also like to invite you to share with us ways that we can communicate information about our many other law enforcement efforts to departments.
Thank you for your time.