BJA's Justice Today
May 2011   
In the Spotlight
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National Police Week Honors Law Enforcement

Law enforcement personnel from around the world will come to Washington, DC to participate in the National Police Week celebration from May 15–21. This annual  event honors officers, survivors, and supporters of law enforcement officers who have paid the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty. In support of this event, BJA’s Public Safety Officers’ Benefits Office will participate in the Concerns of Police Survivors (C.O.P.S.) Conference.

National Police week began in 1962 when President John F. Kennedy signed a proclamation designating May 15 as Peace Officers Memorial Day. A Memorial Service was first held in 1982 at Senate Park with a small gathering of approximately 120 survivors and law enforcement supporters, and this year the event is expected to draw between 25,000 and 40,000 people. For more information on Police Week events, visit www.policeweek.org.

As we honor those who protect us daily, BJA continues to support and implement programs to ensure our officers are protected while on duty. This past March, the Attorney General launched the Law Enforcement Officer Safety Initiative. Several BJA programs are highlighted as part of this initiative including: VALOR—Preventing Violence Against Law Enforcement and Ensuring Officer Resilience and Survivability, RISSafe Officer Safety Event Deconfliction System, Bulletproof Vest Partnership, and a new Officer Safety “Toolkit,” which is currently under development. BJA is pleased to support the Attorney General through this new initiative to ensure resources are made available to state, local, and tribal law enforcement officials to help stem officer deaths.


News You Can Use

Save the Date for the 118th IACP Conference!
The 118th International Association of Chiefs of Police Conference, Looking Back and Forging Forward, will be held in Chicago, IL on October 22–26, 2011. Police chiefs from around the world will come together to foster the exchange of information and experience and find solutions to issues they are facing. For more information, visit www.theiacpconference.org/iacp2011/public/enter.aspx.

Apply for Bulletproof Vest Partnership (BVP) Funding
The 2011 BVP application will open in mid-May. To plan for your 2011 application, please ensure you have taken the following steps:

  • Check prior-year BVP funds.
  • Check your jurisdiction and contact information and update if needed.
  • Be sure that the vests you intend to purchase are on the NIJ-compliant list.
  • Understand that FY 2011 BVP funds can only be used for vests ordered after April 1, 2011.
  • Have a written Mandatory Wear policy in place when your application is submitted.

For more information, visit www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bvpbasi/.

How is JAG Helping Your Community?
This JAG Showcase highlights Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) projects that have demonstrated success or have shown promise in meeting the objectives and goals of JAG while positively impacting communities. Because the JAG program provides jurisdictions with flexibility to tailor the programs to fit their needs, a wide variety of programs have been funded across the country. New success stories have recently been added, so visit BJA’s JAG Showcase to learn more.

Grants and Funding

The following competitive solicitations are open:

Public Safety Officers' Benefits (PSOB) Program
Enacted in 1976, the Public Safety Officers' Benefits (PSOB) Program provides death, disability, and education benefits to those eligible for the program. For details regarding these federal benefits for law enforcement officers, firefighters, and first responders killed or catastrophically disabled in the line of duty, call the PSOB Office toll-free at 888–744–6513 or 202–307–0635, or visit the PSOB web site.

Did You Know?

According to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, on average, one law enforcement officer is killed in the line of duty somewhere in the U.S. every 53 hours. Since the first known line-of-duty death in 1791, more than 19,000 U.S. law enforcement officers have made the ultimate sacrifice. While we saw a decline in officer deaths in 2008 and 2009, line-of-duty deaths rose in 2010, and in 2011, officer deaths have increased 18 percent compared to last year at this time. This represents an alarming trend that poses a deadly threat to law enforcement officers all over the world. BJA, as discussed throughout this issue, supports several officer safety initiatives to help the law enforcement community.

Featured Program

In FY 2010, BJA launched a major new officer safety initiative to reduce and prevent law enforcement officer injuries and line-of-duty deaths. On April 5–6, 2011, BJA sponsored its second session of the regional VALOR training program in Tampa, FL, with over 200 law enforcement officers in attendance. The VALOR training program is designed to prevent violence against officers and ensure officer resilience and survivability following violent encounters during the course of their duties. VALOR responds to the precipitous increase in ambush-style assaults that have taken the lives of many officers in recent months. Trainings cover topics such as: how to anticipate and survive a violent encounter by using “The Deadly Mix” framework (officer, offender, and circumstances that brought them together); techniques for identifying concealed weapons and/or armed gunmen; high-risk tactical considerations (e.g., active shooters, hostage); and specific threat groups, including domestic and international terrorists, extremists, and other violent criminals.

VALOR will continue to provide critical nationwide training and technical assistance to state, local, and tribal law enforcement through a variety of delivery mechanisms and will conduct and disseminate analysis of violent encounters in various forms, including after-action reviews and lessons learned publications. The initial pilot of the basic line officer training program is currently underway and will be followed by the development of an online course. Later in 2011, additional courses for managers/supervisors, CEOs, and train-the-trainer courses will be developed. BJA offers this training at no charge to all state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies.

The next regional Valor training is scheduled for May 24-25, 2011 in Detroit, MI. More information can be found at www.valorforblue.org.

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