Enhancing Law Enforcement Initiatives
BJA supports initiatives that address the prevention, suppression, and subsequent reduction of violent crime and gang activity and provides resources, including training and technical assistance (TTA), to law enforcement agencies and the communities they serve. These initiatives include smart policing, multiagency task forces, forensics, drug market intervention, mortgage fraud, intellectual property, officer safety, and leadership development.
Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program
The Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) Program, the leading source of federal justice funding to state and local jurisdictions, provides states, tribes, and local governments with critical funding necessary to support a range of program areas, including law enforcement, prosecution and the courts, prevention and education, corrections and community corrections, drug treatment and enforcement, planning, evaluation, technology improvement, and crime victim and witness initiatives. JAG awards have a 4-year project period, but funds are distributed up front rather than on a reimbursement basis, allowing recipients to earn interest on their awards and generate additional funding for successful initiatives and future projects.
On average, more than 40 percent of annual JAG funding is allocated to law enforcement personnel, initiatives, and equipment, including multijurisdictional drug and gang task forces, police cruisers, and less-than-lethal devices. In FY 2010, JAG-funded task forces reported disrupting 1,507 drug trafficking organizations. Further, 641 drug trafficking organizations were dismantled, and 53,651 individuals were arrested on felony charges and 18,352 on misdemeanor charges.
In FY 2010, BJA processed 1,578 local and 56 state applications for JAG funding totaling more than $450 million (approximately $300 million to states and territories and $153 million to local units of government). In addition to this FY 2010 JAG funding, BJA also awarded more than $3 million in remaining 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding to 120 local jurisdictions.
Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) Program
The JAG Showcase: Snapshots of On-the-Ground Success in the JAG Program
State-Level Strategic Planning and Use of Research to Enhance Use of JAG Funds
Smart Policing Initiative
Several longitudinal studies have shown that a small number of offenders are responsible for a disproportionate amount of crime. Research also has shown that many of these crimes are clustered at specific locations or in narrow, easily defined areas. Effective policing requires a tightly focused, measurable approach based on sound, detailed analysis. The Smart Policing Initiative (SPI) builds on the concepts of "offender-based" and "place-based" policing.
In October 2009, BJA partnered with the CNA Corporation to provide targeted TTA to local police departments. SPI practices focus on strategic planning; effective use of traditional and nontraditional information sources; social marketing, collaboration, and community outreach; strategic targeting of problematic people and places; and the use of intelligence to increase police organizations' efficiency and effectiveness in times of diminished public resources. To assist the Smart Policing sites, CNA hosts monthly technical assistance conference calls, during which CNA receives project updates from each site and offers technical assistance and recommendations for action. BJA and CNA use the information gathered from these calls to develop and distribute specific technical assistance materials that directly benefit the Smart Policing community (e.g., reports, job aids, case studies, and webinars).
In May 2010, BJA and CNA conducted a 2-day Inaugural Smart Policing National Meeting, which marked the first opportunity for the Smart Policing community to meet, collaborate on project goals, share best practices, review important implementation components, and learn about police innovation. BJA and CNA also launched a new web site devoted to SPI, www.smartpolicinginitiative.com, which provides a clearinghouse of data, a secure-access discussion forum for the BJA Smart Policing community, podcasts featuring descriptions of the Smart Policing projects in each local site, recordings and transcripts from the major sessions at the Inaugural Smart Policing National Meeting, summaries of Smart Policing in the news, case studies, downloadable reports, and other resources.
In FY 2010, BJA made six site-based awards, for a total of nearly $2 million.
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) is a strategy for reducing gun and gang crime in America that focuses on aggressive and coordinated enforcement of existing gun laws in federal and state courts. The PSN strategy concentrates on the implementation of five elements integral to a comprehensive, coordinated gun and gang crime reduction and prevention program: (1) partnerships, (2) strategic planning, (3) training, (4) community outreach, and (5) accountability. Over the past several years, BJA has supported these five elements through both direct grant funds and the delivery of TTA to the field.
In addition to the PSN strategywhich brings together state and local law enforcement, corrections, the local community, and other key stakeholders in the local jurisdictionsBJA also coordinates the national PSN Anti-Gang Training, which is tailored to address the concerns of criminal justice practitioners at multiple levels as well as intervention/prevention personnel and community members. There are four program tracks:
The first comprehensive pilot training session was offered in Dover, Delaware, in 2007 and was attended by 160 law enforcement officers and criminal justice practitioners. Due to the success of the pilot program and the positive feedback and suggestions received from attendees, 15 training sessions, which trained 4,200 sworn and non-sworn personnel, were offered throughout the country from 2008 to 2010. A total of 18 PSN Anti-Gang Trainings have been delivered to 5,133 sworn and non-sworn personnel throughout the United States, with 6 scheduled for 2011.
Thirty days prior to the delivery of the PSN Anti-Gang Training, an advance meeting is conducted with the DOJ PSN Anti-Gang Training organizationsBJA, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI); the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF); the National District Attorneys Association (NDAA); the Executive Office for U.S. Attorneys (EOUSA); and the National Gang Centerand the local jurisdiction representatives who will be receiving the training (e.g., local U.S. Attorney's Office personnel, law enforcement, community members, clergy, business leaders, etc.). The discussions focus on the specific gang and criminal issues that impact the community. Key issues gleaned from that meeting are revisited during the executive session and are integrated into the overall curriculum.
In FY 2010, some of the significant PSN accomplishments included:
Center for Task Force Training
In response to escalating multijurisdictional crime and criminal organizations, local law enforcement has turned increasingly to multiagency task forces. BJA, in partnership with the Institute for Intergovernmental Research (IIR), administers the Center for Task Force Training (CenTF) Program to support these task forces.
In FY 2010, BJA, through the CenTF Program, conducted 26 training events for nearly 1,500 law enforcement professionals representing 42 states and 2 territories. BJA worked with nationally recognized subject matter experts to promote effective task force management and command, increased officer safety awareness, and task force operational effectiveness through CenTF's Task Force Commander and Methamphetamine Investigation Management Workshops. The impact of this training is revealed in success storiessuch as that of the officer who, while serving a felony warrant, recognized meth lab components, which is a success he attributed to his participation in BJA's training.
CenTF's Center for Task Force Leadership and Integrity (CTFLI) provided restricted-access, web-based training to 2,160 law enforcement officers. The distance-learning training focused on some of the most critical areas of task force organization and operations management, such as "Executive Leadership"; "Task Force Commander Leadership and Management"; and "Safeguarding Privacy, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties in Task Force Operations."
National Forensic Science Training and Technology Assistance Program
In collaboration with BJA, the National Forensic Science Technology Center (NFSTC) created the National Forensic Science Training and Technical Assistance Program, which provides much-needed TTA to an array of criminal justice practitioners. Depending on the needs of the recipient, assistance is provided through onsite assessments, onsite consultation, training, or other forms of assistance. In addition, the program sponsors an annual national training in collaboration with the National Institute of Justice (NIJ).
The Impression and Pattern Evidence Symposiumco-sponsored by BJA, NIJ, and the FBI Laboratory Division and held August 25, 2010was specifically designed to bring together practitioners and researchers to enhance information sharing and promote collaboration among the impression and pattern evidence, law enforcement, and legal communities. The symposium also provided unique educational opportunities for impression and pattern evidence examiners. More than 300 people attended the conference, and 95 percent of attendees who completed a post-conference survey were either "satisfied" or "very satisfied" with the overall symposium (59.3 percent were very satisfied; 36 percent were satisfied). When asked if the content of the symposium was appropriate and informative, attendees gave the conference an average rating of 4.45 on a rating scale of 15 (1 = very unsatisfied, 5 = very satisfied). And 98.8 percent of respondents replied that they would consider attending another Impression and Pattern Evidence Symposium.
The National Forensic Science Training and Technical Assistance Program also provided in-depth onsite technical assistance to several state or local jurisdictions. Assistance was given to one locality to identify areas that require improvement and opportunities to enhance forensic processes. This assistance provided the local police department with the guidance to implement best practices that will improve the quality of investigations and ultimately improve public safety. In addition, to help crime scene technicians enhance their skills, the program provided access to an online Essentials of Crime Scene Investigation program.
In FY 2011, BJA and NFSTC intend to provide additional training and technical assistance. In addition, BJA and NIJ are co-hosting a symposium for criminal justice practitioners on the basics of forensic science practice and policy.
National Forensic Academy
Forensic investigations have become an increasingly important part of the administration of justice throughout the nation. Recently, forensic science in the United States has been described as "badly fragmented" and in need of standardization. Forensic practitioners, like so many other professionals, have found themselves doing more with reduced resources while also experiencing heightened scrutiny due to the popularity of crime-related media. There is a clear need for quality, interdisciplinary forensic training that affords the forensic practitioner the opportunity to become more effective as a practitioner and also provides a network of other forensic personnel and experts that he or she can call upon as a resource.
Begun in 2001, the National Forensic Academy (NFA) at the University of Tennessee has been the benchmark for forensic training because it increases the effectiveness of all of its graduates. In 2005, BJA awarded an initial grant to fund NFA. This initial award and subsequent continuation awards have totaled just over $5.2 million. Through its partnership with NFA, BJA is working to address the need for standardized training for forensic practitioners. Currently, NFA has 495 graduates from 47 states, the District of Columbia, and the Icelandic Police.
NFA offers an intensive 10-week training opportunity that exposes law enforcement personnel to crime scene management, crime scene photography, crime scene mapping, latent evidence processing, death investigation, human remains recovery, bloodstain pattern analysis, and much more. Participants come from across the United States and are provided with housing while attending the course.
Participants benefit from the unique educational design of this program. As with other forensic programs, participants are exposed to the theory of each forensic discipline; however, what makes NFA so unique is that more than 200 hours out of the 400-hour course are spent doing practical, hands-on exercises designed to give participants an opportunity to practice the techniques learned from the lectures so that they are able to confidently employ their new skills when they return to their agencies and communities.
In addition to the training that forensic practitioners receive during their time with NFA, they also benefit from an extensive network of the instructors who make themselves available for assistance long after the practitioner has graduated. NFA also provides an opportunity for forensic practitioners to study for and attain International Association for Identification certification while participating in the NFA program.
During 2010, NFA developed and delivered a 40-hour shooting-incident reconstruction course as a result of ongoing requests from forensic practitioners. In addition, NFA hosted the fourth biennial forensic symposium in Nashville, Tennessee. Nearly 200 forensic practitioners attended and were given the opportunity to hear about best practices, lessons learned, and emerging forensic technology in addition to meeting many other forensic practitioners who broadened their professional network.
In FY 2010 alone, NFA delivered:
Also in 2010, several minor adjustments were made to the NFA curriculum, which were the result of a year-long program validation project funded by BJA that concluded in late 2009. This program validation was a four-phase project involving objective third-party practitioners, NFA instructors, and NFA graduates.
National Forensic Academy
A tremendous number of successes have resulted from the efforts of the National Forensic Academy (NFA). During 2010, an agent of a state investigative agency was able to successfully investigate a murder scene involving a young woman found in a car that had been set on fire. While this was obviously a complex scene made more difficult by the fire, he was able to consult with NFA instructors and employ techniques learned at NFA to locate, preserve, and document valuable forensic evidence.
Returning Veterans Project
Current U.S. military actions in the Middle East, including the deployment of National Guard and Reserve units, are having a serious impact on law enforcement agencies around the country. In the years since the 9/11 bombings, sworn law enforcement and correctional officers who serve in our nation's reserve and guard units have been deployed for extended periods of time with their military units, often returning with either physical injuries or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Both may affect an officer's ability to return to his or her pre-deployment criminal justice position, thus impacting his or her agency's staffing levels and fiscal budgets.
There is also an opportunity. Many active duty soldiers returning home from combat need sustainable employment. Military personnel have learned many skills that are transferable to careers in a variety of criminal justice professions, making them valuable potential recruits.
In partnership with the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) and its Employing Returning Combat Veterans as Law Enforcement Officers project, BJA used Byrne Discretionary funds to create a series of guidebooks to assist both officers and agencies with the reintegration process following military deployments and to help agencies and individuals seeking employment to navigate the recruitment, training, and integration of former military personnel into our nation's law enforcement agencies.
The Veteran and Law Enforcement Agency guidebooks (Combat Veterans & Law Enforcement: A Transition Guide for Veterans Beginning or Continuing Careers in Law Enforcement and Law Enforcement Leader's Guide on Combat Veterans) were released in late July 2010, and distribution began immediately. The guidebooks are available both in hard copy and electronically. In just the first 2 months of availability, a total of 392 requests for the guidebooks were received from various agencies and organizations. A total of 5,522 hard copies of the veteran's guides and 3,216 of the leader's guides were distributed in the final 2 months of FY 2010. BJA also made copies available at law enforcement conferences across the country. In addition, the documents were downloaded 9,770 times during this same 2-month period.
IACP began development of a user's survey for the guidebook and a guidebook for the families of veterans in FY 2010; both will be completed in FY 2011.
Drug Market Intervention
The Drug Market Intervention (DMI) initiative was designed as a strategic and focused intervention intended to shut down or eliminate open-air drug markets, thereby reducing crime and violence in a target neighborhood. The goal is to take back the neighborhood from the drug dealers and return it to the community. DMI has four interlaced goals: (1) eliminating open-air drug markets; (2) returning the neighborhood to its residents; (3) reducing crime and disorder; and (4) improving the public's safety as well as its quality of life.
The nine steps that have been developed, studied, and refined in the High Point, North Carolina, pilot project and applied in the other cities are the critical core of BJA's training program. Although the program has been adapted to the context of each site, participants in the process consistently point to the importance of working through all nine steps:
Details about each of these steps can be found in the DMI Implementation Guide and Lessons Learned publication.
Through American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds, the BJA-sponsored DMI training initiative, in partnership with Michigan State University (MSU), consists of a continuum of three trainings for up to 10 target sites interested in replicating the strategy. The first training consists primarily of presentations on the foundational elements of the strategy by various representatives from jurisdictions that have already implemented it. The second and third trainings build on the initial training by adding additional presentations on more advanced topics such as working with the media, how to collect data for performance measures, funding and resources, and sustainability issues. These later sessions also focus on problem solving through breakout sessions, in which teams have the opportunity to work with peers within their discipline as well as with other teams to work through the obstacles and challenges that they are facing in implementing the strategy. They also have opportunities to consult with representatives from other successful communities that have experienced similar challenges and are able to provide counsel and advice.
Each selected site's team consists of a law enforcement officer, a local prosecutor, a community leader, and a social service provider, who attend all three trainings. Each team receives a site visit from a BJA technical assistance provider along with ongoing support to help local teams adapt the model to their unique local context. In addition, BJA's national partners have developed a training manual for target sites that interested jurisdictions may use to implement DMI locally.
Through the DMI Round III Training and Technical Assistance Request for Commitment (RFC), a total of eight applications were accepted by MSU, BJA, and DOJ for the following sites: Flint, Michigan; Guntersville, Alabama; Jacksonville, Florida; Lake County, Indiana; Montgomery County, Maryland; Quinault Indian Nation, Washington; Roanoke, Virginia; and New Orleans, Louisiana.
During FY 2010, BJA's national partners produced the following deliverables:
Limited research is available to confirm the successful impact DMI has had on reducing crime in the neighborhoods it salvages, due in part to the challenge of quantifying/measuring many of the indicators of success that do not directly pertain to traditional data indicative of reductions in crime. NIJ sponsored an evaluation of the High Point pilot through the University of North CarolinaGreensboro, and its results indicated that the initiative had positively impacted the community. In addition to the NIJ study, MSU has conducted two systematic evaluations. The first, conducted in Rockford, Illinois, found crime reductions of 20 to 30 percent. (The results of this evaluation are forthcoming in the peer-reviewed journal Crime and Delinquency.) The second, in Nashville, Tennessee, showed similar results (a paper is also being prepared for submission to a peer-reviewed journal). While it has been difficult to measure reductions in crime in quantifiable terms, it is clear that the cities participating in the DMI project have experienced positive results first hand and, furthermore, that major paradigm shifts are occurring on a meaningful level that are transforming the culture, perceptions, relationships, and physical surroundings in these communities. NIJ is currently sponsoring RAND Corporation to perform an impact evaluation of DMI, and this study is ongoing.
In FY 2011, seven new sites will begin to implement the DMI strategy, and work will continue on the impact evaluation that RAND Corporation has undertaken.
Bulletproof Vest Partnership
Although overall crime in the United States was down in 2010, deadly assaults against law enforcement officers rose by more than 20 percent. There is continued effort to create protective body armor that provides maximum protection, with increased coverage and comfort wearability.
The Bulletproof Vest Partnership (BVP) Program was created by Congress through the Bulletproof Vest Partnership Grant Act to help state and local jurisdictions purchase body armor vests for use by law enforcement agencies. The BVP Grant Act authorizes BJA to award funds directly to states, the District of Columbia, the five U.S. territories, units of local government, and federally recognized Native American tribal governments. Current legislation places the priority on funding jurisdictions that have populations under 100,000 residents. Any remaining funds are distributed on a pro rata basis to jurisdictions with more than 100,000 residents. BVP funds may only be used to fund up to a maximum of 50 percent of the actual cost of each vest, unless a waiver of financial hardship is granted. Eligible state and local jurisdictions submit applications online based on the number of officers in the jurisdiction and the vest replacement cycle used by each law enforcement agency in the jurisdiction.
As a consequence of a new vest standard established by NIJ, in FY 2010, BJA updated the vest information in the BVP system to display only the latest, NIJ-certified vests. Additionally, a 50-percent match waiver was completed in the BVP grants management system to allow jurisdictions in financial hardship to use 100 percent of available BVP funds toward the purchase of a bullet-resistant vest. BJA also worked with national organizations, such as IACP, to ensure that all jurisdictions, especially those that have not applied previously, are aware of the program and the application requirements.
In FY 2010, BJA awarded more than $37 million to over 4,100 jurisdictions.
BJA is exploring the implementation of a mandatory wear certification as part of the FY 2011 BVP application, which would require that all jurisdictions requesting FY 2011 BVP funds certify they have a mandatory wear policy in place for their uniformed patrol officers engaged in patrol and field activities. This requirement further supports BJA's efforts to improve officer safety and save lives.
Bulletproof Vests Save Lives
The Bulletproof Vest Partnership (BVP) Program was created by Congress through the Bulletproof Vest Partnership Grant Act to help state and local jurisdictions purchase body armor vests for use by law enforcement agencies. In 2010 alone, there were 15 confirmed body armor "saves," including an officer with the Mount Orab, Ohio, Police Department, who was shot in the back outside the police department by a drunk driver he had just arrested, and a San Angelo, Texas, police officer assigned to an enhanced traffic enforcement detail, who was shot by a person operating a motor vehicle with expired registration plates.
Preventing Suicide Among Law Enforcement Officers
Suicide by law enforcement officers has increased significantly over the past decade, yet little has been done to directly address this issue. More officers die by their own hand than by homicide or other line-of-duty deaths, yet training is developed as if the opposite were true. BJA recognizes the need to increase awareness about this problem and develop comprehensive tools to combat it.
In FY 2008, BJA partnered with the Florida Regional Community Policing Institute (FL RCPI) at St. Petersburg College to support the In Harm's Way: Law Enforcement Suicide Prevention program. The program was created in 2001 through a partnership among the FL RCPI; the U.S. Attorney's Office, Middle District of Florida; and Survivors of Law Enforcement Suicide (SOLES). The goal of this program is to improve the probability that law enforcement officers contemplating suicide will seek help from mental health professionals; help command staff and peers recognize the behavioral red flags of a potential law enforcement suicide victim; foster an understanding about the myths and misconceptions of suicide; and reduce the rate of suicide among law enforcement officers over the long term.
This program differs from other suicide prevention programs because its target audience is specifically sworn law enforcement (a second target audience being corrections officers), a culture that has not historically been open to discussing the issue. There are inherent attributes within this police culture that make the job even more difficult. One of the first important tasks is to change this culture and eliminate the stigma associated with needing help for mental health problems. Openly addressing the topic of stress management, mental health issues, and suicide prevention benefits not only officers, but also their departments and the community as a whole.
Awareness and education on this topic is achieved through conferences, train-the-trainer sessions, and online resources. The intent of this program is to provide information to law enforcement command staff and officers about suicide prevention so that they can in turn educate and provide awareness to their colleagues. By offering train-the-trainer sessions and conference presentations, the program enables police practitioners to get the tools and information necessary to implement awareness and prevention programs at their respective agencies. Upon request, speakers make presentations for the states' chiefs and sheriffs associations and at key trainings and meetings to provide critical information, which can assist in bringing about a change in a police culture that tends to close its collective eyes to the topics of stress management, PTSD, and suicide. The FL RCPI web page offers a plethora of resources, camera-ready materials that can be adapted for local departments and then reproduced, a speakers' bureau, and a host of other cutting-edge materials.
During FY 2010, BJA's national partner, the FL RCPI, accomplished the following:
In Harm's Way
Suicide by law enforcement officers has increased significantly over the past decade, yet little has been done to directly address this issue. More officers die by their own hand than by homicide or other line-of-duty deaths, yet training is developed as if the opposite were true. BJA recognizes the need to increase awareness about this problem and develop comprehensive tools to combat it, and in 2008, the agency partnered with the Florida Regional Community Policing Institute at St. Petersburg College to support the In Harm's Way: Law Enforcement Suicide Prevention program.
At the end of an In Harm's Way workshop at the six-state Gatlinburg Regional Law Enforcement Conference, one of the chiefs of police approached the presenter and stated that one of his officers exhibited almost every indicator of a major depressive episode that had been discussed during the workshop. He said that he had no idea that this officer was potentially suicidal and stated that he was leaving the conference immediately to check on this officer and ensure that he could get help. The chief's participation in this workshop may well have saved at least one of his officers' lives.
Mortgage FraudMortgage fraud played a large role in the economic down cycle starting in 2007. The FBI estimates that mortgage fraud costs $4$6 billion in losses annually. Foreclosure rates in some communities exceed 20 percent.
In 2009, BJA convened a working group of representatives from various regions of the country in response to the accelerating growth of mortgage fraud and problem vacant properties. The goal of the program is to increase the capacity of state and local agencies to prevent, detect, investigate, and prosecute mortgage fraud cases in coordination with federal agencies.
In FY 2010, BJA continued to develop and deliver more resources for state and local agencies that are investigating and prosecuting mortgage fraud and addressing the fallout from the massive fraud: the record number of problem vacant properties that can erode neighborhood safety and provide havens for criminal activity. BJA awarded six state and local mortgage fraud grants for a total of $7.7 million. To provide additional support to mortgage fraud task forces, BJA developed a network of TTA providersthe National White Collar Crime Center (NW3C), National Crime Prevention Council (NCPC), National District Attorneys Association, and St. Petersburg College Center for Public Safety Innovationto respond to state and local needs. In addition, BJA and the Center for Court Innovation published A Full Response to an Empty House: Public Safety Strategies for Addressing Mortgage Fraud and the Foreclosure Crisis. In 2011, the program will focus on training and technical assistance in coordination with the U.S. Attorneys and the FBI.
The BJA-funded mortgage fraud task forces targeted approximately 3,000 properties and 900 suspects and resulted in more than100 adjudications.
The grant to the Cook County State Attorney's Office, for example, resulted in the prosecution of five defendants. This mortgage fraud ring involved a mortgage broker who created false loan documents to secure home loans in excess of $1.5 million with proceeds that were split among the other codefendants. Two defendants were found guilty by jury trial, two were found guilty by bench trial, and one defendant had a directed finding. One defendant was sentenced to 6 years; one was sentenced to 4 years; one was sentenced to 32 days with 2 years probation; and one defendant was sentenced to 75 days with 2 year's probation and ordered to pay $75,000 in restitution. On the prevention side, the State Attorney's Office opened the West Side Community Justice Center in Oak Park. One of the community mortgage fraud specialists is now positioned in that location. An estimated 150 people were in attendance at the opening of the center, including the State's Attorney, several local government officials, and various community leaders.
National Gang Center
In 2010, the National Gang Center (NGC), funded by BJA, was merged with the National Youth Gang Center (NYGC), funded by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. NYGC was founded in 1995 to promote and disseminate research on youth gangs, which included conducting a national survey of law enforcement agencies to determine the scope of the nation's gang problem. BJA began funding NGC in 2003 to provide specialized training on street gangs, primarily for law enforcement. Practitioners benefit by receiving the latest research findings about gangs and gang members, best practices in combating gangs, specialized training, and technical assistance in planning and implementing anti-gang programming. In FY 2010, BJA awarded a grant of $500,000 to the NGC.
In FY 2010, NGC accomplished the following:
Reducing Officer Injuries
A national trend has shown an increase in felonious assaults on law enforcement professionals. According to the FBI's Law Enforcement Officers Killed or Assaulted (LEOKA) program, an estimated 48 officers were feloniously killed in 2009, a disturbing 17-percent increase over 2008's reported numbers. Similarly, according to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund (NLEOMF), preliminary data shows that in 2010, there were 162 law enforcement fatalities, an increase of nearly 40 percent from 2009. In all major officer death categories, the number of fatalities sharply rose, with traffic-related deaths up 43 percent and firearms deaths increasing by 24 percent. Of the fatal shootings, approximately 20 percent involved multiple fatalities.
Emerging trends clearly demonstrate the need for a national responsea response that will enable state, local, and tribal law enforcement to have access to and benefit from the latest expertise, analysis, tactics, interdiction techniques, and response methods to address this critical problem and to reduce the number of officer fatalities. In FY 2010, BJA continued striving to reduce preventable law enforcement injuries and deaths, emphasizing its goal of improving officer safety by working to address the injuries and violence seen within the law enforcement community. BJA developed a comprehensive officer safety portfolio designed to explore and address officer safety issues, provide policy guidance, and provide quality training and technical assistance to state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies nationwide.
A vast majority of the work was done near the end of FY 2010 and will be discussed in BJA's FY 2011 annual report. Among the projects to be highlighted will be the VALOR initiative and the National Center for the Prevention of Violence Against the Police (Center) project. Although both projects conducted extensive planning activities in FY 2010planning and determining the designs, goals, and objectives of eachmajor program activities under VALOR and the Center did not fully commence until FY 2011.
The VALOR initiative is a critical nationwide TTA program available to state, local, and tribal law enforcement designed to prevent violence against law enforcement professionals and to ensure officer resilience and survivability following violent encounters during the course of their duties. BJA hosted an initial planning meeting in 2010 and began working with subject matter experts to explore general topics for training on how to anticipate and survive a violent encounter; techniques for identifying concealed weapons and/or armed gunmen; high-risk tactical considerations (e.g., active shooters, hostages); and specific threat groups and violent criminals.
The Center project will serve as a clearinghouse for information and analysis on injury and violence against law enforcement and will further strengthen BJA's officer safety and wellness portfolio. In FY 2010, the design of this project was formed and preliminary work began on the creation of the Center.
In addition to the preliminary work initiated on these two programs, in FY 2010 BJA partnered with IACP on the Reducing Officer Injuries project, which examines non-assault related injuries to law enforcement. The intended outcome of this effort addresses a chronic criminal justice challenge by better equipping law enforcement agencies with the information necessary to address areas of vulnerability, thereby reducing injuries to police officers.
This effort between BJA and IACP is unique in that it addresses a void within the law enforcement community. Currently, little to no effort is made to document and track non-assault related police officer injuries. Many members of the law enforcement and research fields have acknowledged the deficiency and identified the lack of useful data as a hindrance in their abilities to provide solid safety information. Line-of-duty deaths and felonious assaults are compiled by the FBI through LEOKA data, but the majority of injuries to police officers occur in motor vehicle crashes and non-assault related activities associated with the profession. The raw data currently collected about motor vehicle accidents does not provide the information necessary to analyze the types and severity of the injuries or the contributing factors to the accidents, inhibiting the development of policy and the training necessary to eliminate them. Furthermore, job-related injury information, although documented by employers, is not currently required to be submitted for tracking or analysis. It is imperative to understand how, with what frequency, and under what conditions officers are being injured and disabled in order to adequately address deficiencies and effectively coordinate a policy response.
Through this partnership with IACP, a pilot study is being conducted to thoroughly examine and document how officers are getting hurt and develop a comprehensive policy response. The project has three goals: (1) identify and document the cause and magnitude of officer injuries; (2) develop practical resources to assist law enforcement agencies in identifying and responding to officer injury vulnerabilities; and (3) disseminate resources widely to the law enforcement community.
To achieve these goals, IACP has implemented an 18-agency pilot study to track and analyze injuries sustained by officers. The agencies were selected from five different states within the continental United States. One state was chosen from each of five geographic regions (Northeast, Southeast, Southwest, Midwest, and West/Mountain Pacific) in an attempt to get a regional variation from across the country. Agencies of varying size, municipality, and type were selected to participate to provide a realistic account of injury trends. Agencies represented in the study are:
During FY 2010, IACP accomplished the following:
Presentations about the project scope and the preliminary findings were delivered at the IACP 117th Annual Conference in October 2010, which allowed for wide dissemination of the issue of non-assault related officer injuries so that law enforcement agencies can be more aware of the problem.
After data collection concludes in mid-2011, the data will be analyzed for identifiable trends by the advisory committee. Based on the information obtained, a compendium of best practices and policy recommendations will be produced. Common trends and identified training deficiencies will be addressed through the creation and dissemination of training modules. The findings from the study will be presented at the IACP 118th Annual Conference in October 2011.
Smaller Law Enforcement Agency Technical Assistance Program
IACP, in partnership with BJA, provides TTA and support services to law enforcement executives across the country, particularly those from smaller agencies serving a population of 50,000 or less, through the Smaller Law Enforcement Agency Technical Assistance Program (Smaller Agency Program). There are approximately 15,000 smaller and tribal law enforcement agencies in the United States, and the mission of the Smaller Agency Program is to provide them with access to affordable training, technical assistance, policy support, and other resources. While smaller agencies comprise the majority of law enforcement agencies in the country, they are often faced with limited access to training and resources that are tailored to their unique needs.
The Smaller Agency Program, with a BJA grant of $650,000, provides a variety of resources to the field in direct response to their requests for assistance:
In FY 2010, the Smaller Agency Program and its New Police Chief Mentoring Project had several accomplishments:
Every training event and mentoring match completed is accompanied by a post-activity evaluation that is voluntarily completed by the participants. The evaluation tool asks participants to rate their satisfaction with content, delivery mechanism, quality, and quantity of service provided. Evaluations completed for training events consistently show an 85-percent or higher rate of approval. Evaluations completed by New Police Chief Mentoring Project participants indicate 100-percent satisfaction with the services and resources provided.
In FY 2011, the Smaller Agency Program and New Police Chief Mentoring Project have the following goals: (1) launching the New Executive E-Source web site, a web-based resource/guide on Intelligence Led Policing for smaller agency executives, and other online/web-based training resources; (2) releasing future editions of the Big Ideas for Smaller Law Enforcement Agencies e-newsletter; (3) expanding mentoring partnership opportunities with state associations of chiefs of police; and (4) enhancing training and outreach at the IACP Annual Conference.
Law Enforcement Leadership Initiative
Criminal justice organizations have always sought quality leaders. Discovering and developing individuals to be the next generation of leaders is extremely demanding, especially for those in law enforcement. Examining the needs for the next generation of 21st-century law enforcement leaders has been a priority of BJA for the past 6 years.
In FY 2010, BJA funded two separate but complementary projects to examine law enforcement leadership needs. Under the heading of BJA's Executive Session on Police Leadership, St. Petersburg College and the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF) were funded for a 3-year period to examine leadership needs and challenges. St. Petersburg College has been exploring how best to develop quality next-generation leaders. Specifically, the college wants to find out whether next-generation leaders will need to be collocation builders, thought leaders, or community leaders; or alternatively, whether different models of leadership exist to prepare individuals. PERF is examining the leadership challenges in three specific law enforcement agencies: Manchester, England; New Orleans, Louisiana; and San Francisco, California.
The importance of these two projects lies in their contribution to drawing attention to the specific challenges law enforcement executives must face, such as changing an agency's longstanding culture, reducing the use of force, or reengineering the agency to meet precipitous budget shortfalls.
In FY 2010, BJA awarded $600,000 to St. Petersburg College and $256,000 to PERF. Both projects are in initial stages, although both have held their first substantial meetings: St. Petersburg College in early fall 2010, and PERF in November 2010.
Intellectual Property Crime
The Intellectual Property Enforcement, Training, and Technical Assistance Program (IP Grant Program) assists state and local law enforcement agencies and educational institutions in providing resources for intellectual property crime prevention, response, and TTA efforts. BJA recognizes that IP rights enforcement must be a priority of law enforcement. Innovationwhether in creative, high-technology, automotive, life sciences, or countless other industriesis central to growing the United States' economy and getting more Americans back to work. For America's innovative businesses to remain competitive in a global economy, they need protection from criminals here and abroad who would steal their creations and replace them with cheap or dangerous imitations. IP enforcement is about more than just protecting businesses from economic loss, however, it is also about protecting Americans from dangerous goods ranging from counterfeit pharmaceuticals to lead-tainted jewelry. Finally, research has shown that IP crimes are closely related to and support other crimes, including violent crime.
The improved coordination of IP rights enforcement efforts among federal, state, and local authorities is a high priority of the Department of Justice. As a result, in FY 2010, BJA made approximately $4 million available to support these efforts, with 14 jurisdictions receiving funding to reimburse expenses related to performing criminal enforcement operations; educating the public to prevent, deter, and identify criminal violations of IP laws; establishing task forces to conduct investigations, forensic analyses, and prosecutions; and acquiring equipment to conduct investigations and forensic analysis of evidence. In addition, BJA awarded grants to NW3C, the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG), and NCPC to enhance TTA to state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies to increase their capacity to respond to IP crime.
BJA also engaged in extensive outreach efforts by kicking off its national training initiative in Baltimore, Maryland, on September 14, 2010, and holding an Intellectual Property Rights Summit in Pasadena, California, on September 30, 2010.
At the Baltimore event, BJA's TTA partners, NW3C and NAAG, began a national series of 1-day training events for state and local law enforcement agencies. The second event was held in October 2010 in Durham, North Carolina, and future FY 2011 dates were scheduled in Mississippi, Florida, Texas, California, Washington, and other locations throughout the nation. The goal of these training events is to increase the quantity and quality of investigations and prosecutions by state and local agencies of intellectual property crime. This will be accomplished by raising the awareness level of attendees about IP crime issues. Further, these trainings provide instruction on investigation, prosecution, and IP task force creation.
BJA partnered with NW3C to hold the 1-day IP crime enforcement summit, which had 253 attendees who were primarily local and state law enforcement representatives, with many federal law enforcement officers also present. The event was also attended by private company representatives and individuals from academia. The keynote address was given by Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood, who co-chairs the NAAG Intellectual Property Crime Committee. Other speakers included Deputy Assistant Attorney General Ann Ravel and representatives of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the FBI, and the DOJ Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section. Additionally, there were speakers from state and local law enforcement; the private sector, including the Motional Picture Association of America and Merck Pharmaceuticals; and NCPC.
In addition, BJA partnered with NCPC to research and develop communication media for public awareness and education on IP crimes. NCPC held several focus groups in September 2010 to delve deeper into the understanding of, and perceptions and attitudes about, IP theft. The focus groups were composed of teens, adults, and business owners. NCPC then conducted an online survey to gain a more detailed understanding of the analysis of the focus groups involving the following populations: adults, teens, and youth/children. Between August and October 2010, NCPC directed qualitative and quantitative research on public attitudes and beliefs about IP. Qualitative research consisted of two focus groups conducted in each of the following cities: New York, New York; St. Louis, Missouri; and San Francisco, California. Based on the results of the focus groups, NCPC directed a quantitative survey of 1,017 adults and 502 teenagers (1317 year olds). More information is available on NCPC's Intellectual Property Theft web page.
Combating Intellectual Property Crimes
The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) experienced a dramatic increase in Intellectual Property (IP)-related arrests due to increased enforcement resources. The LAPD Anti-Piracy Unit personnel coordinate, monitor, and assist enforcement operations designed to increase intellectual property arrests throughout the City of Los Angeles. By June 2010, the efforts of the Anti-Piracy Unit personnel resulted in 70 intellectual property crime-related arrests, which is a 192-percent increase over the previous year's total of 24 arrests.
The North Carolina Secretary of State (NC SOS) Trademark Taskforce rolls out new technology to seize and analyze data from counterfeiters. In June 2010, the NC SOS launched an initiative to provide new technology to local law enforcement through the Trademark Taskforce. NC SOS Trademark Taskforce members across the state are now able to download the contents of suspects' cell phones in the field. This seized data (which might include contact lists, calls made and received, text messages, and pictures) are then fed into a central database and analyzed in order to detect criminal enterprises and networks. This technology initiative has led to the seizure and analysis of data from 18 handheld communication devices and more than $1.1 million worth of counterfeit goods from 49 suspects in 2010.
The Virginia-based IP Task Force makes a major arrest that results in a guilty plea in a flea market counterfeit merchandise case. Since September 2009, the Multi-jurisdictional Special Operation Group (MSOG) Task Force conducted multiple operations targeting criminal activity underway at an existing flea market. In June 2010, the efforts of MSOG resulted in the arrest and charging of the manager of a flea market with conspiracy, which led to a confession and an admission of guilt. The final disposition ended with 77 search warrants executed, 15 arrests, 35 felony charges, and 5 misdemeanors. The total counterfeit merchandise seized included 18,298 items, with a total property value of more than $2.5 million. Local retailers are reporting that they are now benefitting from an increase in the sale of goods that had previously been available in counterfeit form at the flea market prior to this successful enforcement operation.
Real Crimes in Virtual Worlds
Criminal activities in online gaming communities and virtual worlds are on the rise, and criminals are using popular games such as World of Warcraft, online communities such as Second Life®, and social media tools to commit a wide range of crimes. These are real crimes committed in virtual worlds.
The focus of the Addressing Crime in Virtual and Online Gaming Worlds programthe first of its kind in the countryis on enhancing the capacity of law enforcement to respond to crimes reported in virtual and online gaming worlds. These crimes represent a new frontier for law enforcement, as many of these environments and technologies are relatively new. As a result, there are few, if any, forensics tools and approaches available to law enforcement to investigate crimes of this nature, and many investigators have not yet been trained or made aware of these new systems.
To address these gaps, with a nearly $490,000 grant from BJA, Drakontas, LLC, in partnership with Drexel University, developed a training curriculum and an online reference library, both of which focus on the various types of crimes being committed, the means by which they are being carried out using the embedded communications tools in gaming systems, and the forensic tools and techniques available to law enforcement to investigate these incidents. The primary beneficiaries of this training program are state and local law enforcement practitioners, namely investigators and digital forensics personnel; however, the broader criminal justice community stands to benefit from additional awareness and training on these issues as well.
Other accomplishments in FY 2010 include:
The final piece of this program will be a 1-day symposium, scheduled for May 2011 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, which will focus on expanding the dialogue between law enforcement and industry to address the ongoing issues of crimes in virtual and online gaming worlds.
Rural Law EnforcementLeading by Legacy
Rural law enforcement agencies face resource limitations that create significant challenges as they serve and protect the citizens in their communities. These limitations are only exacerbated by the current economic crisis. Rural agencies are often under-staffed, with a majority of the sworn officers having only a high school education. The chief executives of many rural law enforcement agencies are considered "working chiefs," who, in addition to fulfilling administrative duties, generally serve the community as patrol officers by responding to calls for service, covering patrol functions, and so on. The strain of this additional workload inhibits the executive from being connected to regional, state, or federal resources. Compounding the strain of added workloads, executive leadership training is not readily available or accessible to police leaders in rural areas.
The Leading by Legacy program was funded through the FY 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds to provide TTA to rural law enforcement agencies. Developed in partnership with IACP, Leading by Legacy is designed to meet leadership and management training needs for rural law enforcement agencies. The program provides onsite training in rural areas of the United States, webinars, CD-ROM training, and onsite technical assistance site visits to small rural agencies. Onsite trainings are limited to 30 participants and are designed to allow participants to become actively engaged in small group exercises and interact with the cadre of trainers.
Following an intense curriculum development process, two Leading by Legacy trainings were held during FY 2010, with a total of 56 law enforcement executives and command and first-line supervisory level staff completed the training.
The training is being actively marketed through both the IACP and BJA web sites, as well as through publications and promotional materials that are distributed at meetings and conferences. The Leading by Legacy web page is averaging 1,000 visits each month. Through this active marketing strategy and referrals from those who have already attended the training, the Leading by Legacy program has received nearly 200 applications from persons interested in attending future trainings, and three of the five future trainings are at capacity.
Federal Surplus Property Public Benefit Conveyance Program
The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) promotes the effective use of federal real property assets as well as the disposal of real property that is no longer mission critical to federal agencies. Through the Federal Surplus Property Public Benefit Conveyance Program, surplus federal land and buildings are conveyed to public entities at no cost pursuant to 40 U.S.C. 541, et seq., and applicable regulations (40 U.S.C. § 553 and 41 C.F.R. Parts 102-75.750 through 102-75.815). Eligible applicants include states, or political subdivisions or instrumentalities of states, proposing to use the property for law enforcement or correctional facility purposes such as to control or reduce crime and juvenile delinquency or the enforcement of criminal law or the care or rehabilitation of criminal offenders.
BJA reviews all applications and, when deemed appropriate, makes determinations to the GSA Administrator or the Secretary of Defense as to whether: (1) the use proposed by the state or unit of local government meets the requirements of the statute, and (2) the environmental impact of the proposed transfer has been assessed by the applicant under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). GSA or the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) takes applicant proposals and BJA's determinations under consideration in advance of making appropriate federal surplus property conveyances to state and local public entities. The GSA Administrator or the Secretary of Defense has final approval authority with respect to any and all surplus property conveyances; BJA does not convey any property or land.
In FY 2010, BJA received seven applications for surplus property: five applications were for single law enforcement use, and two applications were for joint use (law enforcement and fire and emergency management). All of the applications were found to be appropriate for law enforcement use, and determinations of the findings were submitted to the federal deed holder.
All eligible applicants must acknowledge that the property transfer/deed conveyance is pursuant to the regulations and agree that the property will be used and maintained for correctional facility use and/or law enforcement purposes in perpetuity. In the event the property ceases to be used or maintained for the purposes for which the property was conveyed, all or any portion of the property shall in its existing condition, at the option of the GSA Administrator or DoD, revert to GSA or DoD. In 2010, BJA received notice from GSA that one previously approved 2004 applicant was non-compliant and the deed was reverted back to the government.