NEW ORLEANS, Oct. 15 /CNW/ -- Officials from three Canadian police
agencies will be honored today for their creative partnerships, staffing
initiatives and traffic safety innovations when the International Association
of Chiefs of Police (IACP) and Motorola, Inc. (NYSE: MOT) recognize the
winners of the annual IACP/Motorola Webber Seavey Award for Quality in Law
The York Regional Police, Ontario; Ottawa Police Service, Ontario; and
Montreal Police Service, Quebec; will receive the 15th annual Webber Seavey
Award in a ceremony today in conjunction with the IACP's annual conference in
New Orleans. The award is sponsored by the IACP and Motorola. Named for the
IACP's first president, the Webber Seavey Award recognizes successful policing
programs that can serve as models for law enforcement agencies worldwide.
"Motorola congratulates the award winners and is proud to shine a
spotlight on the forward-thinking programs that have earned this distinction,"
said Bob Schassler, vice president of Motorola's Government and Commercial
markets business. "Collaborating with the IACP to honor the men and women who
meet the daily challenges of law enforcement with such creativity and
dedication is a rewarding experience."
The awards program attracted 117 applicants, and a panel of law
enforcement officials and previous winners judged the entries. In addition to
the top three award recipients, seven finalists and 15 semi-finalists will be
honored at the 114th annual IACP conference.
"The IACP/Motorola Webber Seavey Award gives us an opportunity to applaud
innovative and successful programs that law enforcement agencies worldwide are
accomplishing to make their communities safer," said MG Joseph C. Carter,
Adjutant General of the Massachusetts National Guard and President of the
IACP. "These agencies are blazing new trails for our profession, and I know
that these programs will help others build and strengthen the important work
that they do."
York Regional Police: York Region, Ontario
The York Regional Police, who protect almost 1 million people in the
suburbs north of Toronto, had reports that law-abiding citizens were concerned
about youth and gang crime. Although statistically the area was safe, the
police saw the perception of danger as a challenge to be met head-on. For the
first time, the police agency partnered with community groups -- parent
associations, faith groups, recreational athletic leagues -- to create a
widespread anti-gang strategy.
"Making a difference in our community starts with the community," said
Chief Armand La Barge. "We are sharing the responsibility with our community
stakeholders, linking prevention and enforcements efforts more closely
"It's not good enough to tell kids to stay away from gangs, you have to
offer them an alternative," La Barge added. "Implementing new youth programs,
offering free transportation to recreational centres and involving young
police officers in youth mentoring programs has resulted in a significant drop
in street-level crime typically committed by youth. Success here was achieved
not just by police, but by our community partners as well."
Ottawa Police Service: Ottawa, Ontario
While community involvement has its place, sometimes law enforcement
agencies rely on business principles to improve operations. The Ottawa Police
Service faced a surge of retirements, burgeoning overtime payments and new
laws guaranteeing officers family leave time. The "Strategic Staffing
Initiative" borrowed manufacturing's "just in time inventory" principle to
ensure that trained officers would be in the right place at the right time.
Previously, the department had to wait for a retirement to occur to begin
training a new recruit. "With the time it took to go through training and then
ride with another officer, we were looking at a 12-month personnel gap," said
Supt. Knowlton Roberts. "Now we can hire in anticipation of retirements, and
have new personnel all ready to go."
The department identified 200 new positions to be filled, with an initial
cost estimate of Canadian $13 million. But through prudent planning and
organization, the department hired almost 450 civilians and sworn officers at
a cost of about $6 million.
"The new staffing arrangements have been accepted politically, and that's
been rewarding," Roberts said. "Of course, the ultimate beneficiary is the
community -- this means we have more police on the street."
Montreal Police Service: Montreal, Quebec
Meanwhile, in Montreal's most populous district, public perception about
traffic safety spurred the local police to take action to reduce accidents. A
traffic study showed that 40 percent of the district's accidents occurred on
just one road, a main thoroughfare through both business and high-rise
residential neighborhoods. About 12,000 vehicles use the Cote-des-Neiges
daily, and some portions of the road contain three lanes in each direction.
Without increasing personnel, the department instituted a revolving
crackdown on several aspects of traffic safety including speeding, seat belt
usage and driving while impaired.
"We were able to use some of the same policing principles that are used
to fight drug crimes," said Commander Eric La Penna. "This involves
concentrating on certain infractions, which in turn increases perception of
large amounts of intervention. People think they are going to be caught for
all kinds of things."
The program, which started about five years ago and is now permanent,
showed immediate results, La Penna said. In addition to improving the quality
of life in the neighborhood, the program has saved the police force money.
"We have recouped a tremendous amount of time by escorting fewer accident
victims to the hospital, writing fewer accident reports and making fewer trips
to court," La Penna said. "This means we can redirect more police to fighting
gang activity and other violent crimes."
About the IACP
Founded in 1893, the International Association of Chiefs of Police is the
world's oldest and largest association of law enforcement executives with more
than 19,000 members in nearly 100 countries.
Motorola is known around the world for innovation and leadership in
wireless and broadband communications. Inspired by our vision of seamless
mobility, the people of Motorola are committed to helping you connect simply
and seamlessly to the people, information and entertainment that you want and
need. We do this by designing and delivering "must have" products, "must do"
experiences and powerful networks -- along with a full complement of support
services. A Fortune 100 company with global presence and impact, Motorola had
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people and our innovations, please visit http://www.motorola.com.
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