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Forum Examines Best Practices in Law Enforcement Training

August 16, 2016

August 16, 2016
Contact: Scott Mooneyham
(919) 715-9768
Forum Examines Best Practices in Law Enforcement Training
NCLM, Legislative Black Caucus, Law Enforcement Leaders Come Together to Discuss Ways to Strengthen Trust, Improve Public Safety  
(RALEIGH)  -- Law enforcement leaders, members of the N.C. Legislative Black Caucus and representatives of the N.C. League of Municipalities met Tuesday to discuss best practices in law enforcement training and examine potential solutions that might strengthen trust between police and the communities they serve.

More than 100 law enforcement officials from across North Carolina – including police chiefs, sheriffs, leadership from the State Highway Patrol and state Department of Public Safety, the state Department of Justice – attended the forum. Speakers and audience members also included a number of officials involved in law enforcement training and policy standards.

Rep. Ed Hanes of Winston-Salem told those attending that the idea that strained relations between law enforcement and their communities will not affect some people because of their race or social strata is a mistake.

“This is an issue that affects all of us,” Rep. Hanes said. “We are all in this together.”

During a panel discussion, Davidson Police Chief Jeanne Miller said the event and others like it represent a dialogue that needs to be occurring, both at the state level and at the local level “across a table with a cup of coffee.”

The topics addressed during the meeting included the training hours required to become a certified law enforcement officer and their sufficiency, declining enrollment in police training programs and a growing inability to attract people to the field, impediments for smaller police departments to conduct in-service training, and the need for law enforcement leaders to set standards and expectation regarding impartial policing.
The event included a presentation on programs offered through the N.C. League of Municipalities insurance pools intended to reduce potential high-risk liabilities while improving officer and public safety. These programs include driver safety training and a new Law Enforcement Risk Review Process designed to assess an agency’s adherence to best practices, including use-of-force policies.

The meeting was convened at the urging of the Legislative Black Caucus and organized by the League of Municipalities. Similar meetings on the local level, organized by the National League of Cities and the U.S. Conference of Mayors, are occurring in cities across the country in the wake of tragic encounters that have led to the deaths of residents and police officers.
Zebulon Mayor Bob Matheny, who serves as the League’s 1st Vice President, said he believed that policymakers and law enforcement in North Carolina are working positively together to try to avoid situations like those that have led to the highly-publicized deaths.

“But we always want to ask what each of us in each of our roles can do better, particularly when it comes to ensuring that officers can access training and that local law enforcement agencies have the ability to tap into best practices and standards,” Mayor Matheny said.

Rep. Garland Pierce, who chairs the Legislative Black Caucus, said he hoped the dialogue would lead to tangible proposals that would result in better trained and prepared officers.

“That is why the Legislative Black Caucus initiated this call for this type of meeting, and we are pleased that our law enforcement community and the North Carolina League of Municipalities has answered it,” Rep. Pierce said.
About the League

The North Carolina League of Municipalities is a membership association of 540 great hometowns – representing nearly every municipality in the state. The League advocates for its members, from the largest city to the smallest village, on the full range of legislative issues that affect municipalities.
For more than 100 years, the League has promoted – and continues to promote – good government by offering non-partisan advocacy, insurance and other services – as directed by its membership.

Posted on August 16, 2016 by Scott Mooneyham