Ed Note: The following is one in a series of articles written by PoliceOne columnists in the wake of the recently completed IACP conference in San Diego. Check out the IACP Special Coverage page for complete and continuing coverage of the event. If you attended the IACP and want to share your thoughts or photos, please let us know by sending an email.
“Those of us in federal law enforcement could not provide the American people with the safety and security they expect without the hard work of police chiefs across the country,” said Attorney General Michael B. Mukasey to the second general assembly of the IACP on Monday. Mukasey spoke about the continued need for joint task forces and other joint operations, saying that such activities have already “yielded results, from which we all can, and should, take a measure of satisfaction.”
The chief law enforcement officer in the United States federal government said that police agencies across the country are doing more with less – indicating that despite the fact that the ratio of sworn officers to population has remained the same for a decade, violent crime is down 25 percent in that period.
Mukasey said that this reduction in crime is in part the result of a number of programs, either begun or increased in recent years, including the Safe Streets Task Forces led by the FBI, the Fugitive Apprehension Task Forces coordinated by the U.S. Marshals Service, the Innocence Lost Task Forces launched with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, and “successful projects like the Operation Falcon sweeps in which federal and local police officers worked together to apprehend more than 56,000 fugitives.”
Mukasey sought to illustrate the positive impact of various joint task forces addressing human trafficking, organized crime, drug enforcement, and other operations that “don’t just add to but they multiply our effectiveness” by briefly outlining specific examples – two cases in particular that have resulted in 30- and 40-year sentences.
“None of [this] could be successful without you. So while I'm proud of what the Department has accomplished, how we’ve set our priorities, and the legacy we've established, I'm also grateful that we've had the friendship of police chiefs and departments around the country, and around the world...Each of you is more than just a local official. You are a vital part of a unified law enforcement alliance. You are the ones we will turn to for guidance, support, and advice as we look for ways to keep building on our success,” Mukasey said.
Mukasey finished his remarks with an assurance that DOJ will continue to do all it can to help local law enforcement agencies protect their communities.