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10 action items for police leaders in 2024

Based on insights from the experts who contributed to Police1’s “24 on 2024” playbook, here’s what police executives should prioritize this year

2024 To Do List

By focusing on these specific action items, police leaders can effectively address contemporary challenges.

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By Police1 Staff

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Every year, Police1 gathers insights from the brightest minds and most experienced experts in the law enforcement community to address the challenges that police leaders and officers face. These insights are compiled into a playbook. This year’s playbook is now available. “24 on 2024: A police leadership playbook” is a strategic road map designed to equip law enforcement leaders with the knowledge and guidance they need to successfully navigate the ever-evolving landscape of their profession. Download your copy of the playbook here.

Based on the insights from the experts who contributed this year, here are the top 10 things police leaders must prioritize in 2024 to effectively address the challenges facing policing today:

1. Enhance officer training programs

Focus on advanced training in AI-related threats, cyber security, de-escalation techniques and mental health crisis response. This will prepare officers for contemporary challenges and improve their effectiveness in diverse situations.

Action items:

  • Seek training on AI and cybersecurity for officers.
  • Implement regular de-escalation and mental health crisis intervention training sessions.
  • Establish a continuous learning program with monthly updates on new policing techniques and technologies.

2. Strengthen community engagement and partnerships

Build stronger ties with community organizations, mental health agencies and other stakeholders. This collaborative approach is crucial for addressing behavioral threats and mental health crises more effectively.

Action items:

  • Host regular community forums to discuss public safety concerns.
  • Form joint task forces with community organizations for specific issues like drug abuse or gang violence.
  • Develop collaborative programs with local schools and universities for community policing initiatives.

3. Implement or reinforce accreditation processes

Focus on gaining or maintaining accreditation to enhance public trust and operational efficiency, ensuring that the department’s practices meet the highest standards.

Action items:

  • Conduct an internal audit to assess current practices against accreditation standards.
  • Organize training for staff on accreditation requirements and processes.
  • Establish a dedicated team to oversee and manage the accreditation process.

4. Develop and update hate crime response strategies

Revise training and operational procedures to address and effectively respond to hate crimes, which require specialized understanding and handling.

Action items:

  • Create a specialized unit or designate officers trained in handling hate crimes.
  • Partner with community groups representing diverse demographics for input on hate crime policies.
  • Develop public awareness campaigns about recognizing and reporting hate crimes.

5. Prioritize mental health

Enhance the department’s response to mental health crises while also focusing on the mental wellbeing of the officers through support programs and resources.

Action items:

  • Implement a confidential counseling service for officers.
  • Partner with local mental health organizations for public awareness campaigns.
  • Train officers in identifying and appropriately responding to mental health-related calls.

6. Initiate or expand technology integration

Embrace new technologies, especially in areas like real-time crime centers and cyber security, to improve crime response and data analysis capabilities.

Action items:

  • Invest in a real-time crime data analysis system.
  • Train officers on new technologies such as body cameras, drones, or data analytics tools.
  • Establish a technology advisory committee to keep the department updated on new policing technologies.

7. Adopt and refine problem-solving policing strategies

Move toward a problem-solving approach in policing that focuses on understanding and addressing the root causes of crimes rather than just reacting to them.

Action items:

  • Identify and prioritize recurring local crime problems for targeted interventions.
  • Train officers in problem-solving methodologies specific to community policing.
  • Set up a system for tracking and evaluating the effectiveness of problem-solving initiatives.

8. Prepare for the transition to electric vehicle fleets

Start planning and implementing strategies for integrating electric vehicles into the police fleet, considering infrastructure needs like charging stations.

Action items:

  • Assess current fleet and infrastructure needs for transitioning to electric vehicles.
  • Seek funding or grants for purchasing electric vehicles and installing charging stations.
  • Initiate a pilot program with a small number of electric vehicles to evaluate performance and logistics.

9. Improve recruitment and retention strategies

Modernize recruitment processes to attract a diverse workforce and develop retention strategies that focus on organizational justice and career development.

Action items:

  • Develop a targeted recruitment campaign focusing on diversity and inclusion.
  • Create mentorship and career development programs for officers.
  • Conduct regular surveys to assess officer satisfaction and identify areas for improvement.

10. Boost human trafficking investigation efforts

Utilize advanced intelligence, technology, and victim advocacy in human trafficking investigations to dismantle trafficking networks and support victims more effectively.

Action items:

  • Train a dedicated team in advanced techniques for investigating human trafficking.
  • Collaborate with NGOs and other agencies specialized in human trafficking.
  • Develop community outreach programs to raise awareness about human trafficking signs and reporting methods.

By focusing on these specific action items, police leaders can effectively address contemporary challenges and enhance their department’s overall performance and community relations in 2024.
NEXT: 24 questions to ask after reading ‘24 on 2024: A police leadership playbook’

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