Virtual discussions share best practices for police response during COVID-19

The California Peace Officers’ Association is providing guided discussions to help law enforcement navigate unprecedented challenges


By Nancy Perry

To address the critical issues facing law enforcement during the COVID-19 pandemic, the California Peace Officers’ Association (CPOA) is facilitating guided Zoom conversations called “LEADS.” The goal of these conversations is to bring law enforcement agencies together to virtually discuss the changing environment, exchange ideas, and support the physical and mental well-being of first responders.

Each discussion is led by a public safety expert or panel, and participants join the virtual call to learn more about what seems to be working. Previous calls have been recorded and are available on CPOA’s YouTube channel.

“We have received a very positive response from our members about the program,” said CPOA Executive Director Carol Leveroni.

The organization decided to open the LEADS calls up to agencies from around the country in the hopes that more participants could gain value from joining together to share helpful information. 

Any law enforcement agency around the country can listen, ask questions or share practices that have worked well in their jurisdiction. 

CPOA currently facilitates these guided Zoom conversations every Tuesday and Thursday at 11 a.m. PST. The next LEADS conversation is scheduled for April 23 and will focus on “The Third Stage of Disaster,” facilitated by Nick Arnett of the Bay Area Critical Incident Stress Management Team and author of “Stress Management & Crisis Response.” Nick will discuss the natural stages of reactions to disaster, which include the “heroic” or “honeymoon” stages where there is an outpouring of love for first responders, which is followed by "disillusionment,” as the limitations of recovery become apparent. The final stage of “reconstruction" is when the “new normal” becomes just normal. 

The most recent discussion focused on creating a playbook for the pandemic and was hosted by Assistant Chief Mickey Williams of the Carlsbad (California) Police Department, which kept a detailed log of all department actions that took place during the early days of the crisis; creating plans and policy that directly reflected on the mission and culture of the department. 

Previously discussed topics include:

To find upcoming conversation topics and dates or to register, visit https://cpoa.org/event/ and look for the LEADS listings.

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