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Police leaders gather in San Diego to shape the future of law enforcement

This year’s IACP annual conference attracted 18,000 attendees from across the nation and around the world

IACP opening.jpg

IACP’s opening ceremonies.


SAN DIEGO — This year marks IACP’s 130th anniversary and 18,000 law enforcement leaders made the trip to San Diego to celebrate the milestone.

Attracting attendees from across the nation and around the globe, the IACP annual conference is a must-attend event to track the latest developments advancing policing.

During the conference’s opening ceremony, IACP President John Letteney’s message was clear about IACP’s mission: “While our meetings have changed over 130 years, our mission is unchanged to advocate advances in the law enforcement profession.”

The opening ceremony featured several guest speakers.

“The notion that we would defund or reduce support for law enforcement is a non-starter.”

San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria warmly welcomed the attendees, acknowledging their role in upholding public safety and the shared values that bind communities together. He acknowledged the city’s reputation as one of America’s safest major cities, attributing this achievement to the tireless efforts of the police department and its leadership.

“The mental illness crisis, the homeless crisis, the rise of fentanyl abuse, the increase in gun violence all amid the recruitment and retention challenges facing law enforcement today, to me, as a mayor, the notion that we would defund or reduce support for law enforcement is a non-starter. I don’t think people perform better or become more accountable or responsible when you deny them the resources they need to do their job. San Diego has doubled down. We would not defund but fully fund and fairly compensate officers and give them the equipment to do their job.”

“Even in the face of criticism, we must be unwavering in our mission to foster trust in our communities.”

Chief David Nisleit of the San Diego Police Department echoed Mayor Gloria’s sentiments, emphasizing that being in law enforcement is not merely a profession, but a calling. He reflected on the profound changes he has witnessed during his tenure, underscoring the need for steadfast leadership in times of adversity.

“In 35 years as a San Diego cop, it is easy to be a leader in good times but leadership matters most when things get tough and it takes more courage to endure than it does to quit. Even in the face of criticism must be unwavering in our mission to foster trust in our communities.”

“Policing today is about staying ahead of the tech curve.”

Interpol’s current Secretary General Jürgen Stock addressed the audience, recalling his first attendance at IACP in 2016, and emphasizing the shared purpose that unites law enforcement professionals. He highlighted the evolving landscape of global policing, emphasizing the need for adaptability, responsiveness and effective collaboration to address contemporary challenges. Stock emphasized Interpol’s century-long commitment to fostering partnerships across borders, enabling the flow of crucial information to solve cases.

He cited an example of a significant arrest of a key migrant smuggler in Brazil, illustrating the extensive international cooperation involved in the two-year investigation. Stock noted that this case is just one among many, reflecting the growing trend of transnational crime, which has become more diversified, globalized and collaborative. He warned about the emergence of deep fakes as a powerful tool for online extortion, emphasizing that this threat isn’t limited to technologically advanced countries.

Stock pointed out recent global efforts against cyber fraud, involving coordinated action with 20 countries across multiple continents, revealing the pervasive reach of organized crime groups. He stressed that these cases are likely just the tip of the iceberg, with many more such groups and networks operating globally.

Stock concluded with three key messages for police leaders: a call for a change in mindset, the importance of operational adaptability and the imperative to stay ahead of technological advancements to effectively combat modern threats and leverage emerging opportunities in law enforcement. He urged agencies to utilize Interpol’s resources and network to enhance their capabilities in this dynamic landscape.

“We are not just bound by a common mission but face the same challenges.”

FBI Director Christopher Wray emphasized the collective mission and challenges faced by law enforcement agencies worldwide.

“We are not just bound by a common mission but face the same challenges. No agency is immune, but I am confident that through partnerships we have built, we can tackle any threat and overcome any challenge“

He underscored the importance of collaboration in tackling violent crime, highlighting successful joint efforts in cities like Houston, Texas.

“At the Houston Texas anti-gang center, FBI agents are within arms reach of counterparts from the Houston Police Department, Harris County Sheriffs and others.”

Wray also called attention to the alarming number of officers who have lost their lives in the line of duty, emphasizing the need for increased awareness and concrete steps to enhance officer safety: “So far, 50 law enforcement officers have been assaulted and fatally injured in the line of duty, a number in alignment with last year, which saw one of the highest totals in a decade. The concerning loss of these courageous individuals on the job is not receiving the attention it rightfully deserves. I am committed to raising awareness about this issue every opportunity I get and taking tangible actions to enhance the safety of our agents and officers. One of our initiatives involves expanding the Violent Person File within the NCIC, which currently contains information on nearly 16,000 individuals with a potential for violence.”

IACP 2023 runs from October 14-17 in San Diego, California. Follow all of Police1’s coverage here.

Nancy Perry is Editor-in-Chief of Police1 and Corrections1, responsible for defining original editorial content, tracking industry trends, managing expert contributors and leading the execution of special coverage efforts.

Prior to joining Lexipol in 2017, Nancy served as an editor for emergency medical services publications and communities for 22 years, during which she received a Jesse H. Neal award. In 2022, she was honored with the prestigious G.D. Crain Award at the annual Jesse H. Neal Awards Ceremony. She has a bachelor’s degree in English Literature from the University of Sussex in England and a master’s degree in Professional Writing from the University of Southern California. Ask questions or submit ideas to Nancy by e-mailing