Thursday, June 11, 2020

IACP Provides Resources to Officers to Address COVID-19 Challenges

Phil Pulaski served as the Chief of Detectives of the New York Police Department prior to retiring in 2014. Actively involved in the law enforcement community, Phil Pulaski belongs to the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP). With the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak presenting unprecedented obstacles for law enforcement, this and similar groups continue to provide resources and guidance on preparing for and addressing outbreaks.

Among these efforts is educating law enforcement agencies and personnel on COVID-19. This is a vital task as the situation evolves and the scientific community continues to report new findings. IACP maintains a page on its website with basic information on the disease and new details as they become available. In March 2020, it posted documents informing agencies on how to prepare for COVID-19-related challenges and necessary changes in policies, safety measures, and response procedures. This includes suggestions for what steps officers can take for service calls involving people who are sick and new expectations about how to prevent exposure to disease and strict hygiene standards.

IACP also hosts regular online events such as webinars and virtual roundtables and listening sessions on COVID-19 subjects, such as the pandemic’s impact on the policing community, victim advocacy, and response to unrelated offenses. Presenters range from law enforcement professionals to police and victim advocates. These events, which are publicly available, often enable participants to share their experiences, thoughts, and concerns. IACP has also established an online community for its members to engage in discussion and exchange resources regarding the disease.

In addition to assisting with agency operations and officers’ duties, IACP helps to support the personal and mental well-being of law enforcement officers and their families. For instance, it offers information on safety practices and emergency-funding programs for those financially affected by COVID-19. Furthermore, IACP webinars and listening-session topics extend to mental health, stress management, and similar issues.