LEIM 36th Annual IACP: A First Timer’s Perspective
My Name is Mary Wood and I recently joined NOWHERETOHIDE.ORG as a Research Analyst. I am from Dublin, Ireland, and new to Public Safety, so be gentle with me! These first few blog postings will tell the story of my experience at the 2012 Law Enforcement Information Management (LEIM) conference that I attended from 19-23 May 2012.
Since this was my first time attending LEIM, I didn’t really know quite what to expect. What I experienced was a whirlwind three days of educational sessions and networking opportunities – I really enjoyed everything about this conference and learned so very much!
I was also in awe of being in the presence of the brave men and women who put their lives in danger every day just to keep the rest of us safe – that in itself was daunting. But as I walked around, amongst Officers, Chiefs of Police, federal agents, and even a British Lord!, I was stuck by the camaraderie and incredible respect they had for each other. I really love Americans, and have always found them to be extremely polite and well mannered, and these three days showed just that, and also an enthusiasm for learning, meeting new people, and sharing of their experiences with dealing with information management in the public safety arena.
I found myself learning something new with each presentation/workshop that I attended. I was very impressed by the high standard of presenting styles and the way most people I encountered delivered their information in a very understandable (essential for a first timer!) and enjoyable way.
I learned quite a bit – using CCTV effectively, getting essential data into systems so Police Departments in other states can access it, predictive Policing, Social Media and how law enforcement agencies use the social media sites to gain information, the latest License Plate readers, what happens when a Police Officer wears a camera, and many more interesting ways that technology is used everyday.
Yes, law enforcement information management has come a long way from the pencil and notebook. Today the paper and pencil has been replaced by an iPhone or Blackberry to access/enter information, to take video and pictures, and to share information. I have learned that it is all about getting information and sharing that information to get the bad guys of the streets.
For any first timers to the LEIM conference next year, I would highly recommend that you arrive early enough to attend the First Time Conference Attendee Orientation and ABC’s of IT for Law Enforcement. This session will help answer any questions first timers may have about the conference. The LEIM Board of Officers together the LEIM Chairperson put on a very informative and straightforward presentation. They will also answer any questions put to them.
Ed Posey, the 2011-2012 Chairman, spoke about his work as a Captain in Gainesville Police Department. He spoke about the Law Enforcement Information Exchange (LInX) Lynx project and answered general IT questions put to him. Lance Valour talked about the way the Police Service works in Canada, and the differences between America and Canada (I loved his Canadian accent!), and Lance should know with 33 years in Ottawa Police Force behind him. They also explained how 9/11/01 changed everything in terms of security and getting essential information and sharing it, so everybody can work together and understand the situation they are dealing with. N-DEx was one of the information sharing systems that was created after 9/11/01. It is designed to share federal, state and local law enforcement information. The types of data being exchanged varies from police case files, arrest reports, warrants, Canadian and Interpol databases, and corrections data.
On the first day there are also other preconference workshops presented, along with the first timers conference. They are each three hours long, but are a must to explain any questions you have or any guidance you need to get you through the three days.
I have grown up, watching cop shows that show us how it’s done. We think we know it all, but it’s a lot different when you are in the presence of the people who really know how it’s done. I came away from my three days with a lot of information and pages and pages of notes, and also had the pleasure of being in the company of people who really do make a difference by making our world safer.
Over the next few blog postings I will share some stories about specific things I learned about…stay tuned.
Thanks for reading…r/Mary