Collaboration the focus of Penn State-led law enforcement conference

January 29, 2013

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- In an era of ever-tightening budgets and shrinking resources, law enforcement must forge new partnerships to succeed.

Partnerships and collaboration are the focus of the 2013 International Conference on Policing in the 21st Century – Leading for a Successful Tomorrow, which will be held May 17-18 in Arlington, Va. The conference, co-sponsored by Penn State's Justice and Safety Institute (JASI), the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police (CACP) and the Atlantic Police Academy, part of Canada’s Holland College, will feature speakers from across the United States and Canada from local and regional law enforcement, education, government and the private sector.

“We’re trying to bring people together, particularly police and government,” said Joseph DeStefano, conference organizer and JASI client/business development manager. “We’re not going to survive unless we create partnerships. Doing it by yourself -- doing it the old-fashioned way -- is not going to work.”

Mayor Allen Owen and Police Chief Joel F. Fitzgerald Sr. of Missouri City, Texas will speak at the conference about their own successful partnership. Working together, they won almost $3 million in federal and state grants for the police department over the past three years, said Owen. That has allowed the city to implement community policing and purchase wish-list items such as surveillance cameras, bike patrol equipment and specialized training -- without cutting into other departments’ funding.

Owen said he and Fitzgerald, who came to Texas from the Philadelphia police department, “have a very good working relationship,” and that benefits everyone in the community. “Missouri City may be understaffed, but we’re rated as one of the safest cities in the country,” he said.

The conference also will include presentations of research on current policies and strategies, and breakout sessions on a variety of topics, including “Maximizing Information and Technology” and “Building Positive Bridges with the Community.” Participants will receive worksheets they can take home and apply to their own workplaces, DeStefano said.

The conference also involves the collaboration and support of the Research Committee of the International Association of Chiefs of Police, the largest association of police executives in the world.

The keynote speaker will be Dale McFee, deputy minister of corrections for public safety and policing in Saskatchewan, Canada. McFee, a former police chief and past president of the CACP, will share his perspective from having been on both sides of the government-police equation.

More information is available at or by calling 814-863-0079.

Penn State’s Justice and Safety Institute has helped thousands of law enforcement and justice system professionals improve their work skills for more than 35 years. JASI is the sole provider of mandated basic training to Pennsylvania’s deputy sheriffs and has developed and administers the Pennsylvania Child Support Enforcement Training Institute. JASI is part of Penn State Outreach, the largest unified outreach organization in American higher education. Penn State Outreach serves more than 5 million people each year, delivering more than 2,000 programs to people in all 67 Pennsylvania counties, all 50 states and 115 countries worldwide.

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Last Updated February 08, 2013