The 14,000-member National Association of Chiefs of Police just released their 2006 Police Chiefs Survey.
by Jim Kouri
The National Association of Chiefs of Police recently released the results of their 2006 Annual Survey of Police Chiefs and Sheriffs and, according to Vice President and Public Affairs Officer Jim Kouri, some of the survey findings are surprising and compelling.
"The survey had some surprising results on topics including terrorism, gun control, homeland security, drug enforcement and others, " says Kouri.
When police commanders were asked if the federal government provided or offered training to meet the increased threat of terrorism, 73 percent said yes. Fifty-four percent said that their department participated in a terrorism response simulation. Meanwhile, 75 percent said they have a written and practiced plan for disaster response.
Sixty-eight percent of police commanders say they've witnessed better working relations between federal and local law enforcement, and 53 percent said they had an emergency evacuation plan.
With regard to private citizens owning firearms for sport or self-defense, 92 percent of the respondents supported civilian gun ownership rights.
Ninety-five percent of the police chiefs and sheriffs believe criminals obtain firearms from illegal sources and 93 percent revealed they hadn't arrested anyone for violation of the so-called "waiting period" laws.
When asked if they opposed citizens obtaining concealed weapons permits, only 40 percent said yes.
WAR ON DRUGS
Forty percent of police commanders surveyed said they believe marijuana should be available for medicinal purposes and 68 percent said they've seen an increase in the abuse of prescription drugs such as Oxycontin and other Schedule II drugs. A mere 18 percent of police commanders believe the war on drugs has been successful, while 69 percent oppose decriminalization of "soft drugs."
With regard to criminal (racial) profiling, 76 percent stated they had a written and enforced policy prohibiting such profiling. Only 24 percent of the respondents felt that Civilian Review Boards are effective in handling citizen complaints against police officers, while 57 percent said their subordinates attended sensitivity training classes.
Sixty-six percent of commanding officers said their departments provided mental health services for officers. Another 59 percent believe DNA samples should be obtained from convicted offenders for a database.
Sadly, only 31 percent stated their officers received annual driver training, but 64 percent do have a regulation requiring officers to wear body armor. Sixty-five percent said their departments had at least one K-9 unit.
NACOP VP Jim Kouri asserts that the public perception of how police view certain issues is based on media coverage which is not necessarily accurate.
"When police chiefs and sheriffs are allowed to respond to poll questions anonymously, the politics may be removed from their answers," claims Kouri
The National Association of Chiefs of Police is a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit, tax exempt, educational association of command law enforcement officers within the United States, its territories and military forces. To read the entire survey, please visit the website at http://www.aphf.org/nacop.html
Jim Kouri, CPP is currently fifth vice-president of the National Association of Chiefs of Police. He's former chief at a New York City housing project in Washington Heights nicknamed "Crack City" by reporters covering the drug war in the 1980s. In addition, he served as director of public safety at a New Jersey university and director of security for a number of organizations. He's also served on the National Drug Task Force and trained police and security officers throughout the country. He writes for many police and crime magazines including Chief of Police, Police Times, The Narc Officer, Campus Law Enforcement Journal, and others. He's appeared as on-air commentator for over 100 TV and radio news and talk shows including Oprah, McLaughlin Report, CNN Headline News, MTV, Fox News, etc. His book Assume The Position is available at Amazon.Com, Booksamillion.com, and can be ordered at local bookstores. Kouri holds a bachelor of science in criminal justice and master of arts in public administration and he's a board certified protection professional.