Police Oversight Conference Kicks Off in St. Pete
For the first time, the National Association for Civilian Oversight of Law Enforcement is holding its annual conference in Florida. The nonprofit group brings together individuals and agencies working to establish or improve oversight of police officers in the U.S.
ST. PETERSBURG – The National Association for Civilian Oversight of Law Enforcement’s 24th annual conference kicks off today (Sept. 30) in St. Petersburg.
Held for the first time in Florida, more than 426 attendees from all across the U.S. and nine countries are registered for the five-day national conference at the waterfront Renaissance Vinoy Resort.
“Over the last year, we have experienced a difficult political and social climate and increasing division between communities and their police agencies. However, we have also seen a level of commitment to civilian oversight of law enforcement, to implement and sustain reforms, and to advance more just communities,” said Cameron McEllhiney, NACOLE director of education and training.
NACOLE is a non-profit organization that brings together individuals and agencies working to establish or improve oversight of police officers in the U.S. Founded in Maryland in 1995, NACOLE says it welcomes people and organizations committed to fair and professional law enforcement that is responsive to community needs.
NACOLE is dedicated to promoting greater police accountability through the establishment or improvement of citizen oversight agencies by:
- organizing an annual training conference to increase the knowledge and skills of staff members and volunteers who work in oversight.
- act as a resource to jurisdictions considering the creation or revitalization of oversight bodies.
- identifying best practices as they emerge from the experiences of members.
- encouraging networking, communication and information-sharing to counter the isolation inherent in the profession.
- furnishing information to government officials and community representatives that will support their advocacy of oversight in their states, counties, cities and towns.
Discussions during the St. Petersburg conference, which runs through Thursday (Oct. 4), will include the continued need to work toward change and the methods by which all can work to effect real and sustainable reform. Themed “Sustaining Reform. Advancing Justice,” this year’s conference will feature four tracks that contain information that touches on all of the Core Competencies for Civilian Oversight Practitioners:
- Training for Oversight
- Correctional Oversight
- Building Public Trust
- Sustainable Reform Efforts
Within these four tracks conference attendees will be able to choose from 31 different sessions covering topics such as less lethal policies and tactics; sexual harassment; assessing institutional culture; best practices for volunteer review boards; and the anatomy of police-community relations.
NACOLE’s Cameron McEllhiney said, “The city of St. Petersburg and the St. Petersburg Civilian Police Review Committee will serve as our hosts and, in the midst of a schedule of training, they will share with us their work as a community to promote trust and transparency and serve as a bridge between the police and the communities they serve.”
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