The 116th Annual Conference and Exposition of the International Association of Chiefs of Police got into full swing today. At 10 am, the exhibit hall at the Colorado Convention Center officially opened. More than 700 companies, government agencies and other organizations are displaying the products and services this year.
Traffic was brisk at the NLEOMF’s booth (#2607). Our 25th Anniversary lapel pins were especially popular. Many people inquired about National Police Week 2010 (it runs from May 9-15) and the status of the National Law Enforcement Museum (groundbreaking scheduled for the fall of 2010 and opening in 2013). And several told poignant stories of their connection to the Memorial and visits they have made there. NLEOMF staff will be greeting conference attendees at the exhibit booth for the next two days.
The Police Executive Research Forum (an NLEOMF Board member organization) held its Town Hall Meeting this afternoon. Moderated by PERF Executive Director Chuck Wexler, this free-form discussion touched on a number of topics. NLEOMF Chairman and CEO Craig Floyd gave an update on law enforcement officer fatalities (they’re down again this year, after reaching a near five-decade low in 2008), and he provided an update on the Museum project, reminding the chiefs in attendance that the U.S. Department of Justice has authorized local and state agencies to designated some of their federal asset forfeiture funds to the Museum campaign.
Also that afternoon, NLEOMF Communications Director Kevin Morison and Lynn Lyons-Wynne, Senior Director of Memorial Program, facilitated a training workshop entitled “Is Your Department Making the Most of National Police Week?” They were joined on the panel by Eriks Gabliks, Deputy Director of the Oregon Department of Public Safety Standards and Training, who oversees that state’s law enforcement memorial. The workshop covered National Police Week events and opportunities in Washington, DC, and in local communities. And while it may not have been the largest workshop of the day, it inspired an interesting dialogue on how agencies can work with the NLEOMF to honor their fallen heroes each May.
That night, American Police Beat magazine hosted its annual reception in support of the National Law Enforcement Museum, in conjunction with the Colorado Association of Chief of Police and the Denver Police Department. Gunny R. Lee Ermey, the Marine who went on to star in Full Metal Jacket and other films, fired up the crowd at the historic Baur’s Ristorante on Curtis Street. And emcee Rikki Klieman and Craig Floyd made the case for supporting the Museum campaign. Generous sponsors of the event were Deloitte, Elbeco, Glock, LexisNexis, and Ted Hunt and Associates. Our sincere thanks to all who attended, and especially the people made donations on the spot to help make the Museum a reality.