Public safety officers and police departments play a critical role in crime prevention. Law enforcement agencies are frequently the focal point; officers have first-hand knowledge of crime, its origins, and the community in which they serve. When citizens work with law enforcement, an even stronger force is created to promote public safety in local communities.
An estimated 40 percent of potential criminal activity is prevented because of reported tips from the community. Clearly, police departments have the expertise to stop crime before it happens. Departments also have the unique ability to unite community members, public safety organizations, and government officials together. However, recent and serious budget cuts and personnel reductions have threatened this mutually beneficial relationship between law enforcement and communities.
In 2011, police departments across the nation continued laying off critical personnel such as police officers, and implemented hiring freezes due to shrinking budgets. At least four major cities cut 10 percent of their forces. (Governing.com) President Barack Obama acknowledges the lack of public safety funding, allocating more funding for state and local law enforcement hiring in his 2013 budget proposal. Federal financial support is necessary for law enforcement agencies to continue working to prevent crime.
The National Crime Prevention Council (NCPC) recognizes the crucial role law enforcement officers and professionals play in preventing crime. As a result, we proudly offer a national resource to enhance and promote crime prevention and professional development of crime prevention practitioners. The National Crime Prevention Association (NCPA) is an individual membership association for the crime prevention practitioner. The association offers training, resources, conference opportunities, information-sharing outlets, and other benefits for the practitioner.
This professional association allows people in the public, private, and community sectors to learn and share information about best practices in the discipline of crime prevention. NCPA plans to offer various resources that are not currently available through state-level associations. Some resources include regional information sharing, a national networking system, and access to a national database of proven crime prevention trainers.
We acknowledge the significance of crime prevention practitioners’ expertise. That’s why the NCPA and NCPC, in partnership with the Bureau of Justice Assistance of the U.S. Department of Justice, have developed a certification program to recognize outstanding achievement in the field of crime prevention.
Through this national certification program, crime prevention practitioners will finally be able to obtain recognition for the expertise that they have developed through years of education, training, experience, and countless hours devoted to their communities. We know that proven crime prevention techniques and practices work to keep communities safer. Now it’s time to recognize the field of crime prevention, and its expert practitioners, as crime prevention specialists. This national certification will do that by setting minimum standards for basic and advanced expertise and recognizing those who have done the work to meet them.
The dedication and support of organizations, communities, government, and people such as you are necessary to continue to prevent crime and its impact on our lives. Since the NCPA’s certification program began last year, over 40 people have been certified. To learn more about how you can apply for certification or to join the National Crime Prevention Association, visit http://www.ncpc.org