This report reviews efforts of the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) and the Rural Law Enforcement Technology Center (RULETC) to identify the needs of small and rural law enforcement agencies, with attention to the National Small and Rural Agency Summit in August 2010 in Ft. Myers, FL.
At the first national summit for small and rural law enforcement (Tulsa, Ok, August 2009), the 50 participants, representing 38 States, were divided into 4 work groups. The groups identified three primary issues: lack of representation of the small and rural agencies in national policy and funding; the recruitment and retention of officers; and training. On August 2-6, 2010, a second Small, Rural, Tribal, and Border Law Enforcement Summit was held in Fort Myers, FL. There were 39 chiefs and sheriffs representing 27 States with an average of 23 commissioned officers per agency. This summit also identified the lack of representation of small and rural agencies in national policy and funding as a pressing issue. In addition, grants were identified as a significant issue. The small and rural agencies do not have professional grant writers on staff and are competing with professional grant writers in larger agencies. In addition, there is no central location or clearinghouse where small and rural agencies can search for grant opportunities. A third issue mentioned in the second summit was training. For small and rural agencies, training is expensive and generally difficult to find in convenient locations that do not require extensive travel. A plan for addressing these identified needs of small and rural law enforcement agencies was developed for completion during the next 12 months. The elements of the plan are outlined in this report. 6 references and addendums on the needs of rural law enforcement in the United States, the training programs of the Rural Policing Institute, and proposed subjects for small/rural law enforcement tract
Date Published: August 1, 2010