WASHINGTON – Addressing the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) Conference in Orlando, Fla., Attorney General Eric Holder today unveiled the Department of Justice’s new Preventing Violence Against Law Enforcement and Ensuring Officer Resilience and Survivability (VALOR) initiative. The VALOR initiative was created to reduce and prevent law enforcement officer line of duty injuries and deaths by training officers in techniques for approaching violence encounters.
Under the VALOR initiative, the department allocated $800,000 for the initial development of a nationwide training and technical assistance program. A key aspect of the VALOR training will include how to anticipate and survive a violent encounter, with training based on the “The Deadly Mix” framework (officer, offender, and circumstances that brought them together). In addition, officers will learn techniques for identifying concealed weapons and armed gunmen, and be trained for high-risk tactical situations that may involve active shooters or hostages. Officers will also learn techniques to confront specific threat groups, including domestic and international terrorists and other violent criminals and extremists.
“Since last October, 163 officers have been killed in the line of duty nationwide , with more than a third of them killed by gunfire,” Attorney General Holder said. “These losses of mothers and fathers, spouses and siblings, children and colleagues represent an alarming increase in police officer fatalities. The Justice Department is committed to turning back this rising tide; to meeting increased violence with renewed vigilance; and to doing everything within our power – and using every tool at our disposal – to keep law enforcement officers safe.”
In addition to the VALOR initiative grant, the Department’s Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) awarded $467,312 to IACP to launch the Center for the Prevention of Violence Against the Police, which is designed to serve as a clearinghouse for information and analysis about injury and violence against law enforcement officers in order to reduce the number of felonious assaults on officers, reduce costs to governments, and increase community safety. All together, the Department of Justice has committed more than $40 million for officer safety programs in Fiscal Year 2010. This includes more than $30 million to reimburse law enforcement agencies for the purchase of body armor, respond to line of duty deaths, enhance deconfliction efforts and boost technology development.
Attorney General Holder also announced the expansion of the Smart Policing program to six new sites. The Smart Policing program, which started in 2009, is focused on evidence-based practices that target a specific crime problem that can be replicated by law enforcement agencies across the country. Each agency receiving a grant enlists the assistance of a research partner to analyze data, test interventions, and measure the results. The six new Fiscal Year 2010 grants bring to 16 the number of law enforcement agencies participating in this program. The six grantees in Baltimore; Cincinnati; Indio, Calif.; Joliet, Ill.; Lowell, Mass. and San Diego will focus on gun crime, street gangs, drug markets and robberies, among other crime issues.