In the Central District of Illinois and throughout the country, United States Attorneys have been involved in the organization of Law Enforcement Coordinating Committees (LECC) since this concept was espoused in 1981 by the President’s Commission on Violent Crime. LECC provides a networking focus for law enforcement executives committed to the ideal of cooperation and coordination at all levels of local, state and federal law enforcement.
Facilitation of communications is supported through committees, training and joint operations. Police chiefs and sheriffs are brought together with state and federal enforcers, regulators and prosecutors. The LECC of the Central District of Illinois has provided a forum for the open exchange of ideas and information among agency members and will continue to lend support to facilitating cooperative and joint law enforcement operations.
This approach to problem solving has resulted in a number of task force operations directed at myriad violations of federal statutes ranging from narcotics to white collar crime. The LECC has a full-time Coordination Specialist who acts as a liaison to the committee in maintaining and improving communications leading to interagency cooperation and sharing of resources.
Below 100 initiative
The three U.S. Attorneys for Illinois have formed a state-wide committee dealing with Officer Safety. The committee was formed in response to a steadily increasing numbers of police officer deaths throughout the nation. The year 2010 was a record year for officer deaths with 146 reported Officer fatalities but 2011 has already exceeded that number. As of December, there have been 166 reported officer fatalities in 2011 according to the National Law Enforcement Officers Fund.
As a result of record officer fatalities being reported, the U.S. Attorneys in the Central, Northern, and Southern Districts of Illinois formed a state-wide committee to improve officer safety. “Below 100” is a series of training programs for police officers designed to bring the number of officers killed below 100 per year. These programs were based on five key points, including:
- Usage of seatbelts and speed
- Complacency and the importance of body armor
- What’s Important Now (the WIN question)
- Risk Reduction in law enforcement.
- Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted Program (LEOKA)