Federal funding continues work of public safety institute

The Western Regional Institute for Community Oriented Public Safety (WRICOPS) has announced that it will receive $300,000 in federal funding from the U.S. Department of Justice Office of Community Oriented Policing Services to provide training, technical assistance and applied research services to criminal justice agencies and the communities they serve through December 2006.

WRICOPS, headquartered at Washington State University Spokane, works with law enforcement agencies on a wide variety of initiatives.

This past year, WRICOPS provided counter-terrorism training to the Department of Interior security force at Grand Coulee Dam. To date, WRICOPS has conducted its counter-terrorism classes for more than 2,000 front-line police officers in Washington state alone. In addition, WRICOPS has initiated training on human trafficking, collaborative decision making, leadership, youth violence prevention and a host of community policing topics.

“The training we provide fills a gap that individual police, sheriff and tribal departments can’t fill on their own,” said WRICOPS director John Goldman. “Federal support is vital to our ongoing efforts to have well-trained and responsive law enforcement prepared to meet 21st century demands for public safety and security.”

WRICOPS has served the states of Washington, Idaho, Montana, South Dakota and Wyoming since 1997 as one of a national network of Regional Community Policing Institutes. This award came as part of $12 million in funds allocated to support RCPIs around the United States and is in addition to award of $585,000 received in 2004.

RCPIs are strategically located throughout the country and offer innovative community policing training and technical assistance resources to state, tribal and local law enforcement officers, community leaders and government officials. Students in graduate studies in criminal justice at WSU Spokane have the opportunity to work on WRICOPS projects to apply the research and analysis skills to community problem-solving.

“WRICOPS is a wonderful university-community partnership with applied scientific research linking directly to training and program success,” said WSU Spokane Chancellor Brian Pitcher.

The funds awarded will be used by the RCPI network to support local law enforcement efforts by applying community policing principles to emerging issues such as public trust, terrorism awareness and emergency response and problem solving for community safety.

“The Regional Community Policing Institutes have proven to be an excellent resource for law enforcement professionals and local leaders as they work together to ensure community safety,” said COPS Director Carl R. Peed. “The structure of the network allows each RCPI to focus on developing and delivering consultative services and training on the issues of greatest concern to the law enforcement officials and community leaders within a specific region of the country. Law enforcement priorities in Washington are different from those in Kansas or New York, and the regional focus of each RCPI allows them to offer the most relevant and appropriate services possible.”

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