News Archive

Medal of Valor

June 18, 2018

Federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement officers, firefighters, and emergency service officers perform brave and selfless acts every day in the line of duty.  The Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) has opened the nomination period for the Public Safety Officer Medal of Valor to recognize these public safety officers for their valiant actions.  An act of valor is defined as going above and beyond the call of duty and exhibiting exceptional courage, extraordinary decisiveness and presence of mind, and unusual swiftness of action, regardless of his or her personal safety, in an attempt to save or protect human life.

Nominations must be submitted through the Medal of Valor page by or at the direction of the chief executive officer of the nominee’s employing public safety agency.  Nominations are due by 11:59 p.m. (ET) on July 31, 2018.  Agencies may nominate multiple public safety officers for the same incident, and individual officers can be nominated for multiple incidents. Please note that separate online nominations must be submitted for each incident and for each officer who participated in the incident.  For questions about the nomination process or submission, please contact or visit the FAQ page.

2018 Bureau of Justice Assistance Destination Zero Conference

June 18, 2018

The Destination Zero (DZ) Program, a Bureau of Justice Assistance program and collaborative effort between the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund and the VALOR Officer Safety and Wellness Program, is designed to assist law enforcement agencies in improving the health and safety of their officers across the United States.  The DZ Program is proud to recognize officer safety and officer wellness programs that proactively engage employees in initiatives that increase overall officer wellness and/or reduce line-of-duty injuries or deaths.

The 2018 Destination Zero Conference: Saluting Innovative Officer Safety and Wellness Programs will be held August 2–3, 2018, in Phoenix, Arizona.  This year’s conference will highlight previous DZ award winners and finalists from the following categories: general officer safety, officer traffic safety, officer wellness, and comprehensive safety.

Attendance at the DZ Conference is limited to law enforcement personnel. Agency identification will be required at registration check-in.

Benefits and Advantages of Transitioning to the National Incident-Based Reporting System

June 18, 2018

The National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS) was implemented to improve the overall quality of crime data collected by law enforcement.  NIBRS captures details on each single crime incident—as well as on separate offenses within the same incident—including information on victims, known offenders, relationships between victims and offenders, arrestees, and property involved in the crimes.

Unlike data reported through Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program’s traditional Summary Reporting System—an aggregate monthly tally of crimes—the NIBRS data goes much deeper because of its ability to provide circumstances and context for crimes. It includes reporting up to ten offenses within a single incident and additional aspects about each event, like location, time of day, and whether the incident was cleared. Ultimately, NIBRS will improve the detail and overall quality of crime data, which will help law enforcement and communities around the country use resources more strategically and effectively.  The following articles outline many of the advantages of the transition:  Summary Reporting System to NIBRS: The Path to Better UCR Data and Questions NIBRS Can Answer.

The UCR Program is actively working to increase NIBRS participation by partnering with the Bureau of Justice Statistics on the National Crime Statistics Exchange, working with advocacy groups to emphasize the importance of NIBRS data for the public and the law enforcement community, and transitioning the UCR program to a NIBRS-only data collection by January 2021.  The FBI has documented the efforts of two states, Minnesota and Georgia, as they to work to achieve their transitions to NIBRS.  For more information about the NIBRS transition, contact the NIBRS staff of the FBI’s UCR Program via telephone at (304) 625-9999 or email at

The National Governors Association Resource Center for State Cybersecurity Helps Indiana, North Carolina, West Virginia, and Wisconsin

June 18, 2018

On June 4, 2018, the National Governors Association (NGA) Resource Center for State Cybersecurity announced that it will help four states—Indiana, North Carolina, West Virginia, and Wisconsin—modernize their cybersecurity plans and infrastructure. The new initiative, Policy Academy on Implementing State Cybersecurity, offers states a new opportunity to defend themselves against increasingly advanced and globalized cyberthreats. 

The NGA will provide states with technical assistance to implement and operationalize cybersecurity planning. The Policy Academy will convene the NGA, industry experts, federal officials, private sector experts, research organizations, and academia to advise the four state teams, each selected by its governor to develop and share best practices in cybersecurity. 

Those who are interested in learning more about the NGA should contact Jeff McLeod, Director, Homeland Security and Public Safety Division, NGA Center for Best Practices, at or (202) 624-5311.

The U.S. Department of Justice Announces the First Grants Under the STOP School Violence Act

June 18, 2018

On June 7, 2018, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the U.S. Department of Justice’s first grants under the Student, Teachers, and Officers Preventing School Violence Act of 2018 (STOP School Violence Act of 2018) at the 24th Annual Joint Conference of the Montana Association of Chiefs of Police and the 88th Annual Montana Police Protective Association. 

The STOP School Violence Act of 2018 appropriated funds for both the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) and the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) Office to improve school safety programs. 

BJA was appropriated $50 million dollars as part of this Act and has two solicitations that are currently available for states, units of local government, and federally recognized Indian tribes.

BJA STOP School Violence Assessment and Technology Reporting Program

BJA STOP School Violence Prevention and Mental Health Training Program

COPS SVVP Information and Details on the Upcoming COPS Solicition

“Backing the Blue”-Office of Justice Programs Blog

June 1, 2018

Countering a threat and carrying on while under assault, even after being struck, is a skill that officers must learn. It's a daunting prospect, but one that hundreds of thousands of brave men and women sign up knowing they may have to face. And our nation is stronger for it.

~Alan R. Hanson, Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General

In a recent Office of Justice Programs (OJP) Blog article, “Backing the Blue,” Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Alan Hanson focused on OJP’s efforts to protect and support law enforcement.  He provides examples of how, through agency programs and partners, OJP supports the wellness and safety of law enforcement.  One of these efforts is the VALOR Officer Safety and Wellness Program, providing tactical instruction on handling violent incidents.

Human Trafficking Task Force E-Guide: Resources to Support Task Forces

June 1, 2018

Due to the complex nature of the crime, perpetrators often operate unnoticed, and those who suffer are not likely to self-identify as victims of human trafficking.  Trafficking victims do not always see themselves as victims, often blaming themselves for their situation. This makes discovering this crime more difficult because victims rarely self-report, and the time and resources required to uncover violations can be significant.

Developed in partnership with the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) and Bureau of Justice Assistance, this guide is a resource to support established task forces and provide guidance to agencies that are forming task forces.  Its purpose is to assist in the development and day-to-day operations of an anti-human trafficking task force and to provide fundamental guidance for effective task force operations.

The content has been carefully screened and evaluated by anti-human trafficking victim service providers, law enforcement officials, and prosecutors.  It is a living document; as new practices and resources that have proven helpful to these task forces become available, OVC’s Training and Technical Assistance Center will incorporate them to enhance the effectiveness of this guide.

Prosecutor-Led Diversion Toolkit: Helping to Build the Next Generation of Prosecutor-Led Diversion Programming

June 1, 2018

The Association of Prosecuting Attorneys, in partnership with the Center for Court Innovation and NORC at the University of Chicago, in collaboration with and administration by the Bureau of Justice Assistance, developed the Prosecutor-Led Diversion Initiative to sustain and create pre-trial prosecutor-led diversion programs with a substance abuse, mental health, and/or human trafficking component.

Although the concept of diversion has been an important part of the criminal justice system for many years, the challenges of rising incarceration costs, limited system resources, and the desire for more effective criminal justice system outcomes have led prosecutors to apply diversion to new and more challenging populations. 

This online toolkit is intended as a resource to help prosecutors design, implement, and evaluate these new prosecutor-led diversion options.  More broadly, this toolkit is also a resource for other criminal justice system stakeholders (law enforcement, the defense, the judiciary, probation and pretrial services, social service providers, policymakers, and the general public) to better understand prosecutor-led diversion and why it matters.

U.S. Department of Homeland Security Cybersecurity Strategy

June 1, 2018

In an age of brand-name breaches, we must think beyond the defense of specific assets—and confront systemic risks that affect everyone from tech giants to homeowners.  Our strategy outlines how DHS will leverage its unique capabilities on the digital battlefield to defend American networks and get ahead of emerging cyber threats.

~Kirstjen M. Nielsen, Secretary, U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS)

In May 2018, DHS released a new five-year strategy that provides a framework to execute DHS’s cybersecurity responsibilities in order to keep pace with the evolving cyber risk landscape.  The intent is for this strategy to enable the harmonization and prioritization of DHS planning, programming, budgeting, and operational activities across all DHS cybersecurity mission areas.  It will focus on coordinating departmental cybersecurity activities to ensure a unity of effort.

This strategy sets forth a five-part approach to manage national cyber risk aimed at ensuring the availability of critical national functions and fostering efficiency, innovation, trustworthy communication, and economic prosperity in ways that are consistent with our national values and that protect privacy and civil liberties:

  • Risk Identification

  • Vulnerability Reduction

  • Threat Reduction

  • Consequence Mitigation

  • Enable Cybersecurity Outcomes

Mass Violence and Terrorism: Toolkit and Training Series

June 1, 2018

Incidents of mass violence and terrorism—bombings, mass riots and shootings, hijackings, bioterrorism attacks, and other human-caused disasters—present unique challenges to the communities in which they occur.  These incidents require a coordinated, cross-sector approach among federal, state, local, and tribal governments; private entities; and nonprofit organizations to drive an effective response.

The Office for Victims of Crime (OVC)—in coordination with the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Office for Victim Assistance and the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Justice for Victims of Overseas Terrorism—developed the Helping Victims of Mass Violence & Terrorism: Planning, Response, Recovery, and Resources Toolkit, to help communities prepare for and respond to victims of mass violence and terrorism in the most timely, effective, and compassionate manner possible.

Lessons learned from past incidents indicate that through advanced planning (which includes the establishment of victim assistance protocols), and by developing and maintaining multidisciplinary partnerships, communities are better prepared to engage a holistic approach to victim assistance to ensure that each victim’s needs are met. However, this toolkit also contains materials that will aid communities’ responses to victims even if they have not planned for an incident. 

This Web training series highlights the importance of communities, states, and regions planning a response to incidents of mass violence and terrorism using the OVC Toolkit resource.  This webinar provides a detailed overview of how to use the Toolkit. Customized technical assistance is available to city, county, and state-level organizations to help implement the Toolkit.  If you would like to request mass violence and terrorism customized technical assistance, please contact OVC by email at

Opportunity to Participate in the National Public Safety Partnership

May 25, 2018

The National Public Safety Partnership (PSP) provides an innovative framework to enhance federal support of state, local, and tribal law enforcement and prosecution authorities in aggressively investigating and prosecuting violent criminals. PSP’s strategic focus emphasizes the U.S. Department of Justice’s priority to reduce violent crime by providing critical capacity-building resources to law enforcement and prosecutors to increase public safety in local communities. PSP has proven to be a successful model for enhancing participating sites’ crime-fighting capacity. The PSP program is part of the Project Safe Neighborhoods suite of programs, which is focused on reducing violent crime.

If interested in applying to participate in this opportunity, complete the Statement of Interest and submit to BJA NTTAC at by 11:59 p.m., ET, on Friday, June 1, 2018. 

Social Media Bootcamp: Webinar to Learn How to Build a Resilient Reputation

May 25, 2018

Date:  May 29, 2018

Time: 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m., ET

The Justice Clearinghouse is hosting a no-cost social media bootcamp webinar, during which participants will get a tour of the major platforms, including Twitter, Instagram, Nextdoor, Snapchat and Facebook.  The webinar will provide a helpful list of best practices for each platform that government agencies can use to improve engagement within their respective communities.

The Justice Clearinghouse is a community of justice and public safety professionals.  The organization advocates an interdisciplinary approach to understanding and resolving the challenges affecting the justice arena.

Enhancing Law Enforcement’s Analytical Capacity: Technology Integration in West Memphis, Arkansas

May 25, 2018

Join the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) National Training and Technical Assistance Center (NTTAC) for the webinar “Enhancing Law Enforcement’s Analytical Capacity: Technology Integration in West Memphis, Arkansas” on Thursday, May 31, from 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m., ET. During this webinar, presenters from the West Memphis, Arkansas, National Public Safety Partnership (PSP) site and the West Memphis, Arkansas, Police Department will review a recent technology integration effort undertaken by the department to enhance its data-driven policing mission.

This webinar will review how the recent technology integration effort undertaken by the West Memphis, Arkansas, Police Department, as part of the West Memphis, Arkansas, PSP, enhanced its data-driven policing mission. Participants will learn how the agency implemented an innovative software program that integrated disparate data systems into one searchable and analyzable application. Presenters will also discuss key strategies and lessons learned for law enforcement technology and data integration projects that can be applied to other jurisdictions nationwide.

Law Enforcement Advancing Data and Science (LEADS) Scholarships for Law Enforcement Officers: Application Deadline June 8, 2018

May 25, 2018

The National Institute of Justice (NIJ) is the research, development, and evaluation agency of the U.S. Department of Justice.

NIJ is dedicated to improving knowledge and understanding of crime and justice issues through science. NIJ seeks to provide objective and independent knowledge and tools to inform the decision making of the criminal justice community to reduce crime and advance justice, particularly at the state and local levels.

NIJ is seeking applicants for the 2018 class of LEADS Scholars. Applicants should be mid-career, in-the-ranks leaders within their agencies and have a personal dedication to advancing the policing field through research. Applicants must be sworn officers and cannot be current NIJ grantees.

The LEADS Scholars program grew out of a desire to support and develop the next generation of law enforcement leadership in America. In 2014, the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) partnered with the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) to establish an annual award of ten, three-year scholarships for research-minded law enforcement officers. The program has since grown to 40 men and women officers across the country, who have formed a strong network of individuals committed to using evidence and data to inform law enforcement policy and practice.  NIJ LEADS Scholars are pioneers in the evidence-based policing movement who present and publish frequently about their research and findings.

Officer Health, Stress, and Suicide: Research on Police Health, Stress, and Suicide

May 25, 2018

The Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS Office) is the component of the U.S. Department of Justice responsible for advancing the practice of community policing by the nation’s state, local, territorial, and tribal law enforcement agencies through information and grant resources.

In a podcast offered by the COPS Office as part of its monthly podcast series, The Beat, Dr. John Violanti, a research professor at the University of Buffalo and retired New York State police trooper, discusses his research on police health, police stress, and suicide, as well as the need for departments to support officer mental health and wellness. In 2017, more officers committed suicide than were killed in the line of duty.

One of Dr. Violanti’s current research efforts is examining the suicide rate of police officers versus the general population as a way to determine whether and how departments can utilize the data to improve mental health services for officers. 

Association of State Criminal Investigative Agencies 2018 Spring Conference: U.S. Attorney General Delivers Remarks

May 22, 2018

On May 7, 2018, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions delivered remarks at the Association of State Criminal Investigative Agencies (ASCIA) 2018 Spring Conference.  He emphasized that the administration’s goal is to bring down the rate of violent crime, homicides, opioid prescriptions, and overdose deaths.  In 2018, the Department of Justice (DOJ) will invest more than $100 million in state and local crime labs to make them faster, more efficient, and effective, in an effort to reduce the backlog and free up other resources to reduce violent crime and drug abuse.  DOJ, through the Bureau of  Justice Assistance's Sexual Assault Kit Initiative, also will provide grant funding to identify previously unsubmitted sexual assault kits, test them, and then assign personnel to pursue new investigative leads to help provide closure for sexual assault victims throughout the country and help put their assailants behind bars.  AG Sessions added that it is critical to address the growing encryption (or “going dark”) problem.  DOJ is working with stakeholders in the private sector, in law enforcement, and in Congress to find a solution to this problem.

Honoring Law Enforcement Agencies and Officers: IACP Leadership Awards

May 22, 2018

The International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) is proud to honor law enforcement agencies and officers that exhibit leadership, excellence, and professionalism through the 2018 Leadership Awards Program.  Nominate an agency or individual doing incredible work in the field. Simply download the nomination form, complete it, and email it to by June 1, 2018. All award winners will be recognized at the 2018 IACP Annual Conference.  The awards program features several categories, including the following:

  • The IACP Leadership in Homeland Security Award honors excellence and significant contributions to overcoming homeland security challenges. All federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement, public safety or criminal justice agencies, task forces, or multiagency collaborative efforts that have made a substantial contribution to Homeland Security efforts, either during a single event or over time, are eligible to apply.

  • The IACP/Thomson Reuters Excellence in Criminal Investigations Award recognizes exceptional innovation in managing and conducting criminal investigations, with the goal of sharing information to advance the art and science of criminal investigations.  Eligible agencies, departments, police units, or task forces must engage or participate in criminal investigations.  The nominated investigation must be currently ongoing or have been completed in the 2017 calendar year.  An investigation nominated for this award in a previous year is ineligible.

Police Executive Research Forum Annual Meeting

May 22, 2018

The Police Executive Research Forum (PERF) Annual Meeting is being held in conjunction with the conferences of the Major Cities Chiefs Association (MCCA) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation National Executive Institute Associates (NEIA) on May 29 through June 1, 2018, in Nashville, Tennessee. All registrants will be welcome to attend all meetings, sessions, and events sponsored by PERF, MCCA, and NEIA during the Annual Meeting. The registration fee is $425. 

Grant Funding Opportunity: Community Policing Development(CPD) Program

May 22, 2018

The Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) Office recently opened a competitive solicitation for the 2018 Community Policing Development (CPD) Program.  The CPD grant program is designed to advance the practice of community policing in law enforcement agencies through training and technical assistance, development of innovative community policing strategies, field-directed law enforcement microgrants, guidebooks, and best practices that are national in scope.  The COPS Office has designed the CPD solicitation to address critical topics in the law enforcement field by building on the principles of community policing.

Up to $10 million is available through this year's program, and all awards are subject to the availability of funds.  Applications are due by June 7, 2018, at 7:59 p.m., ET.

The AMBER Advocate Newsletter: OJJDP Releases the Spring 2018 Edition

May 22, 2018


The mission of the AMBER Alert Training and Technical Assistance Program (AATTAP) is to safely recover missing, endangered, or abducted children through the coordinated efforts of law enforcement, media, transportation, and other partners by using training and technology to enhance response capacities and capabilities and increase public participation.

The AATTAP publishes quarterly issues of the AMBER Advocate Newsletter.  The spring 2018 issue of the AMBER Advocate Newsletter features the following articles:

  • AMBER Alert Training and Technical Assistance Program Administrator Jim Walters' vision for the future of child protection
  • Faces of the AMBER Alert Network
  • The role an Idaho AMBER Alert played in the recovery of two sisters
  • AMBER Alert in Indian Country
  • AMBER Alert in international news

Watch the National Forum Session on Data Access 101 via Facebook Live on August 1 @ 2 PT

July 24, 2017

The National Criminal Justice Association (NCJA) will stream the session “Data: What It is, Why You Need It and What in the World to Do With It” live from the National Forum on Criminal Justice on August 1 from 2:00-3:30 pm PT.  This session is geared for novices and addresses issues and questions including: Data:  we need it to decide which problems to tackle, to choose which initiatives to fund, and to measure whether those programs are working as planned. But do we have the data we need? If not, who does and will they share? How do we know if the data are telling us what we need to know? And how in the world do we pay for the analysis? Presenters are Jeff Bender, Deputy Commissioner, NYS Division of Criminal Justice Services; and Terry Salo, Deputy Commissioner, NYS Division of Criminal Justice Services. Glenn Fueston, Executive Director, MD Governor’s Office of Crime Control and Prevention will serve as moderator.
NCJA will stream this session using Facebook Live at and the recording will be available on the NCJA website at


Source: NCJA

Free Online Training on the Global Reference Architecture

June 30, 2017

SEARCH and the National Center for State Courts recently launched a new version of the training course on the Global Reference Architecture (GRA), a framework and set of standards that makes it easier, faster, and more affordable for justice and public safety practitioners to design effective information sharing solutions. This updated and self-paced online training course is presented in 10 modules and helps stakeholders gain a common understanding of the GRA framework, standards, methods, and processes. 

The training demonstrates how to establish a governance structure, develop an information sharing architecture, model and document services, and create information models.   The course includes interactive, hands-on implementation labs that tie lessons together and is presented via an easy-to-use interface integrating narration, video, and written text with a certificate of completion option. 

The GRA Training Course is suitable for a range of trainees, including executives, senior managers, project managers/coordinators, and implementers.