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100 Years Strong!

KPOA President Bill Edwards

Bill EdwardsIt is a true honor to represent the Kansas Peace Officers Association and all its members as this year's President. I would like to pass on to the membership that is clear we are facing challenging times. As I read various magazine articles or watch some news stories, the overwhelming call is for the police to be better when dealing with the public. I understand and reinforce this message, believing public trust has to be earned through integrity, accountability and transparency. What I see is 99% of Police Officers living up to this idea every day. I also believe the majority of citizens still appreciate and depend on Law Enforcement.  I witnessed a great example of Citizen support in September of this year. Members of the Douglas County Business Community and Citizen Organizations sponsored a “Valor Awards Banquet” recognizing First Responders and Law Enforcement. Held in Lawrence over 400 hundred people came out to witness the responders receive awards and hear the accounts of what they had done. This is not the only example of Communities and Organization honoring Police and Fire for their heroism and compassion taken in the line of duty, but it does send the message of support for all to see.

As a profession we all deal with, and suffer from the few tragic Law Enforcement incidents receiving media coverage, knowing at the same time as professionals in most cases we are hardest on ourselves. Departments are regularly sending Officers to job fairs and recruiting opportunities in an effort to draw in the best candidates for jobs. Then providing each new hire, academy training from an internationally recognized training academy staff or a sanctioned satellite training staff. A structured Field Training Officer program follows up the academy training making sure the new officers can apply all the training they received.  In addition, agencies access continuing education options for sworn personnel bringing in top trainers in many cases for specialized training.  All these standards along with regular reviews of department policies and operating practices are done with the intent of providing the public with the best most professional Officers possible.

I would like to end by saying over my career I have always been proud to be a member of Kansas Law Enforcement and equally proud and inspired by those Officers I have had the privilege to know and work with. I want to remind each of you to be safe and remember every day you will be given an opportunity to make a positive difference in someone’s life.

Chief Bill Edwards
Eudora Police Department