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Big 3 in Law Enforcement Send Message to Police Chief Convention in Denver: “We’ve Got Your Back”

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By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com
DENVER— The Big Three of Federal Law Enforcement — Attorney Gen. Eric Holder, FBI Dir. Robert Mueller III and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano– rolled into this western town and delivered speeches Monday morning to a roomful of receptive police chiefs who gave them standing ovations.

There wasn’t anything particularly breathtaking or moving about the speeches. But there was a message the Washington honchos  wanted to send, and perhaps Atty.  Gen. Holder summed it up it best when he told the group at the 116th Annual International Association of Chiefs of Police Conference: “We’ve got your back.”

FBI Dir. Mueller echoed similar sentiments while serving up some self-deprecating humor about the himself as well as the FBI and its image as being hogs of the limelight.

He said he hoped he’d had some success over the years addressing that issue on the limelight. (Though truth be told, there are still plenty complaints from other agencies like ATF and DEA that the FBI doesn’t always want to share the ball, so to speak, during the game.)

And he said of cooperation:

“Regardless of the threat, whether criminal or terrorist, we face the same challenges you do. We need to know where any given threat is moving, and we need to get there first.”

“To be effective, we must deliberately collect intelligence to fill the gaps between our cases, and the gaps in our knowledge base. That intelligence will differ from city to city, and state to state, just as criminal and terrorist threats differ.”

Mueller also touched on street violence and said he was concerned about the future waves of criminals who are going to be released from prison into a very challenging  job market  “with few job prospects” and little incentive to avoid trouble once they return to the streets.

And Janet Napolitano’s  message was constant: How her agency wanted to make sure information was shared. And when possible, she said, her agency wanted to provide  context and insight for information it diseminates to help officers do their jobs.

The police chiefs association President,  Russell B. Laine, said afterward that he was pleased with the information sharing between  police departments and federal authorities.

“We’re sharing much more than we used to,” he said.


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