The 2021 Community Policing in Action Photo Contest Ends Soon

The deadline for the seventh annual “Community Policing in Action” Photo Contest is quickly approaching​. Entries must be submitted by 7 p.m. Central Time, ​Monday, November 16​ to be considered.

All state, local, territorial and tribal law enforcement agencies are invited to send in submissions for an opportunity to be featured on the COPS Office website and on Twitter and Facebook​​ headers for one month during the 2021 calendar year.

Each winning law enforcement agency may also be featured in the COPS Office e-newsletter, the Community Policing Dispatch, and a COPS Office-issued press release.

Complete Submission Quick Tips

Make sure your submission is complete with these steps:

Snap your photo

Photo should depict positive community engagement that promotes community policing and trust building with community members, stakeholders, local government, and others.

Only ONE photo may be submitted (no collages). Photo should be visibly clear.

Fill out all forms (submissions without these forms will not be accepted)

Privacy Consent, Waiver, and Release Authorizing Use and Disclosure of Photographic Image Form(s): Submission must include an original, signed Notice, Consent and Release waiver for EACH recognizable individual in the photo.

Permission and Release to Law Enforcement Agencies Form: Submission must include Permission & Release form signed by an authorized law enforcement agency representative.

Include a description of the photo and why it exemplifies community policing in action (don’t forget to include photo credit).

Review your forms to ensure they are signed and complete.

Send submissions to TELLCOPS@USDOJ.GOV by ​7 p.m. Central Standard Time on Monday, November 16.

More Questions?

​V​isit for all the required forms, FAQs and the complete contest rules, terms and conditions.

Former Sheriff Passes

Former Laclede County Sheriff Joel Richards died on Monday, November 10. He was sheriff in Laclede County from 1969 to 1972. After serving as sheriff, he took a job with the Lebanon Police Department, working up the ranks to sergeant, lieutenant and in 1984 he was promoted to chief. He retired as police chief in the mid-1990s.  

Too Fast For Conditions: A Conversation on Speeding

​J​oin the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) on Thursday, November 12 from ​2 to 3 p.m. Central Standard Time​ for a roundtable discussion on speeding trends during the pandemic, state and local efforts to address this issue, and the opportunities and challenges presented by automated speed enforcement. 

This webinar is sponsored by Redflex. 
Moderator: – Russ Martin, Senior Director of Policy and Government Relations, GHSA 
Sponsor Remarks: – Mark Talbot, CEO, 
Redflex Panel Discussion: 
– Jonlee Anderele, Ph.D, Administrator, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Region 5 
– Daniel Farley, Chief, Traffic Operations Deployment and Maintenance Section, Pennsylvania DOT 
– Jonathan Nelson, Assistant to the State Highway Safety and Traffic Engineer, Department of Highway Safety and Traffic, Missouri DOT  

Recruiting and Retaining Officers in Small and Rural Agencies

In December 2019, the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services held a day-long forum to discuss the challenges of law enforcement recruitment and retention and specifically focused on th​​ese issues in relation to smaller and more rural law enforcement agencies. The 32 participants included police chiefs, captains, lieutenants, academic experts, researchers, and agency directors of state police standards.

The forum’s small size allowed for a wide-ranging discussion that focused on the qualities that make an effective police officer, an in-depth examination of why people leave a department, the most significant challenges to recruiting and retaining officers, and a brainstorming session on the range of strategies these departments use to attract and keep officers. The result was an exchange of ideas and success stories that reflected the unique regional and size differences between the departments.

– Click here to view the publication –

The COPS Office publishes materials for law enforcement and community stakeholders to use in collaboratively addressing crime and disorder challenges. These free publications provide you with best practice approaches and give you access to collective knowledge from the field. By clicking on this link, you can find our recent and featured publications, and you can also search the Resource Center or our Community Policing Topics pages for specific issues or call the COPS Office Response Center at 800-421-6770.

Beware of Possible Scam

Recently, the Livingston County Sheriff’s Office received promotional magnets with the sheriff’s office name and information from area businesses on them. The magnets came from a company by the name of FIVEFISH located at 109 S Elm St, Van, TX 75790.

The company sells advertisements to area business as if representing a sheriff’s office and to provide advertising for the office with local businesses.

This company may or may not be doing legitimate business. However, this is not an approved sheriff’s office project and there is a pattern of this type of misrepresentation as being affiliated with a local sheriff’s office. camden/article_196c20bb-e601-59a9-ba2d-2564831c054a.html

If you or anyone you know is contacted by a representative from FIVEFISH, do not give them money without contacting your local sheriff’s office first.

From Kevin Merritt
Executive director of the Missouri Sheriffs’ Association

Executive Order on Safe Policing for Safe Communities

​On Wednesday, October 28, the Department of Justice announced Standards for Certification that are a result of President Trump’s June Executive Order 13929, Safe Policing for Safe Communities. The Executive Order’s goal is to ensure that, together, we continue striving to provide transparent, safe, and accountable delivery of services to our communities. Our work on the Executive Order will enhance citizen confidence in law enforcement, and facilitate the identification and correction of internal issues before they result in injury to the public or to law enforcement officers.

Pursuant to authority vested in the attorney general by the Executive Order, the designated organizations included here will serve as the independent credentialing bodies. Law enforcement will be eligible to receive federal funding from the Department of Justice grant making components upon certification by the respective credentialing organization.

An independent credentialing body will certify an applying law enforcement agency if it determines — or, within the past 36 months, has already determined — that the agency is in compliance with two mandatory safe policing principles in the Principles on Safe Policing and Use of Force.  Certification is a prerequisite to a law enforcement agency’s eligibility for Department of Justice discretionary grant funding. Agencies will be required to obtain certification by January 31, 2021 in order to be eligible for federal funds in 2021. The credentialing body will maintain a list of certified agencies within its jurisdiction, and submit this list to the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (or “COPS Office”), which will serve as the repository for the list of a​​ll eligible law enforcement agencies.

Please note that tribal law enforcement agencies are not subject to the requirements noted above.

We value your partnership and look forward to continuing to work with you to implement the Executive Order on Safe Policing for Safe Communities.

Please visit for additional information regarding implementation of Executive Order 13929.

DEA and partners collect a record amount of unwanted medications during National Drug Take Back Day

DEA’s National Prescription Drug Take Back Day brought in nearly a million pounds of unused, expired, and unwanted medications across the country, the largest amount ever collected in the program’s ten years. Americans once again showed their dedication to remove prescription pills from their homes to prevent addiction before it starts.

DEA, along with its law enforcement partners, has now collected nearly 13.7 million pounds of expired, unused, and unwanted prescription medications since the inception of the National Prescription Drug Take Back Initiative in 2010. On Oct. 24, the public turned in 985,392 pounds – almost 493 tons – of medication to DEA and 4,153 of its community partners at 4,587 collection sites nationwide, including 33 Bureau of Indian Affairs sites.

“This year’s event, with a record-setting 493-ton collection, is a sure sign that DEA’s Take Back Day events continue to provide a vital public service that keeps loved ones safe—an opportunity to rid homes of potentially dangerous unused, expired, and unwanted medications,” said DEA Acting Administrator Timothy Shea. “Every day is Take Back Day and we encourage the public to continue to address this urgent safety and public health issue by using the thousands of existing drop-off locations throughout the year.”

In addition to DEA’s National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, safe and secure drug disposal continues to be available at any of the 11,000 DEA authorized collectors throughout the year. For more information, visit:

Given the ongoing COVID-19 public health emergency, DEA wants to ensure that the public is aware of other ways they can dispose of unwanted prescription drugs without having to leave their homes. Both the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency have tips on how to safely dispose of drugs at home.

DEA also encourages the public to reach out to their local law enforcement to find out if they have any permanent drug disposal locations throughout their local community.

Complete results for DEA’s 2020 October Take Back Day are available at

DOJ Announces Use of Body-Worn Cameras on Federal Task Forces

​On October 29, the Justice Department announced that it will permit state, local, territorial, and tribal task force officers to use body-worn cameras on federal task forces around the nation.  The department’s policy will permit federally deputized officers to activate a body-worn camera while serving arrest warrants, or during other planned arrest operations, and during the execution of search warrants.  The policy is the result of a pilot program launched by the department last October.

“After spending a substantial amount of time examining this issue, assessing the results of the pilot program, and taking into account the interests and priorities of all the law enforcement agencies involved, I am pleased to announce that the department will permit the use of body-worn cameras on our federal task forces in specific circumstances,” said Attorney General William P. Barr.  “The Department of Justice has no higher priority than ensuring the safety and security of the American people and this policy will continue to help us fulfill that mission.”

The Department of Justice, through the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF); the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA); the FBI; and the U.S. Marshals Service (USMS), partners with state, local, territorial, and tribal law enforcement on hundreds of federal task forces throughout the nation. Together, these task forces work to combat violent crime, stem the flow of illegal narcotics, and arrest dangerous fugitives.

On Oct. 28, 2019, after consulting with a number of state and local law enforcement associations, the Attorney General announced a pilot program to consider the use of body-worn cameras on federal task forces.  In January 2020, federal task force officers in several pilot cities began using body-worn cameras on task force operations and concluded the pilot program on Sept. 1, 2020.          

The department would like to thank the Houston Police Department, Detroit Police Department, Wichita Police Department, Salt Lake City Police Department and Park City Police Department for their participation in the pilot program, as well as all of the state and local law enforcement leaders that have provided input and guidance.

State and local agencies that would like to participate in DOJ’s task force body-worn camera program may contact the Special-Agent-in-Charge of the federal agency sponsoring the task force, or, in the case of USMS-led task forces, the federal district’s U.S. Marshal.  Due to the large number of state and local agencies nationwide that may like to participate, federal agencies may establish a graduated process to onboard partner agencies to the body-worn camera program.  This will ensure an orderly and coordinated process to deal with the technical, training, and operational considerations involved in establishing a large-scale body-worn camera program.

Read the policy:  Use of Body-Worn Cameras by Federally Deputized Task Force Member

Photo from Homeland Security Today

Reporting Fraud Helps Everyone – and Now It’s Easier

Today the FTC launched, a new website that makes it easy for people to report fraud, scams, and bad business practices.

Because you’re a trusted voice in your community, we’re hoping you can help us spread the word — and help us stop scams. has tools you can use, including images (like the one below) and videos you can share on social media or add to your website. (The site is also available in Spanish at replaces If your website links to that site, you’ll be redirected automatically, but please update it. Thank you for helping fight fraud! If you would like more information, contact Rosario Mendez at

​Check out what is going on in your state or metro area by visiting

The FTC releases annual data based on reports provided by the public. Reports of fraud, identity theft and other consumer problems are reported in the Consumer Sentinel Network Data Book.

DEA Take Back Day is October 24

DEA’s National Prescription Drug Take Back Day is Saturday, Oct. 24. This is an opportunity to clean out medicine cabinets and dispose of unwanted, unused and expired medications, preventing drug addiction before it starts.

Collection sites will adhere to local COVID-19 guidelines and regulations in order to maintain the safety of all participants and local law enforcement.

For more information on DEA’s National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, and to find a collection site near you, visit

Alternative Disposal Methods

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, collection sites may be limited. Can’t find a collection site near you? Learn more about other ways to dispose of and keep medications safe by clicking on the following link:
Other Ways to Dispose of Medication