(Washington, DC) The Office of Police Complaints recently joined a new professional mentoring program developed by the National Association for Civilian Oversight of Law Enforcement (NACOLE). President Obama signed a proclamation declaring January 2010 as National Mentoring Month.
NACOLE is a non-profit organization made up of citizen oversight agencies and individuals that strive to promote greater police accountability in the United States and around the world. OPC, which is governed by the Police Complaints Board (PCB), is a member of NACOLE.
NACOLE’s mentoring program is intended to foster an environment of personal and professional growth for younger employees or individuals who are new to the field of police oversight. By facilitating the sharing of job-related knowledge and skills, the program can also be expected to nurture future leaders in the profession, both here in the District and elsewhere in the United States. Three OPC investigators have so far volunteered to be mentored.
Participants seeking to be mentored are paired with individuals who work at a different police oversight agency. Mentors have extensive experience in investigations, the field of police oversight, law enforcement or civil rights. Some mentors have helped to lead police oversight agencies in the United States.
In addition to the mentoring program, OPC offers its investigative staff a wide range of training, including four days of instruction in police internal affairs at a university, as well as outside courses on various topics such as investigation and interrogation techniques. Investigators also take classes led by Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) personnel who teach law enforcement procedures used by the Department. OPC supplements this training with comprehensive in-house instruction related to the agency’s operations.
OPC’s executive director, Philip K. Eure, who is the immediate past president of NACOLE, serves as a mentor in the new program, which he helped to launch as president of the organization last year.
“We are very pleased to introduce the benefits of mentoring to our employees,” said Eure. “In combination with the agency’s overall training, we think that the NACOLE program will help our employees grow professionally, all the while enhancing their job-related skills. This ultimately works to the public’s advantage.”
For additional information on the Office of Police Complaints, visit www.policecomplaints.dc.gov.