The Institute for Law Enforcement Administration will present its annual Contemporary Issues and Ethics Conference March 24-26, 2010.  With a theme of “Leadership in a Cyber World: Management Challenges in the Information Age,” the event will be held at the headquarters of Center for American and International Law in Plano, Texas.  Details on this timely and important event can be found at ILEA website.  Given the theme and individual topics open for discussion at the conference, the Institute is especially pleased to be able to share information about this event through law enforcement’s partner on the social web,

Dan Carlson, The Director of The Institute for Law Enforcement Administration shares his thoughts about the purpose of the Leadership in a Cyberworld Conference.

Q. What is the purpose of the Contemporary Issues Conference?

A. The Contemporary Issues Conference, conducted in the spring of each year, serves several important purposes.  First, it is the concluding event of the Institute’s annual Management College, a rigorous eight-week academic experience designed to prepare law enforcement managers and administrators for leadership in the complex world of public executives.  Second, it provides an opportunity for public sector decision-makers to gather and discuss a current or emerging topic or theme of special interest in the realm of police administration.  And, third, it is the occasion upon which members of the ILEA Alumni Association gather to conduct their annual business meeting.

Since the formation of the Center for Law Enforcement Ethics in 1992, the ILEA has made the discussion of ethics, character and integrity an integral part of every program.  In that vein, the Contemporary Issues Conference each year provides an opportunity for the Ethics Center to honor a law enforcement practitioner or organization for noteworthy accomplishments in the area of law enforcement ethics.  At this year’s event, an Ethics Achievement Award will be presented to Chief Mark Field of the Wheaton, IL, Police Department, for the manner in which he and his leadership team have guided that agency toward becoming a values-based organization.  Information about past recipients of an Ethics Award from the Center for Law Enforcement Ethics can be seen on the ILEA web site.

CC. Why do you think the “cyberworld” topic is important to law enforcement?

DC. While law enforcement executives wrestle with a plethora of dynamic and rapidly-changing matters in leading their organizations, one particular area of current concern is that of information technology, electronic communication, social networks, and a range of associated legal and human resources questions.  For leaders, these relatively-new but pervasive issues present a number of complicated questions … what are the limits on free speech in cyberspace?  Can agencies take advantage of social networks to make their communities safer?  Selecting the theme of “Leadership in a Cyber World” for this year’s conference will provide an opportunity for participants to examine and discuss a range of “hot” and timely topics under one common umbrella.

CC. Who should attend? Since it’s “Leadership in…..” is it just for law enforcement managers?

DC. Not at all.  Though law enforcement leaders and executives comprise the core constituency of the Institute for Law Enforcement Administration, the Contemporary Issues Conference regularly attracts academics, public sector IT professionals, human resources professionals, governmental risk managers and legal department staff.

What will they learn?

DC. Over the course of this two and one-half day event, attendees will hear from a variety of speakers with expertise in each of the areas outlined in the conference program.  In doing so, participants will have a chance to engage in dialogue about topics that may be of emerging interest to them and their agencies, to have their questions answered, and to learn from one another.  And given the fact that several of the topic areas are especially fraught with potential legal, budgetary and personnel challenges, it will be especially useful for those in attendance to hear from leaders and other specialists about the ways they can move their agencies forward while avoiding problems and pitfalls experienced by others.

CC. Who are some of your speakers and how did you select them?

DC. We are very excited about the program we have assembled for the conference this year, and especially about the faculty we are bringing together to talk to these issues.  As we go about designing and staffing a program of this sort, we have the good fortune to be able to call upon a number of law enforcement leaders, our advisory board and our alumni association for assistance. When it comes to identifying faculty, we reach out to individuals who are well-known for their accomplishments in a given area, and who are skilled at speaking before an audience such as ours.  The lineup of presenters at the Contemporary Issues Conference can be seen at the conference website.