NCWP 7th Annual Leadership Development Conference
Advancing Womens Leadership in Law EnforcementThe National Center for Women & Policing held its 7th annual leadership conference April 30th - May 4th, 2002 in Washington, DC. Over 300 women and men attended the conference, which was titled "Advancing Women's Leadership in Law Enforcement". Coinciding with the opening of the conference, the National Center for Women & Policing released a report titled Men, Women, and Police Excessive Force: A Tale of Two Genders.
Among the agenda's themes were discussions on increasing the numbers of women in law enforcement at all levels, career strategies for getting to the top, and new initiatives to stop violence against women. Also discussed were approaches to departmental reform to reflect the culture of equality and equal opportunity that is essential both within policing agencies and within the communities where they enforce laws.
The conference agenda included a special focus on law enforcement's role in preventing, countering and responding effectively to domestic and international terrorism or threats of terrorism. Conference participants heard from various experts on issues such as America's underground network of terrorists, chemical and biological terrorism, protecting civil liberties while fighting terrorism, and lessons the learned by local officials in Washington, DC after the attacks of September 11, 2001. In a special address, Eleanor Smeal, President of the Feminist Majority Foundation, spoke about terrorism as a threat to women's rights. Special on the agenda was a viewing of the film "Women at Ground Zero", presented by the NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund.
The conference began with an awards reception at the Women in Military Service for America Memorial at Arlington National Cemetery. Brigadier Wilma L. Vaught keynoted the reception. Thirty-nine women from law enforcement agencies throughout the U.S., Canada and Australia were honored with a Breaking the Glass Ceiling Award, which recognized them as women who had achieved a rank of commander (or equivalent) or above within their agencies. Four women were honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award to recognize their invaluable contributions to the field of law enforcement and their commitment to the advancement of women in the field.
A networking reception was held at the Australian Embassy. Toward the close of the conference, a special tribute titled "Celebrating the Contributions of Women in Law Enforcement" was held to honor women who have lost their lives in the line of duty. The tribute took place at the National Law Enforcement Officer's Memorial. The conference was wrapped up with the always-popular Evening of Comedy.