Welcome to San Diego - IACP 2012

    The 119th annual International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) Conference will be held at the San Diego Convention Center on Sept. 29 – Oct. 3, 2012. The IACP is the world’s oldest and largest nonprofit membership organization of police executives, with over 20,000 members in over 100 different countries. IACP’s leadership consists of the operating chief executives of international, federal, state and local agencies of all sizes.

    Since its formation in 1893, IACP has met annually to share insight, learn about promising practices, and discuss up-and-coming technology. With renowned keynote speakers and the largest exhibit hall of products and services in the law enforcement community, leaders from around the globe come together at the IACP Annual Conference to foster a continuing exchange of information and experience. 

    The over 200 education and workshop sessions offered to this year’s attendees are presented by law enforcement executives covering current issues and trends, and sharing lessons learned.  Topics from past conferences have included strategies for leading change in police culture, how to survive a vote of no-confidence, online learning and operational support, violent crime, use-of-force issues, training, and case studies. 

    IACP 2012’s Opening Ceremony will be held on Saturday, Sept. 29 and will feature a colorful display of police ceremonial pageantry and keynote addresses. This year’s Special Events include a coastal to mountain motorcycle ride benefiting the San Diego Police Foundation, a charity golf event sponsored by Motorola Solutions, and the IACP’s Host Chief’s Night Block Party in the historic Gaslamp Quarter of San Diego.

San Diego Police Department

    The City of San Diego has a population of 1.38 million, making it the second largest city in California and the eighth largest city in the United States. Established in 1889, the San Diego Police Department (SDPD) divides its neighborhoods into nine geographical divisions. William M. Lansdowne has been SDPD Chief of Police since 2003. A graduate of the FBI National Academy, Chief Lansdowne has served on a variety of state and national boards, including the Major Cities Chiefs and the National Conference for Community and Justice. Taking a community oriented approach to policing, the department has initiated a number of programs that include Neighborhood Watch, Citizen’s Patrol groups, Safe Streets NOW!, and the Drug Abatement Response Team (DART). 

Tourist Attractions

    Bordered by the Pacific Ocean to the west, the Laguna Mountains to the east, and Mexico to the south, San Diego enjoys beautiful weather all year, with an average daily temperature of 70.5º F.  In addition to 70 miles of pristine coastline, the city offers an eclectic mix of arts and culture, and an endless number of world-renowned sights and attractions. 

    One of San Diego’s most popular attractions is the San Diego Zoo, home to 4,000 animals of 800 rare and exotic species, and the beloved giant pandas. The zoo is a 100-acre tropical oasis in the middle of Balboa Park, the nation’s largest urban cultural park. Another favorite destination, SeaWorld San Diego, has something for everyone to enjoy, from rides to exhibits and, of course, the world-famous Shamu show. 

    Enjoy a fun-filled day at Embarcadero, a long stretch of downtown bayfront, visiting the USS Midway Museum, taking a one- or two-hour boat tour of beautiful San Diego Bay, or picnicking at Embarcadero Marina Park. Old Town Trolley Tours of San Diego offer an entertaining tour of the city’s top tourist spots, such as Balboa Park, Seaport Village and Westfield Horton Plaza.

    Discover the more than 100 diverse neighborhoods of San Diego, each offering its own colorful and unique personality, from the Victorian charm of the Gaslamp Quarter to the lively Hispanic culture of Barrio Logan. The urban revitalization of the East Village began in 2004 with the opening of PETCO Park, and is now a mecca of luxury hotels, fine dining, boutique shops, and live music venues. Located in downtown San Diego, Little Italy is a quaint and lively neighborhood with outdoor patio cafes, restaurants, art galleries, and beautiful Amici Park. 

    Known as the “Jewell of San Diego,” La Jolla is one of the most popular vacation spots in Southern California. This Mediterranean-style village boasts historic hotels, world-class arts and culture, eclectic dining, spectacular beaches, and a host of up-scale boutiques and specialty shops. Take the ferry to Coronado and walk the city’s charming main thoroughfare, Orange Avenue, recipient of the Great American Main Street Award in 2000. Visit the famous Hotel del Coronado, a National Historic Landmark, or spend the afternoon at Coronado Beach, ranked as the #2 of “America’s Top 10 Beaches” by the Travel Channel.

    In between attending the numerous seminars, workshops and special events hosted by IACP 2012, take some time to enjoy the beaches, neighborhoods and attractions that make San Diego one of the nation’s most sought-after vacation destinations.

Susan Geoghegan is a freelance writer living in Naples, Fla. She can be reached at sgeofl@embarqmail.com.

Published in Law and Order, Sep 2012

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