Below is a copy of our article published in PoliceOne Magazine.
Coptics: The optics of policing in the digital age
Police departments should integrate digital tools like video clips, digital marketing and social media to build their brand.
By Florence Chung, Bill Carmody, Matthew Horace and Shannon Wilkinson
op·tics (n) (typically in a political context) the way in which an event or course of action is perceived by the public
Many people believe our nation’s law enforcement profession is going through a PR crisis. Visual content in the form of video clips have taken center stage over the last few years, with great power to shape public perception about police operations.
In this digital age, a short video has tremendous impact and influence. While videos of police use-of-force incidents play out on the evening news, countless stories of police officers helping their communities remain unseen.
A negative video clip presents a more intense story, regardless of the circumstances surrounding the incident. Such videos give rise to emotional responses and rapid judgments before all necessary pieces of information are in place and investigations completed.
This reality poses a challenge for law enforcement in building trust with their communities. Over the years, law enforcement circles have convened forums and various community relations programs addressing public trust, but such programs have not significantly improved public perception of police. It is important that police leadership address the optics of the issue.
THE CHALLENGES OF POLICING IN THE DIGITAL AGE
Law enforcement must rise to meet the new challenges brought forth by the optics of policing in the digital age. By increasing their own digital media engagement, they will have a voice in contributing to the national narrative.
Police departments need to take a cue from the business world and integrate digital tools like video clips, digital marketing and social media to build their organization’s brand. Digital marketing, branding, reputation management, PR and social media engagement are priorities in the private sector, and considered necessary to the success of a company and its customer relationships. Police departments can adopt these practices as well.
Negative portrayals of police officers overload the digital realm. Police departments must consistently present their communities with factual narratives about the work police officers do every day. Data is an important tool for conveying the thousands of commendable moments of officers doing their job right. Data can compete for attention and influence with a lurid 30-second video clip by using compelling digital storytelling techniques. To generate the most impact, police departments must present data and positive stories via video – not just written text – on the social media platforms that are capturing people’s attention today.
DIGITAL MEDIA INITIATIVES CAN IMPROVE POLICE ENGAGEMENT WITH THE COMMUNITY
The good news is that such initiatives do not need to stress police department budgets. Police agencies can use free digital platforms to engage their customers (the community). However, police departments must advance their digital and social media literacy.
Law enforcement agencies have not traditionally devoted resources to building their agency’s brand and many are not engaged in proactive and strategic communications, as they have historically been more reactive. Many police departments’ engagement with social media is basic, at best, which leaves them at a disadvantage when working with and serving a digital and social media-savvy public.
For those police departments that have adopted the use of Twitter and Facebook, are you using these platforms effectively? Are your efforts helping to secure community support or are you posting simply for the sake of posting? Police departments can be more active on the digital and social media scene, as the environment provides incredibly honest opportunities to learn what the community needs and what they are thinking. Today’s culture requires police agencies to take their social media engagement a step further and use it to build an agency’s brand. Branding matters for companies, and even nonprofit organizations. We are now in an environment where it matters for police departments as well.
BE PROACTIVE BEFORE A CRISIS HITS
The digital age has added many challenges to the already complex work police officers do. Law enforcement executives who integrate principles of branding, reputation management and strategic social media engagement into their communications and community relations practices may have more success connecting with their constituents and shaping their public image.
The time to do all of this is before a crisis hits a police department, not in response to an embarrassing or controversial incident. By building ongoing community relations ahead of time via digital tools and social media, a police department’s voice and reputation will be firmly established prior to any crisis occurring. A positive brand, built proactively and authentically using digital media tools, will make a difference in connecting with the community during crises. This approach has worked for many Fortune 500 companies, and is one way police departments can be proactive in rising to the challenge of what we term “coptics,” the optics of policing in the digital age.
In 2016, the Redondo Beach (Calif.) Police Department launched an Instagram account with posts reflecting the department’s brand. That account currently reaches almost 10,000 people. The department adds humor to its content, and features professionally produced video content, paying special attention to humanizing the officers behind the badge.
About the Authors
Florence Chung is the CEO of The Hetty Group. She leads a strategy firm with a special focus on advancing police-community relations and community engagement. She served as a board member of the New York City Police Foundation and the Los Angeles Police Foundation, and has advised and developed many law enforcement-based nonprofit organizations such as the Federal Enforcement Homeland Security Foundation, Torrance Police Foundation, Redondo Beach Police Foundation, San Jose Police Foundation, Los Angeles Regional Crime Stoppers and the LiveKind Cops & Kids Program.
Matthew Horace is a law enforcement and security analyst and commentator on CNN, MSNBC, CBS and FOX. He is a security executive and a professor teaching crisis communications at the Fairleigh Dickinson University School of Criminal Justice and a 28-year veteran of local, state and federal law enforcement.
Bill Carmody is CEO of Trepoint/Digital Marketing Veteran. He has 20+ years in digital marketing, creating digital campaigns and strategies for top Fortune 500 companies like AT&T, Citibank, Hewlett Packard, Microsoft and Samsung. Bill is a regular contributor to Inc. Magazine.
Shannon Wilkinson is CEO of Reputation Communications Inc.She is an online reputation management expert working with CEOs, C-suite executives and professionals in a range of industries. She has advised law enforcement in all aspects of online reputation building practices. She is a regular contributor to the Wall Street Journal’s Crisis of the Week column and her expertise featured in The National Cybersecurity Journal.
The Hetty Group was proud to partner with Police Chief Keith Kauffman to build and launch the Redondo Beach Police Foundation in October 2016. One of the first projects the Foundation funded was an innovative initiative led by the Redondo Beach Police Department to place an advanced emergency safety kit (a trauma kit) in every classroom in every school in the city of Redondo Beach.
Why is this important? It’s not something parents of children want to think about, but with active shooters and crisis situations happening more frequently across the country in our schools, Police Chief Kauffman wanted to ensure our school teachers and administrators were trained on life saving techniques, with life saving equipment readily available in a backpack in every classroom.
The LA Kings and the Kings Care Foundation committed to sponsoring the program as a partner to the Police Foundation and we are proud to share that the project has kicked off, and the training and kit program will roll out this year in 2017!
Hetty Group’s Taulene Kagan worked directly with the LA Kings to coordinate the effort. Here are some photos from two fundraising efforts by the LA Kings to help fund the Classroom Emergency Safety Kit Program.
Imagine responding to a domestic violence call with a highly unstable and violent man in the house or conducting a high risk traffic stop after learning of an armed robbery suspect. What kind of split second decisions do police officers need to make? What does their training guide them to do? How are K-9 police dogs trained and what do they do to assist officers?
Members of the community were invited to participate in TRAINING DAY with the Redondo Beach Police Department, hosted by the Redondo Beach Police Foundation on a sunny Saturday morning. After all guests were sworn in as “honorary police officers for a day” by the Police Chief, they were taken through a series of training exercises alongside police and SWAT officers.
Special guest Luc Robitaille, President of the LA Kings hockey team, joined the group in experiencing intense video simulated scenarios with laser guns in a firearms training exercise that tested judgement and response time to highly unpredictable situations. Shoot or don’t shoot, was the judgement call everyone had to make in complicated, rapidly evolving situations. Everyone walked away with an increased sense of appreciation for the danger and difficult decisions police officers face everyday on the job.
Drones are now being integrated as investigative tools for police, and guests had an opportunity to fly the drones to aid officers in following a suspect on the run. From wearing a protective suit to help train a police dog with his attack and biting tactics, to wearing SWAT gear and throwing a flash bang to detain a violent felony suspect in a simulated scenario, guests experienced a one-of-a-kind day with the men and women of the Redondo Beach Police Department.
“TRAINING DAY” was designed to give community members an opportunity to get to know the people behind the badge, learn what police work entails, ask questions, and gain an appreciation for those who wear the uniform.
The Hetty Group was proud to be a part of organizing this unique event for the Police Foundation and the community.
The Hetty Group hosted a networking event in our office to introduce ourselves to the Los Angeles market, help facilitate connections through networking and share insights into the habits of highly successful people through an inspirational talk, given by Lewis Schiff, a successful serial entrepreneur and author of Business Brilliant: Surprising Lessons from the Greatest Self-Made Business Icons.
"One habit of highly successful people is FOCUS. Find the one thing you’re really good at (that the market demands) and focus on doing that, really well."
After the talk, guests enjoyed wine and cheese, light bites by rising star Puerto Rican chef Jose Miura of The Ricans Food and premium tequila tasting, offered by Asombroso Tequila on our outdoor terrace.
We were happy to bring people across various industries together to connect and engage.
AGING INTO THE FUTURE – Transforming Lives through Tech & Innovation.
SOLD OUT! We planned for an intimate group of 150-200 people and ended up with 350 people and a long wait list. We didn’t know the demand would be so high for our cause. Now we know that the LA market is prime for the exploration and integration of tech solutions in services for older adults.
We had speakers & Co-Creation session presenters from Atlanta, Washington DC, Colorado, San Francisco, San Diego, and of course greater Los Angeles, for an action packed day of learning and networking.
We helped support the work of tech entrepreneurs and Caltech engineering students who are bringing tech based solutions and innovations like virtual reality, advanced wheelchairs & walkers, nutrition supporting smartplate technology, artificial intelligence driven caregiving assistants, automated medication dispensers, therapeutic sound technology systems, etc. to the older adult community.
We had a young “professional grandson” demo his Uber & Lyft ride hailing tech company designed for seniors who don’t own smartphones.
We had Musical Health Technologies lead the conference audience through a sing along (way beyond karaoke) to demonstrate their product SingFit, which helps seniors in retirement communities and senior centers connect socially and promotes engagement.
With 21 speakers and 14 tech companies participating in our Co-Creation Exercise, we covered a lot of ground in one day. As an inaugural conference, our goal was to launch a dialogue about the importance of integrating tech based solutions in the services we offer older adults in our communities and close the digital divide. This is just the beginning.
Check out www.AgingIntoTheFuture.com for photos, video highlights and future updates.
We’ll be back March 2018 to bring you even more opportunities to explore, connect, learn and integrate.
What will the lives of older adults/seniors look like in the future and what role does technology play in shaping that future?
AGING INTO THE FUTURE is LA’s first tech + aging conference, coming to you mid-February, 2017.
The Hetty Group was brought in by St. Barnabas Senior Services (SBSS), one of the leading nonprofit organizations in Southern California serving older adults, to take lead in creating, designing, developing and implementing a one-day conference to connect tech + innovation and older adults — our parents and grandparents.
Los Angeles County alone is on track to reach 2.1 million older adults (age 65+) by 2040, which will be over 20% of the population. It is a great time to explore new technologies, cutting-edge solutions and market insights for this emerging target market. The AGING INTO THE FUTURE conference intends to provide opportunities for networking and education, and redefine the way leaders from various sectors integrate tech-based solutions to resolve challenges to create a stronger quality of life for older adults.
Sponsorship and partnership opportunities are available. Please visit: www.AgingintotheFuture.com.
The Hetty Group’s COPTICS Program Experts delivered a 2-hour training workshop at the National Asian Peace Officers Association’s (NAPOA) Annual Training Conference in New York City on August 18, 2016. The NAPOA conference drew law enforcement officials across the country, representing local police departments like LAPD, San Francisco PD, NYPD and Chicago PD, as well as federal agencies like the U.S. Secret Service, Federal Air Marshals, U.S. Postal Service Investigations and the U.S. Treasury Criminal Investigations team.
The topic? How to have a stronger voice on digital platforms to tell your story, build and protect your reputation and better connect with a digitally and social media savvy public, to rise to the challenges posed by the optics of policing in the digital age — what we call, COPTICS.
Thank you, NAPOA for the warm welcome and for your openness to exploring these topics as a way to improve policing and police-community relations.
The Hetty Group’s COPTICS program was recently discussed in an article in the Wall Street Journal by an editor/reporter that covers risk and compliance in the business world. Reputational risk is something that companies pay serious attention to. Losing consumer or public confidence for a company impacts the bottom line and it matters on a variety of critical levels. Teams of professionals are put in place to manage crisis, do crisis communications, and more importantly, prevent crisis and proactively build positive brand reputation and good will in the marketplace to win over the public’s trust and confidence in their company, product, or service.
The same needs to occur for law enforcement organizations. On July 31, 2016, the Wall Street Journal reported that “Citizen confidence in the police is at its lowest point in 20 years. It has dropped among Americans of all ages, education levels, incomes and races.”
It’s time for law enforcement agencies to integrate practices likes PR, reputation management, digital marketing, brand development and social media engagement in day-to-day police operations in order to engage effectively with a digitally and social media savvy public.
Our multi-disciplinary team of COPTICS experts came together to formulate a training workshop to help law enforcement across the country to meet the risks and challenges presented by the optics of policing in the digital age. We welcome the opportunity to work with police agencies nationwide and aim to assist the law enforcement profession in telling their story and winning back the trust and confidence of the public they pledged to serve.
Below is the the Wall Street Journal article that was published about our new initiative.
“Business Offers Blueprint to Improve Law Enforcement Optics,”
By Ben DiPietro
"A group of reputation-management experts has banded together to create a program to help law enforcement agencies better manage their social media engagement and improve their perceptions with people and within communities. The so-called “Coptics” program developed by the Hetty Group draws from best practices employed by large companies that already have seen the value in being active members of social media to tell their stories and address issues that if not handled properly could blow up into big controversies, said Florence Chung, founder of the Hetty Group. “We believe that if you aren’t telling your story, the world will,” said Ms. Chung. “And the world often doesn’t know the facts.”
Members of the West Village business community in Manhattan/NYC were invited inside the NYPD’s 6th Precinct for a special tour and meet & greet with the Captain and several officers. It was an opportunity for business owners in the neighborhood to catch a glimpse of police operations and meet a few of the individuals in uniform who work to keep their community safe.
The 6th Precinct houses the city’s Bomb Squad, including this K-9, who was the sweetest police dog around – very people friendly. With a nose trained to pick up 16 different scents related to explosives, this K9 officer works hard to keep New Yorkers safe!
This Annual NYPD Precinct Tour program was created by the Greenwich Village Chelsea Chamber of Commerce, with leadership and support from Florence Chung of The Hetty Group and in partnership with the NYC Police Foundation. Connecting business leaders to their local law enforcement helps build mutual understanding, community partnerships and a stronger, safer neighborhood. Thank you to the NYPD 6th Precinct for the warm welcome inside your “home” and for all that you do to protect, safeguard, respond to emergencies, and work a very complex job.
Global Terrorism…How safe are we in Los Angeles? That was the question posed to law enforcement officials on a panel on counterterrorism, represented by the Airport Police from LAX (Los Angeles World Airports), the Department of Homeland Security Intelligence Office, the Sheriff of Los Angeles County and the Department of Homeland Security National Center for Risk and Economic Analysis of Terrorist Events (CREATE).
Experts discussed the rise of homegrown violent extremism, the various ways in which people are self radicalizing, what to look out for as citizens and what our various law enforcement agencies are doing to prepare and plan for potential terrorist events in the greater Los Angeles region. The special briefing event was hosted by the Southern California Leadership Network (a program of the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce) and was moderated by The Hetty Group’s Florence Chung.
The Hetty Group is continuing to engage the community with law enforcement to foster collaboration, information sharing, trust and partnership.
The Hetty Group is proud to partner with the Chief of Police, Mayor and business leaders in the city of Torrance and lead the build out of a new nonprofit organization to engage the business community in supporting public safety. The Torrance Police Foundation provides critical resources and support to the Torrance Police Department to ensure the men and women in blue can perform at their highest level of service in keeping the community safe. Grants are issued to support advanced officer training, modern equipment & technology, community relations programs, youth programs, and crime prevention initiatives that are not readily funded by the city budget.
Learn more at www.TorrancePoliceFoundation.org.
Hetty Group CEO Florence Chung with the initial slate of board members of the Torrance Police Foundation, the Mayor of Torrance, the Police Chief and command staff of the Torrance Police Department.
One of the ways to support positive police – community relations is to connect local business leaders to their local police station in the spirit of public/private partnership. In New York City, Hetty Group Principal Florence Chung brought a new program to the Greenwich Chelsea Chamber of Commerce (GVCCC) to help them foster positive relationships between business owners and NYPD Precincts.
Do you know your local NYPD Precinct Commander? What goes on inside a Precinct and how does it work? What is the NYPD doing now to better serve and connect with their community? These are the questions we wanted to help answer for those who own and run businesses and companies in lower Manhattan. So…the GVCCC Safe City Safe Streets Committee will be hosting a series of NYPD Precinct Tours this year in 5 different Precincts across lower Manhattan.
The event will provide an opportunity for business owners to meet their Commanding Officer, get a tour of the Precinct and its operations, and…connect. Through this partnership with GVCCC and with support from the NYC Police Foundation, the NYPD is inviting Chamber members and other business owners inside their “house” to get to know them.
The first of 5 Tours begins June 15th in the Union Square neighborhood with the NYPD 9th Precinct.
Being an Advisor to a startup grassroots nonprofit organization is like running an experiment. The client had a vision and a heart for helping the homeless. His mission was to address the humanity behind the homeless to help them feel seen, heard, and cared for. It was our job to build out a program that would operationalize this vision and mission. “Make Someone Happy Hour” was born.
Every Thursday night, everyday people are invited to forgo their usual happy hours at the local bar and join Silver Lake Love as they take happy hour to the streets of Skid Row to hang out with the homeless. The concept was clear. We wanted to connect people living and working in the buildings of Downtown LA with people living on the streets of Downtown LA, to promote the power of organic human connection. Working out the logistics and execution of the concept took a few iterations, and we learned from each event and evolved it to create a memorable, special experience for both the homeless and the volunteers. We weren’t there to “feed the homeless”. We were there simply to connect and have conversation. The call to action: Forgo your usual happy hour and join us as we make someone else happy in that hour.
Imagine a small, intimate group of 5-8 volunteers out on Skid Row every week. From film directors to attorneys, actresses, to financial advisors to entrepreneurs — they spend one hour enjoying coffee, tea, hot chocolate, fruit and snacks while engaging in conversation with those struggling on the streets. Most of the homeless have not had a conversation all day and we found that a simple “How’s your day going?” from people they usually get ignored by, opened them up to share their stories, struggles, jokes and smiles. The message: We’re all one humanity.
One homeless man had been on the streets for 3 years and was an army vet. He seemed mentally sound and if you had seen him walk through a 7 Eleven, you wouldn’t have known he was homeless. He talked with our volunteers over a cup of coffee, opened up and became emotional, thanking us for doing what we were doing. He was incredibly appreciative of the fact that “people like us” would take the time to hang out on Skid Row every week.
We incorporated a polaroid camera into the experience and if someone requested a photo, we took two — we gave one polaroid to the homeless individual and one to the volunteer to capture their meeting and connection. It was surprising and heartwarming how much the homeless appreciated having their picture taken and given the photo to keep.
New programs often require a little experimentation. We asked for feedback from all involved, every step of the way and iterated to the point where after several months in operation, we knew the program was making impact. We have incredible stories to show for it.
May the program continue to grow and make impact, one heartwarming smile at a time.
The level of emotional honesty brought forth during a LiveKind™ Circle of Conversation™ exercise is amazing.
How do we foster authentic and candid conversation between police officers and youth in a community where tensions are high? LiveKind™ Cops & Kids brings the power of candid thoughts and emotions to video and uses video interviews as a tool to facilitate conversations between youth and police officers. A unique guided facilitation model called The Circle of Conversation™ engages both cops and kids in conversations about trust, aggression, fear, challenges, and perceptions.
The goal? To help both cops and kids discover and understand their own thoughts and feelings about sensitive and difficult topics…To facilitate mutual empathy, kindness and understanding…To shift police and neighborhood cultures toward a more positive and collaborative future
THE HETTY GROUP was proud to serve as a Program Advisor to LiveKind Cops & Kids –It launches in New Haven, Connecticut in partnership with the Mayor and Police Chief this year. We can’t wait to see this program in action!
New Partners Bring Expansive Expertise in CSR, Media, Nonprofits, Marketing and StrategyThe Hetty Group is proud to announce the addition of five new partners across multiple fields of expertise that will join Hetty Group project teams to deliver expertise in media relations, nonprofit management consulting, CSR, program development, strategy and marketing to Hetty’s diverse range of clients. With these partners, The Hetty Group offers an exciting opportunity to deliver a spectrum of resources to make a direct and strategic impact on the social good that our clients want to achieve.
New partners include Sally Printz, a seasoned marketing executive and consultant with vast experience in corporate cause marketing and strategic partnerships, with a portfolio of experience that includes the National Hockey League, Nickelodeon, and NBCUniversal.
Matthew Horace, an internationally recognized law enforcement, homeland security and leadership expert, is an accomplished and energizing motivational speaker, trainer, lecturer, leadership consultant, and recognized broadcast news contributor. Matthew provides invaluable insight to support various client projects in the law enforcement arena.
Katherine (Katie) Sparkes adds an international dimension to the partner team. Katie is the Founder of Flamingo Creative, a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) consultancy in the United Kingdom, whose corporate clients in London run global projects and campaigns that inspire action, creatively engage charitable causes, and extend impact around the world. As an experienced CSR expert with an impressive level of experience in developing international projects, we are excited to have Katie as a force multiplier on the global front for Hetty clients wishing to expand their social impact and community work beyond the United States.
Sarah Chase facilitates development, growth and visibility for clients through her knowledge of media, strategic consultancy, operations management, PR, and government relations. For more than 10 years, Sarah has worked closely with internationally recognized entrepreneurial digital start-ups, cable and satellite networks, lifestyle brands, and private entities to deliver actionable plans to increase brand and cause awareness.
Simon Khinda, Esq. serves as General Counsel for The Hetty Group and is a trusted legal adviser to Hetty clients. Simon is a Partner at Khinda Wilson LLP and focuses his law practice on international law, corporate law, civil litigation, real estate law, corporate strategy and business planning. His personal and professional commitment toward giving back and doing good makes him a valuable legal advisor to those wishing to make social impact.
The Hetty Group is proud to launch this multidisciplinary team in an effort to offer creative solutions to help our clients do good, even better.
On November 10, 2015, on the westside of Manhattan in NYC, 100+ guests gathered for cocktails in support of the Federal Enforcement Homeland Security Foundation (FEHSF). The charity fundraiser event was hosted by the newly launched FEHSF Emerging Leaders Council, a group of young leaders in NYC representing law, business, finance and fashion industries in an effort to engage millennials and the younger generation in support of Federal Law Enforcement Agents/Officers who put their lives on the line daily to protect our country from terrorism, uphold our laws, secure our borders and enable us to live our lives in freedom.
Special guests included TV journalist Chris Hansen (of Dateline NBC/To Catch a Predator) and various Federal Law Enforcement executives and agents from the FBI, ATF, DEA, U.S. Secret Service, and U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
The Hetty Group had the pleasure of organizing and producing this event, leading the Emerging Leaders Council in their first event after formation.
Florence Chung, Principal of THE HETTY GROUP serves as Executive Director of the Piacentile Family Foundation, leading the philanthropic ventures of Dr. Joseph Piacentile. The Piacentile Family Foundation (PFF) is a private foundation, dedicated to making a difference in the lives of others by building a more creative, secure, and just society. The Foundation is an expression of the Piacentile family’s commitment to social impact. PFF is honored to be able to channel its resources, its network, and give of its time and energy to support those that are making a difference in the community. PFF does not accept unsolicited grants, but engages in a thoughtful process to select programs, projects, nonprofits and causes that align with the following categories: Theatrical Arts, Social Impact, and Christian Outreach.
Learn more by visiting: www.piacentilefamilyfoundation.com.
The NYC Police Foundation is an independent nonprofit organization established by business and civic leaders to promote excellence in the NYPD and to improve public safety in NYC. The Police Foundation works directly in partnership with NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton to support programs designed to help the NYPD keep pace with rapidly evolving technology, strategies and training.
THE HETTY GROUP is proud to support the Federal Enforcement Homeland Security Foundation, with Florence Chung serving as Executive Director to manage its operations and position the organization for growth. FEHSF provides grants to Federal Law Enforcement Agents and their families nationwide, supporting them when tragically killed, seriously injured, or facing life threatening medical conditions. The Foundation’s College Education Fund also supports the children of Agents/Officers killed in the line of duty with college scholarships.
Hetty Group Principal Florence Chung served as a member of the Host Committee for the NYC Crime Stoppers Cocktail Reception in November 2014. The goal was to raise visibility for the program amongst a new circle of potential donors and supporters. We were able to engage a fresh audience of young, successful and diverse professionals for NYC Crime Stoppers. The event was held in partnership with NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton and it was a great success!
We recently had the opportunity to travel to Chicago with the Federal Enforcement Homeland Security Foundation (FEHSF) and hosted a luncheon to introduce the mission of FEHSF and establish new partnerships with leaders in charge of the Chicago offices of the FBI, U.S. Secret Service, Federal Air Marshals, U.S. Postal Inspection, and Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms & Explosives (ATF). They are great men, leading teams of Agents fighting the good fight against crime, terrorism, cyber security, fraud and drugs. We are proud to offer these leaders our friendship and the resources of FEHSF to help Federal Agents in their time of need.
The DEA Survivor’s Benefit Fund provides college education funds and financial support to family members of U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Agents killed in the line of duty. We attended their annual fundraising dinner in October, which was held in partnership with celebrity chef Mario Batali at the famous Del Posto restaurant in NYC. Highlight of the evening, other than seeing Mario Batali in his shorts and signature orange crocs? – Hearing NYPD Deputy Commissioner of Intelligence & Counterterrorism John Miller‘s keynote, describing his experience interviewing Osama Bin Laden prior to 9/11.
THE HETTY GROUP had the pleasure of partnering with NYC based LAUREUS Sport for Good Foundation USA during their recent visit to Los Angeles. We connected LAUREUS with strategic influencers and stakeholders to help them gear up for their market entry into LA. Connecting this east coast Foundation to west coast players was just an initial step in helping pave the road toward future partnership activations.
We facilitated a strategic introduction for LAUREUS Sport for Good Foundation Executive Director Matt Geschke to meet former Superbowl champion and NFL Network On-Air Analyst Willie McGinest at the studios of the NFL Network in Culver City, CA to explore the expansion of youth sports programs in Los Angeles. We also attended a wine tasting fundraising event for one of Los Angeles’ premier education based nonprofits: LA’s BEST. LAUREUS Sport for Good Foundation was the presenting sponsor in support of after school education.
These days, most of what people know about law enforcement come from media (film, TV, social media). I had an opportunity to get a glimpse of the inside, with a behind-the-scenes look at what it’s like to be an officer on the streets of Brooklyn and what it takes to be a commanding officer of a precinct within the NYPD.
We drove through the toughest neighborhoods in Brooklyn that have the 2nd highest number of shootings in the entire 5 borough area of New York. The Commanding Officer shared with us his strategy and thought process behind how to keep crime down near the public housing developments and city homeless shelters where crime is rampant. He places officers there in pairs 24/7. And then there’s technology. There are surveillance cameras on the street poles that help with investigations when bad things happen.
The most interesting part of the night was when a large group of us entered the open courtyard of an apartment housing complex notorious for fights, drugs, and gunfire. A little girl walked up to us, curious and innocently wondered what we were doing there. “We’re just touring the neighborhood,” we said. “Why? It’s trash here”, said the little girl. The officer then said, “It’s going to get better. We’re working on it. I’ve been working here for 10 years and I’ve seen it get better. Don’t worry. We’re going to make it better.”
And while we walked through the courtyard, one of the residents decided to humor us by opening their apartment window above and blaring the cop theme song “Bad Boys” on high volume. We smiled at the welcome.
Two hours after we left that neighborhood, our Commanding Officer got a call notifying him that there was a shooting there.
These are brave men and women who patrol these streets, trying their best to bring a sense of order and control while preventing and solving crime. They tell me they’re just doing their job when they toward danger.
The experience gave me a deeper appreciation for the complex job law enforcement have and gave me insight into how we at THE HETTY GROUP might be able to play a role in building positive police-community relations.
THE HETTY GROUP