Mason Police Detectives Create Award-Winning Training Conference

Posted: August 4, 2009 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: August 4, 2009 at 8:32 am

By Dave Andrews

Dealing with a multiple homicide scenario is quite different from assessing a student threat or handling drug and alcohol offenses. Each situation requires police officers to use a distinct set of procedures.

Countless training conferences exist to teach law enforcement workers how to handle specific cases. But not until recently had a conference been created specifically for higher education law enforcement.

The fourth annual College and University Police and Investigators Conference (CUPIC), which begins today and runs through Friday, Aug. 7, was created by Mason Police Detectives Tom Bacigalupi and Patty Millan.

The detectives noticed the void of university police training conferences and developed a proposal for a conference that was more focused on the needs and concerns of university investigators and campus police officers.

Just three years after it was created, the conference received the 2009 Award for Merit from the International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators (IACLEA) for its uniqueness, quality and value.

“This conference has just exploded with popularity ever since it began,” Bacigalupi says. “The first year got off to a slow start, but as a result of the tragedy at Virginia Tech, the interest has gone through the roof.”

Attendance at the conference has increased each year and is well into the hundreds, compelling organizers to host it at a larger, off-campus location. This year, it will be held at the Fairfax Marriott.

“In just four years, CUPIC has become widely known as the go-to training conference for college and university police officers,” says Mason Chief of Police Mike Lynch.

“Chiefs all across the country have told me that their officers have requested that if they only get sent to one conference, they want to attend CUPIC. It offers the best training and the best value.”

Attendees are not just from the United States, but from around the world. Attendees in previous years have come from as far away as South Africa. A number of international officials, especially from Canada, are anticipated this year.

The conference theme each year generally follows the latest headlines. Last year, the main topic was threat assessment. This year’s agenda will be broader, covering material such as sexual assaults, computer crimes and crisis management.

The four-day event kicks off with two noteworthy keynote speakers: Gil Kerlikowske, director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy; and Marlon Lynch, president of  IACLEA.

Wednesday will feature plenary session presenter John Giduck, president of Archangel Group, a security and anti-terror training service provider.

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