The Major Cities Chiefs (MCC) is a professional organization of police executives representing the largest cities in the United States and Canada. The MCC provides a unique forum for urban police, sheriffs and other law enforcement chief executives to discuss common problems, to share information and problem-solving strategies. MCC articulates the public safety needs of large cities in the formulation of criminal justice policy.
Crime is a national concern that affects every community in every region of the United States and Canada. Crime, however, takes its heaviest toll on the largest urban communities. In the United States, major cities account for nearly 20 percent of the nations population, but more than one-quarter of reported index crimes and more than 37 percent of all reported violent offenses.
Recognizing the unique public safety challenges of large cities, a small group of chiefs of police from these jurisdictions began meeting on a regular basis in the late 1960s. Their purpose was to discuss mutual problems and to exchange solutions for addressing those problems.
From these early and largely informal discussions cam a more structured organization of large city police executives. Thus, the Major Cities Chiefs Association was created. Over the years, the organization has grown both in size of its membership and the breadth of its programs. Today, the MCC includes the chief law enforcement executives of 63 of the largest urban areas in the United States and the 7 largest cities in Canada. Members of the Major Cities Chiefs serve approximately one-fifth of the United States and Canadian population.
While the purpose of the MCC remains much the same as it has always beento discuss mutual issues and to exchange new crime-fighting strategiesthe Major Cities Chiefs involvement in executive training, research, and criminal justice policy development continues to grow.
Membership in the Major Cities Chiefs is designed to reflect the public safety needs and unique crime problems of the largest policing agencies in the United States and Canada. Police executives who meet one of the following criteria are eligible for membership:
- "Major cities" means (a) the largest 50 cities in the United States based on population as determined by the latest annual census update, and (b) the largest 7 cities in Canada based on population as determined by the latest annual census update.
- "Major metropolitan areas" means those metropolitan areas with a residential population of at least 1.5 million, and whose largest law enforcement agency is comprised of at least 1,000 sworn law enforcement officers.
From an initial membership of approximately 20, the Major Cities Chiefs now include 63 members from the United States and 7 from the Canadian provinces. Each member pays annual dues that cover the registration at the three conferences held throughout the year.
Members of the Major Cities Chiefs select a Chair and two Vice Chairs. The Chair, in turn appoints a Secretary/Treasurer/Conference Director.
A small staff supports the work of the Major Cities Chiefs. The head of the Federal Bureau of Investigations National Executive Institute Program is the Major Cities Chiefs training officer. He is responsible for the executive training component of the organizations agenda. Legislative liaison and information policy work is provided by staff members of one of the MCC departments. The Program Chairman and an unpaid staff provide the meeting arrangements and answers the needs of the members. Further support is provided by the department staff of the Chair, the Secretary/Treasurer and host chiefs.
The Major Cities Chiefs meet three times a year. Meetings are restricted to member chiefs and one deputy and selected staff. The president can approve representatives from a company or corporation that sponsors meeting events. If the Major Cities Chiefs go into an Executive Session, only voting members and those designated by the chair can attend.
The winter meeting is held for (2) two days each February, in the city of one of the MCC member. The Host Chief assumes responsibility for determining the dates of the meeting in February. The Host Chief must also coordinate meeting sites, hotel accommodations and registration area and transportation.
The Major Cities Chiefs meet two days each summer. The summer meeting is held in Sun Valley, Idaho, the second week in June. It is concurrent with the annual retraining program of the National Executive Institute Associates. The entire week is devoted to the two programs.
Most Major Cities Chiefs are graduates of the FBI National Executive Institute and also attend the three-day executive training program.
Each fall, normally in the month of October, the MCC meet two days immediately prior to the annual conference of the International Association of Chiefs of Police. Most, if not all, members of the Major Cities Chiefs are also members of the IACP, and attend the annual conference.
An important focus of the Major Cities Chiefs is executive training for its members. Through the organizations regular meetings and its relationship with the National Executive Institute and the IACP, members of the Major Cities Chiefs receive up-to-date information on the latest topics in the fields of policing, executive leadership and criminal justice legislation.
In addition, the Major Cities Chiefs conduct specialized training programs on an occasional basis. These programs cover critical issues in personnel employment, organizational management and related disciplines.
The Major Cities Chiefs, in conjunction with the FBI, the National Executive Institute and other criminal justice organizations, conduct occasional studies on issues of national concern. Homeland Security, Youth Violence and Identity Theft are among the recent topics the MCC has studied. In addition, a Human Resources Subcommittee annual studies have included the impact of the Americans with Disabilities Act and Recruitment and Hiring. Other MCC sub committees are Budget Directors, Narcotic Commanders, Legal Advisors and Internal Affairs directors.
Copies of all research reports are made available free of charge to members of the Major Cities Chiefs. Information is also shared with other police agencies and researchers to improve their understanding of the crime problems facing large cities. Some research findings are available to the general public on the MCC website.
With the issue of crime taking on added prominence at the federal, state and local levels, the debate over criminal justice policy issues has grown more intense and complex. To ensure the needs and concerns of urban police agencies are considered, the Major Cities Chiefs monitor legislative trends and take positions on specific legislation. The MCC is a member of the Law Enforcement Steering Committee, a multi-agency group that advocates law enforcement in the legislative processes. MCC is also represented on the Criminal Justice Information Systems (CJIS) Policy Board, which monitors issues such as police communications and statistical reporting. The MCC also maintains a liaison to the Executive Board of the International Association of Chiefs of Police.