Law enforcement, especially through the activities of police forces, has a crucial but largely unacknowledged role in the protection and promotion of the public health. While police are key partners in many specific public health programs, their identity generally as an important part of the public health endeavour is rarely recognised. This means that there is a generally inadequate approach to research and investigation of ways in which law enforcement, especially police, can be most effectively engaged and be most effective in carrying out their public health role.

The First International Conference on the Intersection of Law Enforcement & Public Health will be held in Melbourne 11-14 November 2012.  The themes for the Conference will include a wide range of public health areas where law enforcement, and particularly police, have a critical role to play.

Substantive themes:

  • Mental health
  • Alcohol regulation
  • Family/domestic violence, other violence prevention
  • HIV prevention
  • Harm reduction
  • Epidemic control
  • Natural or manmade disaster response/control
  • Road trauma LE/paramedic interactions
  • Acquired brain injury responses

Conceptual themes (cultures):

  • Law, law enforcement and public health
  • Development of a research agenda
  • Review of theoretical developments in studies of human security

The Director of the US Government’s Office of National Drug Control Policy, Gil Kerlikowske will be a keynote speaker at the conference. Mr. Kerlikowske coordinates all aspects of US Federal drug control programs and implementation of the President’s National Drug Control Strategy. His presentation will be entitled: "Breaking down silos: Uniting public health and law enforcement to pioneer a 21st century approach to drug policy".

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