California Police Chief- Fall 2013 CPCA_2019_Spring Magazine- FINAL - Page 27

In the Central Valley city of Modesto, California there is a small group of officers that work a different beat. To prepare for this beat these men check their headsets and microphones. Once a week these officers work a beat that has no borders or boundaries, this beat is only limited by the ability of a radio wave sending a signal out for all to hear. Their goal is to share law enforcement with their community and help those within the sound of their voice understand what it is like to be behind the badge. For the past six years the Modesto Police Department has been using an innovative way to reach their community. Their weekly radio show, Behind the Badge has been on the air since 2012. The idea behind the show is not simply community policing. It is much more than that. It gives the listener a rare opportunity to hear from local law enforcement on important topics about the community and public safety. It truly takes listeners “On the front lines and behind the scenes” of Law Enforcement. The Behind the Badge radio show reaches listeners regionally in the Central Valley, but is available across the globe through iHeart Media. Departments across the US have the opportunity to tell people their story through social media, their PIO office, or even local media. The difference with Behind the Badge is the hosts are able to personalize all aspects of law enforcement and public safety. Each week the show covers regional law enforcement topics, but the topics can really be dissected and humanized. It is not just about providing safety tips to the listeners, it is about debriefing a mass shooting, or talking about how the death of an officer is affecting the agency. The hosts of the show don’t just talk, they also listen. Each week listeners are able to connect to the live show by texting in questions, or asking live on the air questions as well. While most listeners are supportive of law enforcement, some question what we do and that gives the show an opportunity to respond with factual information. Behind the Badge is not just static to the studio either. They have recorded their show out in the community and events such as the Stanislaus County Peace Officer Memorial Run, or a Safety Fair in Stockton. This gives the listeners an opportunity to see the hosts in action, but also learn more about events going on within the community. The show focuses on being A-Political, while also not holding back on what is important. Recently the show hosted a Sheriff’s candidate forum for the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s race. It was not a debate, but an opportunity for each candidate to be asked what their stance was on certain issues. The goal was to educate the public, and helped them to make an informed decision when it came time to vote. The show spends time also focuses on the challenges facing law enforcement. Behind the Badge was able to host an interview CPCA President Chief Ron Lawrence to talk about upcoming crucial legislation that could affect law enforcement. This was another opportunity for listeners to be educated on the things affecting them and their local law enforcement in California. Behind the Badge can be heard in the Central Valley every Saturday at 11am on KFIV 1360am and everywhere else on iHeart Radio. @BehindtheBadgeRadio  ■ SPRING 2019 | California Police Chief 27