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Hundreds of police chiefs train in Palm Springs

Published On: Feb 25 2013 07:58:55 PM CST   Updated On: Feb 26 2013 01:22:32 AM CST

Hundreds of police chiefs from all over California are in the Coachella Valley for the 36th Annual CPCA Training Symposium.

The California Police Chief's Association gathers every year to learn from one another.  This year the conference is in Palm Springs.

"It makes us all better when we see others doing better," said Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca
Sheriff Baca honored three police departments for their exemplary work in community policing.

"We are in that generation of policing where we don't do anything alone; it's from cooperation from others," said Baca.

It's that cooperation that the CPCA hopes will make our communities safer.

"This training symposium offers chiefs the chance to get together to talk about the challenges in police work and basically problem-solve and network and come away with ideas that will help us all keep our communities safe," said Palm Springs Police Chief Al Franz.

From budget challenges to the latest in law-enforcement technology, this week long training conference aims to help improve policing in the state.

"We share best practices.  We also share how we can shape cultures, police cultures, to do better things and be more responsive and not look at things just from the standpoint of 'well we just can't do that ,we don't have enough resources,'" said Baca.

This conference is less than two weeks after ex-cop Christopher Dorner sought revenge on all of law enforcement.  Ultimately it was the cooperation of multiple agencies that ended the crisis, and it's events like this one that local chiefs say help make that possible.

"The more we can talk about it and plan for it in advance and anticipate the need, the more it comes readily," said Scott Seaman, president CPCA.

"It's good to have the collective experience of all the chiefs here so we can share the lessons earned," said Riverside Police Chief Sergio Diaz.

Chief Diaz says losing an officer is not easy, but the support he is getting from this conference is certainly helping.

"For me personally, it's been very touching to get so much support from the community, not only our own community in Riverside, but throughout the country really.  We've had so many expressions of condolences and sympathies and it really makes a difference.  It's really gratifying to see the efforts of our employees don't go unnoticed," said Chief Diaz.

It's support that was also shown to the families of the California officers killed in 2012. Two officers were remembered during a moving ceremony.

"You always have to remember those that paid the ultimate sacrifice.  We will never forget them and we will never forget their families," said Chief Franz.

It's the reminder of those who have given that ultimate sacrifice that motivates these police chiefs to look for ways to improve, because one officer killed is one too many.