Economic Development, Law, and Travel & Tourism

$3.7M conference a 'big step forward' in attracting diverse groups

July 10, 2014
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A national conference for a group of African-American law enforcement executives is coming to town.

NOBLE

More than 1,200 command-level officials and community leaders from local, state and federal agencies are expected to attend the Annual National Training Conference and Exhibition by the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives, or NOBLE, at DeVos Place from July 12-16.

The conference is expected to result in $3,720,416 in total business sales in the area.

Nationwide, NOBLE represents more than 3,000 members, primarily African-American chief executive officers of law enforcement agencies.

“It is an honor to host this prestigious national organization and is the direct result of the overwhelming support we received locally, regionally and statewide,” Grand Rapids Mayor George Heartwell said. “The ability to bring NOBLE to Grand Rapids is cause for community celebration, as it represents a big step forward in our efforts to attract more culturally diverse groups to the area.”

Grand Rapids has "the charm of a small town that embraces diversity,” said John Dixon III, national president, NOBLE.

“It offers the convenience of a large city and active law enforcement in a smaller community," Dixon said. "Each of these important ingredients will add to the overall body of our learning, as we delve into addressing issues that impact our local and national communities. We look forward to sharing our experiences and learning from each other to develop a better world.”

The NOBLE conference is in its 38th year.

"On the Rapids"

This year’s conference theme is “A Noble Experience on the Rapids: Law Enforcement and Community Flowing Together.”

The event will feature a wide variety of exhibitors, trainings and special events focused on issues affecting local communities across the country.

Special events will include a civil rights breakfast, women’s symposium and the NOBLE Memorial March.

A variety of session topics will be presented by leading criminal justice experts from both the government and private sector: generational differences in the workplace, emotional repercussions of law enforcement activity, leadership, human behavior and mentorship.

Community relations and youth development is an element of the conference, and NOBLE recognizes the importance of investing and immersing itself in the community that hosts its annual conference.

During the conference, more than 200 students from West Michigan will have the opportunity to speak with law enforcement, discuss potential career opportunities and tour the campuses of Grand Rapids Community College and Grand Valley State University’s downtown campus.

In addition, one local Grand Rapids Public Schools student will receive a $2,000 scholarship on behalf of NOBLE.

Memorial March

The public is also invited to participate in the NOBLE Memorial March, which is being held at 8 a.m. on July 16 at New Hope Baptist Church, at 130 Delaware Ave. SE.

The march will honor fallen officers from the past year. 

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