WASHINGTON - Maj. Gen. A.C. Roper, commanding general of the 80th Training Command, participated in the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives 40th Anniversary Training Conference and Exhibition held in the District of Columbia July 16-20, 2016.

In his welcoming remarks during the CEO symposium, Roper told the audience that the Army Reserve, like law enforcement, transitions young men and women through development, mentorship and leadership. He said, both organizations instill values into these young professionals and entrust them to perform a public service for a cause that is greater than themselves.

"Whether it's the Army uniform or the police uniform, the bottom line is we have to be ready," said Roper, who as a civilian, is the Birmingham, Ala., police chief with more than 30 years of law enforcement experience. "Readiness is our core competency, we have to be ready for whatever faces our communities and our nation. Our public deserves it and leaders have to demand it."

"The Army Reserve has helped me throughout my life," he added. "The skills, leadership training, mentoring and the opportunities that the Army provided, helps me every day as I lead the largest police department in the state of Alabama."

A key topic of discussion during the NOBLE conference focused on the importance of community engagement. The Army Reserve is a community-based force structure that provides high quality individuals equipped with training and education that serve in many agencies like those represented here at the NOBLE conference.

During his participation in panels and engagements with many of the influential professionals attending the Noble conference, Roper emphasized the importance of community partnerships to include partnering with the Army Reserve.

"It's critically important that the organizations here are aware of our private public partnership office better known as P3O," said Roper.

The Army Reserve has an office dedicated to private public partnerships that focuses on fostering long-term partnerships with companies, corporations, foundations, academia, and non-governmental organizations to increase Leader and Unit readiness, as well as, enhancing Individual Soldier physical, emotional, financial and employment readiness.

For 40 years, NOBLE executives have assembled law enforcement professionals to discuss important topics in diversity, and community engagement to address the challenges that accompany efforts to ensure equity in the administration of justice. This year's event brought together law enforcement executives who operate at the cross-section of some of the most important conversations taking place across the country. It also provided a platform where law enforcement executives from around the country can come together to offer a diverse variety of perspectives that can often bridge divides between the community and law enforcement.

Dwayne A. Crawford, executive director, National Headquarters of the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives, said the Citizen Soldier's attendance and participation at the conference highlighted the impact that individuals like Roper can make in driving conversation and keeping communities secure.