11 July 2024

University President Peter Kilpatrick and Metropolitan Police Department Chief Pamela A. Smith led a gathering of regional security leaders on July 9 inside Heritage Hall. (Catholic University/Patrick G. Ryan)

The Greater Washington Board of Trade, the Greater Washington Partnership, the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments and the Consortium of Universities of the Washington Metropolitan Area came together on July 9 as the Potomac Conference to relaunch and revitalize a longstanding public-private partnership that addresses significant challenges and opportunities for DC region.

More than 150 law enforcement, nonprofit, education, government and business leaders from across the metropolitan area gathered in Heritage Hall for cross-sector dialogue and further collaboration on regional strategies for public safety challenges. The Catholic University of America was at the center of that discussion and served as host sponsor of the event, the latest example of the university’s integral role in thought leadership and planning for the future of Washington, DC. , President Kilpatrick said the university has a natural interest in the overall safety of communities across the region.

“Our gathering here today underscores the importance of public-private partnerships to ensure a safe and secure environment for our community,” he said. “Through these collaborative efforts, we can effectively address the significant challenges and opportunities facing our region. At Catholic University, we strive to foster a peaceful community, for after all, blessed are the peacemakers.”

President Kilpatrick participated in a panel discussion with Metropolitan Police Department Chief Pamela A. Smith and praised the collaboration between the university and law enforcement. He hopes that more bonds were created at the meeting at the university – the most important factor is communication and dialogue.

“This is perhaps the first step in many years where a very significant cross-section of both the public and private sectors in the greater region has come together to talk about public safety,” he said. “But we need to do this more often.”

Watch a replay of the meeting below.