D.O.J. releases three-part series to guide police engagement with diverse communities

March 14, 2016

U.S. Department of Justice

The U.S. Department of Justice recently announced the release of a series of guidebooks by the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services that promote building trust between police agencies and the communities they serve. The new COPS Office publications highlight the importance of building trust.

“Establishing strong bonds of trust between law enforcement officers and the people we serve is essential to public safety, and one of the Justice Department’s top priorities,” said Attorney General Loretta Lynch. “The series of guidebooks our COPS Office has produced with the Vera Institute of Justice will give officers across the nation a new central resource, informed by deep experience in the field, for building those bonds within their communities. Resources like these have the potential to make a meaningful impact in jurisdictions from coast to coast, and I’m excited by the progress we will continue to make through all of our efforts on this critical front.”

“A lack of understanding, even subconscious bias, can make it difficult for many officers to engage with diverse populations,” said COPS Office Director Ronald Davis. “This series – produced in consultation with law enforcement officers in the field– provides a guide to addressing this issue.”

“Police Perspectives: Building Trust in a Diverse Nation” is a three-part series funded by the COPS Office. The series consists of three guidebooks: How to Increase Cultural Understanding; How to Serve Diverse Communities; and How to Support Trust Building in Your Agency.

The COPS Office partnered with the Vera Institute of Justice on this project, which aims to help law enforcement agencies and their officers engage with diverse communities in a meaningful way. Each guide offers practical field-informed strategies for building relationships of mutual trust.

The descriptions of programs and practices highlighted within each guide are intended to be a resource for officers at all levels – from patrol officers to law enforcement executives seeking to transform an agency so that it embodies community policing and facilitates real engagement and trust-building.

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