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Final Report, The Presidents Task Force on 21st Century Policing, 2015

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FINAL REPORT OF

MAY 2015

Recommended citation:
President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing. 2015. Final Report of the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing. Washington, DC: Office
of Community Oriented Policing Services.
Published 2015

CONTENTS
­­

i

­­
We wish to thank President Barack Obama for giving us the honor and privilege of leading his Task Force
on 21st Century Policing. The task force was created to strengthen community policing and trust among
law enforcement officers and the communities they serve—especially in light of recent events around
the country that have underscored the need for and importance of lasting collaborative relationships
between local police and the public. We found engaging with law enforcement officials, technical advisors, youth and community leaders, and nongovernmental organizations through a transparent public
process to be both enlightening and rewarding, and we again thank the President for this honor.
Given the urgency of these issues, the President gave the task force an initial 90 days to identify best
policing practices and offer recommendations on how those practices can promote effective crime
reduction while building public trust. In this short period, the task force conducted seven public listening sessions across the country and received testimony and recommendations from a wide range of
community and faith leaders, law enforcement officers, academics, and others to ensure its recommendations would be informed by a diverse range of voices. Such a remarkable achievement could not have
been accomplished without the tremendous assistance provided by the U.S. Department of Justice’s
Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS Office), led by Director Ronald L. Davis, who also
served as the executive director of the task force. We thank Director Davis for his leadership, as well as his
chief of staff, Melanca Clark, and the COPS Office team that supported the operation and administration
of the task force.
We also wish to extend our appreciation to the COPS Office’s extremely capable logistical and technical
assistance provider, Strategic Applications International (SAI), led by James and Colleen Copple. In addition to logistical support, SAI digested the voluminous information received from testifying witnesses
and the public in record time and helped facilitate the task force’s deliberations on recommendations for
the President. We are also grateful for the thoughtful assistance of Darrel Stephens and Stephen Rickman, our technical advisors.
Most important, we would especially like to thank the hundreds of community members, law enforcement officers and executives, associations and stakeholders, researchers and academics, and civic
leaders nationwide who stepped forward to support the efforts of the task force and to lend their
experience and expertise during the development of the recommendations contained in this report.
The passion and commitment shared by all to building strong relationships between law enforcement
and communities became a continual source of inspiration and encouragement to the task force.
The dedication of our fellow task force members and their commitment to the process of arriving at
consensus around these recommendations is also worth acknowledging. The task force members
brought diverse perspectives to the table and were able to come together to engage in meaningful
dialogue on emotionally charged issues in a respectful and effective manner. We believe the type of
constructive dialogue we have engaged in should serve as an example of the type of dialogue that
must occur in communities throughout the nation.

iii

Final Report of the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing

While much work remains to be done to address many longstanding issues and challenges—not only
within the field of law enforcement but also within the broader criminal justice system—this experience
has demonstrated to us that Americans are, by nature, problem solvers. It is our hope that the recommendations included here will meaningfully contribute to our nation’s efforts to increase trust between
law enforcement and the communities they protect and serve.
Charles H. Ramsey	
Laurie O. Robinson
Co-Chair	Co-Chair

iv

President Barack Obama joins members of the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing for a group photo in the Oval Office, March 2, 2015.	
OFFICIAL WHITE HOUSE PHOTO BY PETE SOUZA

M E M B E R S O F T H E TA S K F O R C E
Co-Chairs
Charles Ramsey, Commissioner, Philadelphia Police Department
Laurie Robinson, Professor, George Mason University

Members
Cedric L. Alexander, Deputy Chief Operating Officer for Public Safety, DeKalb County, Georgia
Jose Lopez, Lead Organizer, Make the Road New York
Tracey L. Meares, Walton Hale Hamilton Professor of Law, Yale Law School
Brittany N. Packnett, Executive Director, Teach For America, St. Louis, Missouri
Susan Lee Rahr, Executive Director, Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission
Constance Rice, Co-Director, Advancement Project
Sean Michael Smoot, Director and Chief Counsel, Police Benevolent & Protective Association of Illinois
Bryan Stevenson, Founder and Executive Director, Equal Justice Initiative
Roberto Villaseñor, Chief of Police, Tucson Police Department
v

	

PHOTO: BRANDON TRAMEL

TA S K F O R C E S TA F F
The U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Community Oriented Policing Services, led by Director Ronald
L. Davis, provided administrative services, funds, facilities, staff, equipment, and other support services as
necessary for the task force to carry out its mission:
Executive Director 	

Ronald L. Davis

Chief of Staff 	

Melanca Clark

Communications Director	

Silas Darden (Office of Justice Programs)

General Counsel	

Charlotte Grzebien

External Affairs Liaison 	

Danielle Ouellette

External Affairs Liaison 	

Sheryl Thomas

Legislative Liaison	

Shannon Long	

Project Manager	

Deborah Spence

Senior Policy Advisor	

Katherine McQuay

Site Manager	

Laurel Matthews

Special Assistant	

Michael Franko

Special Assistant	

Jennifer Rosenberger

Writer	

Janice Delaney (Office of Justice Programs)

Writer	

Faye Elkins

Strategic Applications International (SAI):1 James Copple, Colleen Copple, Jessica Drake,
Jason Drake, Steven Minson, Letitia Harmon, Anthony Coulson, Mike McCormack, Shawnee
Bigelow, Monica Palacio, and Adrienne Semidey
Technical Advisors: Stephen Rickman and Darrel Stephens
Consultant Research Assistants: Jan Hudson, Yasemin Irvin-Erickson, Katie Jares, Erin Kearns,
Belen Lowrey, and Kristina Lugo

1.	 SAI provided technical and logistical support through a cooperative agreement with the COPS Office.

vii

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
The task force received support from other components of the U.S. Department of Justice, including the
Office of Justice Programs, led by Assistant Attorney General Karol Mason, and the Civil Rights Division,
led by Acting Assistant Attorney General Vanita Gupta.
The following individuals from across the U.S. Department of Justice also assisted the task force in its
work: Eric Agner, Amin Aminfar, Pete Brien, Pamela Cammarata, Erin Canning, Ed Chung, Caitlin Currie,
Shanetta Cutlar, Melissa Fox, Shirlethia Franklin, Ann Hamilton, Najla Haywood, Esteban Hernandez,
Natalie Hopewell, Arthur Gary, Tammie Gregg, Richard Hughes, Valerie Jordan, Mark Kappelhoff, John
Kim, Kevin Lewis, Robert Listenbee, Cynthia Pappas, Scott Pestridge, Channing Phillips, Melissa Randolph,
Margaret Richardson, Janice Rodgers, Elizabeth Simpson, Jonathan Smith, Brandon Tramel, Donte Turner,
and Miriam Vogel.

ix

Final Report of the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing

Cincinnati Police Chief Jeffrey Blackwell welcomes the task force to the University of Cincinnati, January 30, 2015.	

PHOTO: DEBORAH SPENCE

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
Trust between law enforcement agencies and
the people they protect and serve is essential in a
democracy. It is key to the stability of our communities, the integrity of our criminal justice system, and
the safe and effective delivery of policing services.
In light of recent events that have exposed rifts
in the relationships between local police and the
communities they protect and serve, on December 18, 2014, President Barack Obama signed an
executive order establishing the Task Force on 21st
Century Policing. The President charged the task
force with identifying best practices and offering
recommendations on how policing practices can
promote effective crime reduction while building
public trust.
This executive summary provides an overview
of the recommendations of the task force, which
met seven times in January and February of 2015.
These listening sessions, held in Washington, D.C.;
Phoenix, Arizona; and Cincinnati, Ohio, brought
the 11 members of the task force together with
more than 100 individuals from diverse stakeholder
groups—law enforcement officers and executives,
community members, civic leaders, advocates,
researchers, academics, and others—in addition to
many others who submitted written testimony to
study the problems from all perspectives.
The task force recommendations, each with action
items, are organized around six main topic areas or
“pillars:” Building Trust and Legitimacy, Policy and
Oversight, Technology and Social Media, Community Policing and Crime Reduction, Officer Training
and Education, and Officer Safety and Wellness.
The task force also offered two overarching recommendations: the President should support the
creation of a National Crime and Justice Task Force
to examine all areas of criminal justice and pro-

pose reforms; as a corollary to this effort, the task
force also recommends that the President support
programs that take a comprehensive and inclusive
look at community-based initiatives addressing
core issues such as poverty, education, and health
and safety.

Pillar One: Building Trust
and Legitimacy
Building trust and nurturing legitimacy on both
sides of the police/citizen divide is the foundational principle underlying the nature of relations
between law enforcement agencies and the
communities they serve. Decades of research
and practice support the premise that people are
more likely to obey the law when they believe that
those who are enforcing it have authority that is
perceived as legitimate by those subject to the
authority. The public confers legitimacy only on
those whom they believe are acting in procedurally just ways. In addition, law enforcement cannot
build community trust if it is seen as an occupying
force coming in from outside to impose control on
the community. Pillar one seeks to provide focused
recommendations on building this relationship.
Law enforcement culture should embrace a guardian—rather than a warrior—mindset to build trust
and legitimacy both within agencies and with
the public. Toward that end, law enforcement
agencies should adopt procedural justice as the
guiding principle for internal and external policies
and practices to guide their interactions with rank
and file officers and with the citizens they serve.
Law enforcement agencies should also establish
a culture of transparency and accountability to
build public trust and legitimacy. This is critical to
ensuring decision making is understood and in
accord with stated policy.
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Final Report of the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing

Law enforcement agencies should also proactively
promote public trust by initiating positive nonenforcement activities to engage communities
that typically have high rates of investigative and
enforcement involvement with government agencies. Law enforcement agencies should also track
and analyze the level of trust communities have in
police just as they measure changes in crime. This
can be accomplished through consistent annual
community surveys. Finally, law enforcement
agencies should strive to create a workforce that
encompasses a broad range of diversity including
race, gender, language, life experience, and cultural background to improve understanding and
effectiveness in dealing with all communities.

Pillar Two: Policy and Oversight
Pillar two emphasizes that if police are to carry out
their responsibilities according to established policies, those policies must reflect community values.
Law enforcement agencies should collaborate with
community members, especially in communities
and neighborhoods disproportionately affected
by crime, to develop policies and strategies for
deploying resources that aim to reduce crime by
improving relationships, increasing community
engagement, and fostering cooperation.
To achieve this end, law enforcement agencies
should have clear and comprehensive policies on
the use of force (including training on the importance of de-escalation), mass demonstrations
(including the appropriate use of equipment,
particularly rifles and armored personnel carriers),
consent before searches, gender identification,
racial profiling, and performance measures—
among others such as external and independent
investigations and prosecutions of officer-involved
shootings and other use of force situations and
in-custody deaths. These policies should also include provisions for the collection of demographic
2

data on all parties involved. All policies and
aggregate data should be made publicly available
to ensure transparency.
To ensure policies are maintained and current,
law enforcement agencies are encouraged to
periodically review policies and procedures,
conduct nonpunitive peer reviews of critical
incidents separate from criminal and administrative investigations, and establish civilian oversight
mechanisms with their communities.
Finally, to assist law enforcement and the community achieve the elements of pillar two, the
U.S. Department of Justice, through the Office
of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS
Office) and Office of Justice Programs (OJP), should
provide technical assistance and incentive funding
to jurisdictions with small police agencies that take
steps toward interagency collaboration, shared
services, and regional training. They should also
partner with the International Association of Directors of Law Enforcement Standards and Training
(IADLEST) to expand its National Decertification
Index to serve as the National Register of Decertified Officers with the goal of covering all agencies
within the United States and its territories.

Pillar Three: Technology &
Social Media
The use of technology can improve policing practices and build community trust and legitimacy, but its
implementation must be built on a defined policy
framework with its purposes and goals clearly delineated. Implementing new technologies can give
police departments an opportunity to fully engage
and educate communities in a dialogue about their
expectations for transparency, accountability, and
privacy. But technology changes quickly in terms
of new hardware, software, and other options. Law
enforcement agencies and leaders need to be able

Executive Summary

to identify, assess, and evaluate new technology
for adoption and do so in ways that improve their
effectiveness, efficiency, and evolution without
infringing on individual rights.
Pillar three guides the implementation, use, and
evaluation of technology and social media by law
enforcement agencies. To build a solid foundation
for law enforcement agencies in this field, the U.S.
Department of Justice, in consultation with the
law enforcement field, should establish national
standards for the research and development of
new technology including auditory, visual, and biometric data, “less than lethal” technology, and the
development of segregated radio spectrum such
as FirstNet. These standards should also address
compatibility, interoperability, and implementation
needs both within local law enforcement agencies
and across agencies and jurisdictions and should
maintain civil and human rights protections. Law
enforcement implementation of technology
should be designed considering local needs and
aligned with these national standards. Finally,
law enforcement agencies should adopt model
policies and best practices for technology-based
community engagement that increases community trust and access.

Pillar Four: Community Policing &
Crime Reduction
Pillar four focuses on the importance of community policing as a guiding philosophy for all
stakeholders. Community policing emphasizes
working with neighborhood residents to coproduce public safety. Law enforcement agencies
should, therefore, work with community residents
to identify problems and collaborate on implementing solutions that produce meaningful results
for the community. Specifically, law enforcement
agencies should develop and adopt policies and
strategies that reinforce the importance of com-

munity engagement in managing public safety.
Law enforcement agencies should also engage in
multidisciplinary, community team approaches for
planning, implementing, and responding to crisis
situations with complex causal factors.
Communities should support a culture and
practice of policing that reflects the values of
protection and promotion of the dignity of all—
especially the most vulnerable, such as children
and youth most at risk for crime or violence. Law
enforcement agencies should avoid using law
enforcement tactics that unnecessarily stigmatize
youth and marginalize their participation in schools
(where law enforcement officers should have limited involvement in discipline) and communities. In
addition, communities need to affirm and recognize the voices of youth in community decision
making, facilitate youth participation in research
and problem solving, and develop and fund youth
leadership training and life skills through positive
youth/police collaboration and interactions.

Pillar Five: Training & Education
As our nation becomes more pluralistic and
the scope of law enforcement’s responsibilities
expands, the need for expanded and more
effective training has become critical. Today’s line
officers and leaders must be trained and capable
to address a wide variety of challenges including
international terrorism, evolving technologies,
rising immigration, changing laws, new cultural
mores, and a growing mental health crisis.
Pillar five focuses on the training and education
needs of law enforcement. To ensure the high
quality and effectiveness of training and education, law enforcement agencies should engage
community members, particularly those with special expertise, in the training process and provide
leadership training to all personnel throughout
their careers.
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Final Report of the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing

To further assist the training and educational
needs of law enforcement, the Federal Government should support the development of
partnerships with training facilities across the
country to promote consistent standards for high
quality training and establish training innovation
hubs involving universities and police academies.
A national postgraduate institute of policing for
senior executives should be created with a standardized curriculum preparing participants to lead
agencies in the 21st century.
One specific method of increasing the quality of
training would be to ensure that Peace Officer
and Standards Training (POST) boards include
mandatory Crisis Intervention Training (CIT), which
equips officers to deal with individuals in crisis or
living with mental disabilities, as part of both basic
recruit and in-service officer training—as well as
instruction in disease of addiction, implicit bias
and cultural responsiveness, policing in a democratic society, procedural justice, and effective
social interaction and tactical skills.

Pillar Six: Officer Wellness & Safety
The wellness and safety of law enforcement
officers is critical not only for the officers, their
colleagues, and their agencies but also to public
safety. Pillar six emphasizes the support and proper implementation of officer wellness and safety as
a multi-partner effort.
The U.S. Department of Justice should enhance
and further promote its multi-faceted officer safety
and wellness initiative. Two specific strategies
recommended for the U.S. Department of Justice
include (1) encouraging and assisting departments
in the implementation of scientifically supported
shift lengths by law enforcement and (2) expanding efforts to collect and analyze data not only on
officer deaths but also on injuries and “near misses.”
4

Law enforcement agencies should also promote
wellness and safety at every level of the organization. For instance, every law enforcement officer
should be provided with individual tactical first aid
kits and training as well as anti-ballistic vests. In
addition, law enforcement agencies should adopt
policies that require officers to wear seat belts and
bullet-proof vests and provide training to raise
awareness of the consequences of failure to do so.
Internal procedural justice principles should be adopted for all internal policies and interactions. The
Federal Government should develop programs
to provide financial support for law enforcement
officers to continue to pursue educational opportunities. Finally, Congress should develop and
enact peer review error management legislation.

Implementation Recommendations
The administration, through policies and practices
already in place, can start right now to move
forward on the recommendations contained in
this report. The President should direct all federal
law enforcement agencies to implement the task
force recommendations to the extent practicable, and the U.S. Department of Justice should
explore public-private partnership opportunities
with foundations to advance implementation of
the recommendations. Finally, the COPS Office
and OJP should take a series of targeted actions
to assist the law enforcement field in addressing
current and future challenges.

Conclusion
The members of the Task Force on 21st Century
Policing are convinced that the concrete recommendations contained in this publication will
bring long-term improvements to the ways in
which law enforcement agencies interact with and
bring positive change to their communities.

INTRODUCTION
“When any part of the American family does not feel like it is being
treated fairly, that’s a problem for all of us.”
—President Barack Obama
Trust between law enforcement agencies and
the people they protect and serve is essential
in a democracy. It is key to the stability of our
communities, the integrity of our criminal justice
system, and the safe and effective delivery of
policing services.
In light of the recent events that have exposed
rifts in the relationships between local police and
the communities they protect and serve, on December 18, 2014, President Barack Obama signed
Executive Order 13684 establishing the Task Force
on 21st Century Policing.
In establishing the task force, the President spoke
of the distrust that exists between too many
police departments and too many communities—the sense that in a country where our basic
principle is equality under the law, too many
individuals, particularly young people of color, do
not feel as if they are being treated fairly.
“When any part of the American family does not
feel like it is being treated fairly, that’s a problem
for all of us,” said the President. “It’s not just a
problem for some. It’s not just a problem for a
particular community or a particular demographic.
It means that we are not as strong as a country
as we can be. And when applied to the criminal
justice system, it means we’re not as effective in
fighting crime as we could be.”

These remarks underpin the philosophical
foundation for the Task Force on 21st Century
Policing: to build trust between citizens and their
peace officers so that all components of a community are treating one another fairly and justly
and are invested in maintaining public safety in
an atmosphere of mutual respect. Decades of
research and practice tell us that the public cares
as much about how police interact with them as
they care about the outcomes that legal actions
produce. People are more likely to obey the law
when they believe those who are enforcing it
have the right—the legitimate authority—to tell
them what to do.2 Building trust and legitimacy,
therefore, is not just a policing issue. It involves all
components of the criminal justice system and
is inextricably bound to bedrock issues affecting
the community such as poverty, education, and
public health.
The mission of the task force was to examine ways
of fostering strong, collaborative relationships
between local law enforcement and the communities they protect and to make recommendations
to the President on ways policing practices can
promote effective crime reduction while building
public trust. The President selected members of
the task force based on their ability to contribute
to its mission because of their relevant perspective, experience, or subject matter expertise
in policing, law enforcement and community
relations, civil rights, and civil liberties.
2. T.R. Tyler, Why People Obey the Law (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press,
1990); M.S. Frazer, The Impact of the Community Court Model on Defendant
Perceptions of Fairness: A Case Study at the Red Hook Community Justice Center (New
York: Center for Court Innovation, 2006).
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Final Report of the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing

The task force was given 90 days to conduct
hearings, review the research, and make recommendations to the President, so its focus was
sharp and necessarily limited. It concentrated
on defining the cross-cutting issues affecting
police-community interactions, questioning
the contemporary relevance and truth about
long-held assumptions regarding the nature and
methods of policing, and identifying the areas
where research is needed to highlight examples
of evidence-based policing practices compatible
with present realities.

licing” in its historical and contemporary contexts,
defining the difference between implicit bias and
racial discrimination—two concepts at the heart
of perceived difficulties between police and the
people. Witnesses from community organizations
stressed the need for more police involvement in
community affairs as an essential component of
their crime fighting duties. Police officers gave the
beat cop’s perspective on protecting people who
do not respect their authority, and three big-city
mayors told of endemic budgetary obstacles to
addressing policing challenges.

To fulfill this mission, the task force convened seven listening sessions to hear testimony—including
recommendations for action—from government
officials; law enforcement officers; academic experts; technical advisors; leaders from established
nongovernmental organizations, including grassroots movements; and any other members of the
public who wished to comment. The listening
sessions were held in Washington, D.C., January 13;
Cincinnati, Ohio, January 30–31; Phoenix, Arizona,
February 13–14; and again in Washington, D.C.,
February 23–24. Other forms of outreach included
a number of White House listening sessions to
engage other constituencies, such as people with
disabilities, the LGBTQ community, and members
of the armed forces, as well as careful study of
scholarly articles, research reports, and written
contributions from informed experts in various
fields relevant to the task force’s mission.

The session on Policy and Oversight again brought
witnesses from diverse police forces (both chiefs
and union representatives), from law and academia,
and from established civil rights organizations and
grass-root groups. They discussed use of force from
the point of view of both research and policy and
internal and external oversight; explained how they
prepare for and handle mass demonstrations; and
pondered culture and diversity in law enforcement.
Witnesses filled the third session, on Technology
and Social Media, with testimony on the use of
body-worn cameras and other technologies from
the angles of research and legal considerations,
as well as the intricacies of implementing new
technologies in the face of privacy issues. They
discussed the ever-expanding ubiquity of social
media and its power to work both for and against
policing practice and public safety.

Each of the seven public listening sessions addressed a specific aspect of policing and
police-community relations, although crosscutting issues and concerns made their appearance at every session. At the first session, Building
Trust and Legitimacy, the topic of procedural
justice was discussed as a foundational necessity
in building public trust. Subject matter experts
also testified as to the meaning of “community po-

6

The Community Policing and Crime Reduction listening session considered current research on the
effectiveness of community policing on bringing
down crime, as well as building up public trust.
Task force members heard detailed descriptions
of the methods used by chiefs in cities of varying
sizes to implement effective community policing
in their jurisdictions over a number of years. They
also heard from a panel of young people about
their encounters with the criminal justice system

Introduction

and the lasting effects of positive interactions
with police through structured programs as well
as individual relationships. The fifth listening
session considered Training and Education in law
enforcement over an officer’s entire career—from
recruitment through basic training to in-service
training—and the support, education, and
training of supervisors, leaders, and managers.
Finally, the panel on Officer Safety and Wellness
considered the spectrum of mental and physical
health issues faced by police officers from the
day-to-day stress of the job, its likely effect on an
officer’s physical health, and the need for mental
health screening to traffic accidents, burnout,
suicide, and how better to manage these issues to
determine the length of an officer’s career.
A listening session on the Future of Community Policing concluded the task force’s public sessions and
was followed by the deliberations leading to the
recommendations that follow on ways to research,
improve, support, and implement policies and
procedures for effective policing in the 21st century.
Many excellent and specific suggestions emerged
from these listening sessions on all facets of policing in the 21st century, but many questions arose
as well. Paramount among them was how to bring
unity of purpose and consensus on best practices
to a nation with 18,000 separate law enforcement
agencies and a strong history of a preference for
local control of local issues. It became very clear
that it is time for a comprehensive and multifaceted examination of all the interrelated parts of the
criminal justice system and a focused investigation
into how poverty, lack of education, mental health,
and other social conditions cause or intersect with
criminal behavior. We propose two overarching
recommendations that will seek the answers to
these questions.

0.1 O verarching r ecOmmendatiOn :
The President should support and provide
funding for the creation of a National Crime
and Justice Task Force to review and evaluate
all components of the criminal justice system
for the purpose of making recommendations
to the country on comprehensive criminal
justice reform.
Several witnesses at the task force’s listening
sessions pointed to the fact that police represent
the “face” of the criminal justice system to the
public. Yet police are obviously not responsible for
laws or incarceration policies that many citizens
find unfair. This misassociation leads us to call for a
broader examination of such issues as drug policy,
sentencing and incarceration, which are beyond
the scope of a review of police practices.
This is not a new idea.
In the 1967 President’s Commission on Law
Enforcement and Administration of Justice report,
The Challenge of Crime in a Free Society, one of the
major findings stated, “Officials of the criminal
justice system . . . must re-examine what they do.
They must be honest about the system’s shortcomings with the public and with themselves.”3
The need to establish a formal structure to take a
continuous look at criminal justice reform in the
context of broad societal issues has never faded
from public consciousness. When former Senator
Jim Webb (D-VA) introduced legislation to create
the National Criminal Justice Commission in 2009,
a number of very diverse organizations from the
Major Cities Chiefs Association, the Fraternal Order
of Police, the National Sheriffs Association, and the
National District Attorneys Association to Human
Rights Watch, the American Civil Liberties Union,
3. The President’s Commission on Law Enforcement and Administration of
Justice, The Challenge of Crime in a Free Society (Washington, DC: U.S. Government
Printing Office, 1967), 15, https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/42.pdf.

7

Final Report of the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing

A panel of community voices with Allie Bones, Renaldo Fowler, Keeshan Harley, Andrea Ritchie, and Linda Sarsour, Phoenix, February 14, 2015.
	
PHOTO: DEBORAH SPENCE

and the National Association for the Advancement
of Colored People all supported it. This legislation
would have authorized a national criminal justice
commission to conduct a comprehensive review
of the criminal justice system by a bipartisan panel
of stakeholders, policymakers, and experts that
would make thoughtful, evidence-based recommendations for reform. The bill received strong
bipartisan support and passed the House but
never received a final vote.
More recently, a number of witnesses raised the
idea of a national commission at the task force’s
listening sessions—notably Richard Beary, president of the International Association of Chiefs of
Police (IACP), who said,
For over 20 years, the IACP has called for the
creation of a National Commission on Criminal
Justice to develop across-the-board improvements
to the criminal justice system in order to address
current challenges and to increase the efficiency
and effectiveness of the entire criminal justice
community. A deep dive into community-police
relations is only one part of this puzzle. We must
explore other aspects of the criminal justice system
that need to be revamped and further contribute to
today’s challenges.4
4.	 Listening Session on Building Trust and Legitimacy (oral testimony of Richard
Beary, president, IACP, for the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing,
Washington, DC, January 13–14, 2015).
8

And Jeremy Travis, president of John Jay
College of Criminal Justice, added, in the final
listening session,
You said it is time to look at the criminal justice
system, and actually I would broaden the scope. We
have this question of how to reintegrate into our
society those who have caused harms . . . . It is not
just the system but these big, democratic, societal
questions that go to government functions and how
we deal with conflict as well.5

0.2 O verarching r ecOmmendatiOn :
The President should promote programs
that take a comprehensive and inclusive look
at community-based initiatives that address
the core issues of poverty, education, health,
and safety.
As is evident from many of the recommendations
in this report, the justice system alone cannot
solve many of the underlying conditions that give
rise to crime. It will be through partnerships across
sectors and at every level of government that we
will find the effective and legitimate long-term
solutions to ensuring public safety.

5.	 Listening Session on the Future of Community Policing (oral testimony of
Jeremy Travis, president, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, for the President’s Task
Force on 21st Century Policing, Washington, DC, January 24, 2015).

PILLAR 1 . BUILDING TRUST & LEGITIMACY
People are more likely to obey the law when they believe that those
who are enforcing it have the legitimate authority to tell them what
to do . . . . The public confers legitimacy only on those they believe
are acting in procedurally just ways.
Building trust and nurturing legitimacy on both
sides of the police-citizen divide is not only the first
pillar of this task force’s report but also the foundational principle underlying this inquiry into the
nature of relations between law enforcement and
the communities they serve. Since the 1990s, policing has become more effective, better equipped,
and better organized to tackle crime. Despite this,
Gallup polls show the public’s confidence in police
work has remained flat, and among some populations of color, confidence has declined.6

This decline is in addition to the fact that nonWhites have always had less confidence in law
enforcement than Whites, likely because “the
poor and people of color have felt the greatest
impact of mass incarceration,” such that for “too
many poor citizens and people of color, arrest
and imprisonment have become an inevitable
and seemingly unavoidable part of the American
experience.”7 Decades of research and practice
support the premise that people are more likely to
obey the law when they believe that those

Figure 1. Confidence in police to protect them from violent crime, U.S. Whites vs. non-Whites

Source: Justin McCarthy, “Nonwhites Less Likely” (see note 6).
Copyright © 2014 Gallup, Inc. All rights reserved. The content is used with permission; however, Gallup retains all rights of republication.
6.	 Justin McCarthy, “Nonwhites Less Likely to Feel Police Protect and Serve
Them,” Gallup: Politics, November 17, 2014, http://www.gallup.com/poll/179468/
nonwhites-less-likely-feel-police-protect-serve.aspx.

7. Bryan Stevenson, “Confronting Mass Imprisonment and Restoring Fairness to
Collateral Review of Criminal Cases,” Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review
41 (Summer 2006): 339–367.
9

Final Report of the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing

who are enforcing it have the legitimate authority
to tell them what to do. But the public confers
legitimacy only on those they believe are acting in
procedurally just ways.
Procedurally just behavior is based on four central
principles:
1.	 Treating people with dignity and respect
2.	 Giving individuals “voice” during encounters
3.	 Being neutral and transparent in
decision making
4.	 Conveying trustworthy motives8
Research demonstrates that these principles lead
to relationships in which the community trusts
that officers are honest, unbiased, benevolent, and
lawful. The community therefore feels obligated to
follow the law and the dictates of legal authorities
and is more willing to cooperate with and engage
those authorities because it believes that it shares a
common set of interests and values with the police.9
There are both internal and external aspects to
procedural justice in policing agencies. Internal
procedural justice refers to practices within an
agency and the relationships officers have with
their colleagues and leaders. Research on internal
procedural justice tells us that officers who feel
respected by their supervisors and peers are more
likely to accept departmental policies, understand
decisions, and comply with them voluntarily.10 It
8. Lorraine Mazerolle, Sarah Bennett, Jacqueline Davis, Elise Sargeant,
and Matthew Manning, “Legitimacy in Policing: A Systematic Review,” The
Campbell Collection Library of Systematic Reviews 9 (Oslo, Norway: The Campbell
Collaboration, 2013).
9. Tom Tyler, Jonathon Jackson, and Ben Bradford, “Procedural Justice and
Cooperation,” in Encyclopedia of Criminology and Criminal Justice, eds. Gerben
Bruinsma and David Weisburd (New York: Springer, 2014), 4011–4024.
10. Nicole Haas et al., “Explaining Officer Compliance: The Importance of
Procedural Justice and Trust inside a Police Organization,” Criminology and
Criminal Justice (January 2015), doi: 10.1177/1748895814566288; COPS Office,
“Comprehensive Law Enforcement Review: Procedural Justice and Legitimacy,”
accessed February 28, 2015, http://www.cops.usdoj.gov/pdf/taskforce/
Procedural-Justice-and-Legitimacy-LE-Review-Summary.pdf.

10

follows that officers who feel respected by their
organizations are more likely to bring this respect
into their interactions with the people they serve.
External procedural justice focuses on the ways
officers and other legal authorities interact with
the public and how the characteristics of those interactions shape the public’s trust of the police. It
is important to understand that a key component
of external procedural justice—the practice of fair
and impartial policing—is built on understanding
and acknowledging human biases,11 both explicit
and implicit.
All human beings have biases or prejudices as
a result of their experiences, and these biases
influence how they might react when dealing
with unfamiliar people or situations. An explicit
bias is a conscious bias about certain populations
based upon race, gender, socioeconomic status,
sexual orientation, or other attributes.12 Common
sense shows that explicit bias is incredibly damaging to police-community relations, and there is
a growing body of research evidence that shows
that implicit bias—the biases people are not even
aware they have—is harmful as well.
Witness Jennifer Eberhardt said,
Bias is not limited to so-called “bad people.” And
it certainly is not limited to police officers. The
problem is a widespread one that arises from history,
from culture, and from racial inequalities that still
pervade our society and are especially salient in the
context of criminal justice.13

11.	 Lorie Fridell, “This is Not Your Grandparents’ Prejudice: The Implications of
the Modern Science of Bias for Police Training,” Translational Criminology (Fall
2013):10–11.
12.	 Susan Fiske, “Are We Born Racist?” Greater Good (Summer 2008):14–17.
13.	 Listening Session on Building Trust and Legitimacy (oral testimony of Jennifer
Eberhardt for the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing, Washington, DC,
January 13, 2015).

Pillar 1. Building Trust & Legitimacy

To achieve legitimacy, mitigating implicit bias
should be a part of training at all levels of a law
enforcement organization to increase awareness
and ensure respectful encounters both inside the
organization and with communities.
The first witnesses at the task force sessions on
the first pillar also directly addressed the need for
a change in the culture in which police do their
work: the use of disrespectful language and the
implicit biases that lead officers to rely upon race
in the context of stop and frisk. They addressed
the need for police officers to find how much they
have in common with the people they serve—
not the lines of authority they may perceive to
separate them—and to continue with enduring
programs proven successful over many years.
Several speakers stressed the continuing need
for civilian oversight and urged more research
into proving ways it can be most effective. And
many spoke to the complicated issue of diversity
in recruiting, especially Sherrilyn Ifill, who said of
youth in poor communities,
By the time you are 17, you have been stopped
and frisked a dozen times. That does not make that
17-year-old want to become a police officer . . . .
The challenge is to transform the idea of policing in
communities among young people into something
they see as honorable. They have to see people
at local events, as the person who lives across the
street, not someone who comes in and knows
nothing about my community.14

The task force’s specific recommendations that
follow offer practical ways agencies can act to
promote legitimacy.
14.	 Listening Session on Building Trust and Legitimacy (oral testimony
of Sherrilyn Ifill, president and director-counsel, NAACP Legal Defense and
Educational Fund, Inc., for the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing,
Washington, DC, January 13, 2015); “Statement by the NAACP Legal Defense
and Educational Fund, Inc.” (written testimony submitted for listening session at
Washington, DC, January 13, 2015).

1.1 recOmmendatiOn: Law enforcement
culture should embrace a guardian mindset to
build public trust and legitimacy. Toward that
end, police and sheriffs’ departments should
adopt procedural justice as the guiding principle
for internal and external policies and practices to
guide their interactions with the citizens they serve.
How officers define their role will set the tone
for the community. As Plato wrote, “In a republic
that honors the core of democracy—the greatest amount of power is given to those called
Guardians. Only those with the most impeccable
character are chosen to bear the responsibility of
protecting the democracy.”
Law enforcement cannot build community trust
if it is seen as an occupying force coming in from
outside to rule and control the community.
As task force member Susan Rahr wrote,
In 2012, we began asking the question, “Why are we
training police officers like soldiers?” Although police
officers wear uniforms and carry weapons, the similarity
ends there. The missions and rules of engagement
are completely different. The soldier’s mission is that
of a warrior: to conquer. The rules of engagement are
decided before the battle. The police officer’s mission is
that of a guardian: to protect. The rules of engagement
evolve as the incident unfolds. Soldiers must follow
orders. Police officers must make independent
decisions. Soldiers come into communities as an
outside, occupying force. Guardians are members of
the community, protecting from within.15

There’s an old saying, “Organizational culture
eats policy for lunch.” Any law enforcement
15. Sue Rahr, “Transforming the Culture of Policing from Warriors to Guardians
in Washington State,” International Association of Directors of Law Enforcement
Standards and Training Newsletter 25, no. 4 (2014): 3–4; see also Sue Rahr and
Stephen K. Rice, “From Warriors to Guardians: Recommitting American Police
Culture to Democratic Ideals,” New Perspectives in Policing Bulletin (Washington,
DC: National Institute of Justice, 2015), NCJ 248654, http://www.hks.harvard.edu/
content/download/76023/1708385/version/1/file/WarriorstoGuardians.pdf.
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Final Report of the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing

organization can make great rules and policies
that emphasize the guardian role, but if policies
conflict with the existing culture, they will not be
institutionalized and behavior will not change. In
police work, the vast majority of an officer’s work is
done independently outside the immediate oversight of a supervisor. But consistent enforcement
of rules that conflict with a military-style culture,
where obedience to the chain of command is the
norm, is nearly impossible. Behavior is more likely
to conform to culture than rules.

Baltimore Police Commissioner Anthony Batts
described the process in his city:

The culture of policing is also important to the
proper exercise of officer discretion and use of
authority, as task force member Tracey Meares has
written.16 The values and ethics of the agency will
guide officers in their decision-making process;
they cannot simply rely on rules and policy to act
in encounters with the public. Good policing is
more than just complying with the law. Sometimes actions are perfectly permitted by policy,
but that does not always mean an officer should
take those actions. Adopting procedural justice
as the guiding principle for internal and external
policies and practices can be the underpinning
of a change in culture and should contribute to
building trust and confidence in the community. 

Ultimately, the Baltimore police created the
Professional Standards and Accountability Bureau,
tasked with rooting out corruption, holding officers accountable, and implementing national best
practices for polices and training. New department
heads were appointed and a use of force review
structure based on the Las Vegas model was
implemented. “These were critical infrastructure
changes centered on the need to improve the internal systems that would build accountability and
transparency, inside and outside the organization,”
noted Commissioner Batts.18

1.2 r ecOmmendatiOn : Law enforcement
agencies should acknowledge the role of
policing in past and present injustice and
discrimination and how it is a hurdle to the
promotion of community trust.
At one listening session, a panel of police chiefs
described what they had been doing in recent
years to recognize and own their history and to
change the culture within both their police forces
and their communities.
16.	 Tracey L. Meares, “Rightful Policing,” New Perspectives in Policing Bulletin
(Washington, DC: National Institute of Justice, 2015), NCJ 248411,
http://www.hks.harvard.edu/content/download/74084/1679313/
version/4/file/RightfulPolicing.pdf.
12

The process started with the commissioning of a
study to evaluate the police department and the
community’s views of the agency . . . . The review
uncovered broken policies, outdated procedures,
outmoded technology, and operating norms that
put officers at odds with the community they are
meant to serve. It was clear that dramatic and
dynamic change was needed.17

1.2.1 A ction I tem : The U.S. Department of
Justice should develop and disseminate case studies
that provide examples where past injustices were
publicly acknowledged by law enforcement agencies in a manner to help build community trust.
1.3 R ecommendation : Law enforcement
agencies should establish a culture of
transparency and accountability in order to
build public trust and legitimacy. This will help
ensure decision making is understood and in
accord with stated policy.
17.	 Listening Session on Community Policing and Crime Reduction: Building
Community Policing Organizations (oral testimony of Anthony Batts, commissioner,
Baltimore Police Department, for the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing,
Phoenix, AZ, February 13, 2015).
18.	 Ibid.

Pillar 1. Building Trust & Legitimacy

1.3.1 A ction I tem : To embrace a culture of
transparency, law enforcement agencies should
make all department policies available for public
review and regularly post on the department’s
website information about stops, summonses, arrests, reported crime, and other law enforcement
data aggregated by demographics.
1.3.2 A ction I tem : When serious incidents
occur, including those involving alleged police
misconduct, agencies should communicate

with citizens and the media swiftly, openly,
and neutrally, respecting areas where the law
requires confidentiality.
One way to promote neutrality is to ensure that
agencies and their members do not release background information on involved parties. While a
great deal of information is often publicly available, this information should not be proactively
distributed by law enforcement.

Figure 2. Community members’ confidence in their police officers

Note: Survey conducted August 20–24, 2014. Voluntary responses of “None” and “Don’t know/Refused” not shown. Blacks and Whites include only non-Hispanics.
Hispanics are of any race.
Source: Jens Manuel Krogstad, “Latino Confidence in Local Police Lower than among Whites,” Pew Research Center, August 28, 2014,
http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2014/08/28/latino-confidence-in-local-police-lower-than-among-whites/.
13

Final Report of the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing

1.4 r ecOmmendatiOn : Law enforcement
agencies should promote legitimacy internally
within the organization by applying the
principles of procedural justice.
Organizational culture created through employee
interaction with management can be linked to
officers’ interaction with citizens. When an agency
creates an environment that promotes internal
procedural justice, it encourages its officers to
demonstrate external procedural justice. And just
as employees are more likely to take direction
from management when they believe management’s authority is legitimate, citizens are more
likely to cooperate with the police when they
believe the officers’ authority is legitimate.
Internal procedural justice begins with the clear
articulation of organizational core values and
the transparent creation and fair application
of an organization’s policies, protocols, and
decision-making processes. If the workforce is
actively involved in policy development, workers
are more likely to use these same principles of
external procedural justice in their interactions
with the community. Even though the approach
to implementing procedural justice is “top down,”
the method should include all employees to best
reach a shared vision and mission. Research shows
that agencies should also use tools that encourage employee and supervisor collaboration and
foster strong relationships between supervisors
and employees. A more effective agency will result
from a real partnership between the chief and the
staff and a shared approach to public safety.19

1.4.1 A ction I tem : In order to achieve
internal legitimacy, law enforcement agencies should involve employees in the process
of developing policies and procedures.
19.	 Tim Richardson (senior legislative liaison, Fraternal Order of Police), in
discussion with Ajima Olaghere (research assistant, COPS Office, Washington, DC),
October 2014.
14

For example, internal department surveys should
ask officers what they think of policing strategies
in terms of enhancing or hurting their ability to
connect with the public. Sometimes the leadership is out of step with their rank and file, and
a survey like this can be a diagnostic tool—a
benchmark against which leadership can measure
its effectiveness and ability to create a work environment where officers feel safe to discuss their
feelings about certain aspects of the job.

1.4.2 A ction I tem : Law enforcement agency
leadership should examine opportunities to incorporate procedural justice into the internal discipline
process, placing additional importance on values
adherence rather than adherence to rules. Union
leadership should be partners in this process.
1.5 r ecOmmendatiOn : Law enforcement
agencies should proactively promote public
trust by initiating positive nonenforcement
activities to engage communities that
typically have high rates of investigative and
enforcement involvement with government
agencies.
In communities that have high numbers of interactions with authorities for a variety of reasons,
police should actively create opportunities for
interactions that are positive and not related to
investigation or enforcement action. Witness
Laura Murphy, for example, pointed out that when
law enforcement targets people of color for the
isolated actions of a few, it tags an entire community as lawless when in actuality 95 percent
are law abiding.20 This becomes a self-reinforcing
concept. Another witness, Carmen Perez, provided
an example of police engaging with citizens in
another way:
20. Listening Session on Building Trust and Legitimacy (oral testimony of Laura
Murphy to the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing, Washington, DC,
January 13, 2015).

Pillar 1. Building Trust & Legitimacy

In the community [where] I grew up in southern
California, Oxnard, we had the Police Athletic League.
A lot of officers in our communities would volunteer
and coach at the police activities league. That
became our alternative from violence, from gangs
and things like that. That allows for police officers
to really build and provide a space to build trusting
relationships. No longer was that such and such over
there but it was Coach Flores or Coach Brown.21

In recent years, agencies across the county have
begun to institutionalize community trust building
endeavors. They have done this through programs
such as Coffee with a Cop (and Sweet Tea with the
Chief ), Cops and Clergy, Citizens on Patrol Mobile,
Students Talking It Over with Police, and the West
Side Story Project. Joint community and law dialogues and truth telling, as well as community and
law enforcement training in procedural justice and
bias, are also occurring nationally. Some agencies
are even using training, dialogues, and workshops
to take steps towards racial reconciliation.
Agencies engaging in these efforts to build relationships often experience beneficial results.22
Communities are often more willing to assist law
enforcement when agencies need help during investigations. And when critical incidents occur, those
agencies already have key allies who can help with
information messaging and mitigating challenges.

1.5.1 a ctiOn i tem : In order to achieve
external legitimacy, law enforcement agencies
should involve the community in the process of developing and evaluating policies and procedures.
21. Listening Session on Building Trust and Legitimacy—Community
Representatives: Building Community Policing Organizations (oral testimony of
Carmen Perez, executive director, The Gathering for Justice, for the President’s Task
Force on 21st Century Policing, Washington, DC, January 13, 2015).
22. Constance Rice and Susan K. Lee, Relationship-Based Policing: Achieving
Safety in Watts (Los Angeles: The Advancement Project, February 2015),
http://67.20.108.158/sites/default/files/imce/President%27s%20Task%20
Force%20CSP%20Policy%20Brief%20FINAL%2002-27-15.pdf.

1.5.2 a ctiOn i tem : Law enforcement agencies should institute residency incentive programs
such as Resident Officer Programs.
Resident Officer Programs are arrangements
where law enforcement officers are provided
housing in public housing neighborhoods as
long as they fulfill public safety duties within
the neighborhood that have been agreed to
between the housing authority and the law
enforcement agency.

1.5.3 a ctiOn i tem : Law enforcement agencies should create opportunities in schools and
communities for positive nonenforcement interactions with police. Agencies should also publicize
the beneficial outcomes and images of positive,
trust-building partnerships and initiatives.
For example, Michael Reynolds, a member of the
Youth and Law Enforcement panel at the Listening
Session on Community Policing and Crime Reduction, told the moving story of a police officer who
saw him shivering on the street when he was six
years old, took him to a store, and bought him a
coat. Despite many negative encounters with police since then, the decency and kindness of that
officer continue to favorably impact Mr. Reynolds’
feelings towards the police.23

1.5.4 A ction I tem : Use of physical control
equipment and techniques against vulnerable
populations—including children, elderly persons,
pregnant women, people with physical and mental disabilities, limited English proficiency, and
others—can undermine public trust and should
be used as a last resort. Law enforcement agencies
23. Listening Session on Community Policing and Crime Reduction: Youth and
Law Enforcement (oral testimony of Michael Reynolds, co-president, Youth Power
Movement, for the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing, Phoenix, AZ,
February 13, 2015).

15

Final Report of the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing

should carefully consider and review their policies
towards these populations and adopt policies if
none are in place.

1.6 r ecOmmendatiOn : Law enforcement
agencies should consider the potential
damage to public trust when implementing
crime fighting strategies.
Crime reduction is not self-justifying. Overly
aggressive law enforcement strategies can potentially harm communities and do lasting damage to
public trust, as numerous witnesses over multiple
listening sessions observed.

1.6.1 a ctiOn i tem : Research conducted
to evaluate the effectiveness of crime fighting
strategies should specifically look at the potential
for collateral damage of any given strategy on
community trust and legitimacy.
1.7 r ecOmmendatiOn : Law enforcement
agencies should track the level of trust in
police by their communities just as they
measure changes in crime. Annual community
surveys, ideally standardized across
jurisdictions and with accepted sampling
protocols, can measure how policing in that
community affects public trust.
Trust in institutions can only be achieved if the
public can verify what they are being told about
a product or service, who is responsible for the
quality of the product or service, and what will be
done to correct any problems. To operate effectively, law enforcement agencies must maintain
public trust by having a transparent, credible
system of accountability.

16

Agencies should partner with local universities
to conduct surveys by ZIP code, for example, to
measure the effectiveness of specific policing
strategies, assess any negative impact they have
on a community’s view of police, and gain the
community’s input.

1.7.1 A ction I tem : The Federal Government should develop survey tools and
instructions for use of such a model to prevent
local departments from incurring the expense and
to allow for consistency across jurisdictions.
A model such as the National Institute of
Justice-funded National Police Research Platform
could be developed and deployed to conduct
such surveys. This platform seeks to advance the
science and practice of policing in the United
States by introducing a new system of measurement and feedback that captures organizational
excellence both inside and outside the walls of
the agency. The platform is managed by a team
of leading police scholars from seven universities supported by the operational expertise of a
respected national advisory board.

1.8 r ecOmmendatiOn : Law enforcement
agencies should strive to create a workforce
that contains a broad range of diversity
including race, gender, language, life
experience, and cultural background to
improve understanding and effectiveness in
dealing with all communities.
Many agencies have long appreciated the critical
importance of hiring officers who reflect the
communities they serve and also have a high
level of procedural justice competency. Achieving
diversity in entry level recruiting is important,
but achieving systematic and comprehensive
diversification throughout each segment of the

Pillar 1. Building Trust & Legitimacy

Task force members, along with Executive Director Ronald L. Davis, listen to testimony, Washington, D.C., February 23, 2015.	

department is the ultimate goal. It is also important to recognize that diversity means not only
race and gender but also the genuine diversity
of identity, experience, and background that has
been found to help improve the culture of police
departments and build greater trust and legitimacy with all segments of the population.
A critical factor in managing bias is seeking
candidates who are likely to police in an unbiased
manner.24 Since people are less likely to have biases
against groups with which they have had positive
experiences, police departments should seek candidates who have had positive interactions with
people of various cultures and backgrounds.25

1.8.1 A ction I tem : The Federal Government
should create a Law Enforcement Diversity Initiative
designed to help communities diversify law enforcement departments to reflect the demographics
of the community.
24.	 Lorie Fridell, “Racially Biased Policing: The Law Enforcement Response to the
Implicit Black-Crime Association,” in Racial Divide: Racial and Ethnic Bias in the
Criminal Justice System, eds. Michael J. Lynch, E. Britt Patterson, and Kristina K.
Childs (Monsey, NY: Criminal Justice Press, 2008), 51.
25.	 Ibid., 51–52.

PHOTO: BRANDON TRAMEL

1.8.2 a ctiOn i tem : The department
overseeing this initiative should help localities
learn best practices for recruitment, training,
and outreach to improve the diversity as well as
the cultural and linguistic responsiveness of law
enforcement agencies.
National and local affinity police organizations
could be formally included in this effort. This
program should also evaluate and assess diversity
among law enforcement agencies around the
country and issue public reports on national trends.

1.8.3 a ctiOn i tem : Successful law enforcement agencies should be highlighted and
celebrated and those with less diversity should be
offered technical assistance to facilitate change.
Law enforcement agencies must be continuously
creative with recruitment efforts and employ the
public, business, and civic communities to help.

1.8.4 actiOn item: Discretionary federal
funding for law enforcement programs could be influenced by that department’s efforts to improve their
diversity and cultural and linguistic responsiveness.
17

Final Report of the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing

1.8.5 A ction I tem : Law enforcement
agencies should be encouraged to explore more
flexible staffing models.
As is common in the nursing profession, offering
flexible schedules can help officers achieve better
work-life balance that attracts candidates and
encourages retention, particularly for officers with
sole responsibility for the care of family members.

1.9 r ecOmmendatiOn : Law enforcement
agencies should build relationships based
on trust with immigrant communities. This is
central to overall public safety.
Immigrants often fear approaching police officers when they are victims of and witnesses to
crimes and when local police are entangled with
federal immigration enforcement. At all levels of
government, it is important that laws, policies,
and practices not hinder the ability of local law
enforcement to build the strong relationships necessary to public safety and community well-being.
It is the view of this task force that whenever possible, state and local law enforcement should not be
involved in immigration enforcement.

1.9.1 a ctiOn i tem : Decouple federal immigration enforcement from routine local policing
for civil enforcement and nonserious crime.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security should
terminate the use of the state and local criminal
justice system, including through detention,
notification, and transfer requests, to enforce civil
immigration laws against civil and nonserious
criminal offenders.26

26.	 Listening Session on Building Trust and Legitimacy: Civil Rights/Civil Liberties
(oral testimony of Maria Teresa Kumar, president and CEO, Voto Latino, for the
President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing, Washington, DC, January 13, 2015).

18

In 2011, the Major Cities Chiefs Association
recommended nine points to Congress and the
President on this issue, noting that “immigration
is a federal policy issue between the U.S. government and other countries, not local or state
entities and other countries. Any immigration
enforcement laws or practices should be nationally based, consistent, and federally funded.”27

1.9.2 A ction I tem : Law enforcement
agencies should ensure reasonable and equitable
language access for all persons who have encounters
with police or who enter the criminal justice system.28
1.9.3 A ction I tem : The U.S. Department
of Justice should not include civil immigration
information in the FBI’s National Crime Information Center database.29
The National Crime Information Center (NCIC)
database is an electronic clearinghouse that law
enforcement officers can access in the field. It
contains data submitted by agencies across the
country aimed at helping officers identify people,
property, and criminal histories. At one time, NCIC
also included civil immigration detainers (nonmandatory temporary hold requests issued by a federal
immigration officer), although the FBI has indicated
that the practice of accepting this information was
discontinued and that the information does not
currently exist in the database. The U.S. Department
of Justice should ensure that this remains the case.

27.	 “Major Cities Chiefs Association Immigration Position October 2011,” accessed
February 26, 2015, http://majorcitieschiefs.com/pdf/news/immigration_
position112811.pdf.
28.	 Listening Session on Building Trust and Legitimacy (written testimony of
Nicholas Turner, president and director, Vera Institute of Justice, for the President’s
Task Force on 21st Century Policing, Washington, DC, January 13, 2015).
29.	 Listening Session on Community Policing and Crime Reduction (written
testimony of Javier Valdes, executive director, Make the Road New York, for the
President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing, Phoenix, AZ, February 13–14, 2015).

P I L L A R 2  . P O L I C Y & O V E R S I G H T
Citizens have a constitutional right to freedom of expression, including the
right to peacefully demonstrate.
The issues addressed in the first pillar of this report,
building trust and legitimacy between law enforcement agencies and the communities they serve,
underlie all questions of law enforcement policy
and community oversight. If police are to carry
out their responsibilities according to established
policies, these policies must be reflective of
community values and not lead to practices that
result in disparate impacts on various segments
of the community. They also need to be clearly
articulated to the community and implemented
transparently so police will have credibility with
residents and the people can have faith that their
guardians are always acting in their best interests.
Paramount among the policies of law enforcement
organizations are those controlling use of force.
Not only should there be policies for deadly and
nondeadly uses of force but a clearly stated “sanctity of life” philosophy must also be in the forefront
of every officer’s mind. This way of thinking should
be accompanied by rigorous practical ongoing
training in an atmosphere of nonjudgmental and
safe sharing of views with fellow officers about
how they behaved in use of force situations. At
one listening session, Geoffrey Alpert described
Officer-Created Jeopardy Training, in which officers
who had been in situations where mistakes were
made or force was used came to explain their
decision making to other officers. Some explained
what they did right and how potentially violent
situations were resolved without violence. Other
officers told what they did wrong, why they made

mistakes, what information was missing or misinterpreted, and how they could have improved their
behavior and response to suspects.30
Data collection, supervision, and accountability
are also part of a comprehensive systemic approach to keeping everyone safe and protecting
the rights of all involved during police encounters.
Members of the Division of Policing of the American Society of Criminology recently wrote, “While
the United States presently employs a broad
array of social and economic indicators in order
to gauge the overall ‘health’ of the nation, it has a
much more limited set of indicators concerning
the behavior of the police and the quality of
law enforcement.”31
That body noted that Section 210402 of the
Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of
1994 requires the U.S. Attorney General to “acquire
data about the use of excessive force by law
enforcement officers” and to “publish an annual
summary of the data acquired under this section.”32
But the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has never
been allocated the funds necessary to undertake
the serious and sustained program of research and
development to fulfill this mandate. Expanded
research and data collection are also necessary
to knowing what works and what does not work,
which policing practices are effective and which
30. Listening Session on Policy and Oversight: Use of Force Research and Policies
(oral testimony of Geoffrey Alpert, professor, University of South Carolina, for the
President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing, Cincinnati, OH, January 30, 2015).
31. “Recommendations to the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing,”
Listening Session on Training and Education (written testimony of Anthony Braga
et al., Ad Hoc Committee to the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing,
Division of Policing, American Society of Criminology, February 13–14, 2015).
32. Ibid.

19

Final Report of the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing

ones have unintended consequences. Greater
acceptance of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s
(FBI) National Incident-Based Reporting
System could also benefit policing practice
and research endeavors.
Mass demonstrations, for example, are occasions
where evidence-based practices successfully applied can make the difference between a peaceful
demonstration and a riot. Citizens have a constitutional right to freedom of expression, including
the right to peacefully demonstrate. There are
strong examples of proactive and positive communication and engagement strategies that can
protect constitutional rights of demonstrators and
the safety of citizens and the police.33

2.1 r ecOmmendatiOn : Law enforcement
agencies should collaborate with community
members to develop policies and strategies
in communities and neighborhoods
disproportionately affected by crime for
deploying resources that aim to reduce crime
by improving relationships, greater community
engagement, and cooperation.
The development of a service model process that
focuses on the root causes of crime should include
the community members themselves because
what works in one neighborhood might not be
equally successful in every other one. Larger departments could commit resources and personnel
to areas of high poverty, limited services, and at-risk
or vulnerable populations through creating priority
units with specialized training and added status
and pay. Chief Charlie Beck of the Los
33.	 Listening Session on Policy and Oversight: Mass Demonstrations (oral
testimony of Garry McCarthy, chief of police, Chicago Police Department, for the
President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing, Cincinnati, OH, January 31, 2015);
Listening Session on Policy and Oversight: Mass Demonstrations (oral testimony of
Rodney Monroe, chief of police, Charlotte-Mecklenberg [NC] Police Department, for
the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing, Cincinnati, OH, January 30, 2015).

20

Angeles Police Department (LAPD) described the
LAPD’s Community Safety Partnership, in which
officers engage the community and build trust
where it is needed most, in the public housing
projects in Watts. The department has assigned 45
officers to serve for five years at three housing projects in Watts and at an additional housing project
in East Los Angeles. Through a partnership with the
Advancement Project and the Housing Authority
of the City of Los Angeles, the program involves
officers going into the housing developments with
the intent not to make arrests but to create partnerships, create relationships, hear the community,
and see what they need—and then work together
to make those things happen.34 The work in Watts
has been documented in an Advancement Project
report presented to the task force.35

2.1.1 A ction I tem : The Federal
Government should incentivize this collaboration
through a variety of programs that focus on public
health, education, mental health, and other
programs not traditionally part of the criminal
justice system.
2.2 r ecOmmendatiOn : Law enforcement
agencies should have comprehensive policies
on the use of force that include training,
investigations, prosecutions, data collection,
and information sharing. These policies must
be clear, concise, and openly available for
public inspection.
2.2.1 A ction I tem : Law enforcement
agency policies for training on use of force should
emphasize de-escalation and alternatives to arrest
or summons in situations where appropriate.
34.	 Listening Session on Policy and Oversight: Civilian Oversight (oral testimony
of Charlie Beck, chief, Los Angeles Police Department, for the President’s Task Force
on 21st Century Policing, Cincinnati, OH, January 30, 2015).
35. Rice and Lee, Relationship-Based Policing (see note 22).

Pillar 2. Policy & Oversight

As Chuck Wexler noted in his testimony,
In traditional police culture, officers are taught never
to back down from a confrontation, but instead to
run toward the dangerous situation that everyone
else is running away from. However, sometimes the
best tactic for dealing with a minor confrontation
is to step back, call for assistance, de-escalate, and
perhaps plan a different enforcement action that can
be taken more safely later.36

Policies should also include, at a minimum, annual
training that includes shoot/don’t shoot scenarios
and the use of less than lethal technologies.

2.2.2 A ction I tem : These policies should
also mandate external and independent criminal
investigations in cases of police use of force resulting in death, officer-involved shootings resulting
in injury or death, or in-custody deaths.
One way this can be accomplished is by the
creation of multi-agency force investigation task
forces comprising state and local investigators.
Other ways to structure this investigative process
include referring to neighboring jurisdictions or to
the next higher levels of government (many smaller departments may already have state agencies
handle investigations), but in order to restore and
maintain trust, this independence is crucial.
In written testimony to the task force, James
Palmer of the Wisconsin Professional Police Association offered an example in that state’s statutes
requiring that agency written policies “require an
investigation that is conducted by at least two
investigators . . . neither of whom is employed by

36.	 Listening Session on Policy and Oversight: Use of Force Investigations and
Oversight (oral testimony of Chuck Wexler, executive director, Police Executive
Research Forum, for the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing, Cincinnati,
OH, January 30, 2015).

a law enforcement agency that employs a
law enforcement officer involved in the officerinvolved death.”37 Furthermore, in order to establish and maintain internal legitimacy and
procedural justice, these investigations should
be performed by law enforcement agencies with
adequate training, knowledge, and experience
investigating police use of force.

2.2.3 A ction I tem : The task force encourages policies that mandate the use of external and
independent prosecutors in cases of police use of
force resulting in death, officer-involved shootings
resulting in injury or death, or in-custody deaths.
Strong systems and policies that encourage use
of an independent prosecutor for reviewing
police uses of force and for prosecution in cases of
inappropriate deadly force and in-custody death
will demonstrate the transparency to the public
that can lead to mutual trust between community
and law enforcement.

2.2.4 A ction I tem : Policies on use of force
should also require agencies to collect, maintain,
and report data to the Federal Government on
all officer-involved shootings, whether fatal or
nonfatal, as well as any in-custody death.
In-custody deaths are not only deaths in a prison
or jail but also deaths that occur in the process
of an arrest. The Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS)
implemented the Arrest Related Deaths data
collection in 2003 as part of requirements set forth
in the Deaths in Custody Reporting Act of

37.	 Listening Session on Policy and Oversight (written testimony of James
Palmer, executive director, Wisconsin Professional Police Association, for the
President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing, Cincinnati, OH, January 30–31,
2015).

21

Final Report of the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing

2000 and reenacted in 2014. Although states
receiving grants under the Edward Byrne Memorial
Justice Assistance Grant Program are required to
provide this data to BJS, the Arrest Related Deaths
data collection is a voluntary reporting program
for law enforcement agencies. Access to this data
is important to gain a national picture of police use
of force as well as to incentivize the systematic and
transparent collection and analysis of use of force
incident data at the local level. The agencyreported data should include information on the
circumstances of the use of force, as well as the
race, gender, and age of the decedents. Agency
data should be reported to the U.S. Department of
Justice through the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting
System or an expansion of collections managed
by the BJS.

2.2.5 A ction I tem : Policies on use of force
should clearly state what types of information
will be released, when, and in what situation, to
maintain transparency.
This should also include procedures on the release
of a summary statement regarding the circumstances of the incident by the department as soon
as possible and within 24 hours. The intent of this
directive should be to share as much information
as possible without compromising the integrity of
the investigation or anyone’s rights.

2.2.6 A ction I tem : Law enforcement agencies should establish a Serious Incident Review
Board comprising sworn staff and community
members to review cases involving officerinvolved shootings and other serious incidents
that have the potential to damage community
trust or confidence in the agency. The purpose of
this board should be to identify any administrative, supervisory, training, tactical, or policy issues
that need to be addressed.

22

2.3 r ecOmmendatiOn : Law
enforcement agencies are encouraged to
implement nonpunitive peer review of
critical incidents separate from criminal
and administrative investigations.
These reviews, sometimes known as “near miss”
or “sentinel event” reviews, focus on the improvement of practices and policy. Such reviews already
exist in medicine, aviation, and other industries.
According to the National Institute of Justice (NIJ),
a sentinel event in criminal justice would include
wrongful convictions but also “near miss” acquittals and dismissals of cases that at earlier points
seemed solid; cold cases that stayed cold too long;
wrongful releases of dangerous or factually guilty
criminals or of vulnerable arrestees with mental
disabilities; and failures to prevent domestic
violence within at-risk families.
Sentinel events can include episodes that are
within policy but disastrous in terms of community relations, whether or not everyone agrees
that the event should be classified as an error. In
fact, anything that stakeholders agree can cause
widespread or viral attention could be considered
a sentinel event.38
What distinguishes sentinel event reviews from
other kinds of internal investigations of apparent
errors is that they are nonadversarial. As task force
member Sean Smoot has written,
For sentinel event reviews to be effective and
practical, they must be cooperative efforts that
afford the types of protections provided in the
medical context, where state and federal laws
protect the privacy of participants and prevent the
disclosure of information to anyone outside of the
sentinel event review . . . . Unless the sentinel event
38. James M. Doyle, “Learning from Error in the Criminal Justice System: Sentinel
Event Reviews,” Mending Justice: Sentinel Event Reviews (Special Report from the
National Institute of Justice, September 2014): 3–20.

Pillar 2. Policy & Oversight

Barbara O’Connor, President of the National Association of Women Law Enforcement Executives, speaks during a panel on diversity in law enforcement,
Cincinnati, January 30, 2015.	
PHOTO: DEBORAH SPENCE
process is honest and trustworthy, with adequate
legal protections—including use immunity,
privacy, confidentiality, and nondisclosure, for
example—police officers, who have the very best
information about how things really work and what
really happened, will not be motivated to fully
participate. The sentinel event review approach will
have a better chance of success if departments can
abandon the process of adversarial/punitive-based
discipline, adopting instead “education-based”
disciplinary procedures and policies.39

2.4 R ecommendation : Law enforcement
agencies are encouraged to adopt
identification procedures that implement
scientifically supported practices that
eliminate or minimize presenter bias
or influence.

39.	 Sean Smoot “Punishment-Based vs. Education-Based Discipline: A
Surmountable Challenge?” in Mending Justice: Sentinel Event Reviews (Special
Report from the National Institute of Justice, September 2014): 48–50.

A recent study by the National Academy of
Sciences, Identifying the Culprit: Assessing Eyewitness
Identification, studied the important role played
by eyewitnesses in criminal cases, noting that
research on factors affecting the accuracy of
eyewitness identification procedures has given an
increasingly clear picture of how identifications are
made and, more important, an improved understanding of the limits on vision and memory that
can lead to failure of identification.40 Many factors,
including external conditions and the witness’s
emotional state and biases, influence what a
witness sees or thinks she sees. Memories can
be forgotten, reconstructed, updated, and
distorted. Meanwhile, policies governing law
enforcement procedures for conducting and
recording identifications are not standard, and
policies and practices to address the issue of
misidentification vary widely.

40.	 Samuel R. Gross et al., “Rate of False Conviction of Criminal Defendants who
are Sentenced to Death,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the
United States of America 111, no. 20 (2014): 7230–7235. http://www.pnas.org/
content/111/20/7230.full.pdf+html.

23

Final Report of the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing

2.5 r ecOmmendatiOn : All federal, state,
local, and tribal law enforcement agencies
should report and make available to the
public census data regarding the composition
of their departments including race, gender,
age, and other relevant demographic data.

2.5.1 A ction I tem : The Bureau of Justice
Statistics should add additional demographic
questions to the Law Enforcement Management
and Administrative Statistics (LEMAS) survey in
order to meet the intent of this recommendation.

While the BJS collects information on many
aspects of police activities, there is no single data
collection instrument that yields the information
requested in this recommendation. Demographic
data should be collected and made available to
the public so communities can assess the diversity of their departments and do so in a national
context. This data will also be important to better
understand the impact of diversity on the functioning of departments. Malik Aziz, National Chair
of the National Black Police Association (NBPA),
reminded the task force that the NBPA not only
urges all departments to meet the demographics
of the community in which they serve by maintaining a plan of action to recruit and retain police
officers of color but also has called for the DOJ to
collect the annual demographic statistics from
the 18,000 police agencies across the nation. “It is
not enough to mandate diversity,” he stated, “but
it becomes necessary to diversify command ranks
in departments that have historically failed to develop and/or promote qualified and credentialed
officers to executive and command ranks.”41

2.6 r ecOmmendatiOn : Law enforcement
agencies should be encouraged to collect,
maintain, and analyze demographic data
on all detentions (stops, frisks, searches,
summons, and arrests). This data should be
disaggregated by school and non-school
contacts.

41.	 Listening Session on Policy and Oversight: Law Enforcement Culture and
Diversity (oral testimony of Malik Aziz, chairman, National Black Police Association,
for the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing, Cincinnati, OH, January 30,
2015).

24

The BJS periodically conducts the Police-Public
Contact Survey, a supplement to the National
Crime Victimization Survey. The most recent
survey, released in 2013, asked a nationally
representative sample of U.S. residents age 16
or older about experiences with police during
the prior 12 months.42 But these surveys do not
reflect what is happening every day at the local
level when police interact with members of the
communities they serve. More research and tools
along the lines of Lorie Fridell’s 2004 publication,
By the Numbers: A Guide for Analyzing Race Data
From Vehicle Stops—to help local agencies collect
and analyze their data, understand the importance
of context to the analysis and reporting process,
and establish benchmarks resulting from their
findings—would improve understanding and lead
to evidence-based policies.

42.	 Lynn Langton and Matthew Durose, Police Behavior during Traffic and Street
Stops, 2011, Special Report (Washington, DC: Office of Justice Programs Bureau of
Justice Statistics, 2013), NCJ 242937; Matthew Durose and Lynn Langton, Requests
for Police Assistance, 2011, Special Report (Washington, DC: Office of Justice
Programs Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2013), NCJ 242938.

Pillar 2. Policy & Oversight

2.6.1 A ction I tem : The Federal Government could further incentivize universities
and other organizations to partner with police
departments to collect data and develop knowledge about analysis and benchmarks as well as
to develop tools and templates that help departments manage data collection and analysis.
2.7 r ecOmmendatiOn : Law enforcement
agencies should create policies and
procedures for policing mass demonstrations
that employ a continuum of managed tactical
resources that are designed to minimize the
appearance of a military operation and avoid
using provocative tactics and equipment that
undermine civilian trust.
Policies should emphasize protection of the First
Amendment rights of demonstrators and effective
ways of communicating with them. Superintendent Garry McCarthy of the Chicago Police
Department detailed his police force training and
operations in advance of the 2012 NATO Summit
at the height of the “Occupy” movement. The
department was determined not to turn what it
knew would be a mass demonstration into a riot.
Police officers refreshed “perishable” skills, such
as engaging in respectful conversations with
demonstrators, avoiding confrontation, and using
“extraction techniques” not only on the minority
of demonstrators who were behaving unlawfully
(throwing rocks, etc.) but also on officers who
were becoming visibly upset and at risk of losing
their composure and professional demeanor.43

43.	 Listening Session on Policy and Oversight (oral testimony of Garry McCarthy,
Chicago Police Department, to the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing,
Cincinnati, OH, January 30, 2015).

2.7.1 A ction I tem : Law enforcement agency policies should address procedures
for implementing a layered response to mass
demonstrations that prioritize de-escalation
and a guardian mindset.
These policies could include plans to minimize
confrontation by using “soft look” uniforms, having
officers remove riot gear as soon as practical,
and maintaining open postures. “When officers
line up in a military formation while wearing full
protective gear, their visual appearance may have
a dramatic influence on how the crowd perceives
them and how the event ends.”44

2.7.2 A ction I tem : The Federal Government should create a mechanism for investigating
complaints and issuing sanctions regarding the
inappropriate use of equipment and tactics during
mass demonstrations.
There has been substantial media attention in
recent months surrounding the police use of
military equipment at events where members of
the public are exercising their First Amendment
rights. This has led to the creation of the President’s Interagency Law Enforcement Equipment
Working Group.
That group has been tasked by the Executive
Order 13688 of January 16, 2015 with a number of
issues, including ensuring that law enforcement
agencies adopt organizational and operational
practices and standards that prevent the misuse
or abuse of controlled equipment and ensuring
compliance with civil rights requirements resulting
from receipt of federal financial assistance.

44.	 Listening Session on Policy and Oversight (written testimony of Edward
Maguire, American University, for the President’s Task Force on 21st Century
Policing, Cincinnati, OH, January 30, 2015).

25

Final Report of the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing

2.8 r ecOmmendatiOn : Some form
of civilian oversight of law enforcement is
important in order to strengthen trust with
the community. Every community should
define the appropriate form and structure
of civilian oversight to meet the needs of
that community.
Many, but not all, state and local agencies operate
with the oversight or input of civilian police boards
or commissions. Part of the process of assessing
the need and desire for new or additional civilian
oversight should include input from and collaboration with police employees because the people to
be overseen should be part of the process that will
oversee them. This guarantees that the principles
of internal procedural justice are in place to benefit
both the police and the community they serve.
We must examine civilian oversight in the communities where it operates and determine which
models are successful in promoting police and
community understanding. There are important arguments for having civilian oversight even though
we lack strong research evidence that it works.
Therefore we urge action on further research,
based on the guiding principle of procedural justice, to find evidence-based practices to implement
successful civilian oversight mechanisms.
As noted by witness Brian Buchner at the Policy
and Oversight Listening Session on January 30,
Citizen review is not an advocate for the community
or for the police. This impartiality allows oversight to
bring stakeholders together to work collaboratively
and proactively to help make policing more effective
and responsive to the community. Civilian oversight
alone is not sufficient to gain legitimacy; without
it, however, it is difficult, if not impossible, for the
police to maintain the public’s trust.45
45.	 Listening Session on Policy and Oversight (oral testimony of Brian Buchner,
president, National Association for Civilian Oversight of Law Enforcement, for the
President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing, Cincinnati, OH, January 30, 2015).
26

2.8.1 A ction I tem : The U.S. Department of
Justice, through its research arm, the National Institute of Justice (NIJ), should expand its research
agenda to include civilian oversight.
NIJ recently announced its research priorities in
policing for FY 2015, which include such topics as
police use of force, body-worn cameras, and procedural justice. While proposals related to research on
police oversight might fit into several of these topical areas, police oversight is not highlighted by NIJ
in any of them. NIJ should specifically invite research
into civilian oversight and its impact on and relationship to policing in one or more of these areas.

2.8.2 A ction I tem : The U.S. Department of
Justice’s Office of Community Oriented Policing
Services (COPS Office) should provide technical
assistance and collect best practices from existing
civilian oversight efforts and be prepared to help
cities create this structure, potentially with some
matching grants and funding.
2.9 r ecOmmendatiOn : Law enforcement
agencies and municipalities should refrain
from practices requiring officers to issue a
predetermined number of tickets, citations,
arrests, or summonses, or to initiate
investigative contacts with citizens for reasons
not directly related to improving public safety,
such as generating revenue.
Productivity expectations can be effective
performance management tools. But testimony
from Laura Murphy, Director of the Washington
Legislative Office of the American Civil Liberties
Union, identifies some of the negative effects
of these practices:
One only needs to paint a quick picture of the state
of policing to understand the dire need for reform.
First, there are local and federal incentives that

Pillar 2. Policy & Oversight

Co-chair Laurie Robinson asks a panelist a question, Phoenix, February 13, 2015.	
instigate arrests. At the local level, cities across the
country generate much of their revenue through
court fines and fees, with those who can’t pay
subject to arrest and jail time. These debtors’ prisons
are found in cities like Ferguson, where the number
of arrest warrants in 2013—33,000—exceeded its
population of 21,000. Most of the warrants were for
driving violations.46

PHOTO: DEBORAH SPENCE­­

2.11 r ecOmmendatiOn : Law
enforcement agencies should adopt policies
requiring officers to identify themselves
by their full name, rank, and command (as
applicable) and provide that information in
writing to individuals they have stopped. In
addition, policies should require officers to
state the reason for the stop and the reason
for the search if one is conducted.

2.10 r ecOmmendatiOn : Law
enforcement officers should be required
to seek consent before a search and explain
that a person has the right to refuse consent
when there is no warrant or probable
cause. Furthermore, officers should ideally
obtain written acknowledgement that
they have sought consent to a search
in these circumstances.

2.11.1 A ction I tem : One example of how
to do this is for law enforcement officers to carry
business cards containing their name, rank, command, and contact information that would enable
individuals to offer suggestions or commendations or to file complaints with the appropriate
individual, office, or board. These cards would be
easily distributed in all encounters.

46.	 Listening Session on Trust and Legitimacy (oral testimony of Laura Murphy,
director of the Washington Legislative Office, American Civil Liberties Union, for
the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing, Washington, DC, January 13,
2015); Joseph Shapiro, “In Ferguson, Court Fines and Fees Fuel Anger,” NPR.com,
last updated August 25, 2014, http://www.npr.org/2014/08/25/343143937/
in-ferguson-court-fines-and-fees-fuel-anger; In For A Penny: The Rise of
America’s Debtors’ Prisons (New York: American Civil Liberties Union, 2010),
http://www.aclu.org/files/assets/InForAPenny_web.pdf.

2.12 R ecommendation : Law
enforcement agencies should establish search
and seizure procedures related to LGBTQ and
transgender populations and adopt as policy
the recommendation from the President’s
27

Final Report of the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing

Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS (PACHA) to
cease using the possession of condoms as the
sole evidence of vice.

through investigative reports, Freedom of Information
Act (FOIA) requests, and lawsuits that agencies target
communities by religion and national origin.48

2.13 r ecOmmendatiOn : Law
enforcement agencies should adopt and
enforce policies prohibiting profiling and
discrimination based on race, ethnicity,
national origin, religion, age, gender, gender
identity/expression, sexual orientation,
immigration status, disability, housing status,
occupation, or language fluency.

2.13.1 A ction I tem : The Bureau of Justice
Statistics should add questions concerning
sexual harassment of and misconduct toward
community members, and in particular LGBTQ
and gender-nonconforming people, by law
enforcement officers to the Police Public
Contact Survey.

The task force heard from a number of witnesses
about the importance of protecting the safety and
dignity of all people. Andrea Ritchie noted that
gender and sexuality-specific forms of racial profiling
and discriminatory policing [include] . . . . Failure to
respect individuals’ gender identity and expression
when addressing members of the public and
during arrest processing, searches, and placement
in police custody.47

Invasive searches should never be used for the
sole purpose of determining gender identity, and
an individual’s gender identity should be respected in lock-ups and holding cells to the extent that
the facility allows for gender segregation. And
witness Linda Sarsour spoke to how
an issue plaguing and deeply impacting ArabAmerican and American Muslim communities across
the country is racial and religious profiling by local,
state, and federal law enforcement. We have learned

47.	 Listening Session on Training and Education (oral testimony of Andrea Ritchie,
founder of Streetwise and Safe, for the President’s Task Force on 21st Century
Policing, Phoenix, AZ, February 14, 2015).
28

2.13.2 A ction I tem : The Centers for
Disease Control should add questions concerning
sexual harassment of and misconduct toward
community members, and in particular LGBTQ and
gender-nonconforming people, by law enforcement officers to the National Intimate Partner and
Sexual Violence Survey.
2.13.3 A ction I tem : The U.S. Department
of Justice should promote and disseminate
guidance to federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies on documenting, preventing, and
addressing sexual harassment and misconduct by
local law enforcement agents, consistent with the
recommendations of the International Association
of Chiefs of Police.49
2.14 r ecOmmendatiOn : The U.S.
Department of Justice, through the Office of
Community Oriented Policing Services and
Office of Justice Programs, should provide
technical assistance and incentive funding to
jurisdictions with small police agencies that
take steps towards shared services, regional
training, and consolidation.
48.	 Listening Session on Training and Education (oral testimony of Linda Sarsour,
Advocacy And Civic Engagement coordinator for the National Network for Arab
American Communities, for the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing,
Phoenix, AZ, February 14, 2015).
49.	 IACP, Addressing Sexual Offenses and Misconduct by Law Enforcement:
Executive Guide (Alexandria, VA: International Association of Chiefs of Police, 2011).

Pillar 2. Policy & Oversight

Half of all law enforcement agencies in the United
States have fewer than ten officers, and nearly
three-quarters have fewer than 25 officers.50 Lawrence Sherman noted in his testimony that “so many
problems of organizational quality control are made
worse by the tiny size of most local police agencies
. . . less than 1 percent of 17,985 U.S. police agencies
meet the English minimum of 1,000 employees or
more.”51 These small forces often lack the resources
for training and equipment accessible to larger
departments and often are prevented by municipal
boundaries and local custom from combining
forces with neighboring agencies. Funding and
technical assistance can give smaller agencies the
incentive to share policies and practices and give
them access to a wider variety of training, equipment, and communications technology than they
could acquire on their own.

2.15 r ecOmmendatiOn : The U.S.
Department of Justice, through the Office of
Community Oriented Policing Services, should
partner with the International Association
of Directors of Law Enforcement Standards
and Training (IADLEST) to expand its National
Decertification Index to serve as the National
Register of Decertified Officers with the goal
of covering all agencies within the United
States and its territories.
The National Decertification Index is an aggregation of information that allows hiring agencies to
identify officers who have had their license or certification revoked for misconduct. It was designed
as an answer to the problem “wherein a police
officer is discharged for improper conduct and
loses his/her certification in that state . . . [only to
relocate] to another state and hire on with another
police department.”52 Peace Officer Standards and

Table 1. Full-time state and local law enforcement employees, by size of agency, 2008
Size of agency

Number of agencies

Total number of full-time employees

All agencies

17,985

1,133,915

1,000 or more officers

83

326,197

500–999

89

94,168

250–499

237

133,024

100–249

778

174,505

500–99

1,300

136,390

25–49

2,402

124,492

10–24

4,300

98,563

5–9

3,446

32,493

2–4

3,225

11,498

0–1

2,125

2,585

Source: Brian A. Reaves, “State and Local Law Enforcement Agencies” (see note 50).
50.	 Brian A. Reaves, Census of State and Local Law Enforcement Agencies, 2008,
Bulletin (Washington, DC: Office of Justice Programs Bureau of Justice Statistics,
2011), NCJ 233982.
51.	 Listening Session on the Future of Community Policing (oral testimony of
Lawrence Sherman, Cambridge University, for the President’s Task Force on 21st
Century Policing, Washington, DC, February 24, 2015).

52.	 “National Decertification Index—FAQs,” accessed February 27, 2015,
https://www.iadlest.org/Portals/0/Files/NDI/FAQ/ndi_faq.html.

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Final Report of the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing

Bill Schrier of the Office of the Chief Information Officer for the state of Washington used PowerPoint to demonstrate how agencies
can use Twitter for engagement, Cincinnati, January 31, 2015.	

Training (POST) boards can record administrative
actions taken against certified police and correctional officers. Currently the criteria for reporting
an action on an officer is determined by each
POST independently, as is the granting of readonly access to hiring departments to use as part
of their pre-hire screening process. Expanding this
system to ensure national and standardized reporting would assist in ensuring that officers who

PHOTO: DEBORAH SPENCE

have lost their certification for misconduct are not
easily hired in other jurisdictions. A national register would effectively treat “police professionals the
way states’ licensing laws treat other professionals.
If anything, the need for such a system is even
more important for law enforcement, as officers
have the power to make arrests, perform searches,
and use deadly force.”53

53.	 Roger L. Goldman, “Police Officer Decertification: Promoting Police
Professionalism through State Licensing and the National Decertification Index,”
Police Chief 81 (November 2014): 40–42, http://www.policechiefmagazine.
org/magazine/index.cfm?fuseaction=display_arch&article_id=3538&issue_
id=112014.

30

P I L L A R 3  . T E C H N O L O G Y & S O C I A L
MEDIA
Implementing new technologies can give police departments an
opportunity to fully engage and educate communities in a dialogue
about their expectations for transparency, accountability, and privacy.
We live in a time when technology and its many
uses are advancing far more quickly than are
policies and laws. “Technology” available to law
enforcement today includes everything from
body-worn cameras (BWC) to unmanned aircraft to
social media and a myriad of products in between.

knowledge, and practical experiences can help
agencies reach their goals,54 but law enforcement
agencies and personnel also need to recognize that
technology is only a tool for doing their jobs: just
because you have access to technology does not
necessarily mean you should always use it.55

The use of technology can improve policing practices and build community trust and legitimacy,
but its implementation must be built on a defined
policy framework with its purposes and goals
clearly delineated. Implementing new technologies
can give police departments an opportunity to fully
engage and educate communities in a dialogue
about their expectations for transparency, accountability, and privacy. But technology changes quickly
in terms of new hardware, software, and other
options. Law enforcement agencies and leaders
need to be able to identify, assess, and evaluate
new technology for adoption and do so in ways
that improve their effectiveness, efficiency, and
evolution without infringing on individual rights.

BWCs are a case in point. An increasing number of
law enforcement agencies are adopting BWC programs as a means to improve evidence collection,
to strengthen officer performance and accountability, and to enhance agency transparency. By
documenting encounters between police and the
public, BWCs can also be used to investigate and
resolve complaints about officer-involved incidents.

Thus, despite (and because of ) the centrality of
technology in policing, law enforcement agencies
face major challenges including determining the
effects of implementing various technologies;
identifying costs and benefits; examining unintended consequences; and exploring the best practices
by which technology can be evaluated, acquired,
maintained, and managed. Addressing these technology challenges by using research, accumulated

Jim Bueermann, retired chief of the Redlands
(California) Police Department and President of
the Police Foundation, told the task force about
a seminal piece of research that demonstrated a
positive impact of BWCs in policing. The researchers used the gold standard of research models, a
randomized control trial, in which the people
54. Elizabeth Groff and Tom McEwen, Identifying and Measuring the Effects
of Information Technologies on Law Enforcement Agencies: The Making Officer
Redeployment Effective Program (Washington, DC: Office of Community Oriented
Policing Services, 2008), http://www.cops.usdoj.gov/Publications/e08084156-IT.pdf;
Christopher S. Koper, Cynthia Lum, James J. Willis, Daniel J. Woods, and Julie
Hibdon, Realizing the Potential of Technology in Policing: A Multi-Site Study of the
Social, Organizational, and Behavioral Aspects of Implementing Police Technologies
(Washington, DC: National Institute of Justice, 2015), http://cebcp.org/wpcontent/evidence-based-policing/ImpactTechnologyFinalReport.
55. IACP Technology Policy Framework (Alexandria, VA: International Association
of Chiefs of Police, 2014), http://www.theiacp.org/Portals/0/documents/pdfs/
IACP%20Technology%20Policy%20Framework%20January%202014%20Final.pdf.

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Final Report of the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing

being studied are randomly assigned either to
a control group that does not receive the treatment being studied or to a treatment group that
does. The results of this 12-month study strongly
suggest that the use of BWCs by the police can
significantly reduce both officer use of force and
complaints against officers. The study found that
the officers wearing the cameras had 87.5 percent
fewer incidents of use of force and 59 percent
fewer complaints than the officers not wearing
the cameras. One of the important findings of the
study was the impact BWCs might have on the
self-awareness of officers and citizens alike.
When police officers are acutely aware that their
behavior is being monitored (because they turn
on the cameras) and when officers tell citizens
that the cameras are recording their behavior,
everyone behaves better. The results of this
study strongly suggest that this increase in selfawareness contributes to more positive outcomes
in police-citizen interaction.56
But other considerations make the issue of BWCs
more complex. A 2014 Police Executive Research
Forum (PERF) publication, funded by the Office of
Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS Office), reporting on extensive research exploring the
policy and implementation questions surrounding
BWCs noted:
Although body-worn cameras can offer many
benefits, they also raise serious questions about how
technology is changing the relationship between
police and the community. Body-worn cameras
not only create concerns about the public’s privacy
rights but also can affect how officers relate
to people in the community, the community’s
56. Listening Session on Technology and Social Media: Body Cameras-Research
and Legal Considerations (oral testimony of Jim Bueermann, president, Police
Foundation, for the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing, Cincinnati, OH,
January 31, 2015); Ariel Barak, William A. Farrar, and Alex Sutherland, “The Effect
of Police Body-Worn Cameras on Use of Force and Citizens’ Complaints Against the
Police: A Randomized Controlled Trial,” Journal of Quantitative Criminology 2014.
32

perception of the police, and expectations about
how police agencies should share information with
the public.57

Now that agencies operate in a world in which
anyone with a cell phone camera can record
video footage of a police encounter, BWCs help
police departments ensure that events are also
captured from an officer’s perspective.58 But when
the public does not believe its privacy is being
protected by law enforcement, a breakdown in
community trust can occur. Agencies need to
consider ways to involve the public in discussions
related to the protection of their privacy and civil
liberties prior to implementing new technology,
as well work with the public and other partners in
the justice system to develop appropriate policies
and procedures for use.
Another technology relatively new to law
enforcement is social media. Social media is a
communication tool the police can use to engage
the community on issues of importance to both
and to gauge community sentiment regarding
agency policies and practices. Social media can
also help police identify the potential nature and
location of gang and other criminal or disorderly
activity such as spontaneous crowd gatherings.59
The Boston Police Department (BPD), for example,
has long embraced both community policing and
the use of social media. The department put its
experience to good and highly visible use in April
2013 during the rapidly developing investigation
that followed the deadly explosion of two bombs
at the finish line of the Boston Marathon. The
57. Lindsay Miller and Jessica Toliver, Implementing a Body-Worn Camera
Program: Recommendations and Lessons Learned (Washington, DC: Office
of Community Oriented Policing Services, 2014), vii, http://ric-zai-inc.com/
Publications/cops-p296-pub.pdf.
58. Ibid., 1.
59. Police Executive Research Forum, Social Media and Tactical Considerations for
Law Enforcement (Washington, DC: Office of Community Oriented Policing Services,
2013), http://ric-zai-inc.com/Publications/cops-p261-pub.pdf.

Pillar 3. Technology & Social Media

BPD successfully used Twitter to keep the public
informed about the status of the investigation, to
calm nerves and request assistance, to correct mistaken information reported by the press, and to
ask for public restraint in the tweeting of information from police scanners. This demonstrated the
level of trust and interaction that a department
and a community can attain online.60
While technology is crucial to law enforcement,
it is never a panacea. Its acquisition and use can
have unintended consequences for both the
organization and the community it serves, which
may limit its potential. Thus, agencies need clearly
defined policies related to implementation of
technology, and must pay close attention to
community concerns about its use.

3.1 r ecOmmendatiOn : The U.S.
Department of Justice, in consultation with
the law enforcement field, should broaden the
efforts of the National Institute of Justice to
establish national standards for the research
and development of new technology. These
standards should also address compatibility
and interoperability needs both within law
enforcement agencies and across agencies
and jurisdictions and maintain civil and human
rights protections.
The lack of consistent standards leads to a constantly spiraling increase in technology costs. Law
enforcement often has to invest in new layers of

60.	 Edward F. Davis III, Alejandro A. Alves, and David Alan Sklansky,
“Social Media and Police Leadership: Lessons from Boston,” New Perspectives
in Policing (Washington, DC: National Institute of Justice, March 2014),
http://www.hks.harvard.edu/content/download/67536/1242954/version/1/file/
SocialMediaandPoliceLeadership-03-14.pdf.

technology to enable their systems to operate with
different systems and sometimes must also make
expensive modifications or additions to legacy
systems to support interoperability with newer
technology. And these costs do not include the
additional funds needed for training. Agencies are
often unprepared for the unintended consequences that may accompany the acquisition of new
technologies. Implementation of new technologies
can cause disruptions to daily routines, lack of
buy-in, and lack of understanding of the purpose
and appropriate uses of the technologies. It also
often raises questions regarding how the new
technologies will impact the officer’s expectations,
discretion, decision making, and accountability.61
Inconsistent or nonexistent standards also lead
to isolated and fractured information systems
that cannot effectively manage, store, analyze, or
share their data with other systems. As a result,
much information is lost or unavailable—which
allows vital information to go unused and have
no impact on crime reduction efforts. As one
witness noted, the development of mature crime
analysis and CompStat processes allows law
enforcement to effectively develop policy and
deploy resources for crime prevention, but there is
a lack of uniformity in data collection throughout
law enforcement, and only patchwork methods
of near real-time information sharing exist.62 These
problems are especially critical in light of the
threats from terrorism and cybercrime.

61.	 Koper et al., Potential of Technology in Policing (see note 54).
62.	 Listening Session on Technology and Social Media (oral testimony of Elliot
Cohen, Maryland State Police, for the President’s Task Force on 21st Century
Policing, Cincinnati, OH, January 31, 2015).
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Final Report of the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing

All of the task force listening sessions were streamed live and can still be viewed at the task force website.	

3.1.1 a ctiOn i tem : The Federal Government should support the development and
delivery of training to help law enforcement
agencies learn, acquire, and implement technology tools and tactics that are consistent with the
best practices of 21st century policing.
3.1.2 a ctiOn i tem : As part of national standards, the issue of technology’s impact on privacy
concerns should be addressed in accordance with
protections provided by constitutional law.
Though all constitutional guidelines must be
maintained in the performance of law enforcement duties, the legal framework (warrants, etc.)
should continue to protect law enforcement

34

PHOTO: DEBORAH SPENCE

access to data obtained from cell phones, social
media, GPS, and other sources, allowing officers to
detect, prevent, or respond to crime.

3.1.3 a ctiOn i tem : Law enforcement
agencies should deploy smart technology that is
designed to prevent the tampering with or manipulating of evidence in violation of policy.
3.2 R ecommendation : The
implementation of appropriate technology by
law enforcement agencies should be designed
considering local needs and aligned with
national standards.

Pillar 3. Technology & Social Media

While standards should be created for development and research of technology at the national
level, implementation of developed technologies
should remain a local decision to address the
needs and resources of the community.
In addition to the expense of acquiring technology,
implementation and training also requires funds,
as well as time, personnel, and physical capacity.
A case in point is the Phoenix Police Department’s
adoption of BWCs mentioned by witness Michael
White, who said that the real costs came on the
back end for managing the vast amount of data
generated by the cameras. He quoted the Chief
of the Phoenix Police Department as saying that
it would cost their department $3.5 million to not
only outfit all of their officers with the cameras but
also successfully manage the program.

3.2.1 A ction I tem : Law enforcement agencies should encourage public engagement and
collaboration, including the use of community
advisory bodies, when developing a policy for the
use of a new technology.
Local residents will be more accepting of and
respond more positively to technology when they
have been informed of new developments and
their input has been encouraged. How police use
technology and how they share that information
with the public is critical. Task force witness Jim
Bueermann, president of the Police Foundation,
addressed this issue, noting that concerns about
BWCs include potential compromises to the privacy of both officers and citizens, who are reluctant
to speak to police if they think they are being
recorded. And as the task force co-chair, Charles
Ramsey, noted, “Just having the conversation can
increase trust and legitimacy and help departments make better decisions.”

3.2.2 A ction I tem : Law enforcement agencies should include an evaluation or assessment
process to gauge the effectiveness of any new
technology, soliciting input from all levels of the
agency, from line officer to leadership, as well as
assessment from members of the community.63
Witnesses suggested that law enforcement
agencies create an advisory group when adopting
a new technology.64 Ideally, it would include line
officers, union representatives, and members from
other departmental units, such as research and
planning, technology, and internal affairs. External
stakeholders, such as representatives from the
prosecutor’s office, the defense bar, advocacy
groups, and citizens should also be included, giving each group the opportunity to ask questions,
express their concerns, and offer suggestions on
policy and training.

3.2.3 A ction I tem : Law enforcement
agencies should adopt the use of new technologies that will help them better serve people with
special needs or disabilities.
3.3 R ecommendation : The U.S.
Department of Justice should develop
best practices that can be adopted by state
legislative bodies to govern the acquisition,
use, retention, and dissemination of
auditory, visual, and biometric data by
law enforcement.

63.	 Sharon Stolting, Shawn Barrett, and David Kurz, Best Practices Guide for
Acquisition of New Technology (Alexandria, VA: International Association of Chiefs of
Police, n.d.), http://www.theiacp.org/portals/0/pdfs/BP-NewTechnology.pdf.
64.	 Listening Session on Technology and Social Media: Body Cameras—Research
and Legal Considerations (oral testimony of Michael White, professor, Arizona State
University, for the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing, Cincinnati, OH,
January 31, 2015).

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Final Report of the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing

These model policies and practices should at
minimum address technology usage and data
and evidence acquisition and retention, as well as
privacy issues, accountability and discipline. They
must also consider the impact of data collection
and use on public trust and police legitimacy.

3.3.1 A ction I tem : As part of the process
for developing best practices, the U.S. Department
of Justice should consult with civil rights and civil
liberties organizations, as well as law enforcement
research groups and other experts, concerning
the constitutional issues that can arise as a result
of the use of new technologies.
3.3.2 A ction I tem : The U.S. Department
of Justice should create toolkits for the most
effective and constitutional use of multiple
forms of innovative technology that will provide
state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies
with a one-stop clearinghouse of information
and resources.
3.3.3 A ction I tem : Law enforcement
agencies should review and consider the Bureau
of Justice Assistance’s (BJA) Body Worn Camera
Toolkit to assist in implementing BWCs.
A Body-Worn Camera Expert Panel of law enforcement leaders, recognized practitioners, national
policy leaders, and community advocates convened a two-day workshop in February, 2015 to
develop a toolkit and provide guidance and model
policy for law enforcement agencies implementing
BWC programs. Subject matter experts contributed
ideas and content for the proposed toolkit while a
panel composed of privacy and victim advocates
contributed ideas and content for the toolkit to
broaden input and ensure transparency.

36

3.4 r ecOmmendatiOn : Federal, state,
local, and tribal legislative bodies should be
encouraged to update public record laws.
The quickly evolving nature of new technologies
that collect video, audio, information, and biometric data on members of the community can cause
unforeseen consequences. Public record laws,
which allow public access to information held by
government agencies, including law enforcement,
should be modified to protect the privacy of
the individuals whose records they hold and to
maintain the trust of the community.
Issues such as the accessibility of video captured
through dashboard or body-worn cameras are
especially complex. So too are the officer use of
force events that will be captured by video camera
systems and then broadcast by local media outlets.
Use of force, even when lawful and appropriate,
can negatively influence public perception and
trust of police. Sean Smoot, task force member, addressed this by recalling the shooting of a Flagstaff,
Arizona, police officer whose death was recorded
by his BWC. Responding to public record requests
by local media, the police department released
the graphic footage, which was then shown on
local TV and also on YouTube.65 This illustration also
raises questions concerning the recording of police
interactions with minors and the appropriateness
of releasing those videos for public view given their
inability to give informed consent for distribution.

3.5 R ecommendation : Law enforcement
agencies should adopt model policies
and best practices for technology-based
community engagement that increases
community trust and access.
65.	 Listening Session on Technology and Social Media (Sean Smoot, task force
member, for the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing, Cincinnati, OH,
January 31, 2015).

Pillar 3. Technology & Social Media

Table 2. What types of social media does your agency currently use, and what types of
social media do you plan to begin using within the next 2 to 5 years?
Social media type

Percent of responding agencies
currently using

Percent of responding agencies planning to begin using in 2 to 5 years

Agency website

100

—

Facebook

82

14

Twitter

69

18

YouTube

48

20

LinkedIn

34

20

Note: PERF, with the support of the COPS Office and Target Corporation, disseminated a “Future of Policing” survey in 2012 to more than 500 police agencies; nearly
200 responded.
Source: Police Executive Research Forum, Future Trends in Policing (Washington, DC: Office of Community Oriented Policing Services, 2014),
http://ric-zai-inc.com/Publications/cops-p282-pub.pdf.

These policies and practices should at a minimum
increase transparency and accessibility, provide
access to information (crime statistics, current
calls for service), allow for public posting of policy
and procedures, and enable access and usage for
persons with disabilities. They should also address
issues surrounding the use of new and social
media, encouraging the use of social media as a
means of community interaction and relationship
building, which can result in stronger law enforcement. As witness Elliot Cohen noted,
We have seen social media support policing efforts
in gathering intelligence during active assailant
incidents: the Columbia Mall shooting and the
Boston Marathon bombing. Social media allowed for
a greater volume of information to be collected in an
electronic format, both audibly and visually.66

But to engage the community, social media must
be responsive and current. Said Bill Schrier, “Regularly refresh the content to maintain and engage
the audience, post content rapidly during incidents to dispel rumors, and use it for engagement,
66.	 Listening Session on Technology and Social Media: Technology Policy (oral
testimony of Elliot Cohen, lieutenant, Maryland State Police, for the President’s Task
Force on 21st Century Policing, Cincinnati, OH, January 31, 2015).

not just public information.”67 False or incorrect
statements made via social media, mainstream
media, and other means of technology deeply
harm trust and legitimacy and can only be overcome with targeted and continuing community
engagement and repeated positive interaction.
Agencies need to unequivocally discourage falsities by underlining how harmful they are and how
difficult they are to overcome.
Agencies should also develop policies and practices on social media use that consider individual
officer expression, professional representation,
truthful communication, and other concerns that
can impact trust and legitimacy.

3.6 R ecommendation : The Federal
Government should support the development
of new “less than lethal” technology to help
control combative suspects.
The fatal shootings in Ferguson, Cleveland, and
elsewhere have put the consequences of use of
force front and center in the national news.
67.	 Listening Session on Technology and Social Media: Technology Policy (oral
testimony of Bill Schrier, senior policy advisor, Office of the Chief Information
Officer, State of Washington, for the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing,
Cincinnati, OH, January 31, 2015).
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Final Report of the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing

Rev. Jeff Brown speaks on restoring trust between police and communities, Phoenix, February 13, 2015.	

Policies and procedures must change, but so
should the weaponry. New technologies such as
conductive energy devices (CED) have been developed and may be used and evaluated to decrease
the number of fatal police interventions. Studies of
CEDs have shown them to be effective at reducing
both officer and civilian injuries. For example, in
one study that compared seven law enforcement
agencies that use CEDs with six agencies that do
not, researchers found a 70 percent decrease in
officer injuries and a 40 percent decrease in suspect injures.68 But new technologies should still be
68. Bruce Taylor et al., Comparing Safety Outcomes in Police Use-Of-Force Cases
for Law Enforcement Agencies That Have Deployed Conducted Energy Devices and
A Matched Comparison Group That Have Not: A Quasi-Experimental Evaluation
(Washington, DC: Police Executive Research Forum, 2009), https://www.ncjrs.
gov/pdffiles1/nij/grants/237965.pdf; John M. MacDonald, Robert J. Kaminski,
and Michael R. Smith, “The Effect of Less-Lethal Weapons on Injuries in Police Useof-Force Events,” American Journal of Public Health 99, no. 12 (2009) 2268–2274,
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2775771/pdf/2268.pdf; Bruce G.

38

PHOTO: DEBORAH SPENCE

subject to the appropriate use of force continuum
restrictions. And Vincent Talucci made the point in
his testimony that over-reliance on technological
weapons can also be dangerous.69

3.6.1 A ction I tem : Relevant federal agencies, including the U.S. Departments of Defense
and Justice, should expand their efforts to study
the development and use of new less than lethal
technologies and evaluate their impact on public
safety, reducing lethal violence against citizens,
constitutionality, and officer safety.

Taylor and Daniel J. Woods, “Injuries to Officers and Suspects in Police Use-ofForce Cases: A Quasi-Experimental Evaluation,” Police Quarterly 13, no. 3 (2010):
260–289, http://pqx.sagepub.com/content/13/3/260.full.pdf.
69.	 Listening Session on Technology and Social Media (oral testimony of Vincent
Talucci, International Association of Chiefs of Police, for the President’s Task Force on
21st Century Policing, Cincinnati, OH, January 31, 2015).

Pillar 3. Technology & Social Media

3.7 R ecommendation : The Federal
Government should make the development
and building of segregated radio spectrum
and increased bandwidth by FirstNet
for exclusive use by local, state, tribal,
and federal public safety agencies a
top priority.70

A national public safety broadband network
which creates bandwidth for the exclusive use of
law enforcement, the First Responder Network
(FirstNet) is considered a game-changing public
safety project, which would allow instantaneous
communication in even the most remote areas
whenever a disaster or incident occurs. It can also
support many other technologies, including video
transmission from BWCs.

70.	 Listening Session on Technology and Social Media: Technology Policy (oral
testimony of Bill Schrier, senior policy advisor, Office of the Chief Information
Officer, State of Washington, for the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing,
Cincinnati, OH, January 31, 2015).

39

Final Report of the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing

President Barack Obama delivers remarks to the press following a meeting with members of the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing in the
Roosevelt Room of the White House, March 2, 2015.	
OFFICIAL WHITE HOUSE PHOTO BY CHUCK KENNEDY

40

P I L L A R 4  . C O M M U N I T Y P O L I C I N G
& CRIME REDUCTION
Community policing requires the active building of positive relationships with members of the community.
Community policing is a philosophy that promotes
organizational strategies that support the
systematic use of partnerships and problem-solving
techniques to proactively address the immediate
conditions that give rise to public safety issues such
as crime, social disorder, and fear of crime.71
Over the past few decades, rates of both violent
and property crime have dropped dramatically
across the United States.72 However, some communities and segments of the population have not
benefited from the decrease as much as others, and
some not at all.73 Though law enforcement must
concentrate their efforts in these neighborhoods
to maintain public safety, sometimes those specific
efforts arouse resentment in the neighborhoods
the police are striving to protect.
Police interventions must be implemented with
strong policies and training in place, rooted in an
understanding of procedural justice. Indeed, without that, police interventions can easily devolve
into racial profiling, excessive use of force, and
other practices that disregard civil rights, causing
negative reactions from people living in already
challenged communities.
71. Community Policing Defined (Washington, DC: Office of Community Oriented
Policing Services, 2014), http://ric-zai-inc.com/Publications/cops-p157-pub.pdf.
72. “Crime Statistics for 2013 Released: Decrease in Violent Crimes and Property
Crimes,” Federal Bureau of Investigation, last modified November 10, 2014,
http://www.fbi.gov/news/stories/2014/november/crime-statistics-for-2013released/crime-statistics-for-2013-released.
73. Listening Session on Community Policing and Crime Reduction: Building
Community Policing Organizations (oral testimony of Chris Magnus, chief,
Richmond [CA] Police Department, for the President’s Task Force on 21st Century
Policing, Phoenix, AZ, February 13, 2015).

Yet mutual trust and cooperation, two key
elements of community policing, are vital to
protecting residents of these communities from
the crime that plagues them. Community policing
combines a focus on intervention and prevention
through problem solving with building collaborative partnerships between law enforcement
agencies and schools, social services, and other
stakeholders. In this way, community policing not
only improves public safety but also enhances
social connectivity and economic strength, which
increases community resilience to crime. And, as
noted by one speaker, it improves job satisfaction
for line officers, too.
In his testimony to the task force, Camden County,
New Jersey, Police Chief J. Scott Thomson noted
that community policing starts on the street
corner, with respectful interaction between a
police officer and a local resident, a discussion that
need not be related to a criminal matter.74 In fact,
it is important that not all interactions be based on
emergency calls or crime investigations.
Another aspect of community policing that was
discussed in the listening session on this topic is
the premise that officers enforce the law with the
people not just on the people. In reflecting this
belief, some commented on the negative

74. Listening Session on Community Policing and Crime Reduction: Using
Community Policing to Reduce Crime (oral testimony of J. Scott Thomson, chief,
Camden County [NJ] Police Department, for the President’s Task Force on 21st
Century Policing, Phoenix, AZ, February 13, 2015).

41

Final Report of the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing

results of zero tolerance policies, which mete out
automatic and predetermined actions by officers
regardless of extenuating circumstances.
Community policing requires the active building
of positive relationships with members of the
community—on an agency as well as on a personal basis. This can be done through assigning
officers to geographic areas on a consistent basis,
so that through the continuity of assignment they
have the opportunity to know the members of
the community. It can also be aided by the use
of programs such as Eagle County, Colorado’s
Law Enforcement Immigrant Advisory Committee, which the police department formed with
Catholic Charities to help the local immigrant
community.75 This type of policing also requires
participation in community organizations, local
meetings and public service activities.
To be most effective, community policing also
requires collaborative partnerships with agencies
beyond law enforcement, such as Philadelphia’s
successful Police Diversion Program described
by Kevin Bethel, Deputy Commissioner of Patrol
Operations in the Philadelphia Police Department
in his testimony to the task force.76 This partnership with the Philadelphia Department of Human
Services, the school district, the District Attorney’s
office, Family Court, and other stakeholders significantly reduced the number of arrests of minority
youths for minor offenses.
Problem solving, another key element of community policing, is critical to prevention. And
problems must be solved in partnership with the
75. Listening Session on Community Policing and Crime Reduction: Building
Community Policing Organizations (oral testimony of Chris Magnus, chief,
Richmond [CA] Police Department, for the President’s Task Force on 21st Century
Policing, Phoenix, AZ, February 13, 2015).
76. Listening Session on Community Policing and Crime Reduction: Using
Community Policing to Reduce Crime (oral testimony of Kevin Bethel, deputy police
commissioner, Philadelphia Police Department, for the President’s Task Force on
21st Century Policing, Phoenix, AZ, February 13, 2015).

42

community in order to effectively address chronic
crime and disorder problems. As Office of Community Oriented Policing Services Director Ronald
L. Davis has said, “We need to teach new recruits
that law enforcement is more than just cuffing
‘perps’—it’s understanding why people do what
they do.”77
In summary, law enforcement’s obligation is not
only to reduce crime but also to do so fairly while
protecting the rights of citizens. Any prevention
strategy that unintentionally violates civil rights,
compromises police legitimacy, or undermines
trust is counterproductive from both ethical and
cost-benefit perspectives. Ignoring these considerations can have both financial costs (e.g., lawsuits)
and social costs (e.g., loss of public support).
It must also be stressed that the absence of crime
is not the final goal of law enforcement. Rather, it
is the promotion and protection of public safety
while respecting the dignity and rights of all. And
public safety and well-being cannot be attained
without the community’s belief that their wellbeing is at the heart of all law enforcement activities. It is critical to help community members see
police as allies rather than as an occupying force
and to work in concert with other community
stakeholders to create more economically and
socially stable neighborhoods.

4.1 R ecommendation : Law enforcement
agencies should develop and adopt policies
and strategies that reinforce the importance
of community engagement in managing
public safety.

77.	 Faye Elkins, “Five COPS Office Directors Look Back and Think Forward at the
20th Anniversary Celebration,” Community Policing Dispatch 8, no. 1 (January
12, 2014), http://cops.usdoj.gov/html/dispatch/01-2015/cops_office_20th_
anniversary.asp.

Pillar 4. Community Policing & Crime Reduction

Community policing is not just about the relationship between individual officers and individual
neighborhood residents. It is also about the relationship between law enforcement leaders and
leaders of key institutions in a community, such as
churches, businesses, and schools, supporting the
community’s own process to define prevention
and reach goals.
Law enforcement agencies cannot ensure the safety
of communities alone but should seek to contribute
to the strengthening of neighborhood capacity to
prevent and reduce crime through informal social
control. More than a century of research shows
that informal social control is a much more powerful
mechanism for crime control and reduction than is
formal punishment. And perhaps the best evidence
for the preventive power of informal social control
may be the millions of unguarded opportunities to
commit crime that are passed up each day.78

4.1.1 A ction I tem : Law enforcement agencies should consider adopting preferences for
seeking “least harm” resolutions, such as diversion
programs or warnings and citations in lieu of
arrest for minor infractions.
4.2 r ecOmmendatiOn : Community
policing should be infused throughout the
culture and organizational structure of law
enforcement agencies.
Community policing must be a way of doing
business by an entire police force, not just a
specialized unit of that force.79 The task force heard
testimony from Police Chief J. Scott Thomson of
Camden County, New Jersey, who noted:
78. Lawrence Cohen and Marcus Felson, “Social Change and Crime Rate Trends:
A Routine Activities Approach,” American Sociological Review 44 (August 1979):
588–607.
79. Tracey Meares, “Praying for Community Policing,” California Law Review 90
(2002): 1593–1634, http://digitalcommons.law.yale.edu/fss_papers/518/.

Community policing cannot be a program, unit,
strategy or tactic. It must be the core principle that
lies at the foundation of a police department’s
culture. The only way to significantly reduce fear,
crime, and disorder and then sustain these gains is
to leverage the greatest force multiplier: the people
of the community.80

This message was closely echoed by Chris Magnus, the police chief in Richmond, California. To
build a more effective partnership with residents
and transform culture within the police department as well as in the community, the Richmond
police made sure that all officers, not just a
select few, were doing community policing and
neighborhood problem solving. Every officer is
expected to get to know the residents, businesses,
community groups, churches, and schools on their
beat and work with them to identify and address
public safety challenges, including quality of life
issues such as blight. Officers remain in the same
beat or district for several years or more—which
builds familiarity and trust.81
Testimony from a number of witnesses also made
clear that hiring, training, evaluating, and promoting officers based on their ability and track record
in community engagement—not just traditional
measures of policing such as arrests, tickets, or
tactical skills—is an equally important component
of the successful infusion of community policing
throughout an organization.

80.	 Listening Session on Community Policing and Crime Reduction: Using
Community Policing to Reduce Crime (oral testimony of J. Scott Thomson, chief,
Camden County [NJ] Police Department, for the President’s Task Force on 21st
Century Policing, Phoenix, AZ, February 13, 2015).
81.	 Listening Session on Community Policing and Crime Reduction: Building
Community Policing Organizations (oral testimony of Chris Magnus, chief,
Richmond [CA] Police Department, for the President’s Task Force on 21st Century
Policing, Phoenix, AZ, February 13, 2015).

43

Final Report of the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing

4.2.1 A ction I tem : Law enforcement
agencies should evaluate officers on their efforts
to engage members of the community and the
partnerships they build. Making this part of
the performance evaluation process places an
increased value on developing partnerships.
4.2.2 A ction I tem : Law enforcement
agencies should evaluate their patrol deployment
practices to allow sufficient time for patrol officers
to participate in problem solving and community
engagement activities.
4.2.3 A ction I tem : The U.S. Department
of Justice and other public and private entities
should support research into the factors that
have led to dramatic successes in crime reduction
in some communities through the infusion of
non-discriminatory policing and to determine
replicable factors that could be used to guide law
enforcement agencies in other communities.
4.3 r ecOmmendatiOn : Law enforcement
agencies should engage in multidisciplinary,
community team approaches for planning,
implementing, and responding to crisis
situations with complex causal factors.
Collaborative approaches that engage professionals from across systems have emerged as model
practices for addressing community problems
that are not resolvable by the police alone. These
team approaches call upon law enforcement
agencies, service providers, and community
support networks to work together to provide the
right resources for the situation and foster sustainable change. Multiple witnesses before the task
force spoke of departments coordinating mental
health response teams that include mental health
professionals, social workers, crisis counselors, and

44

other professionals making decisions alongside
the police regarding planning, implementing, and
responding to mental health crisis situations. But
this model is applicable to a number of community problems that regularly involve a police
response, including homelessness, substance
abuse, domestic violence, human trafficking,
and child abuse. Ultimately, the idea is for
officers to be trained and equipped to make
use of existing community resources in the
diffusion of crisis situations.

4.3.1 A ction I tem : The U.S. Department of
Justice should collaborate with others to develop
and disseminate baseline models of this crisis
intervention team approach that can be adapted
to local contexts.
4.3.2 A ction I tem : Communities should
look to involve peer support counselors as part
of multidisciplinary teams when appropriate.
Persons who have experienced the same trauma
can provide both insight to the first responders
and immediate support to individuals in crisis.
4.3.3 A ction I tem : Communities should be
encouraged to evaluate the efficacy of these crisis
intervention team approaches and hold agency
leaders accountable for outcomes.
4.4 r ecOmmendatiOn : Communities
should support a culture and practice of
policing that reflects the values of protection
and promotion of the dignity of all, especially
the most vulnerable.
The task force heard many different ways of
describing a positive culture of policing. David
Kennedy suggested there could be a Hippocratic

Pillar 4. Community Policing & Crime Reduction

Chief Edward Flynn of the Milwaukee Police Department, Phoenix, February 14, 2015.	

Oath for Policing: First, Do No Harm.82 Law enforcement officers’ goal should be to avoid use
of force if at all possible, even when it is allowed
by law and by policy. Terms such as fair and
impartial policing, rightful policing, constitutional
policing, neighborhood policing, procedural justice,
and implicit bias training all address changing the
culture of policing. Respectful language; thoughtful and intentional dialogue about the perception
and reality of profiling and the mass incarceration
of minorities; and consistent involvement, both
formal and informal, in community events all help
ensure that relationships of trust between police
and community will be built. The vision of policing
in the 21st century should be that of officers as
guardians of human and constitutional rights.

4.4.1 A ction I tem : Because offensive or
harsh language can escalate a minor situation,
law enforcement agencies should underscore the
82. Listening Session on Community Policing and Crime Reduction: Using
Community Policing to Reduce Crime (oral testimony of David Kennedy, professor,
John Jay College of Criminal Justice, for the President’s Task Force on 21st Century
Policing, Phoenix, AZ, February 13, 2015).

PHOTO: DEBORAH SPENCE

importance of language used and adopt
policies directing officers to speak to individuals
with respect.

4.4.2 A ction I tem : Law enforcement
agencies should develop programs that create opportunities for patrol officers to regularly interact
with neighborhood residents, faith leaders, and
business leaders.
4.5 r ecOmmendatiOn : Community
policing emphasizes working with
neighborhood residents to co-produce public
safety. Law enforcement agencies should
work with community residents to identify
problems and collaborate on implementing
solutions that produce meaningful results for
the community.
As Delores Jones Brown testified, “Neighborhood
policing provides an opportunity for police
departments to do things with residents in the
co-production of public safety rather than doing

45

Final Report of the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing

things to or for them.”83 Community policing is not
just about the behavior and tactics of police; it is
also about the civic engagement and capacity
of communities to improve their own neighborhoods, their quality of life, and their sense of safety
and well-being. Members of communities are key
partners in creating public safety, so communities
and police need mechanisms to engage with each
other in consistent and meaningful ways. One
model for formalizing this engagement is through
a civilian governance system such as is found in
Los Angeles. As Chief Charlie Beck explained in
testimony to the task force,
The Los Angeles Police Department is formally
governed by the Board of Police Commissioners,
a five-person civilian body with each member
appointed by the mayor. The commission has formal
authority to hire the chief of police, to set broad policy
for the department, and to hold the LAPD and its
chief accountable to the people.84

Community policing, therefore, is concerned with
changing the way in which citizens respond to
police in more constructive and proactive ways.
If officers feel unsafe and threatened, their ability
to operate in an open and shared dialogue with
community is inhibited. On the other hand, the
police have the responsibility to understand the
culture, history, and quality of life issues of the
entire community—youth, elders, faith communities, special populations—and to educate the
community, including its children, on the role and
function of police and ways the community can

83.	 Listening Session on Community Policing and Crime Reduction: Community
Policing and Crime Prevention Research (oral testimony of Delores Jones Brown,
professor, Department of Law, Police Science & Criminal Justice Administration,
John Jay College of Criminal Justice, for the President’s Task Force on 21st Century
Policing, Phoenix, AZ, February 13, 2015).
84.	 Listening Session on Policy and Oversight: Civilian Oversight (oral testimony
of Charles Beck, chief, Los Angeles Police Department, for the President’s Task Force
on 21st Century Policing, Cincinnati, OH, January 30, 2015).

46

protect itself, be part of solving problems, and
prevent crime. Community and police jointly share
the responsibility for civil dialogue and interaction.

4.5.1 A ction I tem : Law enforcement agencies should schedule regular forums and meetings
where all community members can interact with
police and help influence programs and policy.
4.5.2 A ction I tem : Law enforcement agencies should engage youth and communities in joint
training with law enforcement, citizen academies,
ride-alongs, problem solving teams, community
action teams, and quality of life teams.
4.5.3 A ction I tem : Law enforcement agencies should establish formal community/citizen
advisory committees to assist in developing crime
prevention strategies and agency policies as well
as provide input on policing issues.
Larger agencies should establish multiple committees to ensure they inform all levels of the
organization. The makeup of these committees
should reflect the demographics of the community or neighborhood being served.

4.5.4 A ction I tem : Law enforcement agencies should adopt community policing strategies
that support and work in concert with economic
development efforts within communities.
As several witnesses, including Bill Geller, testified,
public safety and the economic health of communities go hand in hand.85 It is therefore important

85.	 Listening Session on Community Policing and Crime Reduction: Community
Policing and Crime Prevention Research (oral testimony of Bill Geller, director, Geller
& Associates, for the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing, Phoenix, AZ,
February 13, 2015).

Pillar 4. Community Policing & Crime Reduction

for agencies to work with local, state, and federal
partners on projects devoted to enhancing the
economic health of the communities in which
departments are located.

4.6 r ecOmmendatiOn : Communities
should adopt policies and programs that
address the needs of children and youth
most at risk for crime or violence and reduce
aggressive law enforcement tactics that
stigmatize youth and marginalize their
participation in schools and communities.
The past decade has seen an explosion of
knowledge about adolescent development and
the neurological underpinnings of adolescent
behavior. Much has also been learned about
the pathways by which adolescents become
delinquent, the effectiveness of prevention and
treatment programs, and the long-term effects
of transferring youths to the adult system and
confining them in harsh conditions. These findings
have raised doubts about a series of policies and
practices of “zero tolerance” that have contributed
to increasing the school-to-prison pipeline by
criminalizing the behaviors of children as young
as kindergarten age. Noncriminal offenses can
escalate to criminal charges when officers are
not trained in child and adolescent development
and are unable to recognize and manage a child’s
emotional, intellectual, and physical development
issues. School district policies and practices that
push students out of schools and into the juvenile
justice system cause great harm and do no good.

One witness told the task force a stunning story
about what happened to him one day when he
was a high school freshman:
As I walked down the hall, one of the police officers
employed in the school noticed I did not have my
identification badge with me. Before I could explain
why I did not have my badge, I was escorted to the
office and suspended for an entire week. I had to
leave the school premises immediately. Walking to
the bus stop, a different police officer pulled me over
and demanded to know why I was not in school. As
I tried to explain, I was thrown into the back of the
police car. They drove back to my school to see if I was
telling the truth, and I was left waiting in the car for
over two hours. When they came back, they told me
I was in fact suspended, but because the school did
not provide me with the proper forms, my guardian
and I both had to pay tickets for me being off of
school property. The tickets together were 600 dollars,
and I had a court date for each one. Was forgetting
my ID worth missing school? Me being kicked out of
school did not solve or help anything. I was at home
alone watching Jerry Springer, doing nothing.86

4.6.1 A ction I tem : Education and
criminal justice agencies at all levels of
government should work together to reform
policies and procedures that push children into
the juvenile justice system.87

86.	 Listening Session on Community Policing and Crime Prevention (oral
testimony of Michael Reynolds for the President’s Task Force on 21st Century
Policing, Phoenix, AZ, February 13, 2015).
87.	 For more information about such policies and procedures, see the U.S.
Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division and U.S. Department of Education’s
Office for Civil Rights, “Joint ‘Dear Colleague’ Letter,” last updated February 4, 2014,
http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/letters/colleague-201401-title-vi.html.

47

Final Report of the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing

4.6.2 A ction I tem : In order to keep youth
in school and to keep them from criminal and violent behavior, law enforcement agencies should
work with schools to encourage the creation of
alternatives to student suspensions and expulsion
through restorative justice, diversion, counseling,
and family interventions.
4.6.3 A ction I tem : Law enforcement agencies should work with schools to encourage the
use of alternative strategies that involve youth in
decision making, such as restorative justice, youth
courts, and peer interventions.
The Federal Government could incentivize schools
to adopt this practice by tying federal funding to
schools implementing restorative justice practices.

4.6.4 A ction I tem : Law enforcement
agencies should work with schools to adopt an
instructional approach to discipline that uses
interventions or disciplinary consequences to help
students develop new behavior skills and positive
strategies to avoid conflict, redirect energy, and
refocus on learning.
4.6.5 A ction I tem : Law enforcement
agencies should work with schools to develop and
monitor school discipline policies with input and
collaboration from school personnel, students,
families, and community members. These policies
should prohibit the use of corporal punishment
and electronic control devices.

48

4.6.6 A ction I tem : Law enforcement
agencies should work with schools to create a
continuum of developmentally appropriate and
proportional consequences for addressing ongoing and escalating student misbehavior after all
appropriate interventions have been attempted.
4.6.7 A ction I tem : Law enforcement
agencies should work with communities to play
a role in programs and procedures to reintegrate
juveniles back into their communities as they
leave the juvenile justice system.
Although this recommendation—and therefore
its action items—specifically focuses on juveniles,
this task force believes that law enforcement
agencies should also work with communities to
play a role in re-entry programs for adults leaving
prisons and jails.

4.6.8 A ction I tem : Law enforcement agencies and schools should establish memoranda of
agreement for the placement of School Resource
Officers that limit police involvement in student
discipline.
Such agreements could include provisions for
special training for School Resource Officers to
help them better understand and deal with issues
involving youth.

4.6.9 A ction I tem : The Federal Government should assess and evaluate zero tolerance
strategies and examine the role of reasonable
discretion when dealing with adolescents in
consideration of their stages of maturation
or development.

Pillar 4. Community Policing & Crime Reduction

Task force executive director Ronald L. Davis and co-chairs Laurie Robinson and Charles Ramsey, Washington, D.C., February 23, 2015.
	
PHOTO: DEBORAH SPENCE

4.7 r ecOmmendatiOn : Communities
need to affirm and recognize the
voices of youth in community decision
making, facilitate youth-led research and
problem solving, and develop and fund
youth leadership training and life skills
through positive youth/police collaboration
and interactions.
Youth face unique challenges when encountering
the criminal justice system. Law enforcement
contacts for apparent infractions create trauma
and fear in children and disillusionment in youth,
but proactive and positive youth interactions with
police create the opportunity for coaching, mentoring, and diversion into constructive alternative
activities. Moving testimony from a panel of young
people allowed the task force members to hear
how officers can lead youth out of the conditions
that keep them in the juvenile justice system and
into self-awareness and self-help.

Phoenix native Jose Gonzales, 21, first went to jail
at age nine and had a chaotic childhood, but in
turning his life towards a productive and healthy
future, he vividly remembers one officer who
made a difference:
Needless to say, I have had a fair amount of
interaction with law enforcement in my youth. Some
has been very positive. Like the time that a School
Resource Officer got me involved in an after school
club. Officer Bill D. helped me stop being a bad
kid and assisted with after school activities. He
sought me out to be a part of a club that included
all sorts of youth—athletes, academics—and
helped me gain confidence in reaching out to
other social circles beyond my troubled community.
The important idea I’d like to convey is that approach
is everything.88
88.	 Listening Session on Community Policing and Crime Reduction: Youth and
Law Enforcement (oral testimony of Jose Gonzales for the President’s Task Force on
21st Century Policing, Phoenix, AZ, February 13, 2015).

49

Final Report of the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing

4.7.1 A ction I tem : Communities and law
enforcement agencies should restore and build
trust between youth and police by creating programs and projects for positive, consistent, and
persistent interaction between youth and police.

50

4.7.2 A ction I tem : Communities
should develop community- and school-based
evidence-based programs that mitigate punitive
and authoritarian solutions to teen problems.

P I L L A R 5  . T R A I N I N G & E D U C AT I O N
Hiring officers who reflect the community they serve is important not
only to external relations but also to increasing understanding within
the agency.
As our nation becomes more pluralistic and the
scope of law enforcement’s responsibilities expands, the need for more and better training has
become critical. Today’s line officers and leaders
must meet a wide variety of challenges including
international terrorism, evolving technologies,
rising immigration, changing laws, new cultural
mores, and a growing mental health crisis. All
states and territories and the District of Columbia
should establish standards for hiring, training,
and education.

Many who spoke before the task force recommended that law enforcement partner with
academic institutions; organizations such as the
International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP),
the Major Cities Chiefs Association (MCCA), the
National Organization of Black Law Enforcement
Executives (NOBLE), and the Police Executive
Research Forum (PERF); and other sources
of appropriate training. Establishing fellowships
and exchange programs with other agencies was
also suggested.

The skills and knowledge required to effectively
deal with these issues requires a higher level of
education as well as extensive and ongoing training in specific disciplines. The task force discussed
these needs in depth, making recommendations
for basic recruit and in-service training, as well as
leadership development in a wide variety of areas:

Other witnesses spoke about the police education now offered by universities, noting that
undergraduate criminal justice and criminology
programs provide a serviceable foundation but
that short courses of mixed quality and even
some graduate university degree programs do
not come close to addressing the needs of
21st-century law enforcement.

yy Community policing and problem-solving
principles

yy Interpersonal and communication skills
yy Bias awareness
yy Scenario-based, situational decision making
yy Crisis intervention
yy Procedural justice and impartial policing
yy Trauma and victim services
yy Mental health issues
yy Analytical research and technology
yy Languages and cultural responsiveness

In addition to discussion of training programs
and educational expectations, witnesses at the
listening session made clear that new approaches
to recruitment, hiring, evaluation, and promotion
are also essential to developing a more highly
educated workforce with the character traits and
social skills that enable effective policing and
positive community relationships.
To build a police force capable of dealing with the
complexity of the 21st century, it is imperative
that agencies place value on both educational
achievements and socialization skills when making
hiring decisions. Hiring officers who reflect the

51

Final Report of the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing

To be effective in an ever-changing world, training must continue
throughout an officer’s career.
community they serve is also important not only
to external relations but also to increasing understanding within the agency. On the other hand,
task force member Constance Rice described the
best line officer she knew—White, but better at
relating to the African-American community than
his Black colleagues. Her recommendation was to
look for the character traits that support fairness,
compassion, and cultural sensitivity.89
The need for understanding, tolerance, and
sensitivity to African Americans, Latinos, recent
immigrants, Muslims, and the LGBTQ community
was discussed at length at the listening session,
with witnesses giving examples of unacceptable
behavior in law enforcement’s dealings with all
of these groups. Participants also discussed the
need to move towards practices that respect all
members of the community equally and away
from policing tactics that can unintentionally lead
to excessive enforcement against minorities.
Witnesses noted that officers need to develop the
skills and knowledge necessary in the fight against
terrorism by gaining an understanding of the links
between normal criminal activity and terrorism,
for example. What is more, this training must be
ongoing, as threats and procedures for combatting terrorism evolve.
The need for realistic, scenario-based training to
better manage interactions and minimize using
force was discussed by a number of witnesses.
Others focused more on content than delivery:
Dennis Rosenbaum suggested putting procedural justice at the center of training, not on the
89.	 Listening Session on Training and Education (Constance Rice, task force
member, for the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing, Phoenix, AZ,
February 14, 2015).

52

fringes.90 Ronal Serpas recommended training on
the effects of violence not only on the community
and individual victims but also on police officers
themselves, noting that exposure to violence can
make individuals more prone to violent behavior.91
And witnesses Bruce Lipman and David Friedman
both spoke about providing officers with historical
perspectives of policing to provide context as to
why some communities have negative feelings
toward the police and improve understanding of
the role of the police in a democratic society.92
Though today’s law enforcement professionals
are highly trained and highly skilled operationally,
they must develop specialized knowledge and understanding that enable fair and procedurally just
policing and allow them to meet a wide variety
of new challenges and expectations. Tactical skills
are important, but attitude, tolerance, and interpersonal skills are equally so. And to be effective
in an ever-changing world, training must continue
throughout an officer’s career.
The goal is not only effective, efficient policing but
also procedural justice and fairness. Following are
the task force’s recommendations for implementing career-long education and training practices
for law enforcement in the 21st century.
90.	 Listening Session on Community Policing and Crime Reduction: Community
Policing and Crime Prevention Research (oral testimony of Dennis Rosenbaum,
professor, University of Illinois at Chicago, for the President’s Task Force on 21st
Century Policing, Phoenix, AZ, February 13, 2015).
91.	 Listening Session on Training and Education: Special Training on Building Trust
(oral testimony of Ronal Serpas, advisory board member, Cure Violence Chicago, for
the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing, Phoenix, AZ, February 14, 2015).
92.	 Listening Session on Training and Education: Special Training on Building Trust
(oral testimony of David C. Friedman, director of National Law Enforcement Initiatives,
Anti-Defamation League, for the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing, Phoenix,
AZ, February 14, 2015); Listening Session on Training and Education: Special Training
on Building Trust (oral testimony of Bruce Lipman, Procedural Justice Training, for the
President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing, Phoenix, AZ, February 14, 2015).

P i l l a r 5 . T r a i n i n g & E d u c at i o n

Task force members Jose Lopez and Brittany Packnett listen to testimony, Phoenix, February 14, 2015.	

5.1 r ecOmmendatiOn : The Federal
Government should support the development
of partnerships with training facilities across
the country to promote consistent standards
for high quality training and establish training
innovation hubs.
A starting point for changing the culture of policing is to change the culture of training academies.
The designation of certain training academies as
federally supported regional “training innovation
hubs” could act as leverage points for changing
training culture while taking into consideration
regional variations. Federal funding would be a
powerful incentive to these designated academies
to conduct the necessary research to develop and
implement the highest quality curricula focused
on the needs of 21st century American policing,
along with cutting-edge delivery modalities.

PHOTO: DEBORAH SPENCE

5.1.1 A ction I tem : The training innovation
hubs should develop replicable model programs
that use adult-based learning and scenario-based
training in a training environment modeled less
like boot camp. Through these programs the hubs
would influence nationwide curricula, as well as
instructional methodology.
5.1.2 A ction I tem : The training innovation
hubs should establish partnerships with academic
institutions to develop rigorous training practices,
evaluation, and the development of curricula
based on evidence-based practices.
5.1.3 A ction I tem : The Department of
Justice should build a stronger relationship with
the International Association of Directors of Law

53

Final Report of the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing

Enforcement (IADLEST) in order to leverage their
network with state boards and commissions of
Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST).

5.3 r ecOmmendatiOn : Law enforcement
agencies should provide leadership training
to all personnel throughout their careers.

The POSTs are critical to the development and
implementation of statewide training standards
and the certification of instructors and training
courses, as well as integral to facilitating communication, coordination, and influence with the
more than 650 police academies across the nation.
This relationship would also serve as a pipeline for
disseminating information and creating discussion
around best practices.

Standards and programs need to be established
for every level of leadership from the first line to
middle management to executive leadership. If
there is good leadership and procedural justice
within the agency, the officers are more likely to
behave according to those standards in the community. As Chief Edward Flynn of the Milwaukee
Police Department noted, “Flexible, dynamic, insightful, ethical leaders are needed to develop the
informal social control and social capital required
for a civil society to flourish.”93 One example of
leadership training is Leading Police Organizations,
a program developed by the IACP and modeled
after the West Point Leadership Program, which
offers training for all levels of agency management in programs based on a behavioral science
approach to leading people groups, change, and
organizations, focusing on the concept of “every
officer a leader.”

5.2 r ecOmmendatiOn : Law enforcement
agencies should engage community members
in the training process.
Not only can agencies make important contributions to the design and implementation of
training that reflects the needs and character of
their communities but it is also important for police training to be as transparent as possible. This
will result in both a better informed public and a
better informed officer.
Where appropriate and through managed programs, the community would

yy learn about and evaluate the existing training
within departments;

yy provide input into shaping that some training
content and delivery;

yy in some cases, participate in training alongside
officers.

5.2.1 A ction I tem : The U.S. Department of
Justice should conduct research to develop and
disseminate a toolkit on how law enforcement
agencies and training programs can integrate
community members into this training process.

54

5.3.1 A ction I tem : Recognizing that
strong, capable leadership is required to create
cultural transformation, the U.S. Department of
Justice should invest in developing learning goals
and model curricula/training for each level of
leadership.
This training should focus on organizational
procedural justice, community policing, police
accountability, teaching, coaching, mentoring, and
communicating with the media and the public.
Chief Kim Jacobs noted this in her testimony
discussing current issues with training on reviewing investigations of police actions and prepare
comprehensive reports for all stakeholders,
93. Listening Session on Training and Education (oral testimony of Edward Flynn,
chief, Milwaukee Police Department, for the President’s Task Force on 21st Century
Policing, Phoenix, AZ, February 14, 2015).

P i l l a r 5 . T r a i n i n g & E d u c at i o n

including the media and citizens.94 These standards
should also influence requirements for promotion
and continuing/ongoing education should also be
required to maintain leadership positions.

engage law enforcement and professionals
from multiple disciplines to collaboratively
identify and protect drug endangered children
and their families.95

5.3.2 A ction I tem : The Federal Government should encourage and support partnerships
between law enforcement and academic
institutions to support a culture that values
ongoing education and the integration of
current research into the development of
training, policies, and practices.

5.4 r ecOmmendatiOn : The U.S.
Department of Justice should develop,
in partnership with institutions of higher
education, a national postgraduate institute
of policing for senior executives with a
standardized curriculum preparing them to
lead agencies in the 21st century.

5.3.3 A ction I tem : The U.S. Department
of Justice should support and encourage
cross-discipline leadership training.
This can be within the criminal justice system
but also across governments, nonprofits, and the
private sector, including social services, legal aid,
businesses, community corrections, education,
the courts, mental health organizations, civic and
religious organizations, and others. When people
come together from different disciplines and
backgrounds, there is a cross-fertilization of ideas
that often leads to better solutions. Furthermore,
by interacting with a more diverse group of professionals, police can establish a valuable network
of contacts whose knowledge and skills differ from
but complement their own. This opportunity does
exist for front-line staff on a variety of specialized
topics but also needs to happen at decision/policy
maker levels. For example, the National Alliance
for Drug Endangered Children is an especially
appropriate model for the value of cross-discipline
training. Their written testimony to the task force
explains how their training approach focuses on
the formation of community partnerships that
94. Listening Session on Training and Education (oral testimony of Kim Jacobs,
chief, Columbus [OH] Division of Police, for the President’s Task Force on 21st
Century Policing, Phoenix, AZ, February 14, 2015).

To advance American law enforcement, we must
advance its leadership. To that end, the task force
recommends the establishment of a top quality
graduate institute of policing to provide ongoing leadership training, education, and research
programs which will enhance the quality of law
enforcement culture, knowledge, skills, practices
and policies. Modeled after the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California, this institute
will be staffed with subject matter experts and
instructors drawn from the nation’s top educational institutions, who will focus on the real world
problems that challenge today’s and tomorrow’s
law enforcement, teaching practical skills and providing the most current information for improving
policing services throughout the nation. This
institute could even, as witness Lawrence Sherman proposed, “admit qualified applicants to a
three-month residential course for potential police
executives, concluding in an assessment center
and examination that would certify qualified graduates to serve as chief police executives anywhere
in the United States.”96
95.	 Listening Session on Training and Education (written testimony of the
National Alliance for Drug Endangered Children for the President’s Task Force on
21st Century Policing, Phoenix, AZ, February 14, 2015).
96.	 Listening Session on The Future of Community Policing (oral testimony of
Lawrence Sherman, Wolfson Professor of Criminology, University of Cambridge, and
Distinguished University Professor, University of Maryland, for the President’s Task
Force on 21st Century Policing, Washington, DC, February 24, 2015).

55

Final Report of the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing

5.5 r ecOmmendatiOn : The U.S.
Department of Justice should instruct the
Federal Bureau of Investigation to modify
the curriculum of the National Academy at
Quantico to include prominent coverage of
the topical areas addressed in this report.
In addition, the COPS Office and the Office
of Justice Programs should work with law
enforcement professional organizations to
encourage modification of their curricula in a
similar fashion.97
The Office of Community Oriented Policing
Services (COPS Office) and the Office of Justice
Programs (OJP) should work with the law enforcement professional organizations to encourage
modification of their curricula—for example, the
Senior Management Institute for Police run by
PERF and the Police Executive Leadership Institute
managed by the Major Cities Chiefs Association.

5.6 r ecOmmendatiOn : POSTs should
make Crisis Intervention Training (CIT)
a part of both basic recruit and in-service
officer training.
Crisis intervention training (CIT) was developed in
Memphis, Tennessee, in 1988 and has been shown
to improve police ability to recognize symptoms
of a mental health crisis, enhance their confidence
in addressing such an emergency, and reduce
inaccurate beliefs about mental illness.98 It has
97. Listening Session on Training and Education: Supervisory, Leadership and
Management Training (oral testimony of Kimberly Jacobs, chief, Columbus [OH]
Division of Police, for the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing, Phoenix, AZ,
February 14, 2015); Listening Session on Training and Education (e-mail of Annie
McKee, senior fellow, University of Pennsylvania, for the President’s Task Force on
21st Century Policing, Phoenix, AZ, February 13–14, 2015); Listening Session on
Training and Education (written testimony of Anthony Braga et al. for the President’s
Task Force on 21st Century Policing, Phoenix, AZ, February 13–14, 2015).
98. Natalie Bonfine, Christian Ritter, and Mark R. Munetz, “Police Officer
Perceptions of the Impact of Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) Programs,” International
Journal of Law and Psychiatry 37, no. 4 (July–August 2014): 341–350,
doi:10.1016/j.ijlp.2014.02.004.

56

been found that after completing CIT orientation,
officers felt encouraged to interact with people
suffering a mental health crisis and to delay their
“rush to resolution.”99 Dr. Randolph Dupont, Chair
of the Department of Criminology and Criminal
Justice at the University of Memphis, spoke
to the task force about the effectiveness
of the Memphis Crisis Intervention Team (CIT),
which stresses verbal intervention and other
de-escalation techniques.
Noting that empathy training is an important
component, Dr. Dupont said the Memphis CIT
includes personal interaction between officers and
individuals with mental health problems. Officers
who had contact with these individuals felt more
comfortable with them, and hospital mental
health staff who participated with the officers
had more positive views of law enforcement. CIT
also provides a unique opportunity to develop
cross-disciplinary training and partnerships.

5.6.1 A ction I tem : Because of the importance of this issue, Congress should appropriate
funds to help support law enforcement crisis
intervention training.
5.7 r ecOmmendatiOn : POSTs should
ensure that basic officer training includes
lessons to improve social interaction as well as
tactical skills.
These include topics such as critical thinking,
social intelligence, implicit bias, fair and impartial
policing, historical trauma, and other topics that
address capacity to build trust and legitimacy in
diverse communities and offer better skills for
gaining compliance without the use of physical
99. Kelly E. Canada, Beth Angell, and Amy C. Watson, “Crisis Intervention Teams in
Chicago: Successes on the Ground,” Journal of Police Crisis Negotiations 10, no. 1–2
(2010), 86–100, doi:10.1080/15332581003792070.

P i l l a r 5 . T r a i n i n g & E d u c at i o n

Task force member Bryan Stevenson asks a panelist a question, Phoenix, February 13, 2015.

force. Basic recruit training must also include tactical and operations training on lethal and nonlethal
use of force with an emphasis on de-escalation
and tactical retreat skills.

5.8 r ecOmmendatiOn : POSTs should
ensure that basic recruit and in-service officer
training include curriculum on the disease of
addiction.
It is important that officers be able to recognize
the signs of addiction and respond accordingly
when they are interacting with people who may
be impaired as a result of their addiction. Science
has demonstrated that addiction is a disease
of the brain—a disease that can be prevented
and treated and from which people can recover.

PHOTO: DEBORAH SPENCE

The growing understanding of this science has
led to a number of law enforcement agencies
equipping officers with overdose-reversal drugs
such as naloxone and the passage of legislation in
many states that shield any person from civil and
criminal liability if they administer naloxone.
The Obama Administration’s drug policy reflects
this understanding and emphasizes access to
treatment over incarceration, pursuing “smart on
crime” rather than “tough on crime” approaches to
drug-related offenses, and support for early health
interventions designed to break the cycle of drug
use, crime, incarceration, and re-arrest.100 And the
relationship between incarceration and addiction
is a significant one. A 2004 survey by the U.S.
100. A Drug Policy for the 21st Century, July 2014, accessed February 27, 2015,
http://www.whitehouse.gov/ondcp/drugpolicyreform.

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Final Report of the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing

Department of Justice estimated that about 70
percent of state and 64 percent of federal prisoners regularly used drugs prior to incarceration.101

research has shown that “of those involved in traffic and street stops, a smaller percentage of Blacks
than Whites believed the police behaved properly
during the stop.”103

5.9 r ecOmmendatiOn : POSTs should
ensure both basic recruit and in-service
training incorporates content around
recognizing and confronting implicit bias and
cultural responsiveness.

And in a 2012 survey of LGBTQ/HIV contact with
police, 25 percent of respondents with any recent
police contact reported at least one type of
misconduct or harassment, such as being accused
of an offense they did not commit, verbal assault,
being arrested for an offense they did not commit,
sexual harassment, physical assault, or sexual
assault.104

As the nation becomes more diverse, it will become
increasingly important that police officers be
sensitive to and tolerant of differences. It is vital that
law enforcement provide training that recognizes
the unique needs and characteristics of minority
communities, whether they are victims or witnesses
of crimes, subjects of stops, or criminal suspects.
Keeshan Harley, a young Black man, testified that
he estimates that he’s been stopped and frisked
more than 100 times and that he felt that the
problem is not just a few individual bad apples,
but the systemic way policing treats certain
communities—including low-income and young
people, African Americans, LGBTQ people, the
homeless, immigrants, and people with psychiatric
disabilities. In so doing, police have produced
communities of alienation and resentment.102 He is
arguably not alone in his opinions, given that

101. C. Mumola and J.C. Karberg, Drug Use and Dependence, State and Federal
Prisoners, 2004 (Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice
Programs, Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2007), http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/
pdf/dudsfp04.pdf.
102. Listening Session on Training and Education: Voices in the Community (oral
testimony of Keeshan Harley, member, Communities United for Police Reform,
for the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing, Phoenix, AZ, February
14, 2015); see also Tracey L. Meares, “Programming Errors: Understanding the
Constitutionality of Stop-and-Frisk as a Program, Not an Incident,” University of
Chicago Law Review (forthcoming).
58

5.9.1 A ction I tem : Law enforcement
agencies should implement ongoing, top down
training for all officers in cultural diversity and
related topics that can build trust and legitimacy
in diverse communities. This should be accomplished with the assistance of advocacy groups
that represent the viewpoints of communities that
have traditionally had adversarial relationships
with law enforcement.
5.9.2 A ction I tem : Law enforcement agencies should implement training for officers that
covers policies for interactions with the LGBTQ
population, including issues such as determining
gender identity for arrest placement, the Muslim,
Arab, and South Asian communities, and immigrant or non-English speaking groups, as well as
reinforcing policies for the prevention of sexual
misconduct and harassment.

103.	 Langton and Durose, Traffic and Street Stops, 2011 (see note 42).
104.	 Listening Session on Policy and Oversight (written testimony of Lambda
Legal for the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing, Cincinnati, OH, January
30–31, 2015); Lambda Legal, Protected and Served? Survey of LGBT/HIV Contact
with Police, Courts, Prisons, and Security, 2014, accessed February 28, 2015, http://
www.lambdalegal.org/protected-and-served.

P i l l a r 5 . T r a i n i n g & E d u c at i o n

Table 3. College degree requirements for full-time instructors in state and local law enforcement training academies, by type of operating agency, 2006
Primary operating agency Total percentage of acadPercentage of academies
emies with a minimum
requiring a 4-year degree
educational requirement that
included a college degree

Percent of academies
requiring a 2-year degree

All types

19

11

8

State Peace Officer Standards
and Training

13

13

0

State police

11

7

5

Sheriff’s office

2

0

2

County police

5

0

5

Municipal police

7

4

3

College/university

35

22

13

Multiagency

15

2

13

Other types

8

8

0

Source: Brian A. Reaves, State and Local Law Enforcement Training Academies, 2006, Special Report (Washington, DC: Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2009),
http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/slleta06.pdf.

5.10 r ecOmmendatiOn : POSTs should
require both basic recruit and in-service
training on policing in a democratic society.
Police officers are granted a great deal of authority,
and it is therefore important that they receive training on the constitutional basis of and the proper
use of that power and authority. Particular focus
should be placed on ensuring that Terry stops105
are conducted within constitutional guidelines.

5.11 r ecOmmendatiOn : The Federal
Government, as well as state and local
agencies, should encourage and incentivize
higher education for law enforcement officers.
While many believe that a higher level of required education could raise the quality of officer
performance, law enforcement also benefits from
a diverse range of officers who bring their cultures, languages, and life experiences to policing.

Offering entry level opportunities to recruits
without a college degree can be combined with
the provision of means to obtain higher education
throughout their career, thereby ensuring the
benefits of a diverse staff with a well-educated
police force and an active learning culture. Current
student loan programs allow repayment based on
income, and some already provide tuition debt
forgiveness after 120 months of service in the
government or nonprofit sector.

5.11.1 A ction I tem : The Federal Government should create a loan repayment and
forgiveness incentive program specifically for
policing.
This could be modeled on similar programs that
already exist for government service and other
fields or the reinstitution of funding for programs
such as the 1960s and 70s Law Enforcement
Education Program.

105.	 Terry v. Ohio, 392 U.S. 1 (1968).
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Final Report of the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing

5.12 r ecOmmendatiOn : The Federal
Government should support research into
the development of technology that
enhances scenario-based training,
social interaction skills, and enables
the dissemination of interactive distance
learning for law enforcement.
This will lead to new modalities that enhance the
effectiveness of the learning experience, reduce
instructional costs, and ensure the broad dissemination of training through platforms that do not
require time away from agencies.
This would be especially helpful for smaller and
more rural departments who cannot spare the
time for their officers to participate in residential/
in-person training programs. Present day
technologies should also be employed more
often—web-based learning, behavior evaluations
through body worn camera videos, software programs for independent learning, scenario-based
instruction through videos, and other methods.
This can also increase access to evidence-based
research and other sources of knowledge.

5.13 r ecOmmendatiOn : The U.S.
Department of Justice should support
the development and implementation of
improved Field Training Officer programs.
This is critical in terms of changing officer culture.
Field Training Officers impart the organizational
culture to the newest members. The most common current program, known as the San Jose
Model, is more than 40 years old and is not based
on current research knowledge of adult learning
modalities. In many ways it even conflicts with
innovative training strategies that encourage
problem-based learning and support organizational procedural justice.

5.13.1 A ction I tem : The U.S. Department
of Justice should support the development of
broad Field Training Program standards and
training strategies that address changing police
culture and organizational procedural justice
issues that agencies can adopt and customize to
local needs.
A potential model for this is the Police Training
Officer program developed by the COPS Office in
collaboration with PERF and the Reno (Nevada)
Police Department. This problem-based learning
strategy used adult learning theory and problem
solving tools to encourage new officers to
think with a proactive mindset, enabling the
identification of and solution to problems
within their communities.

5.13.2 A ction I tem : The U.S. Department
of Justice should provide funding to incentivize
agencies to update their Field Training Programs
in accordance with the new standards.

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P I L L A R 6  . O F F I C E R W E L L N E S S &
SAFETY
The wellness and safety of law enforcement officers is critical not
only to themselves, their colleagues, and their agencies but also to
public safety.
Most law enforcement officers walk into risky
situations and encounter tragedy on a regular basis.
Some, such as the police who responded to the
carnage of Sandy Hook Elementary School, witness
horror that stays with them for the rest of their lives.
Others are physically injured in carrying out their duties, sometimes needlessly, through mistakes made
in high stress situations. The recent notable deaths
of officers are stark reminders of the risk officers face.
As a result, physical, mental, and emotional injuries
plague many law enforcement agencies.
However, a large proportion of officer injuries and
deaths are not the result of interaction with criminal offenders but the outcome of poor physical
health due to poor nutrition, lack of exercise, sleep
deprivation, and substance abuse. Yet these causes are often overlooked or given scant attention.
Many other injuries and fatalities are the result of
vehicular accidents.
The wellness and safety of law enforcement
officers is critical not only to themselves, their
colleagues, and their agencies but also to public
safety. An officer whose capabilities, judgment,
and behavior are adversely affected by poor
physical or psychological health not only may be
of little use to the community he or she serves but
also may be a danger to the community and to
other officers. As task force member Tracey Meares
observed, “Hurt people can hurt people.”106
106.	 Listening Session on Officer Safety and Wellness (comment of Tracey
Meares, task force member, for the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing,
Washington, DC, February 23, 2015).

Commenting on the irony of law enforcement’s
lack of services and practices to support wellness
and safety, Dr. Laurence Miller observed in his
testimony that supervisors would not allow an officer to go on patrol with a deficiently maintained
vehicle, an un-serviced duty weapon, or a malfunctioning radio—but pay little attention to the
maintenance of what is all officers’ most valuable
resource: their brains.107
Officer suicide is also a problem: a national study
using data of the National Occupational Mortality
Surveillance found that police died from suicide
2.4 times as often as from homicides. And though
depression resulting from traumatic experiences
is often the cause, routine work and life stressors—serving hostile communities, working long
shifts, lack of family or departmental support—are
frequent motivators too.
In this pillar, the task force focused on many of
the issues that impact and are impacted by officer
wellness and safety, focusing on strategies in
several areas: physical, mental, and emotional
health; vehicular accidents; officer suicide; shootings and assaults; and the partnerships with social
services, unions, and other organizations that can
support solutions.

107.	 Listening Session on Officer Safety and Wellness (oral testimony of Laurence
Miller, psychologist, for the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing,
Washington, DC, February 23, 2015).

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Final Report of the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing

Physical injuries and death in the line of duty,
while declining, are still too high. According to
estimates of U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, more
than 100,000 law enforcement professionals
are injured in the line of duty each year. Many
are the result of assaults, which underscores
the need for body armor, but most are due to
vehicular accidents.

Poor nutrition and fitness are also serious threats, as
is sleep deprivation. Many errors in judgment can
be traced to fatigue, which also makes it harder to
connect with people and control emotions. But administrative changes such as reducing work shifts
can improve officer’s feelings of well-being, and
the implementation of mental health strategies
can lessen the impact of the stress and trauma.

To protect against assaults, Orange County (Florida) Sheriff Jerry Demings talked about immersing
new officers in simulation training that realistically
depicts what they are going to face in the real
world. “I subscribe to an edict that there is no substitute for training and experience . . . deaths and
injuries can be prevented through training that is
both realistic and repetitive.”108

However, the most important factor to consider when discussing wellness and safety is the
culture of law enforcement, which needs to be
transformed. Support for wellness and safety
should permeate all practices and be expressed
through changes in procedures, requirements,
attitudes, and behaviors. An agency work environment in which officers do not feel they are
respected, supported, or treated fairly is one of
the most common sources of stress. And research
indicates that officers who feel respected by their
supervisors are more likely to accept and voluntarily comply with departmental policies. This
transformation should also overturn the tradition
of silence on psychological problems, encouraging officers to seek help without concern about
negative consequences.

But to design effective training first requires collecting substantially more information about the
nature of injuries sustained by officers on the job.
Dr. Alexander Eastman’s testimony noted that the
field of emergency medicine involves the analysis
of vast amounts of data with regard to injuries in
order to improve prevention as well as treatment.
In order to make the job of policing more safe, a
nationwide repository for [law enforcement officer]
injuries sustained is desperately needed. A robust
database of this nature, analyzed by medical providers
and scientists involved in law enforcement, would
allow for recommendations in tactics, training,
equipment, medical care and even policies/procedures
that are grounded in that interface between scientific
evidence, best medical practice, and sound policing.109

108.	 Listening Session on Officer Safety and Wellness: Officer Safety (oral
testimony of Jerry Demings, sheriff, Orange County, FL, for the President’s Task Force
on 21st Century Policing, Washington, DC, February 23, 2015).
109.	 Listening Session on Officer Safety and Wellness: Officer Safety (oral
testimony of Dr. Alexander Eastman, lieutenant and deputy medical director,
Dallas Police Department, for the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing,
Washington, DC, February 23, 2015).

62

Partnerships are another crucial element. An agency cannot successfully tackle these issues without
partners such as industrial hygienists, chaplains,
unions, and mental health providers. But no
program can succeed without buy-in from agency
leadership as well as the rank and file.
The “bulletproof cop” does not exist. The officers
who protect us must also be protected—against
incapacitating physical, mental, and emotional
health problems as well as against the hazards of
their job. Their wellness and safety are crucial for
them, their colleagues, and their agencies, as well
as the well-being of the communities they serve.

P i l l a r 6 . O ff i c e r W e l l n e s s & S a f e t y

Elliot Cohen of the Maryland State Police speaks about technology usage while Madhu Grewal of the Constitution Project waits her turn to testify,
Cincinnati, January 31, 2015.	
PHOTO: DEBORAH SPENCE

6.1 r ecOmmendatiOn : The U.S.
Department of Justice should enhance and
further promote its multi-faceted officer
safety and wellness initiative.
As noted by all task force members during the listening session, officer wellness and safety supports
public safety. Officers who are mentally or physically
incapacitated cannot serve their communities
adequately and can be a danger to the people they
serve, to their fellow officers, and to themselves.

6.1.1 A ction I tem : Congress should establish and fund a national “Blue Alert” warning system.
Leveraging the current Amber Alert program used
to locate abducted children, the Blue Alert would
enlist the help of the public in finding suspects
after a law enforcement officer is killed in the line
of duty. Some similar state systems do exist, but
there are large gaps; a national system is needed.
In addition to aiding the apprehension of suspects,
it would send a message about the importance of
protecting law enforcement from undue harm.

6.1.2 A ction I tem : The U.S. Department of
Justice, in partnership with the U.S. Department
of Health and Human Services, should establish a
task force to study mental health issues unique to
officers and recommend tailored treatments.
Law enforcement officers are subject to more
stress than the general population owing to the
nature of their jobs. In addition to working with
difficult—even hostile—individuals, responding
to tragic events, and sometimes coming under fire
themselves, they suffer from the effects of everyday
stressors—the most acute of which often come
from their agencies, because of confusing messages
or non-supportive management; and their families,
who do not fully understand the pressures the officers face on the job. And as witness Laurence Miller
said, “When both work and family relations fray, the
individual’s coping abilities can be stretched to the
limit, resulting in alcohol abuse, domestic violence,
overaggressive policing, even suicide.”110
110.	 Listening Session on Officer Safety and Wellness (oral testimony of Laurence
Miller, psychologist, for the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing,
Washington, DC, February 23, 2015).

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Final Report of the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing

To add to the problems of those suffering from
psychological distress, law enforcement culture
has not historically supported efforts to treat or
even acknowledged mental health problems,
which are usually seen as a sign of “weakness.”
The challenges and treatments of mental health
issues should therefore be viewed within the
context of law enforcement’s unique culture and
working environment.
This task force should also look to establish a national toll-free mental health hotline specifically for
police officers. This would be a fast, easy, and confidential way for officers to get advice whenever they
needed to; and because they would be anonymous,
officers would be more likely to take advantage of
this resource. Since nobody understands the challenges an officer faces like another officer, it should
be peer driven—anonymously connecting callers
to officers who are not in the same agency and who
could refer the caller to professional help if needed.
An advisory board should be formed to guide the
creation of this hotline service.

6.1.3 A ction I tem : The Federal Government should support the continuing research into
the efficacy of an annual mental health check for
officers, as well as fitness, resilience, and nutrition.
Currently, most mental health checks are ordered
as interventions for anger management or substance abuse and are ordered reactively after an
incident. Mental health checks need to be more
frequent to prevent problems. Because officers are
exposed to a wide range of stressors on a continuous basis as part of their daily routines, mental and
physical health check-ups should be conducted
on an ongoing basis. Furthermore, officer nutrition
and fitness issues change with time, varying widely from those of the new academy graduate

64

to those of the veteran who has spent the last five
years sitting in a squad car. Many health problems—notably cardiac issues—are cumulative.

6.1.4 A ction I tem : Pension plans should
recognize fitness for duty examinations as definitive
evidence of valid duty or non-duty related disability.
Officers who have been injured in the line of
duty can exist in limbo, without pay, unable to
work but also unable to get benefits because
the “fitness for duty” examinations given by their
agencies are not recognized as valid proof of
disability. And since officers, as public servants,
cannot receive social security, they can end up in
a precarious financial state.

6.1.5 A ction I tem : Public Safety Officer
Benefits (PSOB) should be provided to survivors of
officers killed while working, regardless of whether the officer used safety equipment (seatbelt or
anti-ballistic vest) or if officer death was the result
of suicide attributed to a current diagnosis of
duty-related mental illness, including but not
limited to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Families should not be penalized because an officer died in the line of duty but was not wearing a
seat belt or body armor. Though these precautions
are very important and strongly encouraged, there
are occasions when officers can be more effective
without them.111
A couple of situations were mentioned by task
force member Sean Smoot, who described the
efforts of an officer who took off his seat belt to
tend to the injuries of a victim in the back of the
car as his partner sped to the hospital. Another
111. Listening Session on Officer Safety and Wellness: Voices from the Field (oral
testimony of William Johnson, executive director, National Association of Police
Organizations, for the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing, Washington,
DC, February 23, 2015).

P i l l a r 6 . O ff i c e r W e l l n e s s & S a f e t y

scenario he mentioned was the rescue of a drowning woman by an officer who shed his heavy
body armor to go into the water. Charles Ramsey,
task force co-chair, also noted that these types
of situations could be further mitigated by the
invention of seatbelts that officers could quickly
release without getting tangled on their belts,
badges, and radios, as well as body armor that is
lighter and more comfortable.

6.2 r ecOmmendatiOn : Law enforcement
agencies should promote safety and wellness
at every level of the organization.
Safety and wellness issues affect all law enforcement professionals, regardless of their
management status, duty, or tenure. Moreover,
line officers are more likely to adopt procedures
or change practices if they are advised to do so
by managers who also model the behavior they
encourage. According to witness David Orr, buy-in
from the leaders as well as the rank and file is
essential to the success of any program.112

6.2.1 A ction I tem : Though the Federal Government can support many of the
programs and best practices identified by the
U.S. Department of Justice initiative described in
recommendation 6.1, the ultimate responsibility
lies with each agency.

112.	 Listening Session on Officer Safety and Wellness (oral testimony of David Orr,
sergeant, Norwalk [CT] Police Department, to the President’s Task Force on 21st
Century Policing, Washington, DC, February 23, 2015).

Though legislation and funding from the Federal
Government is necessary in some cases, most of
the policies, programs, and practices recommended
by the task force can and should be implemented
at the local level. It is understood, however, that
there are no “one size fits all” solutions and that
implementation will vary according to agency size,
location, resources, and other factors.

6.3 r ecOmmendatiOn : The U.S.
Department of Justice should encourage and
assist departments in the implementation of
scientifically supported shift lengths by law
enforcement.
It has been established by significant bodies of
research that long shifts can not only cause fatigue, stress, and decreased ability to concentrate
but also lead to other more serious consequences.113 Fatigue and stress undermine not only the
immune system but also the ability to work at full
capacity, make decisions, and maintain emotional
equilibrium. Though long shifts are understandable in the case of emergencies, as a standard
practice they can lead to poor morale, poor job
performance, irritability, and errors in judgment
that can have serious, even deadly, consequences.

6.3.1 A ction I tem : The U.S. Department of
Justice should fund additional research into the
efficacy of limiting the total number of hours an
officer should work within a 24–48-hour period,
including special findings on the maximum number of hours an officer should work in a high risk
or high stress environment (e.g., public demonstrations or emergency situations).
113.	 Bryan Vila, Tired Cops: The Importance of Managing Police Fatigue,
(Washington, DC: Police Executive Research Forum, 2000); Mora L. Fiedler,
Officer Safety and Wellness: An Overview of the Issues (Washington, DC: Office of
Community Oriented Policing Services, 2011), 4, http://cops.usdoj.gov/pdf/OSWG/
e091120401-OSWGReport.pdf.

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Final Report of the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing

Christina Brown of Black Lives Matter Cincinnati speaks about mass demonstrations while Superintendent Garry McCarthy of the Chicago Police
Department looks on, Cincinnati, January 30, 2015.	
PHOTO: DEBORAH SPENCE

6.4 r ecOmmendatiOn : Every law
enforcement officer should be provided with
individual tactical first aid kits and training as
well as anti-ballistic vests.
Task force witness Dr. Alexander Eastman, who is
a trauma surgeon as well as a law enforcement
professional, noted that tactical first aid kits would
significantly reduce the loss of both officer and
civilian lives due to blood loss. Already available
to members of the military engaged in combat
missions, these kits are designed to save lives by
controlling hemorrhaging. They contain tourniquets, an Olaes modular bandage, and QuikClot
gauze and would be provided along with training in
hemorrhage control. Dr. Eastman estimated that the
kits could cost less than $50 each and require about
two hours of training, which could be provided
through officers who have completed “train the
trainer” programs.114
This would be a national adoption of the Hartford
Consensus, which calls for agencies to adopt hemorrhage control as a core law enforcement skill and
114. Listening Session on Officer Safety and Wellness: Officer Safety (oral testimony
of Dr. Alexander Eastman, lieutenant and deputy medical director, Dallas Police
Department, for the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing, Washington,
DC, February 23, 2015).
66

to integrate rescue/emergency medical services
personnel into community-wide active shooter
preparedness and training. These activities
would complement the current “Save Our
Own” law enforcement-based hemorrhage
control programs.115
To further reduce officer deaths, the task force also
strongly recommends the provision of body armor
to all officers with replacements when necessary.

6.4.1 A ction I tem : Congress should
authorize funding for the distribution of law
enforcement individual tactical first aid kits.
6.4.2 A ction I tem : Congress should
reauthorize and expand the Bulletproof Vest
Partnership (BVP) program.
Created by statute in 1998, this program is a
unique U.S. Department of Justice initiative
designed to provide a critical resource to state and
local law enforcement. Based on data collected
and recorded by Bureau of Justice Assistance staff,
115. M. Jacobs Lenworth, Jr., “Joint Committee to Create a National Policy to
Enhance Survivability from Mass Casualty Shooting Events: Hartford Consensus II,”
Journal of the American College of Surgeons 218, no. 3 (March 2014): 476–478.

P i l l a r 6 . O ff i c e r W e l l n e s s & S a f e t y

in FY 2012 protective vests were directly attributed
to saving the lives of at least 33 law enforcement
and corrections officers.

suggests in-car cameras and seat belt sensors
to encourage use along with aggressive safety
campaigns. Some witnesses endorsed mandatory
seat belt policies as well.

6.5 r ecOmmendatiOn : The U.S.
Department of Justice should expand efforts
to collect and analyze data not only on officer
deaths but also on injuries and “near misses.”

The Prince George’s County (Maryland) Arrive Alive
Campaign initiated by task force witness Chief
Mark Magraw to promote 100 percent seat belt
usage relied on incentives and peer pressure for
success. The message was, “it is not just about you,
it is also about your family and your department.”118

Another recommendation mentioned by multiple
witnesses is the establishment of a nationwide
repository of data on law enforcement injuries,
deaths, and near misses. Though the Federal
Bureau of Investigation (FBI) does maintain a
database of information pertinent to police
procedures on officers killed in the line of duty, it
does not contain the medical details that could
be analyzed by medical providers and scientists to
improve medical care, tactics, training, equipment,
and procedures that would prevent or reduce
injuries and save lives. The Police Foundation, with
the support of a number of other law enforcement organizations, launched an online Law
Enforcement Near Miss Reporting System in late
2014, but it is limited in its ability to systematically
analyze national trends in this important data by
its voluntary nature.116

6.6 r ecOmmendatiOn : Law enforcement
agencies should adopt policies that require
officers to wear seat belts and bullet-proof
vests and provide training to raise awareness
of the consequences of failure to do so.
According to task force witness Craig Floyd, traffic
accidents have been the number one cause of
officer fatalities in recent years, and nearly half of
those officers were not wearing seat belts.117 He
116. Deborah L. Spence, “One on One with LEO Near Miss,” Community Policing
Dispatch 8, no. 2 (February 2015), http://cops.usdoj.gov/html/dispatch/02-2015/
leo_near_miss.asp.
117. Listening Session on Officer Safety and Wellness (oral testimony of Craig
Floyd, National Law Enforcement Officer Memorial Foundation, for the President’s

There were also many calls for mandatory
requirements that all officers wear soft body
armor any time they are going to be engaging
in enforcement activities, uniformed or not. It
was also suggested that law enforcement
agencies be required to provide these for
all commissioned personnel.

6.7 r ecOmmendatiOn : Congress
should develop and enact peer review error
management legislation.
The task force recommends that Congress enact
legislation similar to the Healthcare Quality
Improvement Act of 1986119 that would support
the development of an effective peer review error
management system for law enforcement similar
to what exists in medicine. A robust but nonpunitive peer review error management program—in
which law enforcement officers could openly and
frankly discuss their own or others’ mistakes or
Task Force on 21st Century Policing, Washington, DC, February 23, 2015).
118. Listening Session on Officer Safety and Wellness (oral testimony of Mark
Magraw, chief, Prince Georges County [MD] Police Department, for the President’s
Task Force on 21st Century Policing, Washington, DC, February 23, 2015).
119. The Health Care Quality Improvement Act of 1986 (HCQIA), 42 USC §11101
et seq., sets out standards for professional review actions. If a professional review
body meets these standards, then neither the professional review body nor any
person acting as a member or staff to the body will be liable in damages under
most federal or state laws with respect to the action. For more information, see
“Medical Peer Review,” American Medical Association, accessed February 28, 2015,
http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/physician-resources/legal-topics/medicalpeer-review.page.
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Final Report of the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing

near misses without fear of legal repercussions—
would go a long way toward reducing injuries and
fatalities by improving tactics, policies, and procedures. Protecting peer review error management
findings from being used in legal discovery would
enable the widespread adoption of this program
by law enforcement.

6.8 r ecOmmendatiOn : The U.S.
Department of Transportation should
provide technical assistance opportunities for
departments to explore the use of vehicles
equipped with vehicle collision prevention
“smart car” technology that will reduce the
number of accidents.

The Near Miss anonymous reporting system developed by the Police Foundation in Washington,
D.C., currently collects anonymous data that can
be very helpful in learning from and preventing
mistakes, fatalities, and injuries—but a program
that enabled peer review of errors would provide
even more valuable perspectives and solutions.

Given that the FBI’s 2003 to 2012 Law Enforcement
Officers Killed in Action report showed that
49 percent of officer fatalities were a result of
vehicle-related accidents, the need for protective
devices cannot be understated. New technologies
such as vehicle collision prevention systems should
be explored.

Figure 3. Total law enforcement fatalities from 1964–2014

Source: “126 Law Enforcement Fatalities Nationwide in 2014,” Preliminary 2014 Law Enforcement Officer Fatalities Report (Washington, DC: National Law
Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, December 2014), http://www.nleomf.org/assets/pdfs/reports/Preliminary-2014-Officer-Fatalities-Report.pdf.

68

I M P L E M E N TAT I O N
The members of the President’s Task Force on
21st Century Policing are convinced that these 59
concrete recommendations for research, action,
and further study will bring long-term improvements to the ways in which law enforcement
agencies interact with and bring positive change
to their communities. But we also recognize that
the Administration, through policies and practices
already in place, can start right now to move
forward on the bedrock recommendations in this
report. Accordingly, we propose the following
items for immediate action.

7.1 R ecommendation : The President
should direct all federal law enforcement
agencies to review the recommendations
made by the Task Force on 21st Century
Policing and, to the extent practicable, to
adopt those that can be implemented at the
federal level.

For recommendation 7.3, the COPS Office should
consider taking actions including but not limited
to the following:

yy Create a National Policing Practices and

Accountability Division within the COPS Office.

yy Establish national benchmarks and best

practices for federal, state, local, and tribal
police departments.

yy Provide technical assistance and funding to

national, state, local, and tribal accreditation
bodies that evaluate policing practices.

yy Recommend additional benchmarks

and best practices for state training and
standards boards.

yy Provide technical assistance and funding

to state training boards to help them meet
national benchmarks and best practices in
training methodologies and content.

yy Prioritize grant funding to departments
meeting benchmarks.

yy Support departments through an expansion of

the COPS Office Collaborative Reform Initiative.

7.2 R ecommendation : The U.S.
Department of Justice should explore
public-private partnership opportunities,
starting by convening a meeting with local,
regional, and national foundations to discuss
the proposals for reform described in this
report and seeking their engagement and
support in advancing implementation of
these recommendations.
7.3 R ecommendation : The U.S.
Department of Justice should charge its
Office of Community Oriented Policing
Services (COPS Office) with assisting the law
enforcement field in addressing current and
future challenges.

yy Collaborate with universities, the Office of

Justice Programs and its bureaus (Bureau of
Justice Assistance [BJA], Bureau of Justice
Statistics [BJS], National Institute of Justice
[NIJ], and Office of Juvenile Justice and
Delinquency Prevention [OJJDP]), and others
to review research and literature in order
to inform law enforcement agencies about
evidence-based practices and to identify areas
of police operations where additional research
is needed.

yy Collaborate with the BJS to
ƒƒ

establish a central repository for data
concerning police use of force resulting
in death, as well as in-custody deaths,
and disseminate this data for use by both
community and police;

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Final Report of the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing

	

PHOTO: BRANDON TRAMEL

yy Collaborate with the NIJ and the BJS to publish
an annual report on the “State of Policing” in
the United States.

yy Provide support to national police

leadership associations and national rank
and file organizations to encourage them to
implement task force recommendations.

yy Work with the U.S. Department of Homeland
Security to ensure that community
policing tactics in state, local, and tribal law
enforcement agencies are incorporated into
their role in homeland security.

70

A P P E N D I X A  . P U B L I C L I S T E N I N G
SESSIONS & WITNESSES
The President’s Task Force on 21st Century
Policing hosted multiple public listening sessions
to gain broad input and expertise from stakeholders. The information collected in these meetings
informed and advised the task force in developing
its recommendations.

Panel Four: Civil Rights / Civil Liberties

Listening Session 1. Building
Trust & Legitimacy

Vikrant Reddy, Senior Policy Analyst, Texas Public Policy Foundation Center for Effective Justice

Washington, D.C., January 13, 2015
Panel One: Subject Matter Experts

Kevin Johnson, Sacramento

Sherrilyn Ifill, President and Director-Counsel, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People Legal Defense and
Educational Fund
Maria Teresa Kumar, President and CEO, Voto Latino
Laura Murphy, Director, Washington Legislative Office, American
Civil Liberties Union

Panel Five: Mayors
Michael Nutter, Philadelphia

Jennifer Eberhardt, Associate Professor of Psychology,
Stanford University

Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, Baltimore

Charles Ogletree, Jesse Climenko Professor of Law, Harvard
Law School

Listening Session 2. Policy
& Oversight

Tom Tyler, Macklin Fleming Professor of Law and Professor of
Psychology, Yale Law School
Samuel Walker, Emeritus Professor of Criminal Justice, University
of Nebraska Omaha

Cincinnati, Ohio, January 30, 2015
Panel One: Use of Force Research and
Policies

Panel Two: Community Representatives

Geoffrey Alpert, Professor, University of South Carolina

Carmen Perez, Executive Director, The Gathering for Justice

Mick McHale, President, National Association of
Police Organizations

Jim St. Germain, Co-Founder, Preparing Leaders of
Tomorrow, Inc.
Jim Winkler, President and General Secretary, National
Council of Churches of Christ in the USA

Harold Medlock, Chief, Fayetteville (North Carolina)
Police Department
Rashad Robinson, Executive Director, Color of Change

Panel Three: Law Enforcement
Organizations

Panel Two: Use of Force Investigations
and Oversight

Richard Beary, President, International Association of Chiefs
of Police

Sim Gill, District Attorney, Salt Lake County, Utah

Chuck Canterbury, National President, Fraternal Order of Police

Kirk Primas, Assistant Sheriff, Las Vegas Metropolitan
Police Department

Andrew Peralta, National President, National Latino Peace
Officers Association
Richard Stanek, Immediate Past President, Major County
Sheriffs’ Association

Jay McDonald, President, Fraternal Order of Police of Ohio

Chuck Wexler, Executive Director, Police Executive Research Forum

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Final Report of the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing

Panel Three: Civilian Oversight

Kenton Rainey, Chief, Bay Area Rapid Transit, San Francisco

Charlie Beck, Chief, Los Angeles Police Department

Richard Van Houten, Sergeant, Fort Worth (Texas) Police
Officers Association

Brian Buchner, President, National Association for Civilian
Oversight of Law Enforcement

Panel Three: Technology Policy

Darius Charney, Senior Staff Attorney, Center for
Constitutional Rights

Eliot Cohen, Lieutenant, Maryland State Police

Panel Four: Mass Demonstrations

Bill Schrier, Senior Policy Advisor, Office of the Chief Information
Officer, State of Washington

Christina Brown, Founding Organizer, Black Lives
Matter: Cincinnati
Garry McCarthy, Superintendent, Chicago Police Department
Rodney Monroe, Chief, Charlotte-Mecklenburg (North Carolina)
Police Department
Sean Whent, Chief, Oakland (California) Police Department

Panel Five: Law Enforcement Culture
and Diversity
Malik Aziz, National Chairman, National Black Police Association

Madhu Grewal, Policy Counsel, The Constitution Project

Vincent Talucci, Executive Director / Chief Executive Officer,
International Association of Chiefs of Police

Panel Four: Social Media, Community
Digital Engagement and Collaboration
Hassan Aden, Director, Research and Programs, International
Association of Chiefs of Police
DeRay McKesson, This is the Movement

Hayley Gorenberg, Deputy Legal Director, Lambda Legal

Steve Spiker, Research and Technology Director, Urban
Strategies Council

Kathy Harrell, President, Fraternal Order of Police, Queen City
Lodge #69, Cincinnati, Ohio

Lauri Stevens, Founder and Principal Consultant,
LAwS Communications

Barbara O’Connor, President, National Association of Women
Law Enforcement Executives

Listening Session 3. Technology
& Social Media
Cincinnati, Ohio, January 31, 2015
Panel One: Body Cameras—Research
and Legal Considerations
Jim Bueermann, President, Police Foundation
Scott Greenwood, Attorney
Tracie Keesee, Co-Founder and Director of Research Partnerships,
Center for Policing Equity
Bill Lewinski, Founder and Director, Force Science Institute
Michael White, Professor, School of Criminology and Criminal
Justice, Arizona State University

Panel Two: Body Cameras—Implementation

Listening Session 4. Community
Policing & Crime Reduction
Phoenix, Arizona, February 13, 2015
Panel One: Community Policing and
Crime Prevention Research
Bill Geller, Director, Geller & Associates
Dr. Delores Jones-Brown, Professor, John Jay College of
Criminal Justice, City University of New York
Dr. Dennis Rosenbaum, Professor, University of Illinois
at Chicago
Dr. Wesley G. Skogan, Professor, Northwestern University

Panel Two: Building Community
Policing Organizations
Anthony Batts, Police Commissioner, Baltimore
Police Department
Jeffrey Blackwell, Chief, Cincinnati (Ohio) Police Department

Johanna Miller, Advocacy Director, New York Civil Liberties Union

Chris Magnus, Chief, Richmond (California) Police Department

Ken Miller, Chief, Greenville (South Carolina) Police Department

Patrick Melvin, Chief, Salt River Police Department (Salt River
Pima-Maricopa Indian Community)

72

Appendix A

Panel Three: Using Community Policing Dr. Steven Winegar, Coordinator, Public Safety Leadership
Development, Oregon Department of Public Safety Standards
to Reduce Crime
Kevin Bethel, Deputy Police Commissioner, Philadelphia
Police Department
Melissa Jones, Senior Program Officer, Boston’s Local Initiatives
Support Corporation
David Kennedy, Professor, John Jay College of Criminal Justice,
City University of New York
J. Scott Thomson, Chief, Camden County (New Jersey)
Police Department
George Turner, Chief, Atlanta Police Department

Panel Four: Using Community Policing
to Restore Trust
Rev. Jeff Brown, Rebuilding Every City Around Peace
Dwayne Crawford, Executive Director, National Organization of
Black Law Enforcement Executives
Justin Hansford, Assistant Professor of Law, Saint Louis
University School of Law

and Training

Panel Two: In-Service Training
Dr. Scott Decker, Professor, Arizona State University
Aaron Danielson, President, Public Safety Employee Association/
AFSCME Local 803, Fairbanks, Alaska
Dr. Cheryl May, Director, Criminal Justice Institute and National
Center for Rural Law Enforcement
John Ortolano, President, Arizona Fraternal Order of Police
Gary Schofield, Deputy Chief, Las Vegas Metropolitan
Police Department

Panel Three: Supervisory, Leadership
and Management Training
Edward Flynn, Chief, Milwaukee (Wisconsin) Police Department
Sandra Hutchens, Sheriff, Orange County (California)
Sheriff’s Department
Kimberly Jacobs, Chief, Columbus (Ohio) Division of Police

Cecil Smith, Chief, Sanford (Florida) Police Department

John Layton, Sheriff, Marion County (Indiana) Sheriff’s Office

Panel Five: Youth and Law Enforcement

Dr. Ellen Scrivner, Executive Fellow, Police Foundation

Delilah Coleman, Member, Navajo Nation (Senior at Flagstaff
High School)

Panel Four: Voices in the Community

Jose Gonzales, Alumnus, Foster Care and Crossover Youth

Allie Bones, MSW, Chief Executive Officer, Arizona Coalition to End
Sexual and Domestic Violence

Jamecia Luckey, Youth Conference Committee Member, Cocoa
(Florida) Police Athletic League

Renaldo Fowler, Senior Staff Advocate, Arizona Center for
Disability Law

Nicholas Peart, Staff Member, The Brotherhood-Sister Sol (Class
Member, Floyd, et al. v. City of New York, et al.)

Keeshan Harley, Member, Communities United for Police Reform

Michael Reynolds, Co-President, Youth Power Movement

Listening Session 5. Training
& Education
Phoenix, Arizona, February 14, 2015
Panel One: Basic Recruit Academy

Andrea Ritchie, Senior Policy Counsel, Streetwise and Safe
Linda Sarsour, Executive Director, Arab American Association of
New York

Panel Five: Special Training on Building
Trust
Lt. Sandra Brown (retired), Principal Trainer, Fair and
Impartial Policing

Arlen Ciechanowski, President, International Association of
Directors of Law Enforcement Standards and Training

Dr. Randolph Dupont, Professor and Clinical Psychologist,
University of Memphis

William J. Johnson, Executive Director, National Association of
Police Organizations

David C. Friedman, Regional Director of National Law
Enforcement Initiatives, Anti-Defamation League

Benjamin B. Tucker, First Deputy Commissioner, New York City
Police Department

Lt. Bruce Lipman (retired), Procedural Justice /Police Legitimacy
Training
Dr. Ronal Serpas, Advisory Board Member, Cure Violence Chicago
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Final Report of the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing

Listening Session 6. Officer Safety
& Wellness
Washington, D.C., February 23, 2015
Panel One: Officer Wellness
Dr. Laurence Miller, Clinical Forensic Psychologist and Law
Enforcement Educator
David Orr, Sergeant, Norwalk (Connecticut) Police Department
Dr. Sandra Ramey, Assistant Professor, University of Iowa
College of Nursing
Dr. John Violanti, Research Professor, State University of New
York Buffalo
Yost Zakhary, Public Safety Director, City of Woodway, Texas

Panel Two: Officer Safety
Jane Castor, Chief, Tampa (Florida) Police Department
Jerry L. Demings, Sheriff, Orange County (Florida) Sheriff’s Office
Dr. Alexander L. Eastman, Lieutenant and Deputy Medical
Director, Dallas Police Department
Craig W. Floyd, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, National
Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund

Panel Three: Voices from the Field
Dianne Bernhard, Executive Director, Concerns of
Police Survivors
Robert Bryant, Chief, Penobscot Nation
Chuck Canterbury, National President, Fraternal Order of Police
William J. Johnson, Executive Director, National Association of
Police Organizations

74

Jonathan Thompson, Executive Director, National
Sheriffs’ Association

Panel Four: Labor/Management
Relations
Dr. Chuck Wexler, Executive Director, Police Executive
Research Forum
Karen Freeman-Wilson, Mayor, Gary, Indiana
Mark Magaw, Chief, Prince George’s County (Maryland)
Police Department
James Pasco, Executive Director, Fraternal Order of Police
Dustin Smith, President, Sacramento (California) Police
Officers Association

Listening Session 7. Future of
Community Policing
Washington, D.C., February 24, 2015
Panel: Future of Community Policing
Dr. Phillip Goff, Professor, University of California, Los Angeles
Jim McDonnell, Sheriff, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department
Dr. Daniel Nagin, Teresa and H. John Heinz III Professor of Public
Policy, Carnegie Mellon University
Dr. Lawrence Sherman, Director of the Institute of Criminology
of the University of Cambridge, United Kingdom
Jeremy Travis, President, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, City
University of New York

A P P E N D I X B  . I N D I V I D U A L S
& O R G A N I Z AT I O N S T H AT
SUBMIT TED WRIT TEN TESTIMONY
In addition to receiving testimony from those
individuals that appeared as witnesses during public
listening sessions, the President’s Task Force on 21st
Century Policing accepted written testimony from
any individual or organization to ensure that its information gathering efforts included as many people
and perspectives as possible. The task force thanks
the individuals and organizations who submitted
written testimony for their time and expertise.

Eli Briggs, Director of Government Affairs, National Association of
County and City Health Officials (NACCHO)

This list reflects organizational affiliation at the time
of testimony submission and may not represent
submitters’ current positions.

Mo Canady, Executive Director, National Association of School
Resource Officers (NASRO)

Individuals

Anthony Chapa, President, Hispanic American Police Command
Officers Association

Robert Abraham, Chair, Gang Resistance Education & Training
(GREAT) National Policy Board

Lorig Charkoudian, Executive Director, Community
Mediation Maryland

Phillip Agnew, Executive Director, Dream Defenders

Ralph Clark, President and CEO, SST Inc.

Kilolo Ajanaku, National Executive Director, World Conference of
Mayors’ Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. American Dream Initiative

Faye Coffield CJ Federal Task Force

Barbara Attard, Past President, National Association for Civilian
Oversight of Law Enforcement
Paul Babeu, Vice President, Arizona Sheriffs Association
Monifa Bandele, Communities United for Police Reform

Cherie Brown, Executive Director, National Coalition
Building Institute
Steven Brown, Journalist / Public Relations Consultant
Chris Calabrese, Senior Policy Director, Center for Democracy
and Technology—with Jake Laperruque, Fellow on Privacy,
Surveillance, and Security
Melanie Campbell, President and CEO, National Coalition on
Black Civic Participation

Hugh Carter Donahue, Adjunct Professor, Department of
History, Rowan University

The Hon. LaDoris Cordell, Office of the Independent Police
Auditor, San Jose, California
Jill Corson Lake, Director of Global Advising, Parsons The New
School for Design

Dante Barry, Executive Director, Million Hoodies

David Couper, Chief of Police (retired), Madison (Wisconsin)
Police Department

David Bayley, Distinguished Professor Emeritus, University
of Albany

Madeline deLone, Executive Director, The Innocence Project—
with Marvin Anderson, Board Member

Michael Bell, Lt. Colonel (retired), United States Air Force

Jimmie Dotson, Police Chief (retired), Houston Independent
School District / GeoDD GeoPolicing Team

Michael Berkow, Chief, Savannah (Georgia) Police Department
Greg Berman and Emily Gold LaGratta, Center for
Court Innovation
Angela Glover Blackwell, Founder and CEO, PolicyLink
Mark Bowman, Assistant Professor of Justice Studies,
Methodist University

Ronnie Dunn, Professor, Cleveland State University
Lauren-Brooke Eisen and Nicole Fortier – Counsel,
Justice Program, Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law
Christian Ellis, CEO, Alternative Ballistics
Jeffrey Fagan, Professor of Law, Columbia Law School

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Final Report of the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing

Mai Fernandez, Executive Director, National Center for Victims
of Crime
Johnny Ford, Founder, Alabama Conference of Black Mayors and
Mayor, Tuskegee, Alabama
Lisa Foster, Director, Access to Justice Initiative, U.S. Department
of Justice

Wade Henderson, President and CEO, The Leadership Conference
on Civil and Human Rights—with Nancy Zirkin, Executive
Vice President
Maulin Chris Herring, Trainer/Consultant, Public Safety
Sandy Holman, Director, The Culture CO-OP

Neill Franklin, Executive Director, Law Enforcement
Against Prohibition

Zachary Horn and Kent Halverson, Aptima, Inc.—
with Rebecca Damari and Aubrey Logan-Terry,
Georgetown University

S. Gabrielle Frey, Interim Executive Director, National Association
of Community Mediation

Tanya Clay House, Director of Public Policy, Lawyers’ Committee
for Civil Rights Under Law

Lorie Fridell, Associate Professor of Criminology, University of
South Florida

Susan Hutson, Office of the Independent Police Monitor,
New Orleans

Allen Frimpong, Activist--Malcolm X Grassroots Movement:
New York’s Self Defensive Campaign

Ingram Janaye, Executive Director, National Action Network

Ethan Garcia, Youth Specialist, Identity Inc.
Michael Gennaco, Principal, OIR Group

Megan Johnston, Executive Director, Northern Virginia
Mediation Service

Al Gerhardstein, Civil Rights Attorney

Nola Joyce, Deputy Commissioner, Philadelphia Police Department

James Gierach, Executive Board Vice Chairman, Law Enforcement
Against Prohibition

Keith Kauffman, Captain, Hawthorne (California)
Police Department

Fred Ginyard, Organizing Director, Fabulous Independent
Educated Radical for Community Empowerment (FIERCE)

Gwendolyn Puryear Keita, Executive Director, American
Psychological Association, Public Interest Directorate

Mark Gissiner, Past President, International Association for Civilian
Oversight of Law Enforcement

Stanley Knee, Chief, Austin (Texas) Police Department

Becca Gomby, SDR Academy

David Kurz, Chief, Durham (New Hampshire) Police Department

Rev. Aaron Graham, Lead Pastor, The District Church
Fatima Graves, Vice President, National Women’s Law Center—
with Lara S. Kaufmann, Senior Counsel and Director of
Education Policy for At-Risk Students
Virgil Green, Chairman, Future America National Crime
Solution Commission
Sheldon Greenberg, Professor, School of Education, Division of
Public Safety Leadership, The Johns Hopkins University
Robert Haas, Police Commissioner, Cambridge (Massachusetts)
Police Department
David Harris, Distinguished Faculty Scholar and Professor of Law
Associates Dean for Research, University of Pittsburgh School of Law
W. Craig Hartley, Executive Director, CALEA
Steven Hawkins, Executive Director, Amnesty International USA
Louis Hayes, The Virtus Group, Inc.

76

Melanie Jeffers

Laura Kunard, Senior Research Scientist, CNA Corporation
Deborah Lauter, Director of Civil Rights, Anti-Defamation
League—with Michael Lieberman, Washington Counsel
Cynthia Lum and Christopher Koper, George Mason
University, Center for Evidence-Based Crime Policy
Bruce Lumpkins
Edward Maguire, Professor of Justice, Law & Criminology,
American University
Baron Marquis, Member, Riverside Church, New York
Travis Martinez, Lieutenant, Redlands (California)
Police Department
Mike Masterson, Chief, Boise (Idaho) Police Department
Andrew Mazzara, Executive Director, International Law
Enforcement Forum—with Colin Burrows QMP (U.K.), ILEF
Advisory Board Chair
R. Paul McCauley, Past President, Academy of Criminal
Justice Sciences

Appendix B

V. Michael McKenzie

Darakshan Raja, Program Manager, Washington Peace Center

Harvey McMurray, Chair, Department of Criminal Justice, North
Carolina Central University

Sir Desmond Rea and Robin Masefield, Northern Ireland
Policing Board

Pamela Meanes, President, National Bar Association

Nuno Rocha

Doug Mellis, President, Massachusetts Chiefs of Police Association—with Brian Kyes, President, Massachusetts Major City
Chiefs Association

Edwin Roessler, Jr., Chief, Fairfax County (Virginia)
Police Department

Seth Miller, President, The Innocence Network

Iris Roley, Black United Front of Cincinnati

Charlene Moe, Program Coordinator, Center for Public Safety
and Justice, Institute of Government and Public Affairs, University
of Illinois
Marc Morial, CEO, National Urban League
Richard Myers, Chief, Newport News (Virginia) Police Department
Toye Nash, Sergeant, Phoenix Police Department
Rebecca Neri and Anthony Berryman – UCLA
Improvement by Design Research Group
Chuck Noerenberg, President, National Alliance for Drug
Endangered Children
Newell Normand, Sheriff, Jefferson Parish (Louisiana) Sherriff’s
Office—submitted with Adrian Garcia, Sheriff, Harris County
(Texas) Sheriff’s Office; David Mahoney, Sheriff, Dane County
(Wisconsin) Sheriff’s Office; Anthony Normore, Ph.D., Criminal Justice Commission for Credible Leadership Development; and
Mitch Javidi, Ph.D., International Academy of Public Safety

Jeffrey Rojek, University of Texas at El Paso
Julia Ryan, Community Safety Initiative Director, LISC
Robert Samuels, Former Acting Director, DOJ Executive Office for
Weed and Seed
Kami Chavis Simmons, Professor of Law and Director of the
Criminal Justice Program, Wake Forest University School of Law
Russell Skiba, Professor and Director, Equity Project at
Indiana University
Ronald Sloan, President, Association of State Criminal
Investigative Agencies
Samuel Somers, Jr., Chief, Sacramento Police Department
Brett Stoudt, Morris Justice Project and Professor, John Jay College
of Criminal Justice
“Think Tank Johnny”
Don Tijerina, President, Hispanic American Police Command
Officers Association

Gbadegesin Olubukola, St. Louis University

Nicholas Turner, President and Director, Vera Institute of Justice

Patrice O’Neill, CEO/Executive Producer, Not In Our Town

James Unnever, Professor of Criminology, University of
South Florida

Jim Palmer, Executive Director, Wisconsin Professional
Police Association
Julie Parker, Media Relations Division Director, Prince George’s
County (Maryland) Police Department
George Patterson, Associate Professor, City University
of New York
David Perry, President, International Association of Campus Law
Enforcement Administrators (IACLEA)
Megan Price, Director, Insight Conflict Resolution Program, School
for Conflict Analysis and Resolution, George Mason University
Sue Quinn, Past President, National Association for Civilian
Oversight of Law Enforcement

Javier Valdes, Executive Director, Make the Road New York
Kim Vansell, Director, National Center for Campus Public Safety
Nina Vinik, Program Director, Gun Violence Prevention,
The Joyce Foundation
Vincent Warren, Executive Director, Center for
Constitutional Rights
Barbara Weinstein, Associate Director, Religious Action Center
of Reform Judaism
Jenny Yang, Chair, U.S. Equal Employment
Opportunity Commission

Tess Raser, Teacher, Brooklyn, New York

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Final Report of the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing

Organizations
American Friends Service Committee
American Society of Criminology, Division of Policing, Ad Hoc Committee to the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing (Anthony
Braga, Rod K. Brunson, Gary Cordner, Lorie Fridell, Matthew
Hickman, Cynthia Lum, Stephen D. Mastrofski, Jack McDevitt, Dennis
P. Rosenbaum, Wesley G. Skogan, and William Terrill)
Brooklyn Defender Services
The Bronx Defenders
Center for Popular Democracy
Civil Rights Coalition on Police Reform
CNA Corporation (George Fachner, Michael D. White, James R. Coldren,
Jr., and James K. Stewart)

Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC)
Major County Sheriffs’ Association
Make the Road New York
National Action Network (NAN)
National Association for Civilian Oversight of Law Enforcement
National Association of Counties
National Association of Police Organizations
National Association of Women Law Enforcement Executives
National Collaborative for Health Equity, Dellums Commission
National Day Laborer Organizing Network
National Immigration Law Center
National Fraternal Order of Police

Color of Change

National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE)

Dignity in Schools Campaign

National Sheriffs’ Association

Ethics Bureau at Yale (Lawrence Fox, Supervising Lawyer)

New Sanctuary Coalition of New York

Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

Northern Manhattan Coalition for Immigrant Rights

Harvard Kennedy School (John F. Kennedy School of Government)

Northwest Immigrant Rights Project

Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights

PICO National Network

Immigrant Defense Project

Public Science Project

International Association for Human Values (IAHV) / Works of
Wonder International

Santa Fe College and the Santa Fe College Police Department,
Gainesville, Florida

Latino Justice

Southern Poverty Law Center

Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law (including A. Phillip
Randolph Institute, Black Youth Vote, Empowerment Movement,
Hip Hop Caucus, Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights,
Muslim Advocates, National Association for the Advancement
of Colored People [NAACP], NAACP Legal Defense Fund, National
Coalition on Black Civic Participation, National Council of
Churches of Christ in the USA, PICO National Network, and
Rainbow PUSH Coalition)

Streetwise & Safe

78

Team Kids
Works of Wonder International

A P P E N D I X C  . E X E C U T I V E O R D E R
13684 OF DECEMBER 18, 2014
By the authority vested in me as President by the
Constitution and the laws of the United States of
America, and in order to identify the best means
to provide an effective partnership between law
enforcement and local communities that reduces
crime and increases trust, it is hereby ordered
as follows:
Section 1. Establishment. There is established a
President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing
(Task Force).
Sec. 2. Membership. (a) The Task Force shall be
composed of not more than eleven members
appointed by the President. The members shall
include distinguished individuals with relevant
experience or subject-matter expertise in law
enforcement, civil rights, and civil liberties.
(b) The President shall designate two members of
the Task Force to serve as Co-Chairs.
Sec. 3. Mission. (a) The Task Force shall, consistent
with applicable law, identify best practices
and otherwise make recommendations to
the President on how policing practices can
promote effective crime reduction while
building public trust.
(b) The Task Force shall be solely advisory and shall
submit a report to the President by March 2, 2015.
Sec. 4. Administration. (a) The Task Force shall hold
public meetings and engage with Federal, State,
tribal, and local officials, technical advisors, and
nongovernmental organizations, among others, as
necessary to carry out its mission.

(b) The Director of the Office of Community
Oriented Policing Services shall serve as Executive
Director of the Task Force and shall, as directed by
the Co-Chairs, convene regular meetings of the
Task Force and supervise its work.
(c) In carrying out its mission, the Task Force shall
be informed by, and shall strive to avoid duplicating, the efforts of other governmental entities.
(d) The Department of Justice shall provide
administrative services, funds, facilities, staff,
equipment, and other support services as may be
necessary for the Task Force to carry out its mission
to the extent permitted by law and subject to the
availability of appropriations.
(e) Members of the Task Force shall serve without
any additional compensation for their work on the
Task Force, but shall be allowed travel expenses,
including per diem, to the extent permitted by law
for persons serving intermittently in the Government service (5 U.S.C.5701-5707).
Sec. 5. Termination. The Task Force shall terminate
30 days after the President requests a final report
from the Task Force.
Sec. 6. General Provisions. (a) Nothing in this order
shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect:
(i) the authority granted by law to a department,
agency, or the head thereof; or
(ii) the functions of the Director of the Office of
Management and Budget relating to budgetary,
administrative, or legislative proposals.

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Final Report of the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing

(b) This order is not intended to, and does not,
create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party
against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents,
or any other person.

80

(c) Insofar as the Federal Advisory Committee Act,
as amended (5 U.S.C. App.) (the “Act”) may apply
to the Task Force, any functions of the President
under the Act, except for those in section 6 of the
Act, shall be performed by the Attorney General.

THE WHITE HOUSE,
December 18, 2014.

A P P E N D I X D . TA S K F O R C E
MEMBERS’ BIOGRAPHIES
Co-Chairs
Charles Ramsey
Charles Ramsey is the commissioner of the
Philadelphia Police Department (PPD), a position
he has held since 2008. Since 2010, he has served
as president of the Major Cities Chiefs Association
and the Police Executive Research Forum. Commissioner Ramsey began his law enforcement career
in 1968 as a cadet with the Chicago Police Department (CPD). Over the next 30 years, he held various
positions with the CPD, including commander of
the Narcotics Division, deputy chief of the Patrol
Division, and deputy superintendent, a role he held
from 1994 to 1998. In 1998, he was named chief of
the Metropolitan Police Department of the District
of Columbia (MPDC), where he served until early
2007. In 2007, Commissioner Ramsey served on
the Independent Commission on Security Forces
of Iraq, leading a review of the Iraqi Police Force.
In addition to his current role at the PPD, he also
serves as a member of the Homeland Security
Advisory Council. Commissioner Ramsey received a
BS and MS from Lewis University.

Laurie Robinson
Laurie Robinson is the Clarence J. Robinson
Professor of Criminology, Law and Society at
George Mason University, a position she has
held since 2012. She served as assistant attorney
general for the Office of Justice Programs (OJP) in
the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) from 2009
to 2012. Prior to that, Ms. Robinson served as the
Principal deputy assistant attorney general for
OJP and acting assistant attorney general for OJP.
Previously, she was a member of the Obama-Biden
Transition Team. From 2003 to 2009, Ms. Robinson
was the director of the Master of Science Program
in Criminology at the University of Pennsylvania.
From 1993 to 2000, she served her first term as
assistant attorney general for OJP. Before joining
DOJ, Ms. Robinson spent over 20 years with the
American Bar Association, serving as assistant staff
director of the Criminal Justice Section from 1972
to 1979, director of the Criminal Justice Section
from 1979 to 1993, and director of the Professional
Services Division from 1986 to 1993. She is a senior
fellow at the George Mason University Center for
Evidence-Based Crime Policy and serves as cochair of the Research Advisory Committee for the
International Association of Chiefs of Police. She
also serves on the board of trustees of the Vera
Institute of Justice. Ms. Robinson received a BA
from Brown University.

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Final Report of the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing

Members
Cedric L. Alexander
Cedric L. Alexander is the deputy chief operating
officer for Public Safety in DeKalb County, Georgia,
a position he has held since late 2013. Dr. Alexander is also the national president of the National
Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives.
In 2013, he served as chief of police for the DeKalb
County Police Department. Prior to this, Dr. Alexander served as federal security director for the
Transportation Security Administration (TSA) at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport from 2007 to
2013. And from 2006 to 2007, he was deputy commissioner of the New York State Division of Criminal
Justice Services. From 2005 to 2006, Dr. Alexander
was chief of the Rochester (New York) Police
Department (RPD), where he previously served as
deputy chief of police from 2002 to 2005. Before
joining RPD, Dr. Alexander was a faculty member
in the Department of Psychiatry at the University
of Rochester Medical Center from 1998 to 2002.
He began his career as a deputy sheriff in Florida
from 1977 to 1981, before joining the Miami-Dade
Police Department, where he was as an officer and
detective from 1981 to 1992. He received a BA and
MS from St. Thomas University in Miami, Florida,
and a PsyD from Wright State University.
Jose Lopez
Jose Lopez is currently the lead organizer at Make
the Road New York (MRNY), a Brooklyn-based
non-profit community organization focused on
civil rights, education reform, and combating
poverty. He became lead organizer of MRNY in
2013. Mr. Lopez began his career in 2000 as youth
organizer with Make the Road by Walking, which
later merged with the Latin American Integration
Center to form MRNY in 2007. He continued to
serve as youth organizer with MRNY until 2009
when he became senior organizer. Since 2011,
Mr. Lopez has represented MRNY on the steering

82

committee of Communities United for Police
Reform, a New York City organization advocating
for law enforcement reform. From 2001 to 2004,
he was an active contributor to the Radio Rookies
Project, an initiative of New York Public Radio. He
received a BA from Hofstra University.
Tracey L. Meares
Tracey Meares is the Walton Hale Hamilton
Professor of Law at Yale Law School, a position she
has held since 2007. From 2009 to 2011, she also
served as deputy dean of Yale Law School. Before
joining the faculty at Yale, she served as a professor at the University of Chicago Law School from
1995 to 2007. She has served on the Committee
on Law and Justice, a National Research Council
Standing Committee of the National Academy
of Sciences. She was appointed by Attorney
General Eric Holder to serve on the inaugural U.S.
Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs
Science Advisory Board. She also currently serves
on the board of directors of the Joyce Foundation.
Ms. Meares began her legal career as a law clerk
for Judge Harlington Wood, Jr. of the U.S. Court of
Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. She later served
as a trial attorney in the Antitrust Division at the
U.S. Department of Justice. Ms. Meares received a
BS from the University of Illinois and a JD from the
University of Chicago Law School.
Brittany N. Packnett
Brittany Packnett is currently executive director of
Teach For America in St. Louis, Missouri, a position
she has held since 2012. From 2010 to 2012, she
was a director on the Government Affairs Team at
Teach For America. Ms. Packnett was a legislative
assistant for the U.S. House of Representatives
from 2009 to 2010. From 2007 to 2009, she was a
third grade teacher in Southeast Washington, D.C.,
as a member of the Teach For America Corps. Ms.
Packnett has volunteered as executive director

Appendix D

of Dream Girls DMV, a mentoring program for
young girls, and was the founding co-chair of The
Collective-DC, a regional organization for Teach For
America alumni of color. She currently serves on
the board of New City School, the COCA (Center of
Creative Arts) Associate Board, the Urban League of
Metro St. Louis Education Committee, and the John
Burroughs School Board Diversity Committee. Ms.
Packnett received a BA from Washington University
in St. Louis and an MA from American University.
Susan Lee Rahr
Susan Rahr is executive director of the Washington
State Criminal Justice Training Commission, a
position she has held since 2012. From 2005 to
2012, she served as the first female sheriff in King
County, Washington. Ms. Rahr spent over 30 years
as a law enforcement officer, beginning as a patrol
officer and undercover narcotics officer. While
serving with the King County Sheriff’s Office, she
held various positions including serving as the
commander of the Internal Investigations and
Gang Units; commander of the Special Investigations Section; and police chief of Shoreline,
Washington. Ms. Rahr received a BA from Washington State University. She has served as a member
of the National Institute of Justice and Harvard
Kennedy School Executive Session on Policing
and Public Safety; president of the Washington
State Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs,
and an executive board member of the National
Sheriffs’ Association.

Constance Rice
Constance Rice is a civil rights attorney and
co-director of the Advancement Project, an
organization she co-founded in 1999. In 2003, Ms.
Rice was selected to lead the Blue Ribbon Rampart Review Panel, which investigated the largest
police corruption scandal in Los Angeles Police
Department history. In 1991, Ms. Rice joined the
NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, and
she became co-director of the Los Angeles office
in 1996. She was previously an associate at Morrison & Foerster and began her legal career as a law
clerk to Judge Damon J. Keith of the U.S. Court of
Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. Ms. Rice received a BA
from Harvard College and a JD from the New York
University School of Law.
Sean Michael Smoot
Sean Smoot is currently director and chief counsel
for the Police Benevolent & Protective Association
of Illinois (PB&PA) and the Police Benevolent Labor
Committee (PBLC), positions he has held since
2000. He began his career with PB&PA and PBLC
as a staff attorney in 1995, before becoming chief
counsel of both organizations in 1997. Since 2001,
Mr. Smoot has served as the treasurer of the National Association of Police Organizations and has
served on the Advisory Committee for the National Law Enforcement Officers’ Rights Center since
1996. From 2008 to 2009, he was a policy advisor
to the Obama-Biden Transition Project on public
safety and state and local police issues and was
a member of the National Institute of Justice and
Harvard Kennedy School of Government Executive
Session on Policing and Public Safety from 2008
to 2011. Mr. Smoot served as police commissioner
of Leland Grove, Illinois, from 1998 to 2008. He
received a BS from Illinois State University and a JD
from Southern Illinois University School of Law.

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Final Report of the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing

Bryan Stevenson
Bryan Stevenson is founder and executive director
of the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI), a private, nonprofit organization headquartered in Montgomery,
Alabama. In addition to directing the EJI since
1989, he is a clinical professor at New York University School of Law. He previously has served as
a visiting professor of law at the University of Michigan School of Law. Mr. Stevenson has received
the American Bar Association’s Wisdom Award
for public service, the ACLU’s National Medal
of Liberty, and the MacArthur Foundation
“Genius” Award Prize. Mr. Stevenson received a
BA from Eastern College (now Eastern University),
a JD from Harvard Law School, and an MPP from
the John F. Kennedy School of Government at
Harvard University.

84

Roberto Villaseñor
Roberto Villaseñor is chief of police for the Tucson
(Arizona) Police Department (TPD), a position he
has held since 2009. He joined the TPD in 1980
and has served as officer, sergeant, lieutenant, and
captain and as assistant chief from 2000 to 2009.
Chief Villaseñor was named Officer of the Year
for the TPD in 1996 and has been awarded the
TPD Medal of Merit three times. He also received
the TPD Medal of Distinguished Service. Chief
Villaseñor is the incoming president of the Arizona
Association of Chiefs of Police and a board member of the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF).
He received a BS from Park University and a MEd
from Northern Arizona University.

A P P E N D I X E  . R E C O M M E N D AT I O N S
AND AC TIONS
0.1 O verarching r ecOmmendatiOn :
The President should support and provide
funding for the creation of a National Crime
and Justice Task Force to review and evaluate
all components of the criminal justice system
for the purpose of making recommendations
to the country on comprehensive criminal
justice reform.
0.2 Overarching recOmmendatiOn:
The President should promote programs that
take a comprehensive and inclusive look at
community-based initiatives that address
the core issues of poverty, education, health,
and safety.
1.1 r ecOmmendatiOn : Law enforcement
culture should embrace a guardian mindset to
build public trust and legitimacy. Toward that
end, police and sheriffs’ departments should
adopt procedural justice as the guiding
principle for internal and external policies and
practices to guide their interactions with the
citizens they serve.
1.2 r ecOmmendatiOn : Law enforcement
agencies should acknowledge the role of
policing in past and present injustice and
discrimination and how it is a hurdle to the
promotion of community trust.
1.2.1 a ctiOn i tem : The U.S. Department of
Justice should develop and disseminate case studies
that provide examples where past injustices were
publicly acknowledged by law enforcement agencies in a manner to help build community trust.

1.3 r ecOmmendatiOn : Law enforcement
agencies should establish a culture of
transparency and accountability in order to
build public trust and legitimacy. This will help
ensure decision making is understood and in
accord with stated policy.
1.3.1 a ctiOn i tem : To embrace a culture of
transparency, law enforcement agencies should
make all department policies available for public
review and regularly post on the department’s
website information about stops, summonses, arrests, reported crime, and other law enforcement
data aggregated by demographics.
1.3.2 a ctiOn i tem : When serious incidents
occur, including those involving alleged police
misconduct, agencies should communicate
with citizens and the media swiftly, openly, and
neutrally, respecting areas where the law requires
confidentiality.
1.4 r ecOmmendatiOn : Law enforcement
agencies should promote legitimacy internally
within the organization by applying the
principles of procedural justice.
1.4.1 a ctiOn i tem : In order to achieve
internal legitimacy, law enforcement agencies
should involve employees in the process of
developing policies and procedures.
1.4.2 a ctiOn i tem : Law enforcement
agency leadership should examine
opportunities to incorporate procedural justice
into the internal discipline process, placing
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Final Report of the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing

additional importance on values adherence
rather than adherence to rules. Union
leadership should be partners in this process.

1.5 r ecOmmendatiOn : Law enforcement
agencies should proactively promote public
trust by initiating positive nonenforcement
activities to engage communities that
typically have high rates of investigative and
enforcement involvement with government
agencies.
1.5.1 a ctiOn i tem : In order to achieve
external legitimacy, law enforcement agencies
should involve the community in the process of
developing and evaluating policies and procedures.
1.5.2 a ctiOn i tem : Law enforcement agencies should institute residency incentive programs
such as Resident Officer Programs.
1.5.3 a ctiOn i tem : Law enforcement agencies should create opportunities in schools and
communities for positive nonenforcement interactions with police. Agencies should also publicize
the beneficial outcomes and images of positive,
trust-building partnerships and initiatives.
1.5.4 a ctiOn i tem : Use of physical control
equipment and techniques against vulnerable
populations—including children, elderly persons,
pregnant women, people with physical and mental disabilities, limited English proficiency, and
others—can undermine public trust and should
be used as a last resort. Law enforcement agencies
should carefully consider and review their policies
towards these populations and adopt policies if
none are in place.

86

1.6 r ecOmmendatiOn : Law enforcement
agencies should consider the potential
damage to public trust when implementing
crime fighting strategies.
1.6.1 a ctiOn i tem : Research conducted
to evaluate the effectiveness of crime fighting
strategies should specifically look at the potential
for collateral damage of any given strategy on
community trust and legitimacy.
1.7 r ecOmmendatiOn : Law enforcement
agencies should track the level of trust in
police by their communities just as they
measure changes in crime. Annual community
surveys, ideally standardized across
jurisdictions and with accepted sampling
protocols, can measure how policing in that
community affects public trust.
1.7.1 a ctiOn i tem : The Federal Government should develop survey tools and
instructions for use of such a model to prevent
local departments from incurring the expense and
to allow for consistency across jurisdictions.
1.8 r ecOmmendatiOn : Law enforcement
agencies should strive to create a workforce
that contains a broad range of diversity
including race, gender, language, life
experience, and cultural background to
improve understanding and effectiveness in
dealing with all communities.
1.8.1 a ctiOn i tem : The Federal Government should create a Law Enforcement Diversity
Initiative designed to help communities diversify
law enforcement departments to reflect the
demographics of the community.

Appendix E

1.8.2 a ctiOn i tem : The department
overseeing this initiative should help localities
learn best practices for recruitment, training,
and outreach to improve the diversity as well as
the cultural and linguistic responsiveness of law
enforcement agencies.
1.8.3 a ctiOn i tem : Successful law enforcement agencies should be highlighted and
celebrated and those with less diversity should be
offered technical assistance to facilitate change.
1.8.4 a ctiOn i tem : Discretionary federal
funding for law enforcement programs could
be influenced by that department’s efforts to
improve their diversity and cultural and linguistic
responsiveness.
1.8.5 a ctiOn i tem : Law enforcement
agencies should be encouraged to explore more
flexible staffing models.
1.9 r ecOmmendatiOn : Law enforcement
agencies should build relationships based
on trust with immigrant communities. This is
central to overall public safety.
1.9.1 a ctiOn i tem : Decouple federal immigration enforcement from routine local policing
for civil enforcement and nonserious crime.
1.9.2 a ctiOn i tem : Law enforcement
agencies should ensure reasonable and
equitable language access for all persons who
have encounters with police or who enter the
criminal justice system.

1.9.3 a ctiOn i tem : The U.S. Department
of Justice should not include civil immigration
information in the FBI’s National Crime Information Center database.
2.1 r ecOmmendatiOn : Law enforcement
agencies should collaborate with community
members to develop policies and strategies
in communities and neighborhoods
disproportionately affected by crime for
deploying resources that aim to reduce
crime by improving relationships, greater
community engagement, and cooperation.
2.1.1 a ctiOn i tem : The Federal Government should incentivize this collaboration
through a variety of programs that focus on public
health, education, mental health, and other
programs not traditionally part of the criminal
justice system.
2.2 r ecOmmendatiOn : Law enforcement
agencies should have comprehensive policies
on the use of force that include training,
investigations, prosecutions, data collection,
and information sharing. These policies must
be clear, concise, and openly available for
public inspection.
2.2.1 a ctiOn i tem : Law enforcement
agency policies for training on use of force should
emphasize de-escalation and alternatives to arrest
or summons in situations where appropriate.
2.2.2 a ctiOn i tem : These policies should
also mandate external and independent criminal
investigations in cases of police use of force resulting in death, officer-involved shootings resulting
in injury or death, or in-custody deaths.

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Final Report of the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing

2.2.3 a ctiOn i tem : The task force encourages policies that mandate the use of external and
independent prosecutors in cases of police use of
force resulting in death, officer-involved shootings
resulting in injury or death, or in-custody deaths.
2.2.4 a ctiOn i tem : Policies on use of force
should also require agencies to collect, maintain,
and report data to the Federal Government on
all officer-involved shootings, whether fatal or
nonfatal, as well as any in-custody death.
2.2.5 a ctiOn i tem : Policies on use of force
should clearly state what types of information
will be released, when, and in what situation, to
maintain transparency.
2.2.6 a ctiOn i tem : Law enforcement agencies should establish a Serious Incident Review
Board comprising sworn staff and community
members to review cases involving officerinvolved shootings and other serious incidents
that have the potential to damage community
trust or confidence in the agency. The purpose of
this board should be to identify any administrative, supervisory, training, tactical, or policy issues
that need to be addressed.
2.3 r ecOmmendatiOn : Law enforcement
agencies are encouraged to implement
nonpunitive peer review of critical incidents
separate from criminal and administrative
investigations.
2.4 r ecOmmendatiOn : Law enforcement
agencies are encouraged to adopt
identification procedures that implement
scientifically supported practices that eliminate
or minimize presenter bias or influence.

88

2.5 r ecOmmendatiOn : All federal, state,
local, and tribal law enforcement agencies
should report and make available to the
public census data regarding the composition
of their departments including race, gender,
age, and other relevant demographic data.
2.5.1 a ctiOn i tem : The Bureau of Justice
Statistics should add additional demographic
questions to the Law Enforcement Management
and Administrative Statistics (LEMAS) survey in
order to meet the intent of this recommendation.
2.6 r ecOmmendatiOn : Law enforcement
agencies should be encouraged to collect,
maintain, and analyze demographic
data on all detentions (stops, frisks,
searches, summons, and arrests). This
data should be disaggregated by school
and non-school contacts.
2.6.1 a ctiOn i tem : The Federal Government could further incentivize universities
and other organizations to partner with police
departments to collect data and develop knowledge about analysis and benchmarks as well as
to develop tools and templates that help departments manage data collection and analysis.
2.7 r ecOmmendatiOn : Law enforcement
agencies should create policies and
procedures for policing mass demonstrations
that employ a continuum of managed tactical
resources that are designed to minimize the
appearance of a military operation and avoid
using provocative tactics and equipment that
undermine civilian trust.

Appendix E

2.7.1 a ctiOn i tem : Law enforcement
agency policies should address procedures
for implementing a layered response to mass
demonstrations that prioritize de-escalation and a
guardian mindset.
2.7.2 a ctiOn i tem : The Federal Government should create a mechanism for investigating
complaints and issuing sanctions regarding the
inappropriate use of equipment and tactics during
mass demonstrations.
2.8 r ecOmmendatiOn : Some form
of civilian oversight of law enforcement is
important in order to strengthen trust with
the community. Every community should
define the appropriate form and structure of
civilian oversight to meet the needs of that
community.
2.8.1 a ctiOn i tem : The U.S. Department of
Justice, through its research arm, the National Institute of Justice (NIJ), should expand its research
agenda to include civilian oversight.
2.8.2 a ctiOn i tem : The U.S. Department
of Justice’s Office of Community Oriented Policing
Services (COPS Office) should provide technical
assistance and collect best practices from existing
civilian oversight efforts and be prepared to help
cities create this structure, potentially with some
matching grants and funding.
2.9 r ecOmmendatiOn : Law enforcement
agencies and municipalities should refrain
from practices requiring officers to issue
a predetermined number of tickets, citations,
arrests, or summonses, or to initiate

investigative contacts with citizens for reasons
not directly related to improving public safety,
such as generating revenue.

2.10 r ecOmmendatiOn : Law
enforcement officers should be required to
seek consent before a search and explain
that a person has the right to refuse consent
when there is no warrant or probable
cause. Furthermore, officers should ideally
obtain written acknowledgement that they
have sought consent to a search in these
circumstances.
2.11 r ecOmmendatiOn : Law
enforcement agencies should adopt policies
requiring officers to identify themselves
by their full name, rank, and command (as
applicable) and provide that information in
writing to individuals they have stopped. In
addition, policies should require officers to
state the reason for the stop and the reason
for the search if one is conducted.
2.11.1 a ctiOn i tem : One example of how
to do this is for law enforcement officers to carry
business cards containing their name, rank, command, and contact information that would enable
individuals to offer suggestions or commendations or to file complaints with the appropriate
individual, office, or board. These cards would be
easily distributed in all encounters.
2.12 r ecOmmendatiOn : Law
enforcement agencies should establish search
and seizure procedures related to LGBTQ and
transgender populations and adopt as policy
the recommendation from the President’s
Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS (PACHA) to
cease using the possession of condoms as the
sole evidence of vice.
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Final Report of the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing

2.13 r ecOmmendatiOn : Law
enforcement agencies should adopt and
enforce policies prohibiting profiling and
discrimination based on race, ethnicity,
national origin, religion, age, gender, gender
identity/expression, sexual orientation,
immigration status, disability, housing status,
occupation, or language fluency.
2.13.1 a ctiOn i tem : The Bureau of
Justice Statistics should add questions concerning
sexual harassment of and misconduct toward
community members, and in particular LGBTQ and
gender-nonconforming people, by law enforcement officers to the Police Public Contact Survey.
2.13.2 a ctiOn i tem : The Centers for
Disease Control should add questions concerning
sexual harassment of and misconduct toward
community members, and in particular LGBTQ and
gender-nonconforming people, by law enforcement officers to the National Intimate Partner and
Sexual Violence Survey.
2.13.3 a ctiOn i tem : The U.S. Department of
Justice should promote and disseminate guidance
to federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies
on documenting, preventing, and addressing sexual
harassment and misconduct by local law enforcement agents, consistent with the recommendations
of the International Association of Chiefs of Police.
2.14 r ecOmmendatiOn : The U.S.
Department of Justice, through the Office of
Community Oriented Policing Services and
Office of Justice Programs, should provide
technical assistance and incentive funding to
jurisdictions with small police agencies that
take steps towards shared services, regional
training, and consolidation.

90

2.15 r ecOmmendatiOn : The U.S.
Department of Justice, through the Office of
Community Oriented Policing Services, should
partner with the International Association
of Directors of Law Enforcement Standards
and Training (IADLEST) to expand its National
Decertification Index to serve as the National
Register of Decertified Officers with the goal
of covering all agencies within the United
States and its territories.
3.1 r ecOmmendatiOn : The U.S.
Department of Justice, in consultation with
the law enforcement field, should broaden the
efforts of the National Institute of Justice to
establish national standards for the research
and development of new technology. These
standards should also address compatibility
and interoperability needs both within law
enforcement agencies and across agencies
and jurisdictions and maintain civil and
human rights protections.
3.1.1 a ctiOn i tem : The Federal Government should support the development and
delivery of training to help law enforcement
agencies learn, acquire, and implement technology tools and tactics that are consistent with the
best practices of 21st century policing.
3.1.2 a ctiOn i tem : As part of national standards, the issue of technology’s impact on privacy
concerns should be addressed in accordance with
protections provided by constitutional law.
3.1.3 a ctiOn i tem : Law enforcement
agencies should deploy smart technology that is
designed to prevent the tampering with or manipulating of evidence in violation of policy.

Appendix E

3.2 r ecOmmendatiOn :
The implementation of appropriate
technology by law enforcement agencies
should be designed considering local needs
and aligned with national standards.
3.2.1 a ctiOn i tem : Law enforcement agencies should encourage public engagement and
collaboration, including the use of community
advisory bodies, when developing a policy for the
use of a new technology.
3.2.2 a ctiOn i tem : Law enforcement agencies should include an evaluation or assessment
process to gauge the effectiveness of any new
technology, soliciting input from all levels of the
agency, from line officer to leadership, as well as
assessment from members of the community.
3.2.3 a ctiOn i tem : Law enforcement
agencies should adopt the use of new technologies that will help them better serve people with
special needs or disabilities.
3.3 r ecOmmendatiOn : The U.S.
Department of Justice should develop
best practices that can be adopted by
state legislative bodies to govern the
acquisition, use, retention, and dissemination
of auditory, visual, and biometric data by
law enforcement.
3.3.1 a ctiOn i tem : As part of the process
for developing best practices, the U.S. Department
of Justice should consult with civil rights and civil
liberties organizations, as well as law enforcement
research groups and other experts, concerning
the constitutional issues that can arise as a result
of the use of new technologies.

3.3.2 a ctiOn i tem : The U.S. Department of
Justice should create toolkits for the most effective
and constitutional use of multiple forms of innovative technology that will provide state, local, and
tribal law enforcement agencies with a one-stop
clearinghouse of information and resources.
3.3.3 a ctiOn i tem : Law enforcement
agencies should review and consider the Bureau
of Justice Assistance’s (BJA) Body Worn Camera
Toolkit to assist in implementing BWCs.
3.4 r ecOmmendatiOn : Federal, state,
local, and tribal legislative bodies should be
encouraged to update public record laws.
3.5 r ecOmmendatiOn : Law enforcement
agencies should adopt model policies
and best practices for technology-based
community engagement that increases
community trust and access.
3.6 r ecOmmendatiOn : The Federal
Government should support the development
of new “less than lethal” technology to help
control combative suspects.
3.6.1 a ctiOn i tem : Relevant federal agencies, including the U.S. Departments of Defense
and Justice, should expand their efforts to study
the development and use of new less than lethal
technologies and evaluate their impact on public
safety, reducing lethal violence against citizens,
constitutionality, and officer safety.
3.7 r ecOmmendatiOn : The Federal
Government should make the development
and building of segregated radio spectrum

91

Final Report of the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing

and increased bandwidth by FirstNet for
exclusive use by local, state, tribal, and federal
public safety agencies a top priority.

non-discriminatory policing and to determine
replicable factors that could be used to guide law
enforcement agencies in other communities.

4.1 r ecOmmendatiOn : Law enforcement
agencies should develop and adopt policies
and strategies that reinforce the importance
of community engagement in managing
public safety.

4.3 r ecOmmendatiOn : Law enforcement
agencies should engage in multidisciplinary,
community team approaches for planning,
implementing, and responding to crisis
situations with complex causal factors.

4.1.1 a ctiOn i tem : Law enforcement
agencies should consider adopting preferences
for seeking “least harm” resolutions, such as diversion programs or warnings and citations in lieu of
arrest for minor infractions.

4.3.1 a ctiOn i tem : The U.S. Department of
Justice should collaborate with others to develop
and disseminate baseline models of this crisis
intervention team approach that can be adapted
to local contexts.

4.2 r ecOmmendatiOn : Community
policing should be infused throughout the
culture and organizational structure of law
enforcement agencies.

4.3.2 a ctiOn i tem : Communities should
look to involve peer support counselors as part
of multidisciplinary teams when appropriate.
Persons who have experienced the same trauma
can provide both insight to the first responders
and immediate support to individuals in crisis.

4.2.1 a ctiOn i tem : Law enforcement
agencies should evaluate officers on their efforts
to engage members of the community and the
partnerships they build. Making this part of
the performance evaluation process places an
increased value on developing partnerships.
4.2.2 a ctiOn i tem : Law enforcement
agencies should evaluate their patrol deployment
practices to allow sufficient time for patrol officers
to participate in problem solving and community
engagement activities.
4.2.3 a ctiOn i tem : The U.S. Department
of Justice and other public and private entities
should support research into the factors that have
led to dramatic successes in crime reduction in
some communities through the infusion of

92

4.3.3 a ctiOn i tem : Communities should be
encouraged to evaluate the efficacy of these crisis
intervention team approaches and hold agency
leaders accountable for outcomes.
4.4 r ecOmmendatiOn : Communities
should support a culture and practice of
policing that reflects the values of protection
and promotion of the dignity of all, especially
the most vulnerable.
4.4.1 a ctiOn i tem : Because offensive or
harsh language can escalate a minor situation,
law enforcement agencies should underscore the
importance of language used and adopt policies directing officers to speak to individuals with respect.

Appendix E

4.4.2 a ctiOn i tem : Law enforcement
agencies should develop programs that create opportunities for patrol officers to regularly interact
with neighborhood residents, faith leaders, and
business leaders.
4.5 r ecOmmendatiOn : Community
policing emphasizes working with
neighborhood residents to co-produce public
safety. Law enforcement agencies should
work with community residents to identify
problems and collaborate on implementing
solutions that produce meaningful results for
the community.
4.5.1 a ctiOn i tem : Law enforcement agencies should schedule regular forums and meetings
where all community members can interact with
police and help influence programs and policy.
4.5.2 a ctiOn i tem : Law enforcement
agencies should engage youth and communities
in joint training with law enforcement, citizen
academies, ride-alongs, problem solving teams,
community action teams, and quality of life
teams.
4.5.3 a ctiOn i tem : Law enforcement agencies should establish formal community/citizen
advisory committees to assist in developing crime
prevention strategies and agency policies as well
as provide input on policing issues.
4.5.4 a ctiOn i tem : Law enforcement agencies should adopt community policing strategies
that support and work in concert with economic
development efforts within communities.

4.6 r ecOmmendatiOn : Communities
should adopt policies and programs that
address the needs of children and youth
most at risk for crime or violence and reduce
aggressive law enforcement tactics that
stigmatize youth and marginalize their
participation in schools and communities.
4.6.1 a ctiOn i tem : Education and criminal
justice agencies at all levels of government should
work together to reform policies and procedures
that push children into the juvenile justice system.
4.6.2 a ctiOn i tem : In order to keep youth
in school and to keep them from criminal and violent behavior, law enforcement agencies should
work with schools to encourage the creation of
alternatives to student suspensions and expulsion
through restorative justice, diversion, counseling,
and family interventions.
4.6.3 a ctiOn i tem : Law enforcement agencies should work with schools to encourage the
use of alternative strategies that involve youth in
decision making, such as restorative justice, youth
courts, and peer interventions.
4.6.4 a ctiOn i tem : Law enforcement
agencies should work with schools to adopt an
instructional approach to discipline that uses
interventions or disciplinary consequences to help
students develop new behavior skills and positive
strategies to avoid conflict, redirect energy, and
refocus on learning.
4.6.5 a ctiOn i tem : Law enforcement
agencies should work with schools to develop and
monitor school discipline policies with input and
collaboration from school personnel, students,

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Final Report of the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing

families, and community members. These policies
should prohibit the use of corporal punishment
and electronic control devices.

4.6.6 a ctiOn i tem : Law enforcement
agencies should work with schools to create a
continuum of developmentally appropriate and
proportional consequences for addressing ongoing and escalating student misbehavior after all
appropriate interventions have been attempted.
4.6.7 a ctiOn i tem : Law enforcement
agencies should work with communities to play
a role in programs and procedures to reintegrate
juveniles back into their communities as they
leave the juvenile justice system.
4.6.8 a ctiOn i tem : Law enforcement agencies and schools should establish memoranda of
agreement for the placement of School Resource
Officers that limit police involvement in student
discipline.
4.6.9 a ctiOn i tem : The Federal Government should assess and evaluate zero tolerance
strategies and examine the role of reasonable
discretion when dealing with adolescents in
consideration of their stages of maturation or
development.
4.7 r ecOmmendatiOn : Communities
need to affirm and recognize the voices
of youth in community decision making,
facilitate youth-led research and problem
solving, and develop and fund youth
leadership training and life skills
through positive youth/police
collaboration and interactions.

94

4.7.1 a ctiOn i tem : Communities and law
enforcement agencies should restore and build
trust between youth and police by creating programs and projects for positive, consistent, and
persistent interaction between youth and police.
4.7.2 a ctiOn i tem : Communities should
develop community- and school-based
evidence-based programs that mitigate punitive
and authoritarian solutions to teen problems.
5.1 r ecOmmendatiOn : The Federal
Government should support the development
of partnerships with training facilities across
the country to promote consistent standards
for high quality training and establish training
innovation hubs.
5.1.1 a ctiOn i tem : The training innovation
hubs should develop replicable model programs
that use adult-based learning and scenario-based
training in a training environment modeled less
like boot camp. Through these programs the hubs
would influence nationwide curricula, as well as
instructional methodology.
5.1.2 a ctiOn i tem : The training innovation
hubs should establish partnerships with academic
institutions to develop rigorous training practices,
evaluation, and the development of curricula
based on evidence-based practices.
5.1.3 a ctiOn i tem : The Department of
Justice should build a stronger relationship with
the International Association of Directors of Law
Enforcement (IADLEST) in order to leverage their
network with state boards and commissions of
Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST).

Appendix E

5.2 r ecOmmendatiOn : Law enforcement
agencies should engage community members
in the training process.
5.2.1 a ctiOn i tem : The U.S. Department of
Justice should conduct research to develop and
disseminate a toolkit on how law enforcement
agencies and training programs can integrate
community members into this training process.
5.3 r ecOmmendatiOn : Law enforcement
agencies should provide leadership training
to all personnel throughout their careers.
5.3.1 a ctiOn i tem : Recognizing that strong,
capable leadership is required to create cultural
transformation, the U.S. Department of Justice
should invest in developing learning goals and
model curricula/training for each level of leadership.
5.3.2 a ctiOn i tem : The Federal Government
should encourage and support partnerships between law enforcement and academic institutions
to support a culture that values ongoing education
and the integration of current research into the
development of training, policies, and practices.
5.3.3 a ctiOn i tem : The U.S. Department
of Justice should support and encourage
cross-discipline leadership training.
5.4 r ecOmmendatiOn : The U.S.
Department of Justice should develop,
in partnership with institutions of higher
education, a national postgraduate institute
of policing for senior executives with a
standardized curriculum preparing them to
lead agencies in the 21st century.

5.5 r ecOmmendatiOn : The U.S.
Department of Justice should instruct the
Federal Bureau of Investigation to modify the
curriculum of the National Academy at Quantico
to include prominent coverage of the topical
areas addressed in this report. In addition, the
COPS Office and the Office of Justice Programs
should work with law enforcement professional
organizations to encourage modification of
their curricula in a similar fashion.
5.6 r ecOmmendatiOn : POSTs should
make Crisis Intervention Training (CIT) a part of
both basic recruit and in-service officer training.
5.6.1 a ctiOn i tem : Because of the importance of this issue, Congress should appropriate
funds to help support law enforcement crisis
intervention training.
5.7 r ecOmmendatiOn : POSTs should
ensure that basic officer training includes
lessons to improve social interaction as well as
tactical skills.
5.8 r ecOmmendatiOn : POSTs should
ensure that basic recruit and in-service officer
training include curriculum on the disease of
addiction.
5.9 r ecOmmendatiOn : POSTs should
ensure both basic recruit and in-service
training incorporates content around
recognizing and confronting implicit bias and
cultural responsiveness.
5.9.1 a ctiOn i tem : Law enforcement
agencies should implement ongoing, top down
training for all officers in cultural diversity and

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Final Report of the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing

related topics that can build trust and legitimacy
in diverse communities. This should be accomplished with the assistance of advocacy groups
that represent the viewpoints of communities that
have traditionally had adversarial relationships
with law enforcement.

5.9.2 a ctiOn i tem : Law enforcement agencies should implement training for officers that
covers policies for interactions with the LGBTQ
population, including issues such as determining
gender identity for arrest placement, the Muslim,
Arab, and South Asian communities, and immigrant or non-English speaking groups, as well as
reinforcing policies for the prevention of sexual
misconduct and harassment.
5.10 r ecOmmendatiOn : POSTs should
require both basic recruit and in-service
training on policing in a democratic society.
5.11 r ecOmmendatiOn : The Federal
Government, as well as state and local
agencies, should encourage and incentivize
higher education for law enforcement officers.
5.11.1 a ctiOn i tem : The Federal Government should create a loan repayment and
forgiveness incentive program specifically for
policing.
5.12 r ecOmmendatiOn : The Federal
Government should support research into the
development of technology that enhances
scenario-based training, social interaction
skills, and enables the dissemination
of interactive distance learning for law
enforcement.

96

5.13 r ecOmmendatiOn : The U.S.
Department of Justice should support
the development and implementation of
improved Field Training Officer programs.
5.13.1 a ctiOn i tem : The U.S. Department
of Justice should support the development of
broad Field Training Program standards and
training strategies that address changing police
culture and organizational procedural justice
issues that agencies can adopt and customize to
local needs.
5.13.2 a ctiOn i tem : The U.S. Department
of Justice should provide funding to incentivize
agencies to update their Field Training Programs
in accordance with the new standards.
6.1 r ecOmmendatiOn : The U.S.
Department of Justice should enhance and
further promote its multi-faceted officer
safety and wellness initiative.
6.1.1 a ctiOn i tem : Congress should
establish and fund a national “Blue Alert” warning
system.
6.1.2 a ctiOn i tem : The U.S. Department of
Justice, in partnership with the U.S. Department
of Health and Human Services, should establish a
task force to study mental health issues unique to
officers and recommend tailored treatments.
6.1.3 a ctiOn i tem : The Federal Government should support the continuing research into
the efficacy of an annual mental health check for
officers, as well as fitness, resilience, and nutrition.

Appendix E

6.1.4 a ctiOn i tem : Pension plans should
recognize fitness for duty examinations as definitive evidence of valid duty or non-duty related
disability.

6.4 r ecOmmendatiOn : Every law
enforcement officer should be provided with
individual tactical first aid kits and training as
well as anti-ballistic vests.

6.1.5 a ctiOn i tem : Public Safety Officer
Benefits (PSOB) should be provided to survivors of
officers killed while working, regardless of whether the officer used safety equipment (seatbelt or
anti-ballistic vest) or if officer death was the result
of suicide attributed to a current diagnosis of
duty-related mental illness, including but not
limited to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

6.4.1 a ctiOn i tem : Congress should
authorize funding for the distribution of law
enforcement individual tactical first aid kits.

6.2 r ecOmmendatiOn : Law enforcement
agencies should promote safety and wellness
at every level of the organization.
6.2.1 a ctiOn i tem : Though the Federal Government can support many of the
programs and best practices identified by the
U.S. Department of Justice initiative described in
recommendation 6.1, the ultimate responsibility
lies with each agency.
6.3 r ecOmmendatiOn : The U.S.
Department of Justice should encourage and
assist departments in the implementation of
scientifically supported shift lengths by law
enforcement.
6.3.1 a ctiOn i tem : The U.S. Department of
Justice should fund additional research into the
efficacy of limiting the total number of hours an
officer should work within a 24–48-hour period,
including special findings on the maximum number of hours an officer should work in a high risk
or high stress environment (e.g., public demonstrations or emergency situations).

6.4.2 a ctiOn i tem : Congress should
reauthorize and expand the Bulletproof Vest
Partnership (BVP) program.
6.5 r ecOmmendatiOn : The U.S.
Department of Justice should expand efforts
to collect and analyze data not only on officer
deaths but also on injuries and “near misses.”
6.6 r ecOmmendatiOn : Law enforcement
agencies should adopt policies that require
officers to wear seat belts and bullet-proof
vests and provide training to raise awareness
of the consequences of failure to do so.
6.7 r ecOmmendatiOn : Congress
should develop and enact peer review error
management legislation.
6.8 r ecOmmendatiOn : The U.S.
Department of Transportation should
provide technical assistance opportunities for
departments to explore the use of vehicles
equipped with vehicle collision prevention
“smart car” technology that will reduce the
number of accidents.

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Final Report of the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing

7.1 r ecOmmendatiOn : The President
should direct all federal law enforcement
agencies to review the recommendations
made by the Task Force on 21st Century
Policing and, to the extent practicable, to
adopt those that can be implemented at the
federal level.
7.2 r ecOmmendatiOn : The U.S.
Department of Justice should explore publicprivate partnership opportunities, starting by
convening a meeting with local, regional, and
national foundations to discuss the proposals
for reform described in this report and seeking
their engagement and support in advancing
implementation of these recommendations.
7.3 r ecOmmendatiOn : The U.S.
Department of Justice should charge its
Office of Community Oriented Policing
Services (COPS Office) with assisting the law
enforcement field in addressing current and
future challenges.
For recommendation 7.3, the COPS Office
should consider taking actions including but
not limited to the following:

yy Provide technical assistance and funding to

national, state, local, and tribal accreditation
bodies that evaluate policing practices.

yy Recommend additional benchmarks

and best practices for state training and
standards boards.

yy Provide technical assistance and funding

to state training boards to help them meet
national benchmarks and best practices in
training methodologies and content.

yy Prioritize grant funding to departments
meeting benchmarks.

yy Support departments through an expansion of

the COPS Office Collaborative Reform Initiative.

yy Collaborate with universities, the Office of

Justice Programs and its bureaus (Bureau of
Justice Assistance [BJA], Bureau of Justice
Statistics [BJS], National Institute of Justice
[NIJ], and Office of Juvenile Justice and
Delinquency Prevention [OJJDP]), and others
to review research and literature in order
to inform law enforcement agencies about
evidence-based practices and to identify areas
of police operations where additional research
is needed.

yy Collaborate with the BJS to
ƒƒ

establish a central repository for data
concerning police use of force resulting
in death, as well as in-custody deaths,
and disseminate this data for use by both
community and police;

ƒƒ

provide local agencies with technical
assistance and a template to conduct
local citizen satisfaction surveys;

y Create a National Policing Practices and

Accountability Division within the COPS Office.

y Establish national benchmarks and best

practices for federal, state, local, and tribal
police departments.

98

Appendix E

ƒ

compile annual citizen satisfaction
surveys based on the submission of
voluntary local surveys, develop a
national level survey as well as surveys
for use by local agencies and by small
geographic units, and develop questions
to be added to the National Crime
Victimization Survey relating to citizen
satisfaction with police agencies and
public trust.

y Collaborate with the BJS and others to

develop a template of broader indicators of
performance for police departments beyond
crime rates alone that could comprise a
Uniform Justice Report.

yy Collaborate with the NIJ and the BJS to publish
an annual report on the “State of Policing” in
the United States.

yy Provide support to national police

leadership associations and national rank
and file organizations to encourage them to
implement task force recommendations.

yy Work with the U.S. Department of Homeland
Security to ensure that community
policing tactics in state, local, and tribal law
enforcement agencies are incorporated into
their role in homeland security.

99

“When any part of the American family does not feel like it is being treated fairly,
that’s a problem for all of us. It means that we are not as strong as a country as
we can be. And when applied to the criminal justice system, it means we’re not as
effective in fighting crime as we could be.”
—President Barack Obama
These remarks underpin the mission of the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing: to identify
ways to build trust between citizens and their law enforcement officers so that all components of a community treat one another fairly and justly and are invested in maintaining public safety in an atmosphere
of mutual respect.

U.S. Department of Justice
Office of Community Oriented Policing Services
145 N Street NE
Washington, DC 20530
To obtain details on COPS Office programs,
call the COPS Office Response Center at 800-421-6770.
Visit the COPS Office online at www.cops.usdoj.gov.

e011522679
Published 2015

 

 

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