COPS' Value Based Initiative (VBI) was a pilot program to advance and support community policing by funding projects that strengthened relationships between local law enforcement and communities. These projects focused on law enforcement partnerships with the faith community and community-based social service providers.
COPS funded six VBI sites in FY2000: Boston (MA); Chicago (IL); Fort Wayne (IN); Fort Worth (TX); Redlands (CA); and St. Paul (MN). In FY2001, COPS expanded the project to nine additional sites, bringing the total number of VBI sites to 15: Broward County (FL), St. Bernard Parrish (LA), San Bernardino (CA), Riverside (CA), Richmond (VA), New Haven (CT), Kansas City (MO), Portland (OR), and Washington, D.C. Each site was unique in its approach and focus area. Examples of the site projects included:
Youth violence reduction,
Ministers Against Crime programs,
COPS and Clergy networks,
Citizens Training Academies and Ministers Training Academies, and
Youth mentoring and tutoring.
In Redlands, police worked with local youth to establish a Cyber Café, which provided a positive atmosphere for youth to learn computer skills and get on-the-job training in running a business. In Boston, four faith-based partners teamed with police to mentor ex-offenders. Fort Wayne graduated more than 100 ministers and community members from their Ministerial Police Academy and also conducted re-entry courts. In Fort Worth, graduates of the Ministers Police Academy were part of Ministers Against Crime, where they assisted officers in patrolling hot spot areas, offering victim assistance, and mentoring area youth.