The COPS Office – Practicing What We Preach
Community policing supports the systematic use of partnerships. It is what we ask from our grantees, what we teach in our training sessions, and what we promote in our publications. It is also what we practice. The most recent example is the COPS Office’s new partnership with the United Negro College Foundation Special Programs Corporation (SP).
SP was established on April 1, 2000 as an independent 501(c) 3 nonprofit organization with the broad mandate to support all minority-serving institutions, both domestic and international, including Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU).1 Through the 2007 Community Policing Development Program, the COPS Office awarded funding to SP for its Campus-Community Policing Partnership. This new partnership consists of COPS Office program management, SP as the national manager, and teams from three HBCUs with their local law enforcement agencies and community stakeholders as project implementers.
The three pilot HBCU sites for the Campus-Community Policing Partnership are Philander Smith College (Little Rock, Arkansas), Benedict College (Columbia, South Carolina), and LeMoyne-Owen College (Memphis, Tennessee). At each site, the college and law enforcement liaisons will form and lead work groups of key stakeholders who will identify violent crime and gang problems, community and police perceptions of these issues, challenges encountered by police when developing or enacting community policing strategies, and ideas for new strategies. Based on all data, the work groups will develop action plans to implement one or more strategies in their communities. This approach will incorporate the SARA model of problem solving and will advance and integrate community policing strategies that proactively prevent violent crime and gang activity. The findings will be used to create a replicable national community model that the COPS Office will help to promote and disseminate.
The COPS Office is proud of its history of investment in campus public safety initiatives. Past and current efforts include the following:
- Funded a groundbreaking National Summit on Campus Public Safety in 2004 hosted by the Mid-Atlantic Regional Community Policing Institute that assessed and documented existing community policing strategies in colleges and universities.
- Supported a fellowship program through the International Association of Campus Law Enforcement (IACLEA) to ensure that the important work of the 2004 summit continued. The program resulted in the development of a strategic plan for the creation and ongoing support of the National Center for Campus Public Safety and a business plan, including the identification of potential sources of funding.
- Supported the IACLEA Accreditation Program through the pilot program phase. IACLEA began accepting applications for accreditation in 2006 and in 2007 launched its “joint accreditation” program for agencies accredited by CALEA.
- Awarded support recently to the National School Safety Center for its Campus Safety and Crisis Readiness for Universities program. The National School Safety Center will develop a training model and resources for campus safety and crisis readiness appropriate for colleges and universities.
- Organized and are hosting meetings of the Campus Public Safety Interagency Coordination Group aimed at increasing federal cooperation related to the development and dissemination of campus public safety resources.
- Developed more than a dozen campus public-safety-related resources to help campus administrators and law enforcement create a safe environment for the more than 15 million students and several million faculty, staff, and visitors at our nation’s colleges and universities.
We are also pleased that we are engaging new partners and look forward to sharing our success stories from our new relationship with the United Negro College Foundation Special Programs Corporation and its participating HBCUs in the very near future.
- 1The Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended, defines an HBCU as: "...any historically black college or university that was established prior to 1964, whose principal mission was, and is, the education of black Americans, and that is accredited by a nationally recognized accrediting agency or association determined by the Secretary [of Education] to be a reliable authority as to the quality of training offered or is, according to such an agency or association, making reasonable progress toward accreditation." www.ed.gov/about/inits/list/whhbcu/edlite-index.html HBCUs are a great source of accomplishment and pride and offer all students, regardless of race, an opportunity to develop their skills and talents. SP also supports Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs), Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCUs), and Other Minority Institutions (OMIs).