|Office of Community
Oriented Policing Services
U.S. Department of Justice
Community Policing for Mayors
Many local elected officials, managers, and community members ask if their agency is a "community policing agency." While there are many definitions of community policing, this short document provides some direction by discussing what community policing looks like in practice, how it integrates with traditional policing strategies, and how it relates to the broader government service model. Included are some tips for how elected officials can promote this model locally, and a sample of common strategies that are frequently linked by a broader commitment to the community policing philosophy.
Vital Partners: Mayors and Chiefs Working Together for America's Children and Youth
The National League of Cites (NLC) and COPS have released a new report highlighting effective collaborations between mayors and law enforcement officials to protect the safety of children and youth. The report is the product of an intensive research, data collection, and outreach effort by NLC's Institute for Youth, Education, and Families, the COPS Office, and the International Association of Chiefs of Police. The report describes effective partnerships in cities of every size and region that demonstrate the importance of community oriented policing strategies, the role of data in sustaining momentum and measuring results, and the challenges of building partnerships around a shared community vision. Topics addressed in the report include prevention of gang violence, bullying, and substance abuse; creating safe places for recreation; effective neighborhood policing programs; and partnerships with diverse stakeholders.
Innovations in Police Recruitment and Hiring: Hiring in the Spirit of Service
As the issue of recruiting and retaining quality law enforcement officers makes national headlines, this report helps fill the void by telling the story of how five sites selected to participate in a COPS-funded project entitled "Hiring in the Spirit of Service," implemented significant change into existing hiring processes to recruit and select law enforcement officers that reflect a more service-oriented field. This document has relevance for all practitioners seeking to enhance their department's recruitment and hiring practices. Specifically, this publication discusses how each site progressed to meet its goals of hiring service-oriented law enforcement recruits and it describes the challenges encountered along the way as well as lessons learned that other agencies and practitioners can replicate.
Protecting Civil Rights: A Leadership Guide for State, Local, and Tribal Law Enforcement
The effectiveness of the police depends on the trust and confidence of the community. If individuals' civil rights are compromised, public trust and confidence in the police are severely compromised. Prepared by the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), the guide is a comprehensive overview of the civil rights issues and challenges faced by law enforcement leaders. It describes the process by which agencies with alleged pattern or practice civil rights violations are investigated and monitored and offers lessons learned, resources, and strategies for protecting and promoting citizens' civil rights.
Ethics Toolkit: Enhancing Law Enforcement Ethics in a Community Policing Environment
This toolkit, a joint partnership between COPS and the IACP, addresses police ethics, serves as a call to action, and a resource for law enforcement agencies.
Guidelines for Starting and Operating a New Police Department
Although starting a new police agency is a complex and expensive undertaking, very little has been written about it until now. This guide will assist public officials and citizens decide whether to start their own police departments, and if they decide to go forward will offer guidance on how to do it efficiently and effectively. This guide can be a valuable tool to assist communities in thoughtfully considering the major issues involved in starting a police department.
Tools for Combating Meth
Tools for Combating Meth contains practical guidebooks that address issues such as clandestine drug labs, drug dealing in open-air markets and privately owned apartment complexes and identity theft. Other publications included in the toolkit address the environmental dangers involved in meth production and provide best practices for combating meth based on previous COPS funded meth programs.
Drugs and Crime CD-ROM
This CD-ROM contains more than 140 COPS Office, U.S. Department of Justice, and other federal agency publications and resources related to drugs and crime, including information on club drugs, cocaine, crack, marijuana, methamphetamine, and crime-fighting policy and research.
Street gang crime can take many forms. The COPS Gangs Toolkit consists of resources for law enforcement officials, educators, and parents to address specific types of crimes committed by gangs. The following resources provide details of community policing solutions to youth crime and school violence. The COPS Office encourages law enforcement agencies to analyze their local gang problems and use these resources, as appropriate.
Drive-by shootings are but one aspect of the larger set of problems related to gang and gun violence. This guide addresses the particular harms drive-by shootings cause by describing the problem of drive-by shootings and reviewing factors that increase its risks. It then identifies a series of questions to help law enforcement analyze their local drive-by shootings problem. Finally, it reviews responses to the problem and what is known about them from evaluative research and police practice.
Partnering with Businesses to Address Public Safety Problems
In the United States, the annual cost of crime against businesses is in the billions of dollars. This guide reviews the impact of crime against business and the roles businesses play in contributing to crime. It presents and analyzes types of partnerships and strategies for forming partnerships. It concludes with examples of business-police partnerships and programs, some that are known to be effective and others that are still largely untested.
Shifting and Sharing Responsibility for Public Safety Problems
Although the police address many public safety problems effectively in the exercise of their normal authority and expertise, they have come to depend on others to aid them by addressing the conditions that underlie crime and disorder. With such help, the police can more effectively prevent and control such problems. This guide examines how the police can persuade private citizens, business, or the government to respond to common crime and disorder problems, provided that they do not violate basic standards of propriety and legality.
School Safety CD-ROM
The School Safety CD-ROM contains more than 60 COPS Office and other U.S. Department of Justice agency links and documents related to school violence and violence prevention, school safety technology, gangs, and youth disorder. It is a resource for local policy makers, school administrators, parents, and students.
Campus Safety CD-ROM
This CD-ROM contains more than 50 publications and resource links related to crime and violence, drug and alcohol issues, as well as sexual assault and stalking. It also contains a video, Because Things Happen Every Day: Responding to Teenage Victims of Crime, produced by the National Center from Victims of Crime and sponsored by the COPS Office.
Law Enforcement Tech Guide for Communications Interoperability
Building a voice or data communications system that allows police, fire, and emergency medical service agencies to communicate with each other within and across jurisdictions is a complex and costly effort. The Law Enforcement Tech Guide for Communications Interoperability is a comprehensive, user-friendly guidebook that provides strategies, best practices, and recommendations for public safety agencies seeking to develop or already engaged in interagency communications projects. It explores current and emerging technologies in voice and data communications, and provides planning tools to help achieve interoperable communication initiatives. It serves as a companion to the COPS-funded "Law Enforcement Tech Guide: How to plan, purchase and manage technology (successfully!), A Guide for Executives, Managers and Technologists".
Issue Brief 4 - Interoperable Communications Training and Exercises
This Issue Brief addresses the importance of interoperable communications training and exercises, and explores the types of exercises available to the public safety community. Communications is not an independent element of emergency response that can be adequately exercised and evaluated in isolation. It is through integrated exercises that communications can be trained in context, tested, evaluated, and set for continuous improvements.
Issue Brief 5 -; Performance Measurement and Interoperability
This Issue Brief will define interoperable communications, performance measures, the SAFECOM Interoperability Continuum, and provide predictive modeling/statistical measurement solutions. This Issue Brief also presents an overview of how these concepts could be combined to develop a solution for performance measurement and interoperability.
Issue Brief 6 - Project 25: The Quest for Interoperable Radios
This Issue Brief addresses questions about Project 25, its history, future, and value to public safety managers and technology managers. It also provides background and current information for decision-makers who may be considering use of radios and radio systems built around standards that have arisen from the project.
Tech Docs: Technology Resources for Law Enforcement CD-ROM
This CD-ROM provides more than 50 documents and resources related to law enforcement and crime fighting technology. Topics included on the CD-ROM are IT guides and reports, crime mapping/crime analysis, interoperable communications/information sharing, surveillance video/in-car cameras, and 311 non-emergency call systems.
Issue Brief 1 - Disaster Planning & Recovery: 9-1-1 Center Survivability
This Issue Brief addresses questions about preparing 9-1-1 centers to sustain a catastrophic event and learning from past experiences. It also offers insight into what one might expect and what needs to be thought about to assist 9-1-1 centers to respond to and recover from major and catastrophic events that affect 9-1-1 operations.
Issue Brief 2 - Communications in the Incident Command System
This Issue Brief presents background on communications within the National Incident Management System (NIMS) and its Incident Command System. It examines the role of communications within these constructs, as well as in the context of multiagency response to disasters and emergencies. It concludes with operational best practices for effective use of incident communications units.
Issue Brief 3 - Building a Regional Communications Plan
A key step in integrating technology and operational requirements is building a regional communications plan. This Issue Brief presents the basic steps in building a regional communications plan to improve interoperability and, ultimately, joint response to emergencies.
Video Surveillance of Public Places
A number of surveys have examined the perception of closed circuit television (CCTV) system managers and the public in regard to CCTV's crime prevention benefits. The purpose of this guide is to provide an overview of the use of CCTV systems as a problem-oriented policing response to a crime problem. This guide explores the benefits and problems associated with CCTV and summarizes the findings of numerous CCTV evaluations.
Bringing Victims into Community Policing
This publication focuses on the role of crime victims in advancing community policing. It includes "first responder" guides to dealing with victims, a "model" policy for the prevention of repeat victimization, and the benefits of developing relationships between the police, crime victims, and victim organizations.
Domestic disputes are some of the most common calls for police service. Many domestic disputes do not involve violence; this guide discusses those that do, as well as the measures that can be used to reduce them. In the United States, domestic violence accounts for about 20 percent of the nonfatal violent crime women experience and 3 percent of the nonfatal violent crime men experience. This is an essential tool for law enforcement to help analyze and respond to their local problem.
Teen Action Toolkit: Building a Youth-led Response to Teen Victimization
The toolkit is a hands-on implementation guide for the Teen Action Partnership (TAP) for Teen Victims program. TAP for Teen Victims is a program that marshals the strengths of youth as leaders to transform their communities' response to teenage victims of crime, while building the resilience of the youth participants at the same time. It is intended as a resource for educators, law enforcement personnel, outreach workers, victim service providers, youth workers, teens, and others who might be interested in starting a youth-led effort to improve local policies, outreach, and services for adolescent crime victims. While this toolkit can be used as a stand-alone resource, ideally its use should be accompanied by training and technical assistance from the National Center for Victims of Crime's Teen Victim Initiative staff.