Linking Local Law Enforcement Internal Affairs Practices And Community Trust Building Internal Affairs Project

The International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) and the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) have partnered to conduct a comprehensive national project on how law enforcement Internal Affairs (IA) policy and practice impacts community trust building.


The project examines the continuum of IA practices, including:

  • Citizen Complaints
  • Investigations and Case Tracking
  • Transparency of Process and Accountability Measures
  • Performance Management System (PMS)
  • Design of an Office of Professional Standards and how IA policy and practice impacts community trust




An advisory group consisting of police leaders, IA managers, city managers, mayors and Subject-Matter-Experts assisted project staff in reviewing current IA practices to publish a promising practices guide on how police can build community trust by incorporating effective accountability measures in IA policy and practice.


The project’s goal is two-fold, 1.To research national IA policy and practice and, 2. To publish a guide to assist police to build greater community trust through strong accountability measures in Internal Affairs practices. These goals were accomplished through the following actions:

  • A Literature Review
  • Review IACP Police Management Studies
  • An IACP Survey on IA
  • IA Roundtable Discussions


In September of 2009 the IACP and the COPS Office released Building Trust Between the Police and the Citizens They Serve: An Internal Affairs Promising Practices Guide for Local Law Enforcement. This guide examines all aspects of IA operations and recommends strategies to improve and sustain community trust building, regardless of agency size.


For more information contact:

John Firman
Phone: 1-800-THE-IACP, ext 260