IACP, NAACP, and Yale form groundbreaking partnership and receive $7 Million DOJ Award to Support Community Healing

October 7, 2016

Today, the Attorney General of the United States, Loretta Lynch, announced a $7 million funding award for the Vision 21: Law Enforcement and the Communities They Serve: Supporting Collective Healing in the Wake of Harm initiative. The International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), in an unprecedented partnership with the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), the Yale Childhood Violent Trauma Center at the Yale School of Medicine (Yale), and the U.S. Department of Justice, will collaboratively apply our unique perspectives, knowledge, and expertise to address the pressing need to reduce harm in our communities. 

The IACP, in collaboration with the NAACP and Yale, will provide dedicated resources, support, training, and technical assistance to law enforcement agencies to address the impact of trauma and community harm. The overarching goals of the initiative are to: 

1. Assist law enforcement agencies in assessing, developing, and implementing comprehensive, evidence-based, and trauma-informed collaborative response strategies, protocols, and interventions that promote community engagement and healing prior to, and in the wake of high-profile incidents of violence, including but not limited to officer-involved shootings; and

2. Develop and disseminate comprehensive, expert technical assistance resources to law enforcement on trauma-informed culture and practice, to improve an agency’s internal capacity to understand and process the impact of vicarious trauma and community harm.

This initiative will build capacity within selected communities to create new and enhance existing collaborative partnerships that will equip law enforcement agencies with increased understanding, skills, tools, and practices to promote community engagement and healing. These relationships will serve the agency and community on a daily basis and better position individual officers and the agency to meet and respond to the needs of individuals, families, and the community in the event of a crisis. The IACP, NAACP, and Yale will work with selected police agencies to assess and address crucial issues on community needs, collaborative partnerships, policy development and implementation, and internal culture and accountability. These strategies will be shared with the wider field to support replication and implementation in order to create a victim-centered, trauma-informed, collaborative response that meets the needs of those most vulnerable following violence and traumatic events, including the responding officers and agency itself.

In addition, the IACP, NAACP, Yale, and DOJ will recruit and prepare members of a Rapid Response Team (RRT) of multi-disciplinary subject matter experts representing law enforcement, victim assistance, mental health, and community leadership, to be deployed nationwide to assist requesting law enforcement agencies with trauma-informed, victim-centered practices and approaches, and effective coordination of trauma-informed responses within communities in the wake of violent, critical incidents, and/or catastrophic events. Communities served by the RRT will receive evidence-based, trauma-informed crisis management and harm reduction strategies to promote problem-solving and maximize communications among the police agency, partners, and community.

This new, joint initiative furthers the efforts of IACP’s Institute for Community Police Relations (ICPR) which provides guidance and assistance to law enforcement agencies looking to enhance community trust, by focusing on culture, policies, and practices. The ICPR was borne out of and is guided by the IACP National Policy Summit on Community-Police Relations Report and the Final Report of the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing

“The IACP is thrilled to be partnering with the NAACP, DOJ and Yale to address the individual and collective harm faced in communities from violence and collective trauma. By joining forces, we will assist agencies in building resilience; developing strong community relationships; contributing trauma-informed, victim-centered services and support; and providing physical, psychological, and emotional safety and healing for providers and survivors. The IACP, NAACP, DOJ, and Yale will bring together unique expertise to promote trauma-informed culture and practices within policing that will prevent and remediate violence and high-profile incidents, making a lasting impact on victims, law enforcement, and communities.”

– Terrence M. Cunningham, President, International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), Chief of the Wellesley, Massachusetts, Police Department

“Our nation faces an urgent crisis that reflect long-standing wounds in the relationship between community and police. For communities of color, these wounds are related to America’s history of racialized violence and legacies of segregation and economic inequality that persist until this day. In this context, we are undertaking a number of initiatives to re-create the relationship between police and the communities they serve. These include our Police Reform Toolkit to show communities how to advocate for reform and the NAACP’s Pledge to Preserve and Protect Our Lives. This new partnership with the IACP and Yale to promote the use of trauma-informed policing practices is an important part of our policing work. Recognizing and minimizing trauma is essential to meeting the needs of individual victims, communities, and the law enforcement officers that serve them. We look forward to working with the IACP and Yale to create models for trauma-informed policing that can be replicated throughout the country.”  

– Cornell William Brooks, President and CEO, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP)

“Working with our esteemed IACP and NAACP partners offers a unique opportunity to capitalize on all that we have learned over the last 25 years about the role of police-mental health-community collaborations in addressing the needs of individuals, families and communities that have been traumatically impacted by violence. Trauma-informed collaborations recognize the critical role of police officers and their partners can play initiating and supporting recovery in the wake of violence and tragedy; replacing helplessness, fear and isolation with hope, strength and solidarity.” 

– Steven Marans, MSW, Ph.D., Director, Childhood Violent Trauma Center, Yale School of  Medicine, Yale University

About the International Association of Chiefs of Police
The International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) is a professional association for law enforcement worldwide. For more than 120 years, the IACP has been launching internationally acclaimed programs, speaking on behalf of law enforcement, conducting groundbreaking research, and providing exemplary programs and services to members across the globe.

Today, the IACP continues to be recognized as a leader in these areas. By maximizing the collective efforts of the membership, IACP actively supports law enforcement through advocacy, outreach, education, and programs. 

Through ongoing strategic partnerships across the public safety spectrum, the IACP provides members with resources and support in all aspects of law enforcement policy and operations. These tools help members perform their jobs effectively, efficiently, and safely while also educating the public on the role of law enforcement to help build sustainable community relations.

About the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP)
Founded in 1909, NAACP is the nation's oldest and largest civil rights organization with its mission to ensure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights of all persons and to eliminate racial discrimination. NAACP’s reach is larger than any other civil rights organization, with over 2,200 units and 38 state conferences, allowing the Association to continue to lead the way in advancing social justice campaigns. The grassroots infrastructure of NAACP uniquely positions it to work with local units to mount long-term campaigns for change. 

NAACP brings its unique perspective and experience to the proposed work on community healing. NAACP brings a racial justice lens, community orientation, and history of engagement on law enforcement issues. 

About the Yale Childhood Violent Trauma Center at the Yale School of Medicine (Yale)
Yale Childhood Violent Trauma Center is a national leader in trauma-informed collaborative interventions including developing and implementing innovative multi-disciplinary collaborative program models such as the Child Development-Community Policing (CD-CP) program that provides immediate coordinated police, mental health, and social service interventions and follow-up services to children, youth, and families exposed to violence and trauma. 

Yale brings extensive experience in providing multidisciplinary training to first responders whose work involves acute interventions with communities exposed to violence and other catastrophic events, as well as extensive technical assistance consultation to communities, law enforcement agencies, mental health providers, schools, and local, state, and national government leaders, in the aftermath of violence, acts of terror and natural disaster including the Sandy Hook Elementary School and Virginia Tech mass shootings, the 9/11 terrorist attacks, and Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. 

About the Office for Victims of Crime (OVC), Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice
The Office for Victims of Crime (OVC), a component of the Office of Justice Programs at the U.S. Department of Justice, was established by the 1984 Victim of Crime Act. OVC is committed to enhancing the Nation’s capacity to assist crime victims and to providing leadership in changing attitudes, policies, and practices to promote justice and healing for all victims of crime.