IACP Law Enforcement Policy Center
For more than 30 years, the IACP Law Enforcement Policy Center has been identifying leading practices and providing sound guidance to the law enforcement profession to assist in developing policies for individual departments.
Policy Center Resources
The Policy Center offers four types of resources:
Model Policy: Provides officers with concrete guidance and directives by describing, the manner in which actions, tasks, and operations are to be performed.
Considerations: Intended to present items for agencies to take into account when developing their own policies on a topic. This format recognizes that expectations and capabilities vary by agency, and it aims to present recommendations to the law enforcement field without dictating exact approaches.
Concepts and Issues: Designed to provide background information on the topic to support the Model Policy or Considerations document.
Need to Know...: Synthesizes the key points of the topic into a brief, one-page overview.
Click here to visit the full list of Policy Center topics.
Featured Policy Center Resources
With violence involving firearms dominating the news headlines, it is crucial that all law enforcement agencies have timely and sustainable protocols for the recovery and forensic...
Alternatives to Arrest
Programs offering alternatives to arrest have the potential to positively alter the outcomes for individuals who come into contact with the criminal justice system. By...
Facial recognition technology can be helpful in identifying possible suspects or persons of interest by performing a comparative analysis of facial attributes observed in digital...
Discretionary Response to Calls for Service
Responding to calls for service efficiently is one of a police officer's primary duties, but public safety remains a priority. Inappropriate responses to calls for...
Standards of Conduct
Law enforcement officers must accept and abide by a high ethical and moral standard that is consistent with the rule of law they are sworn...
Employee Mental Health and Wellness
Personnel are the most valuable assets in a law enforcement agency. The documents provided are intended to assist agency personnel in developing policies, procedures, and guidelines...
Recruiting & Hiring
Hiring decisions are among the most impactful decisions a police agency can make. Agencies that want to build positive relationships with their communities, improve their public...
Aerosol Restraint Spray
Law enforcement agencies issue aerosol restraint spray to provide officers with additional use-of-force options for gaining compliance of resistant or aggressive individuals in arrest and...
All Policy Center Resources
Use of Force
Vehicle Crash Review Process
Motor vehicle crashes involving agency vehicles present serious potential risks to agency personnel and the public as well as considerable financial loss due to injury...
The primary mission and sworn duty of every law enforcement agency and officer is to protect and to serve the public. When determining whether to...
Victims of Crime*
As first responders, law enforcement personnel are uniquely positioned to provide trauma-informed care and support to victims of crime as required by law. These efforts can...
Volunteers can be a valuable addition to any law enforcement agency by providing a variety of services at little cost to the agency. They allow...
Written Directive System
Agencies should establish a written directive system in order to inform officers of what is expected of them in the performance of their duties, to provide guidance...
Every effort has been made by the IACP Law Enforcement Policy Center staff and advisory board to ensure that these documents incorporate the most current information and contemporary judgment on these issues. However, law enforcement administrators should be cautioned that no model policy can meet all the needs of any given law enforcement agency. In addition, the formulation of specific agency policies must take into account local political and community perspectives and customs, prerogatives, and demands; often divergent law enforcement strategies and philosophies; and the impact of varied agency resource capabilities, among other factors. Readers outside of the United States should note that, while these documents promote procedures reflective of a democratic society, their legal basis follows United States Supreme Court rulings and other federal laws and statutes. Law enforcement administrators should be cautioned that each law enforcement agency operates in a unique environment of court rulings, state laws, local ordinances, regulations, judicial and administrative decisions, and collective bargaining agreements that must be considered and should, therefore, consult their agency's legal advisor before implementing any policy.
The IACP Law Enforcement Policy Center documents are periodically updated, and the most current versions are published to this website. To minimize confusion and to help ensure reference to the most recent documents available, the IACP Policy Center does not distribute prior versions of any documents that have since been updated.