Building Communities of Trust: A Guidance for Community Leaders
The Building Communities of Trust (BCOT) Initiative focuses on developing trust between law enforcement, fusion centers, and the communities they serve, particularly immigrant and minority communities, so that crime and terrorism can be addressed. This initiative has been administered primarily by the Nationwide Suspicious Activity Reporting (SAR) Initiative (NSI), a program that provides law enforcement with a capacity for gathering, documenting, processing, analyzing, and sharing suspicious activity reports about behaviors that have a potential nexus to terrorism. The NSI recognizes that each community has one of the most important roles in the prevention of crime and terrorism, since law enforcement agencies are dependent on community members to report suspicious activity information to state, local, tribal, and territorial (SLTT) law enforcement officers. To help ensure that this reporting takes place, it is essential that law enforcement and community members have strong, trusting relationships. As these relationships are developed and maintained, members of the community are more likely to report crime and suspicious activities, which is why the NSI has worked with partners at the federal, state, and local levels—including U.S. Attorney’s Offices, privacy advocacy groups, faith leaders, and a diverse group of local community members—to implement the Building Communities of Trust initiative.