Community – Police Engagement

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Community – Police Engagement

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Police leaders, community members, and elected officials all play a crucial role in moving constructive public safety efforts forward. The tools below provide policy considerations and tangible strategies to support police and communities in their efforts to engage in productive dialogue, form strong partnerships, and identify meaningful solutions. At a time when agencies are looking to assess their policies and procedures so to maximize community–police engagement, these tools provide a meaningful base to help public safety stakeholders develop a strong, consistent foundation.

Use of Force

Permit the use of force only when necessary to resolve conflict and protect public and officer safety. While maintaining the “objectively reasonable” standard set forth in Graham v. Connor, agencies should develop policies and training practices that focus on de-escalation.  

Vidoes:

 

Policy Papers:

  • National Consensus Policy and Discussion Paper on Use of Force - The combined National Consensus Policy and Discussion Paper on Use of Force represents a collaborative effort to advance the police profession, while upholding the commitment and duty to serve the public and preserve all human life.
  • Crowd Management and Control Policy - These documents identify common principles of crowd policing that have been shown to serve the best interest of law enforcement agencies, their communities, and those who participate in civil demonstrations and protests. Documents include a Model Policy,  Concepts & Issues paper, and ‘Need to Know’ summary for further information. 
  • Electronic Control Weapons Policy -The following documents describe the use of electronic control weapons and other less-lethal options for officers. Included is a Model Policy, Concepts & Issues paper, and ‘Need to Know’ summary on the use of ECWs.
  • Officer-Involved Shootings Policy - Comprehensive investigations of officer-involved shootings require proactive agency planning and established, effective protocols. Documents include a Model Policy, Concepts & Issues paper, and ‘Need to Know’ summary providing step-by-step guidance when conducting OIS investigations.
  • Reporting Use of Force Policy - The authority to use force carries with it the need for accountability and reporting in a timely, complete, and accurate manner. View the Model Policy, Concepts & Issues paper, and ‘Need to Know’ summary for further information. 

 

 From the Field: Police Chief Articles

Leadership and Culture

Prioritize diversity and create a culture of equity and inclusion by working to eliminate racial, ethnic, and gender bias in the workplace. Ensure that field training incorporates core values and communicates them to new officers.

Videos:

Policy Papers:

  • Arrests - Officers should be prepared to interact appropriately, professionally, and according to policy when interacting with community members. The following Model Policy and Concepts & Issues paper provides police with guidelines for engaging in voluntary contacts, investigatory detentions, pat-downs, and arrests. 
  • Body-Worn Cameras - Body-worn cameras provide officers with a reliable and compact tool to record field encounters systematically and automatically. Includes a Considerations document, Concepts & Issues paper, and ‘Need to Know’ summary.
  • Incident Command - Many police agencies utilize the National Incident Management System (NIMS) as the primary method to prepare for, respond to, and manage critical incidents. This Model Policy document provides guidelines for how to develop and implement the NIMS. 
  • Retaliatory Conduct - Police agencies should prohibit retaliatory conduct against or interference with an employee who reports, assists, or seeks to report breaches of department policy, procedures, or rules or engages in activities protected by whistleblower statutes. The Model Policy and Concepts & Issues paper are designed to enhance departmental integrity and avoid hostile treatment of fellow employees. 
  • Standards of Conduct - Police officers must abide by a high ethical and moral standard  consistent with the rule of law they are sworn to uphold. The included Model Policy and Concepts & Issues paper provide guidance regarding the standards of conduct embodied in the law enforcement officer’s code of ethics and an agency’s statement of values and mission, so that officers have a clear understanding of agency expectations.
  • Grievance Procedures - A carefully designed grievance policy can support employees in resolving disputes regarding their employment, improve personnel morale, identify issues within the organization, and increase positive employee perceptions of the department. Documents include a Model Policy and Concepts & Issues paper for further information.

Resources:

 From the Field: Police Chief Articles

Recruitment and Hiring

Reevaluate hiring qualifications and testing, including critical thinking, ethical decision making, educational standards, background investigations, targeted recruitment efforts, review of hiring standards and practices, diversity, training, and recruit training programs. 

Policy Papers:

  • Early Identification System - Agencies may consider establishing an early identification system for identifying, assessing, and intervening with incidents of risk to the agency and involved employees. The included Considerations document and Concepts & Issues paper assist police supervisors and managers in identifying officers/employees whose performance warrants review or intervention.
  • Employee Misconduct - The following documents outline the essential components of a program governing internal investigations and disciplinary procedures to protect an agency’s interests and reputation, promote public trust, ensure that heightened integrity remains a mainstay of the law enforcement profession, and mitigate potential civil litigation. Included is a Model Policy, Concepts & Issues paper, and ‘Need to Know’ summary.

Resources:

 From the Field: Police Chief Articles

Community Trauma/Victim Services

Establish trauma-informed, victim-centered law enforcement responses to victims of crime and the communities you serve to increase safety and promote engagement, access, resources, healing, and justice as defined by individuals impacted.

Policy Papers: 

  • Response to Victims of Crime - These documents provide agencies with the policies and procedures to recognize and address the needs and rights of crime victims. Included is a Model Policy, Concepts & Issues paper, and ‘Need to Know’ summary.
  • Domestic Violence - Effective response to domestic violence should include a comprehensive policy that develops coordinated community infrastructure to maximize victim support and officer safety. The following Model Policy, Concepts & Issues paper, and ‘Need to Know’ summary provide guidance on the establishment of priorities, guidelines, and procedures. 
  • Interactions with Transgender and Gender-Nonconforming Individuals - All members of the public shall be treated with dignity and respect, regardless of the individual’s gender identity, expression, or other individual characteristics. This Concept & Issues paper provides police executives with guidance and items for consideration when developing policies and training.
  • Harassment and Discrimination - These documents provide guidance regarding harassment using technology, the importance of training, legal remedies, and the prohibition and prevention of workplace harassment and discrimination within policing agencies. Included documents are a Model Policy, Concepts & Issues paper, and ‘Need to Know’ summary.
  • Arrests and Investigatory Stops - Officers should be prepared to interact appropriately, professionally, and accordingly to policy when interacting with community members. The following Model Policy and Concepts & Issues paper provides police with guidelines for engaging in voluntary contacts, investigatory detentions, pat-downs, and arrests.
  • Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities - Officers should be trained to recognize individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities; demonstrate dignity and respect; utilize de-escalation protocols; and seek alternatives to physical custody. These documents include a Model Policy, Concepts & Issues paper, and ‘Need to Know’ summary.
  • Mental Illness - Responding to a person in crisis requires the use of special skills, techniques, and abilities to appropriately resolve the situation, while minimizing violence. Documents include a Model Policy, Concepts & Issues paper, and ‘Need to Know’ summary.

Resources: 

 From the Field: Police Chief Articles

Community Partnerships

Ensure that community policing is the key operational philosophy in mission statements, strategic plans, and leadership development programs. Embrace procedural justice by providing the community opportunities to understand and share their perspective on policies and procedures.

Videos:

 

Policy Papers: 

  • Media Relations - These documents will help agencies ensure that all personnel understand the importance of media relations, their role in contributing to the agency’s relationship with the media, and how to disseminate information in an accurate and effective way. Includes a Considerations document, Concepts & Issues paper, and ‘Need to Know’ summary.
  • Social Media - Social media provides a potentially valuable means of assisting police agencies in meeting community outreach, problem-solving, investigative, and crime prevention objectives. Includes a Considerations document, Concepts & Issues paper, and ‘Need to Know’ summary.

Resources:

 From the Field: Police Chief Articles

Cooperative Safety Solutions

Give officers ample time to engage with community members and solve community problems. Give communities direct, ongoing opportunities to give feedback and respond to input.

Videos:

Policy Papers: 

  • Recording Police Activity - In the United States, the public and media have a First Amendment right to record officers in public places, as long as their actions do not interfere with the officer’s duties or the safety of officers or others. Included documents are a Model Policy and Concepts & Issues paper to provide guidance for officers who might be visually or audibly recorded.

Resources:

 From the Field: Police Chief Articles

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