Support for Community-Police Engagement

Support for Community-Police Engagement


Submitted by: Crime Prevention Committee

Cosponsored by: Community Policing Committee, Police Administration Committee, and Police Investigative Operations Committee



WHEREAS, many law enforcement leaders are grappling with new challenges and increased complexity as they work to protect communities, prevent crime, and build trust across demographic lines in an era of economic disparity, social media, and identity politics;28 and

WHEREAS, current challenges for law enforcement agencies involve increased scrutiny and expectations related to accountability, priority setting, transparency, bail reform, and evidence-based results; and

WHEREAS, though this struggle is playing out in locales around the globe, the solutions vary; and

WHEREAS, recent research suggests that effective crime prevention requires focus and ongoing dialogue about public expectations, public safety priorities, police capacity, and processes for addressing gaps between public expectations and law enforcement outcomes;29 and

WHEREAS, in order to understand and inform community crime prevention priorities, this solution requires law enforcement agencies to both communicate effectively and adopt modest but consistent ways of engaging the public in planning; and

WHEREAS, a brief and concise plan requires thoughtfully constructed engagement30 around the past, present, and future of policing;31 and

WHEREAS, stakeholder engagement is a key factor that influences public perceptions of agency value and legitimacy;32 and 

WHEREAS, law enforcement agencies will be more likely to implement and sustain plans over time if stakeholders view planning priorities as belonging to a broader team or community rather than to an individual leader;33   therefore, be it

RESOLVED, that the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) supports raising awareness of the benefits resulting from community police engagement which include agenda setting and capacity building mechanisms; and be it

FURTHER RESOLVED, that the IACP affirms and encourages the practices of effective community-police planning and public communication of policing priorities.


28 Final Report of the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing (Washington, DC: Office for Community Oriented Policing, 2015).

29 Sara E. McClellan and Bryon G. Gustafson, “Police-Community Planning,” Police Chief Online, October 9, 2019.

30 Henry Mintzberg, The Rise and Fall of Strategic Planning,” Harvard Business Review, January–February 1994.

31 Jihong “Solomon” Zhao, Quint C. Thurman, and Ling Ren, “An Examination of Strategic Planning in American Law Enforcement Agencies—A National Study,” Police Quarterly 11, no. 1 (March 2008): 3–26.

32 Final Report of the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing.

33 McClellan and Gustafson, Police-Community Planning.”



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