Again and again the data show that people of color in the U.S. are disproportionately, and systematically, stopped, frisked, arrested, and exposed to the use of force by police. Police departments and communities across the U.S. are struggling with these realities and with what has become a glaring divide in how Americans experience and relate to policing. This special collection includes research from nonprofits, foundations, and university based research centers, who have not only described and documented the issue but who also provide much-needed recommendations for addressing this chronic and tragic problem.

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Community-Centered Policing: A Force for Change

October 17, 2001

Fair, equitable, and community-centered policing is fundamental to a democratic society. Yet, for too many, this remains a promise unrealized. While the nation has enjoyed plummeting crime rates, America's assault on crime over the past decade has exacted a high price—more often than not, a price paid by communities of color.Guided by our core missions to advance economic and social equity through policies and strategies informed by the voices and experiences of local communities, PolicyLink and the Advancement Project conducted research aimedat bridging the gap between the promise of fair and responsive policing and the reality experienced by many neighborhoods. In this report, we highlight some of the promising, community-centered police practices being implemented throughout the country—practices that are opening police departments to traditionally underrepresented communities; engaging communities as partners in solving neighborhood problems; and making police departments more accountable to the communities they serve and protect.

Reform Strategies