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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How to Increase Cultural Understanding. Police Perspectives: Building Trust in a Diverse Nation, no. 1

January 1, 2016

Recognizing the vital importance of trust to community cooperation, public safety, and national security, the Vera Institute worked with the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS Office) to research and write this three-part series, which provides practical, field-informed guidance for creating positive, productive relations with all members of our multiracial, multi-ethnic American population.To engage with their communities, law enforcement must understand their needs and concerns. This guide explores the history of law enforcement's relations with African Americans and offers strategies for overcoming past mistakes, building trusting relationships, and using mediation and other means for increasing dialogue and reducing tension after contentious incidents.

Reform Strategies

How to Support Trust Building in Your Agency. Police Perspectives: Building Trust in a Diverse Nation, no. 3

January 1, 2016

Recognizing the vital importance of trust to community cooperation, public safety, and national security, the Vera Institute worked with the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS Office) to research and write this three-part series, which provides practical, field-informed guidance for creating positive, productive relations with all members of our multiracial, multi-ethnic American population.This guide is a resource for agency leaders who want to build trust with the diverse communities they serve by adopting community policing practices and transforming their organizations. It provides practical strategies for diversifying their workforce, implementing and promoting community policing principles, and training officers in bias-free, culturally aware policing.

Reform Strategies

Strengthening the Relationship between Law Enforcement and Communities of Color: Developing an Agenda

January 1, 2014

Strengthening the Relationship between Law Enforcement and Communities of Color: Developing an Agenda is a summary of a forum the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS Office) hosted with law enforcement officials, civil right activists, academic experts, community leaders, and policy makers at the Ford Foundation in New York City. This meeting focused on identifying what can be done to break the cycle of mistrust and cynicism that for too long has fractured the relationships between the law enforcement and communities of color and subverted their ability to work together to build safer communities. This publication captures the dialogue of this dynamic meeting led by Associate Attorney General Tony West, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, COPS Office Director Ronald Davis, and Reverend Al Sharpton and describes the insights learned from professionals from across the country in a concrete "agenda for action." The forum was one in a series. The National Network for Safe Communities hosted earlier forums that addressed racial reconciliation, truth telling, and police legitimacy. 

Perceptions of Policing; Reform Strategies