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U.S. Department of Justice
Office of Community Oriented Policing Services

145 N Street, N.E.
Washington, DC 20530

May 2022 | Volume 15 | Issue 5

On March 18, Attorney General Merrick B. Garland announced the expansion of the technical assistance (TA) services the COPS Office offers to law enforcement agencies nationwide.

"The Justice Department recognizes how much is being asked of law enforcement officers every single day, and we are committed to providing them with the support they need to build the collaboration, trust, and legitimacy that is essential to public safety,” said Attorney General Garland in the press release. “The Department’s new Collaborative Reform Initiative will provide our law enforcement partners nationwide with the opportunity to request support from a suite of customizable, targeted tools that will shape their capacity to keep communities safe and foster community trust."

The Collaborative Reform Initiative (CRI) will now provide a continuum of expert services to state, local, territorial, campus, and tribal law enforcement agencies.

What exactly is a continuum of technical assistance services?

By retooling CRI, the COPS Office will be able to offer TA ranging in scope and complexity to law enforcement agencies and the communities they serve. Three programs will serve distinct but complementary roles in providing these services.

First, we will be sustaining the Collaborative Reform Initiative Technical Assistance Center (CRI-TAC). CRI-TAC provides a wide array of “by the field, for the field” TA in more than 60 different topics. CRI-TAC is implemented through a partnership of 10 leading law enforcement stakeholder membership organizations. TA is customized for the requesting agency and can include training (in person or virtual), strategic planning, policy review, consultation, and peer exchanges. To date, CRI-TAC has engaged with over 700 law enforcement agencies.

Additionally, we will be re-launching the Critical Response program, which is designed to provide targeted TA to agencies experiencing high-profile events, major incidents, or sensitive issues of varying need. The kind of TA offered under this program is customized to the requesting agency and will provide services such as bias audits, after action reviews, and in-depth, issue-specific reviews of operations.

Finally, the most intensive form of TA offered under CRI will be through the Organizational Assessments program. This program will provide in-depth, independent assessments and collaborative, longer-term assistance on systemic issues that can challenge community trust and confidence. This program will provide ongoing TA and routine public reporting to ensure the agency is able to implement reforms without waiting for a lengthy assessment report, while enhancing the transparency of the process and its outcomes.

All three programs are voluntary and at the request of the law enforcement agency.

CRI is designed to advance the COPS Office mission to advance community policing nationwide. Community policing begins with a commitment to building trust and mutual respect between police and communities. Specifically, CRI seeks to address five cross-cutting goals:

  1. Build trust between police and the communities they serve
  2. Improve fairness, effectiveness, and efficiency in agency operations
  3. Enhance officer safety and wellness
  4. Build capacity within agencies for organizational learning and self-improvement
  5. Promote promising practices established through COPS Office technical assistance programs nationwide

A forthcoming solicitation will be announced seeking technical assistance providers for the Critical Response and Organizational Assessments programs. The COPS Office aims to have both programs operational by the end of 2022.

To ensure you receive the solicitation announcement, please make sure to subscribe to COPS Office emails and follow us on Twitter and Facebook. CRI-TAC is currently operational and able to assist requesting agencies—please visit for more information.

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