Tribal and Bureau of Indian Affairs Agencies Take the Community Policing Self-Assessment Tool

CP-SAT background. The value of community policing is widely acknowledged by the law enforcement field as a successful strategy in addressing crime, social disorder, and fear of crime, yet police administrators have struggled to practically define and measure community policing implementation within their organizations. 
The Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS Office) partnered with ICF International to develop and administer the Community Policing Self-Assessment Tool (CP-SAT), a 15-minute web-based, agency-wide survey that gathers perspectives from all relevant stakeholders and identifies the strengths and gaps in their community policing implementation in three critical areas:

  1. Community partnerships. Collaborative partnerships between the police agency and the individuals and organizations they serve to develop solutions to problems and increase trust in the police
  2. Problem solving. The process of engaging in the proactive systematic examination of identified problems to develop effective responses that are evaluated rigorously
  3. Organizational transformation. The alignment of organizational management, structure, personnel, and information systems to support community partnerships and proactive problem solving.

Tribal/BIA CP-SAT participation. Through an award to ICF International, the COPS Office sponsored tribal and Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) law enforcement agency participation in the CP-SAT.  Tribal and BIA law enforcement agencies were eligible to participate in the CP-SAT twice, with their first administration occurring in mid-2014 and their second administration occurring in late 2015. Overall, 30 tribal agencies and 23 BIA agencies participated in the first administration and seven tribal agencies and 22 BIA agencies participated in the second administration of the CP-SAT.

Tribal/BIA CP-SAT results. Although tribal and BIA agencies scored slightly lower on all CP-SAT sections compared to all agencies, tribal and BIA agencies improved their scores over time. Tribal and BIA agencies scored highest on the problem-solving section (especially their ability to scan the environment) and the organizational transformation section (see figure 1). 

Agency leaders at all levels report higher levels of community policing and line officers consistently report lower levels of community policing than other staff types in tribal and BIA agencies (see figure 2).

Tribal/BIA community policing strengths. Agency support for community policing in tribal and BIA agencies meaningfully increased between their administrations, especially leadership support for community policing (see figure 3). Tribal and BIA chief executives stress the importance of community policing internally and externally. Also, tribal and BIA leaders empower officers to do community policing, especially in problem-solving activities.

Community partners viewed tribal and BIA agencies as communicating often, having shared accountability, and being strong partners with two-way information sharing and collaboration.

For more information, visit the CP-SAT website or contact the ICF CP-SAT Administration team by e-mail or call 877-99-CPSAT (877-992-7728).

Beth Heinen, ICF
Kaitlyn Mikush, ICF
Matt Lysakoswki, The COPS Office

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