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COPS Office Collaborative Reform Initiative for Technical Assistance

In response to requests from the law enforcement community for a proactive, non-adversarial, and cost-effective form of technical assistance for agencies with significant law enforcement-related issues, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS Office) developed the Collaborative Reform Initiative for Technical Assistance (CRI-TA).

The purpose of CRI-TA is to improve trust between agencies and the communities they serve by providing a means to organizational transformation around specific issues. It is not a short-term solution for a serious deficiency but rather a long-term strategy that first identifies issues within an agency that may affect public trust and then offers recommendations based on a comprehensive agency assessment for how to resolve those issues and enhance the relationship between the police and the community.

The COPS Office issues a series of findings and recommendations that are consistent with best practices in policing. The agency’s progress toward addressing the recommendations is monitored over a period of 18 months to ensure the changes are sustained. Reports summarizing the status of each recommendation are publicly released, offering a level of accountability to the community. In addition, in the spirit of the collaborative nature of this work, the COPS Office provides technical assistance and other resources to the agency to help it address its specific needs.

CRI-TA helps to proactively promote organizational and cultural changes in law enforcement agencies across the United States, because the recommendations have applicability beyond the individual agencies in which these reviews are conducted. The recommendations and outcomes from these sites benefit agencies nationwide because they can adapt them to their own critical needs. Because all reports are released publicly, they serve as a road map for change for other agencies.

In 2013, the COPS Office completed CRI-TA work in Las Vegas, Nevada. Since then, the COPS Office initiated CRI-TA work in Spokane, Washington; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; St. Louis County, Missouri; Fayetteville, North Carolina; Salinas, California; and Calexico, California. For more information, visit the Collaborative Reform website or contact us by e-mail at or by phone at 202-353-4400.

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