Department of Justice Releases Promising Policing Strategies to Engage Communities of Color

For Immediate Release: 
Wednesday, March 29, 2017
Najla Haywood

New toolkit presents practical strategies based on feedback from community members and law enforcement practitioners

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Department of Justice's Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS Office) in partnership with the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) today announced the release of a new toolkit that provides resources to help build relationships of trust between law enforcement agencies and communities of color.

Bridging the Trust Gap Between Law Enforcement and Communities of Color Toolkit identifies challenges that often plague law enforcement and communities of color, while offering proven strategies for success in overcoming those challenges and developing communities of trust.

“As this nation continues to grapple with strained relations between law enforcement and communities of color, this toolkit is not only timely but also necessary,” said COPS Office Acting Director Russ Washington. “Developed out of the feedback of community stakeholders, law enforcement executives, and frontline officers, this body of work provides practical and tangible strategies to help law enforcement officers build and maintain trust with the diverse communities they serve.”

The online toolkit is intended to be a resource for officers at all levels – from patrol officers to law enforcement executives – and to community members seeking guidance on ways to engage their local law enforcement. It is organized into four sections:

  • Policing for Progress: Examples of initiatives championed by law enforcement agencies in an effort to build and maintain community trust
  • Bridging the Trust Gap-Critical Tasks and Responsibilities: Concrete steps for executive-and command--level officers, frontline officers, and community stakeholders to promote communication, partnership, and trust
  • Sample Community Surveys: Law enforcement-driven questionnaires to determine the condition of the community, evaluate future needs, and collect information about the public's perception of law enforcement
  • IACP and COPS Office Resources: Guides, reports, and other tools

Bridging the Trust Gap Between Law Enforcement and Communities of Color Toolkit is available online here:

The COPS Office is a federal agency responsible for advancing community policing nationwide. Since 1995, the COPS Office has invested more than $14 billion to advance community policing, including grants awarded to more than 13,000 state, local and tribal law enforcement agencies to fund the hiring and redeployment of approximately 129,000 officers and provide a variety of knowledge resource products including publications, training and technical assistance. For additional information about the COPS Office, please visit