We are developing methods of democratic engagement for policing agencies and the communities they serve, and testing them in interested jurisdictions.
The Presidential Task Force on 21st Century Policing made the point that at present there is very little engagement between the police and their communities over matters of policy and practice. The Task Force called on departments to formulate policies with public input on everything from the use of technology to officer training.
Ensuring this sort of healthy community-police engagement is not going to be easy. Many of the communities most affected by policing have been marginalized politically, yet it is essential to find ways to ensure that they have a voice in how they are policed. There also are questions about how to educate and empower communities to give meaningful input on policing policy. And there are few models for what this sort of engagement even should look like. Still, government by the people requires us to try.
To that end, the Policing Project is working with police officials, community groups, and experts on local government to develop models and mechanisms of police-community engagement. We are trying them out in various communities in partnership with the local police.
If you want to learn more, or participate in one of these projects, contact us.