Community policing

Program basics

  • Proactive, problem-solving, and organizational change–oriented approach to policing based on collaborative partnerships between police and local community organizations
  • Police officers often serve longer tenures in the community and interact with residents via bike and foot patrol, neighborhood watch, school programs, and more
  • Evaluations from California and Chicago provide evidence that such approaches reduce concerns about crime, improve resident problem-solving, and bolster police perceptions of relationships with community residents.

Strength of evidence

Evidence level: Proven (highest tier)

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Proven (highest tier)

Ranked as having the highest level of evidence by County Health Rankings and Roadmaps


Target population

Community-wide

Program cost

Not available

Implementation locations

  • Not available

Dates active

Not available

Outcomes and impact

  • Improved satisfaction with law enforcement
  • Potentially improved neighborhood safety and reduced crime

Keys to successful implementation

  • Note: This content is under review
  • Prioritize community engagement, regularly soliciting input from a broad swath of groups and organizations, such as faith-based and community-based organizations, schools and youth groups, employers, businesses, nonprofits, advocacy groups, and others.
  • Create substantial opportunities for citizen contributions to community policing, including by hosting open meetings, administering surveys, and creating a civilian oversight board.
  • Facilitate frequent nonenforcement relationship-building opportunities between police officers, youth, and other community members; these can include book fairs and other community events, officer-youth mentorship programs, and sports programs and coaching.
  • Provide as much transparency as possible when it comes to both financial data and police activity; proactively communicate findings and insights to the public.
  • Develop, track, and disseminate nonenforcement police performance metrics, especially ones that measure community engagement and positive relationship building.
  • Build in dedicated time to officers’ schedules for informal interactions with community members; also consider deploying officers to smaller geographical areas to develop stronger relationships.
  • Incorporate community policing principles and education into basic and ongoing training for recruits and officers, including sessions designed and/or run by community members.

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