Community policing

Local governments can invest in this strategy using State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (SLFRF) from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).

  • This strategy can help prevent violence. The U.S. Department of Treasury has indicated that strategies that help achieve this outcome are eligible for the use of Fiscal Recovery Funds.
  • Investments in this strategy are SLFRF-eligible as long as they are made in qualified census tracts or are designed to assist populations or communities disproportionately impacted by COVID-19.

Program overview

  • 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.
Target Population
Cost per Participant
Not available

Evidence and impacts


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

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

Best practices in 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.