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Challenge and Promise of Using Community Policing Strategies To Prevent Violent Extremism: A Call for Community Partnerships With Law Enforcement To Enhance Public Safety, Final Report

NCJ Number
Date Published
January 2016
87 pages
This report presents the findings and recommendations of a comprehensive assessment of the challenges and promise of a national strategy for the development of partnerships between police and communities in countering violent extremism.
The report is based on a nationwide survey of law enforcement agencies, hundreds of hours of interviews, and site visits with police departments and community members around the country. Two main conclusions are drawn from this analysis. First, policing agencies face multiple obstacles to creating community partnerships that focus on preventing acts of violent extremism. Second, some law enforcement agencies are engaged in promising practices. If applied effectively, they can result in increasing trust between the police and the communities they serve. This trust can be the basis for addressing many threats to public safety, including violent extremism. Based on the findings of this assessment, a number of recommendations are offered for developing trust between the police and communities they serve and then using common commitments to forge strategies for addressing public-safety threats, including preventing violent extremism. Fourteen recommendations are intended for local policing agencies. Among the issues addressed are outreach and engagement units, prioritizing community safety concerns, diversity in personnel recruitment, cultural awareness training, officer and community education about violent extremism, and the integration of government agencies with police-community engagement programs. Three recommendations deal specifically with police engagement with Muslim-American communities. A major focus is regular communication with Muslim leaders about concerns related to profiling, discrimination, and other issues of unfair treatment, as well as the development of cooperative approaches to preventing violent extremism. Five recommendations pertain to actions by the Federal Government, with attention to priority funding and technical assistance. 6 tables and appended survey questionnaire and results

Date Published: January 1, 2016