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

A pile of newspapers bundled together with string.

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

The Department of Justice’s Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS Office) in partnership with the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) announced the release of a new toolkit which 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 which 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;
  • Steps to Building Trust: 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; and
  • 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 at