About Us

Our Mission

The National Police Foundation (NPF) was established in 1970 as a non-partisan, non-profit, research and policy organization dedicated to advancing policing through innovation and scientific research.

Our Vision

At NPF, we envision police and communities working together to implement best practices that are informed or supported by research, resulting in safe, healthy, economically thriving, and mutually trusting communities.

"Despite the tremendous strides made and advancements in policing practice over the last half century, our mission is far from accomplished. As we surpass our 50th year, it is essential that we not become enamored with the advancements we have witnessed and supported, but instead we must redouble our efforts to make even greater strides on behalf of communities and those who protect and serve them with valor, honor, and commitment to service and justice."

— James H. Burch, II, NPF President

Our Services

At NPF, we are dedicated to advancing the impact and delivery of police services through change and reform. NPF provides services in three main areas: research and evaluation, training and technical assistance, and organizational assessments and after-action reviews (AARs).

Our services are rooted in evidence-based practice and designed to assist law enforcement agencies across the country in making strategic and operational decisions based on the latest research and innovation. We leverage scientific research and technology to guide our engagements, working directly with agencies and communities, nationwide and abroad, through collaborative approaches that engage scholars, practitioners, law enforcement agencies, and community stakeholders at the international, national, state, and local level. NPF aims to serve as a model for the systematic examination of real-world challenges faced by law enforcement agencies. To learn more about our service areas, please visit the following pages:

YEARS IN SERVICE

ONGOING PROJECTS

PUBLICATIONS

Our Strategic Priorities

We seek to positively impact policing practice by focusing our work in three strategic priority areas: preventing and reducing gun violence and deadly force, building trust between law enforcement and communities, and ensuring officer safety, officer wellness, and healthy police organizations.

Our Story

1970

Previously known as the Police Foundation, NPF was established as a 501(c)3 non-profit on July 22,1970, in Washington, D.C. through a grant from the Ford Foundation.

1972

NPF supported and conducted the Kansas City Preventive Patrol Experiment to test the effects of police patrol on crime.

1976

NPF provided support to create the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE). Additionally, NPF supported the establishment of the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF).

1977

NPF studied the effectiveness of one- or two-officer units in patrol staffing, finding that one-officer units increased officer service, were more efficient, and were safer.

1979

NPF conducted a landmark study, Women in Policing, and established a Research Center on Women in Policing to encourage greater hiring of women in policing.

1981

NPF's groundbreaking Newark Foot Patrol Experiment found that, although foot patrols did not reduce crime, communities felt safer with foot patrols and were more likely to report crime.

1984

NPF took national leadership in urging the U.S. Supreme Court to set constitutional limits on the use of force in the pursuit of suspects. Our initiative led many others to file their own Amicus briefs in the case of Tennessee v. Garner—the case remains a key standard today in use of force incidents.

1986

A major NPF study, Reducing Fear of Crime, measured the effects of police outreach to reduce residents’ feeling of insecurity in Houston and Newark, finding that regular community interaction by officers could reduce fear of crime.

1992

Following the riots after the beating of Rodney King, we studied and offered recommendations to improve the police response to protests, civil disorder, and mass violence.

1998

Criminologist and Research Director Lawrence Sherman introduces the profession to the concept of evidence-based policing in an Ideas in American Policing report.

2001

NPF published a comprehensive review, The Abuse of Police Authority, that highlighted results from a nationwide survey on police attitudes toward abusing police authority.

2011

NPF conducted the Shift Length Experiment, the only multi-site randomized experiment, to test the impact of different shift lengths on police patrol officers and agencies.

2014

NPF published the first of several after-action reviews of police response to critical incidents throughout the United States, such as the Christopher Dorner manhunt, terror attacks in San Bernardino, CA, and the Pulse Nightclub shooting in Orlando, FL.

2015

NPF, with support from other national law enforcement organizations, launched the national Law Enforcement Officer Near Miss Reporting System (LEO Near Miss), an online repository of near miss incidents involving officers, to improve officer safety.

2016

NPF published Reducing Violent Crime in American Cities: An Opportunity to Lead to provide evidence-based recommendations for strengthening federal and local partnerships while enhancing local control of violent crime strategies. Additionally, NPF released a report entitled, Engaging Communities One Step at a Time, which offered a series of case studies on police use of foot patrols to provide a practical guide for police agencies, officers, and executives on how to effectively implement an evidence-based foot patrol strategy.

2018

NPF launched the Center for Mass Violence Response Studies with a mission to prepare public safety, government, schools, businesses, and community leaders to think critically about and respond comprehensively to mass violence events.

2019

NPF moved its headquarters from Washington, D.C. to Arlington, VA, after spending the first 50 years in the nation's capital.

2020

NPF established the Council on Policing Reforms and Race, an independent, majority African American led non-partisan initiative that will use research and evidence to consider and offer recommendations to resolve some of the most significant and pressing issues with regard to policing reforms and race.