Police Foundation Board of Directors Chairman Named Assistant County Executive Officer Over Public Safety in Santa Barbara, California


June 22, 2018 — The Police Foundation is pleased to share the following news regarding its Board of Directors Chairman Bernard Melekian.

Dr. Melekian, who is currently the Undersheriff for Santa Barbara County, will be transferring to the County Executive Office on September 10, 2018, as the Assistant County Executive Officer (ACEO) over public safety.

Melekian will be responsible for coordinating interdepartmental efforts among public safety and justice departments, such as improving efficiencies of the criminal justice system, evaluating a new public safety radio network, and developing options for the existing Main Jail.

“It has been my honor and privilege to work with the men and women of the Santa Barbara Sheriff’s Office. I look forward to continuing to serve public safety working with the County Executive Office,” said Melekian.

Prior to being appointed as the Undersheriff for Santa Barbara County in 2015, Melekian served in law enforcement and the military. He has more than 40 years of law enforcement experience, including serving as the Police Chief for the city of Pasadena for 13 years. He also served with the Santa Monica Police Department for 23 years where he was awarded the Medal of Valor in 1978 and the Medal of Courage in 1980. He was selected as the Director of the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) by Attorney General Eric Holder, serving from 2009-2013.

Dr. Melekian is a nationally recognized expert in police practices. His doctoral work on Values-Based-Discipline in Law Enforcement Organizations received the Sol Price Award as the outstanding doctoral project of 2012 in the School of Policy, Planning and Development at the University of Southern California. He received a master’s of Public Administration and a bachelor’s in American History from California State University, Northridge. He also is a graduate of the Harvard Executive Session, a three-year program aimed at producing quality academic publications for the benefit of law enforcement throughout the world. Melekian also served in the United States Army and Coast Guard Reserves and served in two tours of active duty.

To view the full press release, please click here.

Police Foundation President, Jim Bueermann, Receives 2018 Center for Evidence-Based Crime Policy Distinguished Achievement Award

Pictured: David Weisburd, Director of CEBCP, Chief (Ret.) and Police Foundation President, Jim Bueermann, and Laurie Robinson, Clarence J. Robinson Professor of Criminology, Law and Society at GMU. Photo by: Ron Aira/Creative Services/George Mason University

June 22, 2018, WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Police Foundation is pleased to announce that its President, Chief (ret.) Jim Bueermann, was selected as the recipient of the 2018 Center for Evidence-Based Crime Policy Distinguished Achievement Award. President Bueermann received the award on June 21, 2018, at the annual CEBCP Symposium at George Mason University.

The Center for Evidence-Based Crime Policy established the “CEBCP Distinguished Achievement Award in Evidence-Based Crime Policy” in 2010. Consistent with the mission of the Center, this award recognizes outstanding achievements and contributions by individuals in academia, practice, or the policy arena who are committed to a leadership role in advancing the use of scientific research evidence in decisions about crime and justice policies. This role includes notable efforts in connecting criminology, law and society researchers with criminal justice institutions, or advancing scientific research more generally in crime and justice.

“Evidence-based practice is critical for continuous improvement within the criminal justice field,” said Jim Bueermann, President of the Police Foundation and former Chief of Police in Redlands, California. “Researchers and practitioners can collaborate to make more effective policy decisions that are supported by facts.”   

The Police Foundation is committed to advancing policing through innovation and science. For more than 45 years, the Foundation’s focus has been conducting scientific research experiments in order to make evidence-based recommendations to the law enforcement field, translating research findings to inform decisions on policies, procedures, training, technology, and officer safety for police departments across the United States.  

“By combining research evidence with the expertise of criminal justice leaders, we can ensure evidence-based decisions are being made that will not only improve the criminal justice system, but benefit the entire community of people it serves.”

Jim Bueermann (far right) and Edmund McGarrell (second from right) were the two recipients of the 2018 CEBCP Distinguished Achievement Award. Photo by: Ron Aira/Creative Services/George Mason University

If you would like more information on the George Mason CEBCP, please visit

National Survey Finds Public Wants More Say on Law Enforcement Practices

Researchers to follow new findings with site visits to gather more data on effective public engagement

June 20, 2018, Washington, D.C. — Today, New York University Law School’s Policing Project, the Police Foundation, and the National Urban League released a new study, Beyond the Conversation: Ensuring Meaningful Police-Community Engagement, which highlights the public’s desire for more say in policing matters.

Click on the image to view a full copy of the report, including key findings and next steps.

“The study shows that although many police agencies are trying to engage the public, much more needs to be done to ensure the public has a meaningful say in how their communities are policed,” said NYU Law Professor and Policing Project Director Barry Friedman. “Members of the public want to have input, but are skeptical departments will listen. Departments say they lack resources to hear from the public, or are themselves doubtful the public understands enough about policing to be helpful.”

Still, there is reason for optimism. Many departments are trying to reach the public, and indicated they would do more if the resources were available.

“The police can build on the relationships they do have, and take steps to hear what the community wants before changing policy,” Friedman said.

The study found many law enforcement agencies still view community engagement as a way to tell the public about new policy changes, rather than listening to the community’s input at the policy development stage.

“Substantive engagement isn’t easy, but it is essential,” said Police Foundation President Jim Bueermann. “This finding suggests an opportunity for agencies to continue building legitimacy and trust by considering ways to factor the public’s voice into their decision-making.”

Building on these findings, the project partners will conduct site visits to jurisdictions across the country to learn more about promising examples of community engagement around key policing decisions, and to identify best practices tailored to agencies of different sizes and needs. The work will culminate with a major convening at NYU School of Law next spring.

“The survey results make clear that community members want a greater sense of shared ownership in the work of their police department and the safety of their neighborhoods,” said National Urban League President Marc H. Morial. “We look forward to working with our project partners to identify promising approaches to fostering this sort of engagement.”

This study was undertaken with the support of a grant from the Charles Koch Foundation, an organization supporting students, scholars, and partners exploring wide range of inquiry including criminal justice and policing reform, free speech and open inquiry, foreign policy, economic opportunity, and innovation.

For more information, you can learn more about the report here. Inquiries can be directed to:

Maria Ponomarenko
Deputy Director, Policing Project

Law Enforcement Agencies Across the U.S. Standing Up to Hate Crimes

Fifty-four agencies have accepted a national law enforcement challenge to release open data on hate and bias-motivated crime, making the data more accessible to communities 

May 30, 2018 (WASHINGTON, D.C.) — As of May 2018, more than 50 police agencies have chosen to participate in an unprecedented national law enforcement movement to release open data on hate and bias crime. The Police Foundation’s initiative marks an important step by police departments to promote transparency and collaboration with the communities they serve and increase awareness about hate crime. Although hate crime information submitted by some law enforcement agencies is published by the federal government annually, by participating in this initiative, agencies are committed to making the data more accessible to their communities and in a more timely manner.

Hate crimes are often underreported and consequently not well documented. By releasing this information to the public in the form of open data, agencies can help narrow the reporting gap, call more attention to the problem in an effort to better prevent these incidents, and set a foundation for two-way engagement and problem-solving between law enforcement and the community. More accurate reporting will ultimately lead to a better understanding of hate crime in the United States, which in turn will enable informed decision-making around preventing and addressing this type of offense.

“Hate and bias crimes affect many citizens,” said Police Chief J. Thomas Manger, Montgomery County Police. “By making the data from these incidents public through open data reporting, all residents can be aware of these incidents and work together with law enforcement to help the community overcome and prevent hate crimes.”

A list of the 54 participating law enforcement agencies.

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) was a key partner to the Police Foundation in this initiative through active outreach to agencies across the country.

“The importance of this initiative lies not in earlier access to data, but in the statement open data makes about law enforcement’s commitment to fighting hate crimes,” said David Friedman, VP of Law Enforcement and Community Security, ADL.

Agencies unfamiliar with the practice of releasing open data on hate crimes can access the Police Foundation’s guide: Releasing Open Data on Hate Crimes: A Best Practices Guide for Law Enforcement, which includes case studies of other departments who released open hate crime data in their jurisdictions.

“We applaud these law enforcement agencies for their commitment to public safety as they draw attention to the unacceptable problem of hate crimes,” said Jim Bueermann, President, Police Foundation. “Better hate crime data will position agencies and communities to take a stronger stance against these types of crimes.”

Established in 1970, the Police Foundation is a national, non-partisan, non-profit organization dedicated to improving policing through innovation and science. For 48 years, the Foundation has conducted research on all aspects of policing and is leading the way in promoting and sharing evidence-based practices and innovation among law enforcement. The Foundation is currently working with hundreds of police agencies nationwide, as well as internationally, providing research and translation, training, technical assistance, and modern technology implementation. The Foundation is a leader in officer safety and wellness, community policing, open-data, investigations, and law-enforcement technology. The Foundation’s main goal is to improve the way police do their work and the delivery of police services, in order to benefit officers and the communities they serve, as well as reduce crime.  


If you would like more information on open data and policing, please contact Garrett Johnson, Research Assistant, Police Foundation, by email at or by phone at 202-833-1460. You may also visit the Police Foundation main website at

Fraud Alert: Calls Soliciting Donations for the “Police Foundation”


This post is updated with a statement about the third party service provider used to collect donations, as well as a link to our privacy policy. Furthermore, this post serves as a reminder that the national Police Foundation does NOT solicit donations via phone, and that if you have been contacted via telephone and asked to make a donation to the national Police Foundation in Washington, D.C., it is a scam.

The Police Foundation, a national, Washington, D.C.-based non-profit organization dedicated to advancing policing through science and innovation, has received information from several individuals who have been contacted by solicitors asking for donations in support of the “Police Foundation.”

The Police Foundation does NOT solicit donations from anyone via phone. If you have been contacted via telephone and asked to make donations to the national Police Foundation in Washington, D.C., this is a scam.

Please note that many legitimate local (and unaffiliated) police foundations and organizations DO solicit donations from local communities and may do so via telephone. If you receive such a call, we encourage you to take note of who is calling (by name and number), the date and time. We also encourage you to require donation information to be sent to you via U.S. Mail before considering any donation.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) maintains an online reporting system for telemarketing and other scams, which can be found at and many State Attorneys General offer assistance in reporting and responding to fraud.

Unfortunately scammers sometimes exploit the names of honorable organizations in an attempt to trick generous individuals into making donations. Please be aware of this. We do our best to prevent individuals from illegally using our name in an attempt to fraudulently collect donations. We continue to maintain awareness on our site that these types of scams exist.

The Police Foundation will closely monitor the information and complaints it receives and will share information with authorities as appropriate.


Our donations are handled through a third party service provider: PayPal, Inc., who has its own privacy and security policies. When making a donation, PayPal, Inc. may collect personal identification information to process the payment. In order to complete the donation form, users may be asked to share, as appropriate, their name, email address, and phone number. PayPal, Inc. is regarded as a highly-secure online payment option; however, the Police Foundation is not responsible for the practices of websites linked to our site. Please visit the PayPal, Inc. website to view their security policies on collecting your personal identification information.

For more information, please view our Privacy Policy:

Law Enforcement – Mental Health Learning Sites Expansion

The Council of State Governments (CSG) Justice Center, in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) and the Police Foundation, selected four law enforcement agencies to join the Law Enforcement – Mental Health Learning Site initiative. The Madison County (TN) Sheriff’s Office, Arlington (MA) Police

Department, Jackson County (OH) Sheriff’s Office, and Tucson (AZ) Police Department were chosen through a competitive process to participate in the BJA-supported initiative. These four agencies join the current six sites to deliver peer-to-peer learning through a diverse cross-section of model strategies and examples of successful collaborations between law enforcement and mental health agencies. The 10 learning sites offer their experiences and expertise to promote strategies that can save the life of an officer, community member, or family member.

Read about the Expansion of the National Law Enforcement – Mental Health Learning Site Program and visit the Law Enforcement Mental Health Learning Sites website to access the Police – Mental Health Collaboration Toolkit and to learn how to request technical assistance with a similar collaboration project in your area.

Police Foundation Grieves Passing of Executive Fellow Tom Engells

The Police Foundation grieves the sudden passing of PF Executive Fellow and UTMB Police Chief Tom Engells this past Sunday. Please see below for a message about Chief Engells from UTMB’s President, Dr. David Callender:

“Chief Engells has led our Police Department since 2010, and has been part of the UT System family for more than 34 years. Under his dynamic leadership, UTMB became the first UT System police department to achieve national accreditation for excellence from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA). He was named the inaugural UT System Police Chief of the Year in 2011 and again in 2014, and also earned “Law Enforcement Administrator of the Year” by the Texas Association of College and University Police Administrators. More recently, Chief Engells achieved international recognition for his expertise in biosecurity.

He was also a proud veteran of the United States Marine Corps. His accomplishments and contributions to UTMB, UT System and the policing profession were many. Most of all, Tom was our brilliant and witty colleague whose humble, soft-spoken nature had a powerful impact on all who knew him. We will surely miss him.

Please keep Tom’s wife, Peggy, and his daughter, Laura, in your thoughts during this most difficult time.”
Tom was always fun, insightful, and a pleasure to work with. He will be greatly missed at the Police Foundation.

New Report: Rescue, Response, and Resilience: A Critical Incident Review of the Orlando Public Safety Response to the Attack on the Pulse Nightclub

On June 12, 2016, what began as an active shooter incident when a lone gunman entered the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida, and began shooting innocent club goers transitioned into a barricaded suspect with hostages incident and ended as the deadliest terrorist attack on American soil since September 11, 2001. This Critical Incident Review provides a detailed overview of current active shooter and hostage negotiation protocols within the context of a terrorist event; leadership and interagency relationships; tactical response and command and control; equipment and training; emergency medical care; officer safety and post-event responder wellness; post-incident investigation; media and public information; and, community engagement.

To read the report, click here.

To view the interactive e-report, click here.

Help Inform the Community Engagement Playbook

Together, the Police Foundation, the Policing Project at NYU Law, and the National Urban League have partnered to conduct a comprehensive, nationwide survey of effective best practices for police-community engagement. We are surveying both police departments and community members and organizations to learn about the many ways that departments engage their communities.

To learn more about the surveys and the project, visit:

A Message from Police Foundation President Jim Bueermann

Dear Friends,

As you and others involved in policing know very well, the role of our nation’s finest and the job these men and women courageously do every day comes with great cost. At times, this work is misunderstood. Yet we continue to have faith and confidence in America’s most noble profession – policing.

As we witness and participate in conversations about law enforcement issues, it becomes very evident that it is far too difficult to find independent, nonpartisan research and resources that can help improve our collective understanding and can help us separate fact from fiction. Objective, unbiased research and resources for executives, command staff, and the rank and file, as well as our political and community stakeholders, is exactly what we – collectively – need.

The Police Foundation is the oldest nationally known, nonprofit, non-partisan, and non-membership-guided organization dedicated to improving policing in America. We are unique in our independence, our work, and our people, and we leverage this uniqueness as we support the advancement of policing through innovation and science. Throughout our history, we have always insisted that our work have a practical impact on policing and that the knowledge gained through empirical investigation be applicable outside the “laboratory,” informing police work.

Looking ahead, we need to better understand how the national conversations are impacting police organizations, leaders, and those on the front lines. We need to dig deeper into sometimes difficult or daunting issues such as effectively policing peaceful and non-peaceful mass demonstrations, preventing and effectively responding to incidents of mass violence, and understanding how these issues impact the officers and their families, as well as the communities that they serve and that they too are a part of. Topics such as officer safety and violent crime are at the top of our agenda in 2018, as is exploring the role of cutting edge technologies such as virtual and augmented reality and artificial intelligence in policing. We will continue to address these areas through our unique combination of science and research with practical experience and innovation, all with the goal of translating critical research findings into practical guidance for executives and officers on the street alike.

As President of the Police Foundation, I ask you to consider supporting our work, to help us identify policing best practices and share those best practices with others.

On #GivingTuesday, support effective American policing by supporting the Police Foundation. To make a donation, please click here or click the Donate button above. The Police Foundation is an exempt organization under IRC section 501(c)(3). Donations are deductible to the full extent of the law and will help us continue our critical work.

Any level of support is appreciated. Even if you are not in a position to donate, I hope you will join me in sharing the news about our mission, our work, and our commitment.

Thank you, and be safe.


Jim Bueermann

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