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Officer and community member talking

Enhancing Procedural Justice in Hot Spots Policing

Hot spots policing strategies focus on small geographic areas or places, usually in urban settings, where crime is concentrated. As a result, hot spots policing has been found to reduce crime without displacement. But aggressive hot spots tactics could have long-term negative effects on legitimacy perceptions, which are key to democratic policing and have been linked to citizen compliance with the law. The President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing (p. 15) stressed the need to “specifically look at the potential for collateral damage of any given [crime fighting] strategy on community trust and legitimacy.” Procedural Justice (PJ) involves fair and respectful treatment of citizens by police. It has been argued that use of procedurally just approaches will increase legitimacy and reduce crime. The Procedural Justice in Hot Spots Policing study is the first to rigorously test these assumptions in the context of a field experiment in proactive policing. This study provides important guidance for agencies regarding present approaches to crime hot spots. It responds to the President’s Task Force (p. 40) conclusion that “Police interventions must be implemented with strong policies and training in place, rooted in an understanding of procedural justice.” The project identifies whether the use of procedural justice training can enhance both the crime control effectiveness of hot spots policing, and its ability to achieve effectiveness while encouraging positive legitimacy evaluations. The study also serves as an important next step in integrating evidence-based practices in hot spots policing with knowledge about the ways in which police can increase levels of procedural justice to enhance citizen perceptions of police legitimacy.

Emergency vehicles

Independent After-Action Reviews of Incident Responses – Technical Assistance

After-action reviews (AARs) can provide particularly objective observations, and evidence-based, actionable recommendations. When completed by independent experts who emphasize learning and improvement over assigning fault or blame, AARs can set the foundation for improved public and organizational policy, procedure, training and exercise. When law enforcement agencies respond to a mass violence attack, mass demonstration, or other incident or event, NPF’s AAR & Technical Assistance (TA) Program can provide independent assessments of the event response and targeted TA to assist the agency with focus areas. The purpose is to provide an independent, thorough review of the practices, protocols, systems and decisions surrounding law enforcement and public safety partners and the community in order to identify lessons learned to inform the first responders involved in the incident, as well as public safety organizations nationally, and offer technical assistance in priority areas. The program provides services ranging from peer-to-peer exchanges to in-depth review and analysis, all in with the underlying values of assisting departments in evolving their preparation and response to similar incidents and events.

Cop in traffic vest

National Law Enforcement Roadway Safety Program

According to data collected from the Officer Down Memorial Page, 535 law enforcement officers were killed from 2010-2019 in collisions and struck-by incidents on the nation’s roadways. More recently, the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund reported 44 law enforcement officers were killed in 2020 as a result of traffic-related incidents. Simply put, more can be done to protect law enforcement officers on the roadways. The National Law Enforcement Roadway Safety Program (NLERSP) seeks to address this critical safety need by 1) training officers in tactics and behaviors that will improve their safety while operating on the roadways and 2) guiding agencies to implement policies, procedures, training, and equipment that can reduce officer-involved collisions and struck-by incidents. The NLERSP provides a suite of no-cost, evidence-based training courses for executives, patrol officers, and trainers. These courses educate participants about the risk factors for officer-involved collisions and struck-by incidents and identify a variety of interventions and technological innovations that can reduce the likelihood of their occurrence. Additionally, the NLERSP provides customized technical assistance (TA) to help agencies make positive safety improvements. This assistance can include review and development of agency policies on roadway operations, review and assessment of an agency’s roadway safety training, assisting with the implementation of best practices, and/or providing research support to analyze an agency’s crash or injury data. The NLERSP is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Assistance, and managed by the National Police Foundation, in partnership with the Institute for Intergovernmental Research.

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