Collaborative Reform Initiative for Technical Assistance

Project Purpose/Goal

In September 2014, the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) selected the Police Foundation as a provider for Collaborative Reform Initiative for Technical Assistance (CRI-TA). The purpose of the CRI-TA is to provide support to law enforcement agencies in building community relationships and organizational capacity through sustainable organizational transformation.  According to the COPS Office, “Collaborative Reform is a long-term, holistic strategy that identifies issues within an agency that may affect public trust. It offers recommendations based on a comprehensive agency assessment for how to resolve those issues and enhance the relationship between the police and the community.“[1]


Study Method

Understanding that each Collaborative Reform site has specific goals and objectives, the Police Foundation engages with Subject matter experts, to address key areas of study identified for the CRI-TA process.  At the direction of the COPS Office, the PF CRI-TA team completes four phases of inquiry: (1) the conducting of a preliminary assessment of the identified key issues facing the organization and their community; (2) the identification of systemic organizational issues through research and data analysis; (3) the provision of research findings, recommendations, and technical assistance to implement organizational change based on community policing strategies; and (4) the provision of continued support, evaluation, and tools to ensure the sustainability of the organization’s capacity to conduct continual self-evaluation and self-correction.

The Police Foundation assessment team includes law enforcement, community engagement and other specialized subject matter experts who collectively they use their knowledge and experience, findings from the data analysis, reviews of policies and procedures, interviews, and observations of agency practices to address gaps and weaknesses.  They use those results to develop a comprehensive assessment report, with findings and recommendations. Based on those findings and recommendations, the PF Team, in collaboration with the COPS Office and the client agency, develop a Technical Assistance plan to help the agency implement recommendations and reach goals. The Collaborative Reform assessment and subsequent technical assistance efforts serve to enhance and strengthen the relationship between the agency and the community through problem solving, engagement and partnership development, and organizational transformation around the specific issues identified in the CRI-TA process.


Collaborative Reform Jurisdictions

North Charleston Police Department, North Charleston SC: The goal of Collaborative Reform with the North Charleston Police Department is to assess, monitor, and assist the North Charleston Police Department (NCPD), in concert with the community, in the implementation and sustainment of reforms that improve community-oriented policing practices, transparency, professionalism, accountability, community inclusion, fairness, effectiveness, and public trust, taking into account national standards, best practices, current and emerging research, and community expectations. The PF Team will assess use of force practices and outcomes; assess the impact of enforcement operations on historically marginalized and discriminated against populations, such as persons of color, the LGBTQ community, persons with mental illness, persons with physical disabilities, and the homeless population; assess community-oriented policing practices throughout the department; assess the citizen complaint process; and assess recruitment, hiring, promotions and personnel practices. The project is underway and an initial report will be released in 2017. If you have any questions or comments about the work in North Charleston, please contact program administrators at

St. Louis County Police Department, St. Louis MO: The goal of Collaborative Reform with the St. Louis County Police Department (SLCPD) is to improve the recruitment, selection, and hiring processes to address minority underrepresentation in the department; enhance basic academy and supervisor in-service training with a specific focus on fair and impartial policing, community engagement, and partnership development; strengthen the policies, practices, training, and response for handling protests and mass demonstrations, including de-escalation training; improve the process quality for traffic stops and searches to prohibit racial profiling; reduce use of force and injuries to both officers and citizens; and develop a comprehensive communication strategy for SLCPD personnel and community partners that will serve to increase transparency about SLCPD police practices. For more information, read Collaborative Reform Initiative: An Assessment of the St. Louis County Police Department or visit the COPS Office Collaborative Reform page.


Points of Contact

Jennifer Zeunik
Director of Programs
(202) 833-1460

Blake Norton
Vice President and Chief Operating Officer
(202) 833-1460



Community policing; recruitment, selection and hiring; handling mass demonstrations; racial profiling; use of force; citizen complaints; fair and impartial policing; bias-free policing




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