Task Force on 21st Century Policing Diffusion Assessment

Project Summary

The National Police Foundation (NPF) is partnering with the Joyce Foundation and 21CP Solutions to assess the reach, impact, challenges, and successes of the 21st Century Policing Task Force Report (21CPTFR) principles. In May 2015, the report delivered 156 recommendations and action items to law enforcement agencies and the federal government. These were organized within six pillars—building trust and legitimacy, policy and oversight, technology and social media, community policing and crime reduction, training and education, and officer wellness and safety.

This project examines 21CPTFR’s reach and impact in the law enforcement field in the five years following the publication release. The overarching goals include:

  • exploring the extent to which the principles and strategies that underlie the 21CPTR have influenced changes in policing or have otherwise been absorbed into the field;
  • examining catalysts and inhibitors to implementation of these principles and strategies; and,
  • providing examples of agencies that have or have not implemented these principles and the ways in which they have done so, or, if they have not, the barriers.



NPF is conducting a literature review, policy evaluation, and environmental scan related to 21CPTFR and its principles, strategies, and recommendations. To the extent possible, NPF will use quantifiable measures to demonstrate the diffusion of concepts. The NPF team will also conduct exploratory inquiries and structured individual or group interviews with executives,  agency representatives, and key stakeholders to understand diverse perspectives on implementation. Additionally, NPF will administer a survey that probes high-level absorption and use of 21CPTFR principles and concepts, which will provide additional qualitative data on stakeholder perceptions. To provide specifics around 21CPTFR-based work conducted in cities and counties around the country, the NPF, with input from the Joyce Foundation, will develop several ‘case studies’ to provide detailed information on the advancements some agencies have made with or without the assistance of the 21CPTFR principles. NPF will compile and analyze the data collected through prior tasks to develop a final report based on the information collected and data analysis.



In December 2014, the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing (“the Task Force”) was established in the aftermath of police uses of force in Ferguson, Cleveland, New York City, and related protests across the United States. The Task Force focused on how policing practices can promote effective crime reduction while building public trust.

Five years later, law enforcement agencies, communities, and other stakeholders have made strides to adopt concepts underlying 21CPTFR. However, while this project was well underway, another high-profile police incident, this time in Minneapolis, sparked global protests. Nevertheless, these events starkly underscored critical, ongoing deficits in trust between law enforcement agencies and the people they protect and serve.

Much important work still needs to be done to improve community-police relations. The 21CPTR diffusion assessment aims to identify gaps, barriers, and opportunities for adoption. With that, agencies and communities have the data and evidence for continuing to build on the 21CPTFR’s recommendations in the next five years.



Final publications will be released in Spring 2021. 


Funding & Collaboration

This project is being supported by the Joyce Foundation.


Points of Contact

Jennifer Zeunik
Director of Local Programs
National Police Foundation
(202) 721-9769



President’s Task Force, 21st Century Policing, community policing, procedural justice, police legitimacy, diffusion