At the beginning of 2023, the U.S. Council on Policing Reforms and Race officially presented over fifty research-based recommendations to help address some of the most pressing problems facing police and public safety in the United States. These recommendations can be used as a roadmap for policy makers, officials, police executives and community leaders interested in improving public safety.
The National Policing Institute convened the Council as an independent body to pinpoint opportunities for policing reforms with a focus on helping to address racial disparities. The Council includes young people, community members, business and religious leaders, law enforcement leaders and researchers.
The Council’s recommendations are related to traffic stops, mental health and substance abuse, body cameras, community-based violence prevention, police culture, fines and fees, policing in schools and other important aspects of public safety.
In 2020, the National Policing Institute announced the formation of the Policing Reforms and Race Council, an independent initiative aimed at supporting excellence in policing, addressing racial disparities, and building and enhancing trust and legitimacy.
The Council is a non-partisan, majority African American-led initiative that uses research and evidence to consider and offer recommendations for solving some of the most important and pressing issues related to policing reforms and race.
In doing so, the Institute recognizes the role that racism, prejudice, social and organizational culture, and patterns and practices have played in the deterioration of trust and respect between law enforcement and African American communities. Thus, the Institute accompanies the Council to offer comments, recommendations and solutions to address these problems.
While several national panels and commissions have been presented previously to address similar areas of concern, this effort distinguishes itself by bringing together a broad cross-section of perspectives, indicating what we know and don’t know regarding these issues, and raising the voices of African Americans working inside and outside the policing profession.
The recommendations section of the report lists actions that should be taken to reduce or eliminate racial disparities in different contexts, such as police traffic stops, police culture or violence prevention.
Regarding the police culture section, the recommendations are based on enhancing the community perspective within police organisations, promoting a culture of safety and community service, conducting research on police culture and strategies to change this culture, improving legitimacy through procedural justice and enhancing training and certification standards to support a culture of safety and service.