If you are one of the thousands of law enforcement agencies across the country implementing community policing policies within your agency, you have probably already realized that implementing these policies is a long and complicated process. Community policing policy initiatives typically involve a vast array of individuals, including most or all sworn staff as well as a number of civilians and local representatives.
With so many different moving parts, how can you accurately and efficiently evaluate where your community policing implementation stands in relation to US law enforcement benchmark standards? And more importantly, where can you find specific advice to help strengthen areas where your policies may be falling behind?
The Community-Oriented Policing Services (COPS) is a component of the US Department of Justice and has been helping law enforcement agencies implement community policing policies for years through grants and resources crafted by community policing experts. In an effort to help guide law enforcement agencies implement community policing policies, COPS came up with a web-based self assessment tool called the CP-SAT.
The CP-SAT is one of the most comprehensive assessment tools available that will provide invaluable feedback to help agencies evaluate their implementation progress across various ranks and units. On top of comparing current progress against industry benchmarks, the CP-SAT also has important resources designed to help agencies strengthen any weaknesses that are identified in their implementation process. If you would like to learn more about the CP-SAT and see if your agency is eligible to administer it, you can find all of that on the COPS website here.
Besides the CP-SAT, the Community-Oriented Policing Services also offers grants to law enforcement agencies who need funding to get their community policing efforts off the ground. You can learn more about the different COPS grants and apply for one on their website here. Any agency who is granted funding for a COPS hiring program will be required to complete the CP-SAT.
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