In 2015, the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing published its final report. This task force was created to “strengthen community policing and trust among law enforcement officers and the communities they serve.” The Professional Research Pool (PRP) for Criminal Justice Science has used these principles to guide the research focus and create a place for practitioners and researchers to collaborate on them. Each of the six pillars is described (summaries from the Task Force report) along with links to resources with more information.
Pillar One: Building Trust and Legitimacy
Building trust and nurturing legitimacy on both sides of the police/citizen divide is the foundational principle underlying the nature of relations between law enforcement agencies and the communities they serve. Decades of research and practice support the premise that people are more likely to obey the law when they believe that those who are enforcing it have authority that is perceived as legitimate by those subject to the authority. The public confers legitimacy only on those whom they believe are acting in procedurally just ways. In addition, law enforcement cannot build community trust if it is seen as an occupying force coming in from outside to impose control on the community. Pillar one seeks to provide focused recommendations on building this relationship.