Our Work

In 2010, Vera received funding from the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS Office) to take a comprehensive look at how law enforcement agencies are developing effective police-immigrant relations and document those practices in a national guide. Vera’s EPIC project provides practical information for law enforcement agencies and community partners that are interested in either beginning or enhancing their work with immigrant communities. EPIC resources include:

  • Publication. Outlines the eight key principles for effective police-immigrant relations, and discusses how 10 policing agencies featured in the report have applied the principles on the ground through a variety of promising practices.
  • Online Toolkit. Includes program documents collected from the 10 profiled agencies to serve as samples and models for other agencies. These documents include policies for serving immigrant communities, curricula for training law enforcement and community members, and outreach materials.
  • Podcasts. Seven podcasts are available online as part of The Beat podcast series at the COPS Office’s website. Each features a question and answer session with law enforcement personnel involved in the implementation of a program or practice featured in the report.

Why EPIC? As the number of immigrants living in the United States continues to increase, fostering positive police-immigrant relations is vital for creating partnerships central to community policing and solving problems within a community. Yet law enforcement agencies face many challenges in working with immigrant communities, including some that have the potential to significantly hamper trust and confidence. Cultural and language barriers, immigrants’ fear of deportation or detention, and immigrants’ mistrust of law enforcement are some of the factors that can challenge police-immigrant relations. Police need to be able to collaborate effectively with all of the people they serve so that they can detect crime, offer protection, gather evidence, and keep the public safe.

Related Resources

The EPIC Project is one of several Vera projects that work to advance relations between police and immigrant communities. Other related project topics include:

For more information about EPIC or the other policing projects, contact Susan Shah.