The Police Perspectives series offers concrete strategies from officers in the field on how to police effectively and build trust with diverse communities. This series is divided into three guides, covering the following topics: 

  1. How to Increase Cultural Awareness provides a brief historical perspective of policing, tips on community-informed policing and maximizing collaboration with communities of color; strategies for how best to build trust during contentious incidents; and information on trauma and community-informed policing strategies.
  2. How to Serve Diverse Groups offers specialized approaches that can be helpful in reaching groups that have unique public safety needs, are highly vulnerable, or have historically been harmed by law enforcement. This guide details tips and information about how to reach many of these populations, including youth, immigrants and refugees, and transgender individuals.
  3. How to Support Trust Building in Your Agency is a resource for agency leadership who recognize that building trust is essential to effectively carrying out their public service duties, but who also know that moving from policy to practice can be challenging. This guide orients police officials seeking to integrate a community policing philosophy into their work, build institutional capacity and knowledge, and ensure their agency is representative of the diverse communities they serve.

Most of the contributors to this series are law enforcement officers of color who, due to personal and professional experiences, often have an especially nuanced and intimate understanding of the nature of community mistrust among communities of color, as well as what is needed to overcome it. The descriptions of programs and practices, together with multiple tips detailed in this guidebook series, are intended to be a resource for officers of all levels—from the patrol officer interacting with a specific racial or ethnic community to the police chief seeking to transform his or her agency into one that embodies community policing and facilitates community trust building at all levels.

The series was developed with support from the Department of Justice’s Office of Community Policing Services (COPS) and Community Relations Service (CRS). Vera also partnered with a number of law enforcement agencies, and various law enforcement organizations including the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE), the Hispanic American Police Command Officers Association (HAPCOA), the National Latino Peace Officers Association (NLPOA), and the New Jersey Asian American Law Enforcement Officers Association (NJAALEOA).