Law Enforcement

Police officers stand guard as protesters react in Ferguson, MO

Police officers stand guard as protesters react to the announcement of the grand jury decision not to indict a police officer in the fatal shooting of Michael Brown, an unarmed, African American, teenager in Ferguson, Missouri.  (AP Photo/David Goldman)

In its 50 year history, the United States Department of Justice Community Relations Service has assisted law enforcement agencies in improving relations between policing officials and the communities they serve.  CRS aids law enforcement by:

  • Supporting the efforts of law enforcement agencies and communities to establish high levels of mutual trust and respect by facilitating needed dialogues, helping to establish Police-Community Advisory Boards and other collaborative processes,and working with both law enforcement agencies and community organizations to mediate conflicts stemming from perceptions of biased policing or the excessive use of force;
  • Developing and providing law enforcement officials and officers with cultural competency trainings, to inform them of the practices and norms of various communities, instruct them on words and behaviors that may be perceived as offensive, and assist them in forming trusting relationships with the communities they serve; and
  • Assisting officers in working with demonstration and protest organizers, volunteers, and participants in developing contingency plans for events and managing safe marches and demonstrations.

Below are several recent examples of CRS's work with law enforcement.  Additional case summaries may be found within CRS Annual Reports, located on the CRS Resource Center webpage.


Case Highlights

Updated November 12, 2015