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Press Release

Department of Justice Announces New Guidebook on 21st Century Policing

For Immediate Release
Office of Public Affairs

Attorney General Lynch to Launch Phase Two of Six-City Community Policing Tour Highlighting Jurisdictions that Effectively Implement Recommendations in the 21st Century Policing Guidebook

The Department of Justice today released a new resource guide called The President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing Implementation Guidebook, which outlines strategies to help communities, law enforcement and local government implement recommendations in the President's Task Force on 21st Century Policing Report.  President Obama announced the new guidebook today at the International Association of Chiefs of Police Convention in Chicago.   

As part of the announcement, the Attorney General will launch Phase Two of the Justice Department’s Community Policing Tour.  Each stop along the six-city tour will highlight a jurisdiction that is effectively implementing one of the six pillars outlined in the task force guidebook.

“The Department of Justice is dedicated to building trust between law enforcement officers and the communities they serve; enlisting the public’s assistance in reducing crime; and creating the stronger and safer communities that all Americans deserve,” said Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch.  “This implementation guide offers a crucial blueprint for elected officials, law enforcement officers, and community leaders alike as they work to put important policies and reforms into practice across the country.”

The President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing Implementation Guide highlights specific actions for local elected and appointed government officials, law enforcement agencies, communities and other stakeholders to support a comprehensive approach to reduce crime and build trust and legitimacy,” said Director Ronald Davis of the Office Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS Office).  “Success will require collaboration and partnerships among these groups.”

Guidebook Summary on 21st Century Policing: Five Ways Stakeholder Groups Can Implement the Task Force’s Recommendations


1. Engage with local law enforcement; participate in meetings, surveys, and other activities.

2. Participate in problem-solving efforts to reduce crime and improve quality of life.

3. Work with local law enforcement to ensure crime-reducing resources and tactics are being deployed that mitigate unintended consequences.

4. Call on state legislators to ensure that the legal framework does not impede accountability for law enforcement.

5. Review school policies and practices, and advocate for early intervention strategies that minimize involvement of youth in the criminal justice system.

Law enforcement

1. Review and update policies, training, and data collection on use of force, and engage community members and police labor unions in the process.

2. Increase transparency of data, policies, and procedures.

3. Call on the POST Commission to implement all levels of training.

4. Examine hiring practices and ways to involve the community in recruiting.

5. Ensure officers have access to the tools they need to keep them safe

Local government

1. Create listening opportunities with the community.

2. Allocate government resources to implementation.

3. Conduct community surveys on attitudes toward policing, and publish the results.

4. Define the terms of civilian oversight to meet the community’s needs.

5. Recognize and address holistically the root causes of crime.

The President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing was charged by President Barack Obama with identifying best practices and offering recommendations on how policing practices can promote effective crime reduction while building public trust.  The task force submitted its final report to the President in May 2015.  In July 2015, the White House and the COPS Office convened a forum of elected officials, police executives and community members to jointly discuss the task force recommendations and share strategies for implementation.

The implementation guide is a companion to the task force report and is informed by strategies shared at the July convening and feedback from the field.  It provides guidance on implementing the task force’s 59 recommendations and 92 action items and serves as a resource for law enforcement, local government, community members and other stakeholders interested in concrete examples of how to turn the task force recommendations into action. 

The President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing Implementation Guidebook is available here:  Further information about the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing is available here:

The COPS Office is a federal agency responsible for advancing community policing nationwide.  Since 1995, the COPS Office has invested more than $14 billion to advance community policing, including grants awarded to more than 13,000 state, local and tribal law enforcement agencies to fund the hiring and redeployment of more than 127,000 officers and provide a variety of knowledge resource products including publications, training and technical assistance.  For additional information about the COPS Office, please visit 

Updated November 9, 2020

Press Release Number: 15-1318