I am a: Community Member

The National Policing Institute partners with law enforcement, communities, and others, using research and training, to find and evaluate ways of improving the way police do their jobs, the way they partner with communities, and the way they protect those they serve.

Our mission is to encourage excellence in policing through science and innovation.

But what does that mean, and how does it impact me?

Every person wants to feel safe in their community. We all seek health and vitality for our neighborhoods and expect those in public service to answer the call with professionalism and dignity when we need help. In moments of crisis, we hope the police officer who responds will be courteous, well-trained, and equipped with the tools they need to do their best work. We hope that officers will stay safe in their jobs and return home to their families each night and likewise, we hope our neighbors do the same. Public safety impacts all of us, our family, our friends, and our greater community.

Given recent events in policing, what does the future hold? 

Law enforcement is one of our country’s most important professions and is a critical part of our democracy. The profession also isn’t easy on officers or their families. Our society is changing, and policing must evolve with it. With the right training, tools, and resources, we believe excellence in policing is achievable for the country’s more than 18,000 law enforcement agencies.

This feels like a stretch. How will we get there?

Community members, just like you and us, are watching closely as events across the country unfold involving police and citizen interactions. Though not often publicized, there are plenty of examples of policing leaders and organizations that are leading the way and in a positive direction. They understand the critical need for healthy police culture and sound relationships with those who the police have taken an oath to serve. But many of these efforts to improve policing from within lack the tools, funding, and research evidence that will help them change the status quo that is often challenging to take on, despite the desire for change.

What is the National Policing Institute doing to help?

We know excellence in policing is possible – which is why we partner with those in law enforcement to bring research and innovation to life and into practice. NPI is staffed by leading scientists in the criminal justice field who conduct in-depth research that equips law enforcement leaders with knowledge, data, and proven approaches to strengthen organizational culture, recruit and retain qualified officers, and build safety and resiliency in partnership with their communities. In 2022 alone, NPI held more than 160 training events, worked directly with 2,456 law enforcement agencies, and trained 9,535 officers and others. We can do more, but not without your help.

What makes NPI credible?

In 1967, the President’s Commission on Law Enforcement and the Administration of Justice is thought to have produced one of the most comprehensive surveys of crime and criminal justice in the nation’s history. Among the commission’s recommendations were higher standards of selection and training of police officers, better management, more effective community relations, and greater coordination of services. As the commission concluded its work and made a call for massive change in criminal justice, the Ford Foundation took the bold step of making a multi-year commitment to modernize policing through the creation of the National Policing Institute (then called the Police Foundation).

Fast forward to today, more than 50 years later, and the National Policing Institute still serves as the nation’s oldest, independent, non-partisan, and nonprofit research and policy organization dedicated solely to making policing better and thereby making communities safer.

How do I know NPI is making an impact?

Our vision is clear, and our compass tells us today, as it did more than 50 years ago, to work together with those in law enforcement to challenge the status quo in policing and law enforcement organizations. While we have been at this work for more than five decades, we believe that modern, professional policing has never been more critical than it is today. Our team is deeply embedded in major collaborations across the country, from small rural sheriff’s offices to departments serving massive metropolitan cities and even agencies abroad in Mexico and internationally. On the heels of critical incidents, our highly respected and accomplished scientists work together with those who have spent decades working in law enforcement to conduct after-action reviews. Our team asks tough questions and digs deep to find the truth for the betterment of the policing profession and the betterment of our communities.

When law enforcement agencies face unprecedented issues in recruitment, roadway safety, and violent crime in rural communities, our talented teams deploy technical training and assistance to support officers and elevate policing services within communities.

When law enforcement executives want to explore the responsible deployment of new technology, implement better policies, or connect with others in the field to brainstorm solutions to complex issues like election security or violence reduction, they turn to the National Policing Institute as a resource. Our leadership team comprises former executives from local and federal law enforcement and world-renowned criminologists and police scholars who are equally committed to community and policing.

How does NPI do its work?

The National Policing Institute has been a recognized 501(c)3 non-profit since 1970. We were named the top law enforcement charity by Impactful Ninja in August 2022, and for the third year in a row, we have been awarded the GuideStar Platinum Seal of Transparency, the highest transparency rating for nonprofit organizations by GuideStar. Many of our projects are funded through time-limited grants from governmental and private sources where the needs align with government priorities; however, there are many needs that may not align with individual funder’s priorities or timeline. Therefore, we rely on annual support from community organizations, corporate, and private citizens to respond more quickly to the most pressing challenges facing our communities and the policing profession.

Where do I come in?

As a community member, you have your ear to the ground. You understand the needs of your neighborhood, and your community’s law enforcement agencies, and you know you aren’t alone. By partnering with us, you can support our programs and operations, including training, technical assistance, and research that puts policing and communities on a new path forward. You can help prevent and reduce gun violence and help us test and develop new training that can reduce the need for deadly force, build trust between law enforcement and communities, and ensure officer safety, officer wellness, and healthy police organizations. We encourage you to consider supporting this work and joining us in making an impact locally and nationally.

What’s next?

  1. Make a Gift: Your donation will contribute directly to our mission. To make a secure gift online, click here.
  2. Workplace Giving: If you or someone you know has a workplace giving program, consider giving to the National Policing Institute. Many employers offer dollar-to-dollar matches of employee donations to charity. The Institute is a Platinum-rated charity on Candid (GuideStar). Our Federal EIN is 52-0906599 (dba “Police Foundation”).
  3. Spread the Word: Share information about the National Policing Institute through your workplace and social networks. Encourage friends, family, and colleagues to partner with us in our mission.
  4. Join Our Community: Connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and LinkedIn to stay updated on our work and impact.