The National Law Enforcement Knowledge Lab is a trusted resource for law enforcement and the communities they serve. It supports public safety by identifying and disseminating fair and effective policing practices and technical assistance.
In 2022, the Department of Justice established the National Law Enforcement Knowledge Lab (Knowledge Lab), a first-of-its-kind resource hub to identify and publicly disseminate fair and effective policing practices, training, and technical assistance at no cost to the field. With over 18,000 police agencies throughout the United States, it is difficult to learn about effective programs, policies, and procedures that may help a jurisdiction address crime in a manner that reflects the ideals and requirements of the Constitution. The Knowledge Lab is an effort to collect and make available the many ideas and innovations that could help agencies seeking to improve their ability to protect and serve their communities.
Guiding Principles of the Knowledge Lab’s Work
The information and services provided by the Knowledge Lab embody the following principles:
- The central importance of constitutionally-based approaches to public safety
- The need for community empowerment and equity building in public safety
- Reliance on validated information and innovative approaches
- The crucial role of strategic and equitable enforcement
- Promote continuous organizational, and professional improvement
- Practice transparency
The Knowledge Lab’s project team is committed to providing guidance, consultation, advice, and assistance to agencies, departments, and partner organizations to work together to protect the public while also preventing crime. The Knowledge Lab team will assist law enforcement in assessing their constitutional practices, policies, training, and outcomes. The team will work to identify and fill gaps in the available resources, training, and services needed by law enforcement to strengthen these practices.
Any community may engage with the Knowledge Lab to access information and expert assistance about implementing effective, evidence-informed, and constitutionally-based law enforcement approaches that reduce crime, strengthen public trust, and support equal access to justice. The Knowledge Lab’s vast network of subject matter experts will collaborate extensively with a broad cross-section of law enforcement practitioners, researchers, policymakers, and community stakeholders. It will deliver, at no cost, vital resources that support the voluntary development and implementation of crime reduction strategies that are constitutional, evidence-informed, and built upon a foundation of partnership with local communities.
The ultimate role of the Knowledge Lab is to assist the field in discerning which programs and approaches have been effective and how they may best be implemented in their community. Through various tools, resources, and direct technical assistance, the Knowledge Lab will assist agencies in determining how to enhance efforts to meet their goals.
The overall goals of the Knowledge Lab include:
- Ensure that police agencies, stakeholders, and communities have the resources and information necessary to implement effective public safety strategies, policies, training, and programs that: comport with the requirements and ideals of the U.S. Constitution; are supported by state-of-the-art knowledge and research evidence; improve the organizational and individual performance to meet the challenges of the 21st century better, and strengthen public trust in the criminal justice system.
- Provide practical, accessible assistance to police agencies seeking to assess their policing practice, policy, training, and outcomes related to constitutionally-based approaches.
- Identify core competencies of constitutional policing based on the Department of Justice’s programmatically developed evidence-based policy and lessons learned for efforts to address systemic constitutional violations by police agencies through pattern or practice investigations and the enforcement of consent decree litigations.
- Identify gaps in resources, training, and services that the Department of Justice should consider developing for police agencies.
- Provide on-demand consultation, advice, and assistance to departments and partner organizations to work together to protect the public, prevent crime through constitutionally based policing practices and strategies, and enable police and community members to collaboratively co-produce public safety.
- Collaborate with thought leaders regarding constitutional policing, including civil rights advocacy organizations, police reform experts, community-based organizations, and national and international academic research institutions
Strategic Priority Area(s)
Project Status: Active
Project Period: October 2022 -
Strategic Priority Area(s)