Strategic Priorities

The primary goal of our work is to positively impact police practice. To that end, we focus our efforts on three strategic priority areas, identified below. You can also view our strategic plan, available here.

Safety & Wellness

We seek to build a culture of safety within law enforcement and to better define and measure what is meant by wellness to ensure that the issue of officer safety, wellness, and healthy police organizations is understood holistically and approached systematically. We believe this will result in a more comprehensive and effective approach to develop best practices and tools for improving safety and wellness in police organizations.

The National Policing Institute intends to pursue projects and collaborative partnerships in the following areas related to safety and wellness:

  • Examine the efficacy of tactics and interventions designed to improve officer safety.
  • Distinguish between and define safety, health, and wellness of officers versus organizations.
  • Understand how agencies develop a culture of wellness and develop tools to help agencies build these cultures.
  • Understand and improve how agencies operate in ways that promote a culture of safety and contribute to organizational wellness, to include operational practices and organizational processes.
  • Study and develop best practices in recruitment, hiring, retention, and training.
  • Support agencies in the development of self-assessment processes, such as after-action reviews, as is consistent with evidence-based policing.

Community Trust & the Legitimacy of Policing

We seek to explore all-encompassing questions related to trust between police and the communities they serve, and to translate research into best practices for agencies and communities across the nation.

The National Policing Institute intends to pursue projects and collaborative partnerships in the following areas related to community trust and policing in a democracy:

  • Examine and understand variables and drivers of public sentiment regarding police.
  • Study the efficacy and impact of procedural justice and develop tools and best practices to help police build and maintain legitimacy.
  • Improve how law enforcement seeks understanding from communities they serve and the relationship between police tactics and trust.
  • Explore the role of race and ethnicity on police response, particularly in marginalized and disproportionately impacted communities.
  • Study the militarization of policing and the use of emerging technologies and the associated impact on digital and community trust.
  • Examine and strengthen police engagement with victims and victim services as a component of community engagement.

Violence & Force

We seek to engage in work that positively informs and impacts policing practices related to preventing and reducing gun violence and deadly force. The National Policing Institute intends to pursue collaborative partnerships in the following areas related to force and firearms in policing:

  • Management and deployment of less lethal force within policing to reduce deadly outcomes.
  • Improve effectiveness of gun crime reduction strategies, including patrol, investigative, and other response strategies and tactics to build community confidence and reduce harm.
  • Examine organizational and environmental factors related to officer involved shootings to reduce harm to officers and communities.
  • Examine strategies and technologies to reduce gun violence and officer involved shootings.
  • Examine the dynamics of the decision-making process for officers in stressful situations to improve critical incident decisions and reduce harm to officers and communities.