Letter from the National Policing Institute ▸
The Board of Directors and staff of the National Policing Institute (the Institute) commend the co-chairs and all members of the Council on Policing Reforms and Race for committing to joining one another for honest and science-informed conversations about policing in America and the racial disparities and impacts that run deeply through our country, our communities, and the policing profession. With a variety of viewpoints represented on the Council, the group came together over the course of nearly 24 months to listen, learn, share, and support one another's ideas, lived experiences, and knowledge as it relates to the challenges facing policing and the United States.
The Institute was established in 1970 as the Police Foundation and introduced as a more effective mechanism to bring about change in policing and justice. With the Ford Foundation’s initial investment of $30 million and the generous contributions of many others, the Institute has and continues to engage in independent and non-partisan research, technical assistance, and training enabling local leaders and communities to challenge the status quo of policing services and safety. As Commissioner Patrick V. Murphy (retired) once shared, we take on these challenges not because we dislike policing or because we do not support those who so bravely serve but because we love the profession and so firmly believe in its importance within our communities and our democracy. As a non-membership and science-based non-profit organization, we remain committed and unafraid to depart from tradition in favor of new, bold ideas, innovations, and the ever-evolving path that science may lead us.
The Institute and its Board of Directors committed financial and programmatic support to the Council without influencing the findings and recommendations. The idea behind this approach was to support and lift voices from across the political and social spectrum and to hear the voices of those who have or identify with the lived experiences of many. The Council was intentionally not dominated by those from within policing, nor was it dominated by those critiquing it. Instead, the Council represents the voices of many in our communities, including advocates, officers, business leaders, elected officials, academics, and others who all have important views and perspectives to offer. Though we may not share these same perspectives or views in all cases, we support and respect all of the ideas, those who support them, and those that oppose them.
The Institute ultimately hopes that the work of the Council may serve as a roadmap for communities as they work to improve policing and safety. We believe that within the recommendations, there are many practical ideas for change, elements of future legislation, opportunities for science to contribute more, and ultimately, elements for a safer society. The Institute is committed to serving as a resource to local communities and agencies interested in pursuing these recommendations to the extent that resources allow.
In closing, we reflect on the challenges that we face together in creating a more just and safer society. To ensure that we do not continue toward a future of a segmented society, separate and unequal, we must all come together and work collaboratively to make changes for the betterment of all.
The National Policing Institute