Today, the Attorney General of the United States, Loretta Lynch, announced a $7 million funding award for the Vision 21: Law Enforcement and the Communities They Serve: Supporting Collective Healing in the Wake of Harm initiative. The International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), in an unprecedented partnership with the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), the Yale Childhood Violent Trauma Center at the Yale School of Medicine (Yale), and the U.S. Department of Justice, will collaboratively apply their unique perspectives, knowledge, and expertise to address the pressing need to reduce harm in our communities.
The IACP, in collaboration with the NAACP and Yale, will provide dedicated resources, support, training, and technical assistance to law enforcement agencies to address the impact of trauma and community harm. The overarching goals of the initiative are to:
- Assist law enforcement agencies in assessing, developing, and implementing comprehensive, evidence-based, and trauma-informed collaborative response strategies, protocols, and interventions that promote community engagement and healing prior to, and in the wake of high-profile incidents of violence, including but not limited to officer-involved shootings; and
- Develop and disseminate comprehensive, expert technical assistance resources to law enforcement on trauma-informed culture and practice, to improve an agency’s internal capacity to understand and process the impact of vicarious trauma and community harm.
This initiative will build capacity within selected communities to create new and enhance existing collaborative partnerships that will equip law enforcement agencies with increased understanding, skills, tools, and practices to promote community engagement and healing. These relationships will serve the agency and community on a daily basis and better position individual officers and the agency to meet and respond to the needs of individuals, families, and the community in the event of a crisis. The IACP, NAACP, and Yale will work with selected police agencies to assess and address crucial issues on community needs, collaborative partnerships, policy development and implementation, and internal culture and accountability. These strategies will be shared with the wider field to support replication and implementation in order to create a victim-centered, trauma-informed, collaborative response that meets the needs of those most vulnerable following violence and traumatic events, including the responding officers and agency itself.
In addition, the IACP, NAACP, Yale, and DOJ will recruit and prepare members of a Rapid Response Team (RRT) of multi-disciplinary subject matter experts representing law enforcement, victim assistance, mental health, and community leadership, to be deployed nationwide to assist requesting law enforcement agencies with trauma-informed, victim-centered practices and approaches, and effective coordination of trauma-informed responses within communities in the wake of violent, critical incidents, and/or catastrophic events. Communities served by the RRT will receive evidence-based, trauma-informed crisis management and harm reduction strategies to promote problem-solving and maximize communications among the police agency, partners, and community.
This new, joint initiative furthers the efforts of IACP’s Institute for Community Police Relations (ICPR), which provides guidance and assistance to law enforcement agencies looking to enhance community trust by focusing on culture, policies, and practices. The ICPR was borne out of and is guided by the IACP National Policy Summit on Community-Police Relations Report and the Final Report of the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing.
For more information, visit www.iacp.org.