Collaborative Reform Initiative
Department of Justice Announces Changes to the Collaborative Reform InitiativeSeptember 18, 2017
Last Friday, the Department of Justice announced changes to the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS Office) Collaborative Reform Initiative for Technical Assistance (CRI-TA) that are meant, according to the DOJ’s announcement, “to better align the program with the principles outlined by the Attorney General in support of local law enforcement and the original intent of the authorizing statute.” The changes have been made effective immediately and will provide targeted technical assistance directly to local law enforcement based on their identified needs and requests.
We are not yet fully certain what it means to the Collaborative Reform Initiative we have spent months working on, but the City and Police Department remain committed to a technical assessment process that results in specific recommendations for improvement. We are currently in the process of working through other options to determine if there is a potential to continue the valuable work started with the collaborative reform process, in an effort to bring the assessment to completion, with workable recommendations. In the meantime, we remain encouraged that the DOJ will continue to provide us with tailored technical assistance as we continue to work on goals and objectives originally identified through community input, at the beginning of the CRI-TA process.Although we are disappointed that the assessment and recommendations will not be completed under CRI-TA, we find it promising that tailored technical assistance will still be provided that will assist us in reaching the goals and objectives originally outlined at the start of this important process.
Department of Justice Press Release
City of St. Anthony Selected to Participate in Department of Justice's Collaborative Reform Initiative
The City is pleased to announce that it has been selected for participation in the United States Department of Justice's Collaborative Reform Initiative for Technical Assistance (CRI-TA). CRI-TA is focused on helping cities find and implement ways to improve trust between law enforcement agencies and the communities they serve by providing a means to achieve organizational transformation. The City requested this assistance with the goal of furthering continuous improvement within our policing efforts and citizen engagement process. In other words, the City is open to having national experts tell us what is working and what can be improved in implementing community oriented policing.
The CRI-TA uses assessment and technical assistance providers to coordinate the work through the involvement of subject matter experts, interviews, data and records analysis, research and analysis, and direct observations. The mayor, city council and staff are excited to begin this multi-year process of identifying issues and enhancing the relationships within our community. One of our fundamental goals is to create systems that are sustainable and able to become embedded within the fabric of our community.
St. Anthony's Role
The City has taken this step voluntarily. It is only the 16th city in the nation to be selected for inclusion in the program. The St. Anthony Police Department will be the smallest department nationwide to participate. According to Justice Department officials, approximately 75% of police departments across the nation are the size of St. Anthony's force of 23 officers. It is hoped that this process will not only bring positive change to our City, but serve as a best practices model for similarly-sized agencies across the country.
Goals and Objectives
The Department of Justice Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS Office) developed a goal and objectives document specific to SAPD that outlines the issues to be addressed through the assessment: vehicle and pedestrian stops; community policing practices; recruitment, hiring, and promotional practices; and accountability.
The goal and objectives were developed through the information from the three listening sessions and engagement with a variety of stakeholders including the St. Anthony Police Department, the community, and government stakeholders as part of the site initiation phase. The COPS Office feels that these objectives represent the most pressing issues heard and observed. Each of these objectives are of critical importance and can have significant long-term value to St. Anthony, Falcon Heights, and Lauderdale, as well as policing nationally. The goal and objectives will be the roadmap for the Collaborative Reform assessment. The COPS Office will continually review these objectives to ensure they are meeting the needs of the department and the communities, and assess if something needs to be added or broadened based on the work.
The “Goal and Objectives Document” is also posted on the COPS Office website at https://cops.usdoj.gov/collaborativereform under the “Saint Anthony Police Department” tab. We look forward to continuing our work under the assessment phase.