This brief presents the survey results from before and after the implementation of the National Initiative, to measure the change in community-police relationships and trust.
The authors examine the change in community perceptions of police over the course of the National Initiative for Building Community Trust and Justice (National Initiative) implementation period. The goal of the National Initiative was to improve community-police relationships and trust, and the surveys were intended to document community members’ perceptions of the police and police-community relations in the six National Initiative pilot communities. The authors used purpose sampling methodology to survey residents of communities that had fraught relationships with police, and high rates of crime and victimization. The first survey found that residents across the six cities held negative views about their local police departments and their neighborhood conditions. The second survey was administered after the National Initiative was implemented and yielded similarly negative results, but there was notable variation among respondents across the six cities, in some, respondents’ perceptions grew significantly more positive while in others, perception did not change or grew more negative. The authors also noted change among key sociodemographic groups, specifically that Black respondents’ perceptions became considerably more positive.