CPE Publishes a New Community Toolkit for Improving Use of Force Policy

November 15 2023

The Center for Policing Equity (CPE) announces the publication of a new community toolkit titled Improving Use of Force Policy, a new resource for communities interested in conducting a critical analysis of police use of force policies and metrics. Research has shown that Black and Brown people are notably more likely to experience disproportionate levels of use of force at the hands of law enforcement agencies when compared to the frequency of use of force experienced by White people. The new resource provides guidance and helpful considerations for communities interested in forming working groups or advisory boards to collaborate with local law enforcement agencies to advance policies built on an equitable foundation. 

“To ensure comprehensive community safety, we must actively and regularly examine the protocols, policies, and procedures being practiced by local police departments,” said Brittenay Causieestko-Lee, CPE Director of Community Engagement. “Our hope is that this resource will create a clear path for local community stakeholders and organizations interested in opening conversations around a critical analysis of police use of force with local law enforcement agencies.”

Recommendations include research-backed policy guidance. Additional resources are available to support the toolkit in the Use of Force Resource Library. In general, the use of force policies should, at minimum, contain the following components: 

  • A clear and consistent list of definitions for policy terms
  • A limit of minimum force necessary 
  • Additional guidance on deadly force
  • Prohibited types of force
  • De-escalation requirements
  • Transparency, clarity, and consistency

This community tool is the latest offering under CPE’s Community Up program. Launched in June 2023, Community Up is an information-oriented program for community stakeholders who seek to take actionable steps toward change. Community Up offerings aim to engage in proactive knowledge sharing, peer-to-peer support network development, and platform sharing related to harm reduction and public safety redesign. 

Learn about all CPE resources available on the CPE Reports & Publications webpage.