Proactive Engagement in Traffic Enforcement and Safety

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Written by Master Police Officer Dimitrios Mastoras (Ret.) and Molly C. Mastoras, MA, LPC. Both authors are co-founders of Safe Night LLC, a global consulting firm that provides strategies to improve policing, nightlife management, and economic viability. This project was overseen and editorial direction was provided by Darrin T. Grondel, Senior Vice President of Traffic Safety at


In August 2021, recruited Safe Night to create guidance for law enforcement agencies to improve traffic enforcement and safety outcomes through meaningful engagement. In September 2021, and Safe Night attended the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) 2021 Annual Meeting. This conference featured a roundtable discussion with Chief Carmen Best (Ret.) of the Seattle Police Department; Denise Blake of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD); Jake Nelson from American Automobile Association (AAA); and Sherriff Aaron Appelhans from Albany County, Wyoming. The session specifically discussed the “steps the highway safety community is and should be taking to achieve greater equity in traffic enforcement and engagement, thus broadening the impact and effectiveness of safety programs” (GHSA, 2021). This discussion confirmed the need to develop a guiding document detailing actionable considerations to build support and understanding from the community when law enforcement is engaged in traffic enforcement initiatives.

As detailed later in this report, licensed professional counselor and Safe Night co-founder Molly C. Mastoras developed Proactive Alliance, a relationship-based policing model. Along with Safe Night co-founder and retired master police officer Dimitrios Mastoras, they co-created a curriculum for this approach. Proactive Alliance is an innovative, multidisciplinary approach employing adapted counseling psychology theory and techniques for law enforcement. It is the first of its kind. No other methods exist that provide law enforcement with the perspectives, theoretical structure, and tools taught to professional therapists and social workers adapted explicitly for police use. requested Safe Night to lead this project because of the authors’ expertise and experience training law enforcement on relationship-based policing. Although the authors believe that Proactive Alliance is a novel way forward for law enforcement agencies to engage their communities, the promotion of Safe Night’s training and consultation services is not the intention of this report.


MARCH 17, 2023

Traffic injuries and fatalities and impaired driving in the United States have increased exponentially at an alarming rate over the last two years. We have relied on traditional responses to these complex problems that are not reaching the people most affected. Molly Mastoras, MA, LPC, and Master Police Officer Dimitrios Mastoras (Ret.) have identified a recipe for success in building relationships by working collaboratively with communities to create transformational change. Their work has demonstrated the need for a new approach to engagement in the world of traffic safety. The models, principles, and tools they provide to communities are the reason encouraged them to pursue this publication.

As a retired Washington State Patrol Commander and State Highway Safety Office Director, I know firsthand the importance of traffic enforcement and community trust. One question I would ask myself and my team was, “How do we create sustainable change?” I know this is different for every community; however, this publication can help you develop the foundation, strategies, partnerships, and engagement that will help create a long-term change in your community.

This guide is not a quick fix, and the recommendations they provide require dedicated resources, commitment at all levels, and focus on long-term outcomes. Further, their recommendations are meant to spark innovation to help communities come together to identify traffic safety problems and work collaboratively to create long-term solutions to those problems.

There are several reasons why I believe you should consider using the recommendations of this guide in your community:

■ The timeless principles can be applied to any complex community problem, specifically outlining the “why” for traffic enforcement and community engagement.

■ Their recommendations enhance existing data-driven approaches and research.

■ The Proactive Alliance relationship-based approach incorporates tools and skills needed for meaningful engagement with law enforcement, key stakeholders, and their respective communities.

■ The recommendations provide a path for change and inspire hope!

Our combined hope is that you can apply these principles to improve the quality of life and eliminate traffic-related fatalities in your community.

1 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS 2 INTRODUCTION 3 THE CHALLENGE 3 EFFECTIVE PROGRAMS AND STRATEGIES 4 Risk Terrain Modeling (RTM) 4 Data-Driven Approaches to Crime and Traffic Safety (DDACTS) 4 Oro Valley Police Department High Visibility Enforcement (HiVE) 4 Spatiotemporal Convergence of Crime and Vehicle Crash Hotspots: Additional Consideration for Policing Places 4 International Association of Police - Policing in Small, Rural, and Tribal Communities 4 ENGAGEMENT RATHER THAN INTERACTION 5 Relationship-Based Policing 5 Final Report of the President’s Task Force on 21st-Century Policing 5 Procedural Justice 6 Community-Oriented Policing to Reduce Crime, Disorder and Fear and Increase Satisfaction and Legitimacy Among Citizens: A Systematic Review 6 UCLA Evaluation of the LAPD Community Safety Partnership 6 Cultural Competency 6 Proactive Alliance Relationship-Based Policing 7 RECOMMENDATIONS 8 Law Enforcement Agencies 8 NHTSA and State Highway Safety Offices 10 A NEW CULTURE 11 CONCLUSION 11 ABOUT THE AUTHORS 12 REFERENCES 13 APPENDIX 17 TABLE OF CONTENTS


The authors would like to sincerely thank Darrin T. Grondel, Senior Vice President of Traffic Safety, and Brandy Nannini, former Senior Vice President, Responsibility Initiatives of the Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility ( Their dedication and commitment to traffic safety are unmatched. They initiated the writing of this report to provide law enforcement and supporting agencies with a resource to build trust with the communities they serve. Their support of this report was invaluable.


The authors thank the following professionals for providing peer review, insight, feedback, and expertise in the development of this report (listed in alphabetical order):

M. J. Farr

Chief (Ret.) Arlington County Police Department, Virginia

Adjunct Professor

University of Virginia

Charlottesville, Virginia

Dr. Charlotte Gill

Associate Professor and Deputy Director

Center for Evidence-Based Crime Policy in the Department of Criminology, Law, and Society

George Mason University

Fairfax, Virginia

Diane Goldstein

Lieutenant (Ret.) Redondo Beach Police Department, California

Executive Director

Law Enforcement Action Partnership (LEAP)

Medford, Massachusetts

Dr. Eric L. Piza

Professor of Criminology & Criminal Justice and Director of Crime Analysis Initiatives

Northeastern University

Boston, Massachusetts

Dr. William Sousa

Director and Professor

Center for Crime and Justice Policy

University of Nevada, Las Vegas

Las Vegas, Nevada


A diverse array of professionals contributed to the content of this report. The authors would like to express their gratitude to (listed in alphabetical order):

LaTasha Chamberlain


Arlington County Police Department

Arlington, Virginia

James Daly

Captain (Ret.) Arlington County Police Department, Virginia

Daly910 Consulting, LLC

Ashburn, Virginia

Cornelius Harris

Cultural Activist and Founder

Alter Ego Management

Detroit, Michigan

D’Archie Lewis

Lead Peer Instructor

City of Refuge, Hopewell Recovery Center

Hopewell, Virginia

Sheila L. Thorne

President & CEO

Multicultural Healthcare Marketing Group, LLC

James Wasem

Deputy Chief

Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority

Virginia & Washington D.C.

Lastly, several state troopers and supervisors were interviewed for this report and provided an in-depth look into their duties, challenges, and perspectives.



The past several years have renewed calls for police reform, and communities are asking law enforcement to evolve to new strategies that have better outcomes for all. Concurrently, police agencies can struggle to build trust with the communities they serve. Therefore, an evolution towards evidence-based, multidisciplinary approaches that provide safer, more equitable outcomes for the public and the police is necessary.

In 1994, the passage of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act created the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS), an agency providing guidance and funding to state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies. Although community policing approaches have significant positive effects on community satisfaction and positive effects on legitimacy (Gill et al., 2014), these approaches are not commonly applied in the realm of traffic enforcement. Incorporating elements of community policing, such as community partnerships and problem-solving, could increase community support and understanding of traffic enforcement strategies.

In June 2021, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) released a report that showed national increases in fatalities, speed-related crashes, and alcohol-involved crashes for 2020, despite fewer people on the road due to the pandemic (National Safety Council, 2021). This increased level of crashes and fatalities has ignited a renewed debate around traffic enforcement that includes whether lower-level offenses, such as administrative or equipment violations, affect the safety of the motoring public. For example, Fayetteville, North Carolina, shifted traffic enforcement efforts to focus on behavior-based violations, including speeding, reckless and impaired driving. This change resulted in an increase in the enforcement of


traffic safety violations while reducing traffic fatalities. In addition, a research evaluation of Fayetteville concluded that making traffic stops with a primary focus on safety reduces racial disparity and improves public health outcomes (Dolan Fliss et al., 2020).

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), National Sheriff’s Association (NSA), and International Association of Police Chiefs (IACP) have all expressed their commitment to engaging communities in more meaningful ways. For example, NHTSA changed the name of its campaign from “High Visibility Enforcement” to “High Visibility Engagement,” an important semantic distinction that needs to be fulfilled through proactive community outreach efforts. Evidencebased approaches, such as Data-Driven Approaches to Crime and Traffic Safety (DDACTS), provide a foundation but will not be as effective unless they dovetail with purposeful efforts to build trust, meaningful engagement, and legitimacy in communities. Introducing innovation from other fields beyond law enforcement can shed light on new strategies that develop genuine relationships with the community and improve safety outcomes.

This report aims to address genuine engagement in the context of traffic safety and the law enforcement response, making clear and specific recommendations for state and local law enforcement agencies. Considerations for NHTSA and State Highway Safety Offices (SHSOs) are also provided to support law enforcement as they incorporate these recommendations. Each section includes relevant research, current effective strategies, innovative approaches, and potential contributions to traffic enforcement. The recommendations of this report are intended to address law enforcement specifically but do not speak to legislative or larger criminal justice efforts.

The challenge confronted in this report is how to effectively engage with communities while also acknowledging the importance of data-driven enforcement and legitimate criminal investigations. Accordingly, this report will examine research, effective data-driven practices, multidisciplinary relationship-based approaches, and cultural competency concepts.


Law enforcement acknowledges the need to build support for traffic enforcement that impacts safety. Effective data-based approaches could serve as a structural foundation for a practical solution. Programs such as Data-Driven Approaches to Crime and Traffic Safety (DDACTS) and High Visibility Enforcement (HVE) initiatives use data analysis to determine when and where law enforcement can focus their response. Data analysis of these approaches allows law enforcement to hone and support their responses based on fact rather than relying on random traffic stops or intuition. A data-driven enforcement strategy should be included as part of a multi-component response and will be covered later in this report.


Risk Terrain Modeling (RTM)

Risk Terrain Modeling is a geospatial analytic tool that identifies specific environmental conditions contributing to crime, traffic crashes, and other complex community problems. Developed by Dr. Leslie Kennedy and Dr. Joel Caplan at Rutgers University, RTM brings together multiple data sources to determine why problems occur (Rutgers Center on Public Security, 2023). Their model focuses on places, not people, identifying areas at risk for crime, child maltreatment, terrorism, and driving while intoxicated. For example, in a 2018 study, RTM predicted “41% (12 out of 29) of all DWI crashes that occurred in microlevel places identified as posing a higher risk for future traffic accidents” (Giménez-Santana et al. 2018). Accurate forecasts of future crash locations inform law enforcement of the highestrisk areas, enabling agencies to deploy resources efficiently.

Data-Driven Approaches to Crime and Traffic Safety (DDACTS)

DDACTS was created by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Department of Justice (DOJ), Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA), and National Institute of Justice (NIJ). This program was developed based on crime and traffic data analysis to guide the deployment of police resources while maximizing reductions in crime, disorder, and traffic safety (McGarrell et al., 2002). Bryant et al. (2015) evaluated DDACTS and found that DDACTS-directed patrols can reduce crime and vehicle crashes. The intent of DDACTS is to direct enforcement based on analyzed data, as opposed to justifying enforcement based on intuition. (See Appendix A)

Oro Valley Police Department High Visibility Enforcement (HiVE)

The Oro Valley, Arizona Police Department (OVPD) created the “HiVE” data-driven traffic enforcement program to reduce crashes, injuries, and deaths in dangerous traffic corridors. Using analysis, the department deploys enforcement based on identified areas that are experiencing higher levels of violations and crashes and prioritizes prevention and transparency in their approach to traffic safety (Olson, 2014).

The OVPD HiVE model identifies the five basic principles of the program purpose, training, public awareness, action, and reporting. OVPD intended to change driver behavior in the target area and reduce vehicle crashes, not institute a ticket-writing campaign. Outcomes of the program include crash prevention, transparency, and building positive relationships. Over three years, targeted HiVE intersections experienced 27 percent fewer crashes than those prior to HiVE implementation without exceeding 30 percent of tickets issued for moving violations (Olson, 2014). (See Appendix B)

Spatiotemporal Convergence of Crime and Vehicle Crash Hotspots: Additional Consideration for Policing Places

In 2017, Jeremy G. Carter and Eric L. Piza studied the relationship between violent and property crime and vehicle crash counts over a three-year period in Indianapolis, Indiana. The study empirically evaluated the co-occurrence of violent and property crimes and vehicle crashes in the same area, finding a correlation between the two (Carter & Piza, 2017). Understanding this correlation can be helpful in terms of planning effective community policing approaches to traffic enforcement. Specifically, areas with significantly higher rates of vehicle crashes create opportunities for police to engage in focused community-oriented and problem-oriented policing strategies. (See Appendix C)

International Association of Police Chiefs (IAPC) - Practices in Modern Policing - Policing in Small, Rural, and Tribal Communities

IACP (2018) released a community policing guide for small, rural, and tribal communities that addressed challenges, including lack of technology, vast geographical areas, and reduced budgets. This guide used case studies from sheriff’s departments, highway patrols, and tribal public safety departments to illustrate the effective use of community policing in these areas. This guide also identified advantages for smaller law enforcement agencies, including fewer calls for service, which creates an opportunity for law enforcement to engage in crime prevention and the development of more purposeful relationships with the community.



Data-driven strategies provide guideposts and structure to the large-scale challenge of traffic enforcement. However, data-driven enforcement is only one foundational piece of the puzzle; it is necessary to dovetail this approach with empathy, cultural competency, and relationship building. Combining these components provide an effective and equitable approach that offers a complete and balanced solution.


In June 2021, the International Association of Directors of Law Enforcement Standards and Training (IADLEST) released DDACTS 2.0 with a focus on engaging stakeholders. This shift from enforcement to engagement encourages partnerships with stakeholders to build trust and legitimacy. IADLEST (2021) states, “There is no single or best way to engage partners and stakeholders, and most law enforcement agencies will already be undertaking forms of community engagement.” However, methodical, evidence-based methods adapted from counseling psychology exist to teach law enforcement how to most effectively establish trusting, durable relationships with community members.

Communities demand police accountability and a shift from traditional enforcement policing strategies to a collaborative guardianship model. While community events and meetings can be a first step in establishing relationships with individual community members, daily and weekly contact with individuals builds empathy, respect, and trust. Police executives need to consider evidence-based practices from outside law enforcement to initiate the culture change that is necessary to meet the demands of policing in the 21st century. Repurposing obsolete policing tactics or vaguely instructing officers to engage in “community policing” is not and has not been effective. A relationship-based approach is meant to enhance evidence-based strategies, such as problem-oriented and data-driven policing. Law enforcement can benefit from the work of social science fields with expertise in productive relationship building through empathy, including counseling psychology and social work.

Counselors and social workers learn to establish and maintain rapport with their clients to facilitate change. However, the normal process of change is cyclical and

complex, including periods of ambivalence (Prochaska & DiClemente, 1983). The expectation that police develop relationships in the community to facilitate behavior change may involve complicated social scenarios that they have little training or practice to navigate successfully (Mastoras & Mastoras, 2020). A productive relationship requires effective communication and empathy. Although empathy is often misconstrued as a “soft skill,” it is a foundational element when making good-faith efforts to meet community expectations and establish and maintain trust and legitimacy (Mastoras & Mastoras, 2020). Empathy leads to understanding but does not require agreement with others’ values or behaviors, an important distinction. The appropriate use of empathy and the corresponding ability to establish interpersonal boundaries empowers police to interact with the community with compassion while protecting their personal vulnerabilities and managing their emotions effectively.

Graduate programs, internships, and clinical residencies equip professional counselors and social workers to acquire self-awareness and establish appropriate interpersonal boundaries and techniques to avoid or disengage from power struggles. Police need access to similar training if they are expected to successfully navigate complex social interactions and build trust. Police are quick to clarify that they are not social workers, but they unequivocally engage in social work, so having the proper tools to provide these services effectively is imperative.


Final Report of the President’s Task Force on 21st-Century Policing

The President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing (2015) identified six pillars to improve policing, building trust and legitimacy; policy and oversight; technology and social media; community policing and crime reduction; officer training and education; and officer safety and wellness. The report also provides recommendations and specific steps for law enforcement agencies to implement these pillars. Two pillars are most relevant to meaningful engagement when implementing data-driven traffic enforcement: building trust and legitimacy and community policing and crime reduction.


Procedural Justice

Procedural justice shapes the community’s perceptions of the processes of the police, specifically in instances of traffic tickets, arrests, and investigations. Yale Law School and the work of Tom Tyler and Tracey Meares have extensively studied and researched the concept of procedural justice. In 2015, Meares and Tyler co-founded the Justice Collaboratory as part of the U.S. Justice Department’s National Initiative for Building Community Trust and Justice. According to the Yale Justice Collaboratory (2021), a procedurally just encounter with law enforcement includes being treated with dignity and respect, being given a voice, and interacting with a neutral and transparent decision-maker with trustworthy motives.

(See Appendix D)

Community-Oriented Policing to Reduce Crime, Disorder and Fear and Increase Satisfaction and Legitimacy Among Citizens: A Systematic Review

Gill, Weisburd, Telep, Vitter, & Bennett (2014) reviewed a wide-ranging collection of databases, journals, and studies to measure the effectiveness of community-oriented policing (COP) strategies. The review found that while communityoriented policing can improve citizen satisfaction, it is not broadly standardized, and its practice varies from department to department (Gill et al., 2014). Similar to other areas of policing, research on the implementation of community policing is limited, and results vary widely (Lum et al., 2016).

Evaluation of the LAPD Community Safety Partnership

In 2011, The Los Angeles Housing Authority and the Los Angeles Police Department began the Community Safety Partnership (CSP), a program focused on improving trust between police and residents with relationship-based approaches to reduce violent crime at public housing developments in Los Angeles.

In 2020, Dr. Jorja Leap of the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), Luskin, completed an evaluation of the CSP to determine its impact on crime and establishing trust. Findings indicated that relationship-based policing improved resident perceptions of safety and reduced dangerous conditions that fuel violent crime. Further, results suggested that these outcomes were not limited to gang violence but may also effectively manage other chronic community issues such as homelessness (Leap, 2020). (See Appendix E)


Cultural Competency

Fong and Furuto (2001) define cultural competency as “the process by which individuals and systems respond respectfully and effectively to people of all cultures, languages, classes, races, ethnic backgrounds, religions, spiritual traditions, immigration status, and other diversity factors in a manner that recognizes, affirms, and values the worth of individuals, families, and communities and protects and preserves the dignity of each.” Cultural competence is an openness to understanding and acceptance of different cultures, going beyond tolerance to embracing and respecting differences. Becoming culturally competent requires self-assessment of beliefs and biases and how they affect interactions with others. While diversity or implicit bias training is transactional, cultural competency education is transformative and action-oriented.

Emphasis on the importance of cultural competency began in the 1960s and 1970s when mental health and medical social work practitioners found that lack of diversity education affected the efficacy of treatment and outcomes of their clients. As a result, the Council on Social Work Education began advocating for diversity education as mandatory training for the mental health and social work fields (Kohli et al., 2010). In addition, the U.S. Census Bureau provided estimates of race-ethnic populations in advance of the 2020 census, with data showing that “nearly four of 10 Americans identify with a race or ethnic group other than White” (Frey 2020), indicating that cultural competency education is increasingly important. Finally, acknowledging historical and present-day experiences of injustice and inequity requires empathy and compassion. Cultural competence education provides the information to build the necessary empathy to diffuse potential negative encounters and increase trust.


Proactive Alliance Relationship-Based Policing

Proactive Alliance, developed by licensed professional counselor Molly C. Mastoras, is a relationship-based policing method that draws from evidence-based principles in counseling psychology and criminological theory to teach police officers specific techniques to establish mutually beneficial relationships with community stakeholders. The concept addresses two key challenges of community-oriented policing: to build meaningful collaboration across diverse communities and empower frontline officers to become change agents in pursuit of the “co-production” of public safety (Gill & Mastoras, 2021). Proactive Alliance builds on problem-oriented policing and teaches police practical tools to engage in active listening, productive empathy, and problemsolving in collaboration with the community while protecting their own well-being. This relationship-based method provides the “how-to” for engagement absent from many evidencebased crime strategies.

Proactive Alliance teaches officers to adjust their perspectives and expectations as stakeholders learn and change in response to guidance and support. This approach provides practical guidance and techniques to help law enforcement successfully interact with those challenging to engage

and maintain successful individual relationships. First, law enforcement officers are taught to understand and effectively address the power differential between police and the community (Mastoras & Mastoras, 2020). Not only are officers in a position of authority, but also the optics of their uniforms and physical presence may contribute to feelings of fear and intimidation instead of safety and security. These feelings likely influence how citizens interact with police and must be purposefully addressed before attempting to establish a relationship. Second, officers are taught to engage in productive empathy, defined as compassion with a focused, professional purpose (Mastoras & Mastoras, 2021).

An integral component of relationship-based policing is literally and figuratively meeting people where they are. Officers are taught to proactively initiate engagement with residents in their neighborhoods and public spaces and listen to their concerns and priorities for community safety. The Proactive Alliance approach trains police to metaphorically stand side-by-side with community members and examine a problem together, as opposed to assuming an adversarial position. This change in perspective allows police and residents to focus on collaborative problem-solving and more effectively manage interpersonal dynamics. (See Appendix F)

Productive Empathy Mutually Beneficial Outcomes TRUST Collaborative Stance: Meet Stakeholders Where They Are Analysis & Identification of Issue with Staekholders Understand & Address Power Differential Consistency & Maintainence of Relationships Identify & Prioritize Stakeholder Capacity
The Proactive Alliance Relationship-Based Model


The following recommendations provide practical, functional steps for federal, state, and local agencies for immediate implementation based on the research and methods currently available. The hope is that these recommendations are a starting point for the continued evolution of traffic safety through multidisciplinary solutions. For example, data-driven analysis, in combination with problem-oriented policing, cultural competency training, and relationship-based policing, can begin to address the lack of community engagement while also improving safety. While these recommendations are not a panacea, starting problem-solving now is necessary rather than waiting for the perfect solution.


The following recommendations are for state and local law enforcement agencies to address engagement in the context of traffic enforcement and safety.

Proactively Engage with Community Stakeholders

State police and highway patrol agencies regularly encounter various issues beyond speeding and impaired driving. Stops can involve guns, child abuse, neglect, domestic violence, human trafficking, kidnapping, mental health emergencies, medical emergencies, overdoses, terrorism, and homelessness. A trooper or highway patrol officer’s ability to manage these complex calls will depend on their knowledge and relationships with local and state agencies and community-based organizations, including:


■ Social services

• Child Protective Services

• Mental Health

• Substance Abuse

■ Prosecutor’s Office

• Victim-witness office/advocate

■ Courts


■ Domestic violence resources

■ Substance abuse resources

■ Faith leaders and groups

■ Youth outreach

■ Community-based violence intervention

■ Violence interrupters

■ Center for Missing and Exploited Children

Although local law enforcement agencies are accustomed to interacting with the community, state police and highway patrol agencies must also elevate their work to focus on individual relationship-building with community stakeholders. All officers are capable of building trust regardless of assignment.

Implement and Prioritize Problem-Oriented Policing

Valuing analysis, problem-solving, and collaboration supports safety initiatives, legitimizes law enforcement responses, and improves community understanding. Supervisors need to allow law enforcement officers time and provide encouragement to develop relationships with municipal agencies, community-based groups, and residents to identify and manage issues collectively. Meeting public expectations and transparency aligns police with the community, making an adversarial stance less likely (Goldstein, 1990). In concert with data-driven enforcement, these efforts empower law enforcement agencies to execute their strategic management plan and prioritize outcomes (long-term benefits) over outputs (tickets and arrests only). (See Appendix G)

Incorporate Public Participation

Community members overwhelmingly want to be involved in policing decisions that impact their community (Policing Project, 2018). Some reasons community members resist collaborating with the police include an expectation that police will not listen, holding meetings at inconvenient times, or hostility between police and the community. The Policing Project (2018) also found that residents want a venue to provide input on police policies and practices. When given a chance to be heard, community members are invited to express their concerns and law enforcement has an opportunity to build trust and legitimacy by addressing these issues. (See Appendix H)

Adopting the core values of the International Association for Public Participation is recommended to help law enforcement agencies incorporate community participation in a meaningful way.



1. Public participation is based on the belief that those who are affected by a decision have a right to be involved in the decisionmaking process.

2. Public participation includes the promise that the public’s contribution will influence the decision.

3. Public participation promotes sustainable decisions by recognizing and communicating the needs and interests of all participants, including decision makers.

4. Public participation seeks out and facilitates the involvement of those potentially affected by or interested in a decision.

5. Public participation seeks input from participants in designing how they participate.

6. Public participation provides participants with the information they need to participate in a meaningful way.

7. Public participation communicates to participants how their input affected the decision

International Association for Public Participation, 2017

Reprioritize the Use of Uncommitted Time

In Managing Police Patrol Time: The Role of Supervisor Directives, Famega et al. (2005) explored officer behavior while on patrol. They found that police supervisors direct officers to engage in proactive policing tasks approximately six percent of the time and generally do not monitor unassigned time. Officers’ patrol time is largely regulated by calls for service and backing up other officers on calls or traffic stops, but how they use their uncommitted time is generally at their discretion. Further, Famega et al. (2005) found that officers spend very little unassigned time building relationships and problem-solving. Only four percent of selfinitiated activity focused on long-term initiatives managing chronic problems.

Police administrators struggle to effectively communicate expectations for problem-oriented policing methods to frontline officers. Without guidance and direction, officers spend more time in their cars, randomly patrolling, waiting for a call for service, or a traffic violation (Famega et al., 2005). Establishing a structured plan with clear expectations for uncommitted time, including education and practice with relationship-based and problem-oriented policing strategies, enables officers to successfully implement independent, proactive work.

Reasonable Suspicion for Consent Vehicle Searches and Supporting Documentation

Law enforcement agencies across the U.S. have implemented enhanced standards for consent searches into policies and procedures. However, when an officer requests to search a law-abiding citizen not engaged in criminal activity, this act not only threatens the individual citizen’s trust in the police but also has a cumulative effect on the public’s trust as a whole.

While it is constitutionally valid for an officer to ask for a consent search, the officer must consider whether the search serves the intended outcomes of preventing crime and traffic crashes. This consideration promotes both public safety and public trust. Therefore, law enforcement agencies should consider implementing a policy for officers to have reasonable articulable suspicion that a crime has occurred or is about to occur based on the totality of the circumstances before a request to search. In addition, the policy should require documentation of the consent to search and findings on an official department form. This documentation will provide data for analysis, increase transparency, and demonstrate viable criminal investigations that fulfill intended outcomes.

Engage with Other Law Enforcement Agencies

State police and highway patrol agencies can assist local law enforcement beyond regional crime control task forces. While local and state partners are accustomed to working together on NHTSA campaigns such as “Click It or Ticket” and “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over,” there are multiple avenues for them to work together on a regular basis with community stakeholders. This collaboration gives state agencies more involvement in the community and expands their network of resources. (See Appendix I)

Local law enforcement agencies can also engage with state police and highway patrol agencies beyond traffic control and enforcement on the major highways in their jurisdictions. It is recommended that local agencies invite state police and highway patrol agencies to join multi-agency, whole of government approaches in managing chronic issues such as crime, traffic fatalities, and crashes.



The following considerations are for NHTSA and SHSOs to support law enforcement as they develop and incorporate these recommendations.

Enhance DDACTS’s “High Visibility Engagement” Through Cultural Competence and RelationshipBased Policing

For High Visibility Engagement to be most impactful, officers need the time, support, and training to build long-term individual relationships with community members. Relationship-based policing and cultural competency combined with data-driven and problem-oriented strategies will enhance DDACTS in a meaningful, purposeful way. Therefore, providing law enforcement with a structured course of training on cultural competency and relationship-based policing led by professionals with expertise in these areas is strongly recommended.

Community Engagement Plan and Implement a Strategic Management Plan

It is recommended that NHTSA consider requesting formal community engagement plans from state and local law

enforcement agencies detailing how these agencies plan to engage with community members subject to data-driven enforcement. The plan should focus on relationship-based policing and productive collaboration with stakeholders.

Interviews for this report revealed that many state and local law enforcement agencies do not engage in meaningful relationship-building needed to garner community support. Instead, engagement efforts typically focus on recruiting or community events that improve law enforcement agency branding. Therefore, it is recommended that NHTSA consider providing training opportunities and technical assistance to law enforcement agencies to help develop and implement a community engagement plan.

Lastly, the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP) requires states to have a Strategic Highway Safety Plan (SHSP). In addition to the SHSP, creating a strategic management plan (SMP) can help ensure that strategies are being used to meet the outcomes of the SHSP. The goals of the SMP should include transportation safety, crime prevention and control, and community engagement. (See Appendix J for an example of a comprehensive SMP)



Law enforcement is experiencing many of the same trends the medical field experienced in the 1980s. In his book, Demanding Medical Excellence, author Michael Millenson writes, “There is an unsettling, if little-known truth, about the practice of medicine. Even the best-trained doctors go about their work with an astonishingly shallow base of knowledge concerning the link between what they do and how it affects patient’s health” (Millenson, 1999). Until the development of evidence-based policing, law enforcement relied on intuition rather than practices supported by empirical evidence. Analogous to the medical field, society calls for law enforcement to transition to practices proven through empirical research and to accept interdisciplinary innovation.


Baseball provides another example of prioritizing data-driven approaches. Former Oakland A’s baseball executive Billy Beane used a mathematical and statistical approach to evaluate athletic skills. In his book Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game (2003), Michael Lewis highlights the statistical approach Oakland A’s baseball executive Billy Beane used to evaluate players. Beane’s unconventional approach ruffled the feathers of traditionalists who prioritized evaluating intangible skills and relied on their intuition to select players. The traditional method was inconsistent and lacked structure and clarity, but the statistical, data-driven approach garnered famous success.

Like medicine and baseball, law enforcement no longer needs to rely on traditional methods; they are free to incorporate new, multidisciplinary strategies from other professional disciplines that address safety outcomes.

This report advocates for a multidisciplinary approach incorporating data-driven methods together with relationship-based policing and cultural competency to improve understanding and support from the community. Additionally, this report is meant to inspire federal, state, and local agencies to seek collaboration from disciplines outside of law enforcement to meet the need for meaningful engagement with community stakeholders. Social science fields such as criminology, public health, applied psychology, and social work have a breadth of knowledge to offer police. Building on the successes of these fields in a society demanding change can provide new approaches that include authentic community engagement together with evidence-based traffic enforcement models.



MPO DIMITRIOS MASTORAS (RET.) Co-Founder, Executive Vice President, Safe Night LLC

Dimitrios (Jim) Mastoras served as a Master Police Officer in Arlington County, Virginia, for almost twenty-four years. As Arlington’s first nightlife liaison, he used the relationshipbased policing techniques of Proactive Alliance to establish trustful relationships with restaurant owners, providing the foundation to develop and implement strategies aimed at reducing alcohol-related violence. By using this approach, Jim developed the first accreditation program in the U.S. to focus on effective practices and law compliance for bars and restaurants while also increasing safety and economic viability.

Jim authored a toolkit published by the DOJ COPS Office in 2019 titled, The Arlington Restaurant Initiative - A Nightlife Strategy to Improve Safety and Economic Viability and, Solving Complex Crime Requires Community Relationships in Policing Insight. He co-authored articles for IACP Police Chief Magazine titled Proactive Alliance and Traffic Safety Initiatives: SoberRide-Enhancing Enforcement Efforts Since 1982 in IACP Police Chief Magazine. He also co-authored, Productive and Proactive, which was featured in Sheriff & Deputy Magazine. His work for Arlington County has been recognized by the Washington Regional Alcohol Program (WRAP) for saving lives and preventing injuries caused by drunk driving in the Washington, DC Metro area, and he is a recipient of the Kevin E. Quinlan Traffic Safety Award.

MOLLY C. MASTORAS, MA, LPC Co-Founder, President, Safe Night LLC

Molly Mastoras is a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) in Virginia and Connecticut. She has worked as an assistant program director and probation counselor for the Fairfax County Juvenile & Domestic Relations District Court and as a social worker for the Fairfax County Office for Women and Arlington County Child Protective Services (CPS). Molly has worked extensively with survivors of sexual assault throughout her career, leading to the creation of Safe Night Active Bystander, a sexual assault prevention and intervention-training program.

She developed the Proactive Alliance relationship-based approach, which teaches police and enforcement agencies to develop relationships to enhance problem-solving with the community using adapted counseling therapy concepts. She co-authored several articles, including Proactive Alliance in IACP Police Chief Magazine and Productive and Proactive in Sheriff & Deputy Magazine and Proactive Alliance: Combining Policing and Counselling Psychology in the Journal of Community Safety and Well-Being with Dr. Charlotte Gill.

Molly has presented the Proactive Alliance concept at the American Society of Evidenced-Based Policing (ASEBP) conference, the Problem-Oriented Policing (POP) Conference, and the International Conference on Law Enforcement & Public Health (LEPH). Molly also serves on the Board of Directors for the Washington Regional Alcohol Program (WRAP).



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Data-Driven Approaches to Crime and Traffic Safety (DDACTS)

The DDACTS model is based on the following seven guiding principles, designed to be modified for any law enforcement agency’s use, regardless of departmental size, population, or community. The model is purposefully flexible, so agencies can adopt and adapt these principles based on their opportunities and challenges.

1. OUTCOMES - Goals and objectives that emerge during data analysis and hot spot identification are developed into outcome measures. These measures help to assess effectiveness relating to reductions in crashes, crime, traffic safety violations, and other social harm. The DDACTS model supports success with outcomes (reduced fatalities and crime, etc.) versus a focus on outputs (citations, arrests, etc.) in determining the effectiveness and efficiency of law enforcement operations.

2. DATA COLLECTION - Accurate, timely and complete crash, crime, calls for service and activity-related data, including location, incident type, time of day, and day of week are the building blocks of the DDACTS model. The process of data collection begins as soon as a telecommunicator answers a 911 call, or an officer initiates a contact. Data collection then continues through the report from the responding officer, the notes of a detective, and the disposition of a case. At all points along the way, the priority must be on the collection of timely, accurate, and complete data. The primary data sources are citizen calls for service, crime incident reports, crash reports, and police activity. There must be policies and procedures in place that prioritize report quality.

3. DATA ANALYSIS - The creation of actionable analysis products, including maps that overlay crash, crime, and activityrelated data along with other related analyses, allows agencies to identify problem locations or hot spots. Additional analysis, including various proven evaluation techniques, can help to distinguish causation factors for each type of incident, delineate spatial and temporal factors, and consider environmental influences on crashes, crimes, and other disorders or social harm. The analysis should be “user- friendly” to include clear and simple visuals that provide the best opportunity to identify hot spots for focused high-visibility efforts.

4. PARTNERS AND STAKEHOLDERS PARTICIPATION - Collaboration among law enforcement agencies and local stakeholders is essential for building trust and legitimacy. This collaboration also provides opportunities and support for increasing safety and improving the quality of life in a community. The goals are to establish active and continual communication with internal and external partners and stakeholders and determine how each can assist the police agency in collaborating and improving the overall quality of life in problematic areas, especially in seeking non-enforcement-related solutions.

5. STRATEGIC OPERATIONS - Through analysis, agencies identify high activity hot spots, likely to include incidents of crashes, crimes, and other social harm. These hot spots can then be proactively engaged with strategic, highly visible traffic and other contact efforts at the most appropriate places and times. As discussed earlier, hot spot analysis guides the realignment of workflow and operational assignments to focus high-visibility engagement efforts and increase the efficiency of reducing social harm, i.e., community contacts, “walk-and-talks,” and directed patrols. The guiding question should be, “Do the officers have a clear understanding of where they should use their time and planned activities when not on a call for service?”

6. INFORMATION SHARING AND OUTREACH - Large and small agencies everywhere have dramatically improved internal and external information-sharing through technology and social media. Through strategic information sharing and increased police-citizen collaboration, these efforts can further support increased officer awareness, expanded public safety, and enhanced community satisfaction.

7. MONITORING, EVALUATION, AND ADJUSTMENTS - Data collection and analysis procedures allow supervisors to monitor, evaluate and adjust strategic operations and account for enforcement activity. These procedures also provide an opportunity to regularly assess crash and crime reduction, cost savings, and other outcome measures that define success. The DDACTS model is place-based and thus needs to keep pace with ever-changing data. Regular staff meetings or CompStat style (see definition in Glossary) management processes can help executives evaluate the effectiveness, or lack thereof, regarding officers’ efforts in the hot spots. This method will inherently invite accountability.

Source: Data-Driven Approaches to Crime and Traffic Safety (DDACTS 2.0), IADLEST, 2021



Oro Valley Police Department High Visibility Enforcement (HiVE)

Orro Valley Police Department High Visibility Enforcement Program


Presented by Commander Chris Olson

About the presenters

Commander Chris Olson

• Twenty-seven years of law enforcement experience

• IACP Traffic Officer Safety Subcommittee member

• Traffic and Special Operations Commander

• Former Motor and K9 Handler

• M.Ed. Human Relations

__________________ ________________ _____________________ _________________

• FBINA 244th Session Graduate _____________ ____________________
2023 TRAFFIC ENFORCEMENT AND SAFETY 20 _______________ ________________ _____________________ _________________ _____________ _______________ __________________ ________________ __________ _________________ _____________ _______________ Cheyenne Wyoming PD ________________ _____________ ____________________ Purpose Training Public Awareness Action Reporting Crash Prevention Build positive relationships Inform public of outcomes Enforce and Educate Be transparent __________________ _____________________ _________________ ____________________ _______________
Source: Commander Chris Olson, Oro Valley Police Department

Develop Relationships

Key Focus

Change driving behavior by:

Raising awareness – bring a lot of attention to the problem

Being highly visible – flood the area with motorcycle officers

Demonstrate intent – not a “ticket writing campaign” Be transparent – forewarn the public about the deployments and publish all police activity after each deployment.

_______________ __________________ _________________ _____________ ____________________ _______________ Oracle & Magee/Suffolk Sparklines 2015 2014 2013 Number of Deployments 46 50 46 142 Traffic stops 1392 1561 1052 4005 Stops for moving violations 1202 1262 735 3199 Stops for equip/reg violations 190 299 317 806 Motorists receiving citation(s) only 155 266 547 968 Motorists receiving warning(s) only 1095 1145 327 2567 Motorists rcvg combo of cite/warn(s) 140 153 178 Citations total 369 494 627 1490 Moving citations 135 230 264 629 Non-moving citations 234 264 363 861 Impounds 18 22 10 Warnings total 1310 1401 836 3547 Moving violation warning(s) 1073 1038 480 2591 Non-moving violation warnings(s) 237 363 356 956 Collisions 3 6 5 Motorists who heard about deployment 162 119 79 Officers Participating 243 277 243 _____________________ _________________ _____________ ____________________ _______________
Source: Commander Chris Olson, Oro Valley Police Department, 2014
__________________ _____________________ ____________________


Spatiotemporal Convergence of Crime and Vehicle Crash Hotspots: Additional Consideration for Policing Places


Carter, J. G., & Piza, E. L. (2018). Spatiotemporal Convergence of Crime and Vehicle Crash Hotspots: Additional Consideration for Policing Places. Crime & Delinquency, 0011128717714793.


Policing strategies that seek to simultaneously combat crime and vehicle crashes operate under the assumption that these two problems have a corollary relationship—an assumption that has received scant empirical attention and is the focus of the present study. Geocoded vehicle crash, violent crime, and property crime totals across were aggregated to Indianapolis census blocks over a 36-month period (2011-2013). Time series negative binomial regression and local indicators of spatial autocorrelation analyses were conducted. Results indicate that both violent and property crime are significantly related to vehicle crash counts, both overall and during the temporal confines of patrol tours. Relationship strength was modest. Spatiotemporal analysis of crime and crash data can identify places for police intervention and improved scholarly evaluation.




Procedural Justice

In a 2020 article for Yale Law School Today, Q&A with the Justice Collaboratory on Police Reform and Procedural Justice, Dr. Meares is quoted as,

“The leaders of major national police organizations, like the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), have also issued statements of support for policing changes…Police department trainings are not a silver bullet, but they are a down payment on what larger, evidence-based interventions can do in reducing police violence toward their communities. And they provide the beginnings of a foundation for the real discussion that we’ve never had in this country about the relationship between policing and how it serves all of our citizens’ needs.”

Source: Yale Law School, The Justice Collaboratory, 2021


Evaluation of the LAPD Community Safety Partnership


■ CSP’s trust and relationship-based partnership policing improves resident perceptions of safety.

■ Implementation of CSP helps reduce the dangerous conditions at CSP sites that historically fueled violent crime and enhanced gang control. By disrupting gang intimidation and control of public spaces, CSP increases residents’ ability to gather and enjoy public spaces, facilities, and programs.

■ As CSP works to reduce dangerous and high-risk conditions that fuel crime, residents’ and stakeholder trust grows.

■ Analysis of LAPD crime statistics demonstrates that crime reductions associated with CSP sites are even greater than overall crime declines across the City.

■ It is clear that the impact of CSP is not narrowly limited to reducing gang violence; instead, its efficacy for other epidemic crises, such as homelessness, is promising and should be implemented.

■ Over six years data analysis revealed that CSP reduced violent crime by approximately: (Pg. vi)

• 221 fewer incidents

• 7 fewer homicides

• 93 fewer aggravated assaults

• 122 fewer robberies

Source: Leap, Jorja, (2020). Evaluation of the LAPD Community Safety Partnership. UCLA Luskin)


■ Relationship-based

■ Collaborative

■ Trust Building

■ Truth and Reconciliation

■ Comprehensive and Holistic

■ Community Partnership

■ Focus on Drivers of Violence and Community Stability

■ Transparent and Accountable

■ Proactive and Creative

■ Willing to Take Risks

■ Data-driven and Research-based

Source: Leap, Jorja, (2020). Evaluation of the LAPD Community Safety Partnership. UCLA Luskin)

25 A PPENDIX E LAPD Community Safety Partnership Evaluation Overview of the CSP Evaluation [21]
Figure 3. Preliminary CSP logic model. Source: (Leap, Jorja, (2020). Evaluation of the LAPD Community Safety Partnership. UCLA Luskin)


Proactive Alliance Relationship-Based Policing

Proactive Alliance (PA) teaches officers relationship-building and responsive collaboration skills. These principles are grounded in the Rogerian person-centered approach to counselling psychology (Rogers, 1961). Aggressive order-maintenance policing, can trigger the natural human reaction to resist when someone—especially an authority figure—tries to control or direct behavior. On the other hand, collaboration could increase efficiency and safety for both the police and the community. In policing, as in counseling psychology, it is important to meet stakeholders where they are, not where they “should” or “could” be. This collaborative perspective levels the playing field and sets the stage for realistic expectations. Proactive Alliance teaches officers to adjust their perspective and expectations as stakeholders learn and change in response to guidance and support. Benefits of Proactive Alliance:

■ Assist law enforcement successfully interact with those who are difficult to engage and maintain successful individual relationships

■ Immediate strategies to build and improve trust and dignity

■ Holistic approach that breaks down silos between municipal agencies

■ Enhance existing evidence-based policing models already in use


Many community members have had negative, frightening, or traumatic experiences with the police directly, have seen this on TV, or have friends or relatives that have had a negative experience. This is likely to make establishing trust with individuals or the community difficult, but certainly not impossible. Working to establish relationships with stakeholders that are based on respect and collaboration will increase feelings of trust between police and stakeholders as well as the likelihood of cooperation and compliance.

Mindfulness of the power differential is essential when establishing and maintaining safety. This can be a very fragile dynamic and needs continuous attention and care. Allowing stakeholders to feel safe interacting with the police is an essential piece of the Proactive Alliance approach, as no progress can be made unless interpersonal safety is first established.


Productive empathy involves active listening and dynamic communication techniques to establish rapport, personal connections, and ultimately long-term working relationships. Proactive Alliance adapts the Rogerian concept of unconditional positive regard to the concept of relationship-based policing. Proactive Alliance teaches officers active listening techniques and how to “reframe” a problem as an opportunity or notice successes before offering constructive feedback.


Accepting and supporting someone without judgment of their behavior is the basis of evidence-based counseling techniques like Motivational Interviewing (MI), which is used in mental health, substance use, and medical settings to evoke actual change by using a person’s expressed thoughts about change. These thoughts are elicited by the therapist through listening, normalizing ambivalence, and collaborating rather than directing the change process (Miller, 2017; Miller & Rollnick, 2013; Prochaska & DiClemente, 1983). In the policing setting, officers can use the same practical techniques to elicit change in a non-judgmental, non-punitive way when interacting with community members.



Cognitive behavioral therapy is another evidence-based psychotherapeutic technique, to challenge cognitive distortions and change thinking to a more positive orientation (Beck, 1976). Proactive Alliance teaches these techniques to allow officers to work towards responsive collaboration, or the act of working side-by-side in cooperation. Proactive Alliance empowers police to initiate relationships to establish and maintain collaborative changes, saving enforcement only for when absolutely necessary. Rather than the police and community being positioned as adversaries, all stakeholders are involved and accountable.


Police are routinely met with resistance, which can lead to a power struggle and result in the use of force. Officers and deputies may feel an internal fear of losing control in these situations and choose to remain on a linear or inflexible course of action, perpetuating the power struggle. Deliberate restraint creates a multi-dimensional approach that offers an “exit ramp” when an officer or deputy feels stuck on a singular path.

A crucial aspect of employing productive empathy is establishing healthy, safe relational boundaries. Relational boundaries include being able to identify when another person is distressed and acting accordingly and having an awareness of personal triggers that lead to anger, fear, or defensiveness. The combination of empathy with appropriate relational boundaries empowers police to interact with the community with compassion, protect their personal vulnerabilities, and manage their emotions effectively. This constellation of dynamic skills culminates in the practice of deliberate restraint.


An officer or deputy that embodies the skills and ethos of Proactive Alliance is a Proactive Guardian. Proactive Guardians practice deliberate restraint, critical thinking, and humility to course-correct before a power struggle deteriorates. Recognizing and reevaluating a course of action takes moral courage, foresight, and often, compassion. Sheriff’s deputies and police officers regularly display compassion for the communities they serve; however, acting as a Proactive Guardian is a purposeful choice to pursue and prioritize the needs of the community to improve trust. Because Proactive Guardians are self-aware, maintain healthy relational boundaries, and practice deliberate restraint, they are well equipped to protect their internal vulnerabilities. Tactical training keeps officers safe from a physical standpoint, and their internal safety is a co-equal priority.


Law enforcement officers who are participating in problem-oriented policing enhanced by building relationships need to understand their roles within the Proactive Alliance approach. The PA model ensures officers recognize that they all contribute to problem solving to some degree when working to manage a chronic issue in the community. While many officers may not be actively working on a specific problem, it is important for them to understand the work being done by other officers, municipal agencies, and communitybased organizations within their jurisdiction. With a clear understanding of the scope of work being done by so many, their job is to simply not harm relationships and progress with stakeholders.

The Proactive Alliance roles are fluid and officers, first line supervisors, command, and executive staff can all serve in these roles based on the need of the project and the demands of the community.



■ Role models PA perspectives and strategies

■ Transfers skills to diverse situations and chronic issues

■ Engages in peer supervision with other mentors, leaders, and practitioners

■ Considers multidisciplinary approaches

■ Identifies and recruits co-workers to become leaders and mentors

■ Understands the “big picture” while still engaging in project tasks

■ Anticipates problems and barriers to progress and engages in preventative planning

■ Takes a multidisciplinary approach to problem-solving


■ Continues to learn PA perspectives and strategies

■ Assists leaders and mentors by executing tasks essential to overall goals

■ Supports and protects PA and POP efforts even if not directly involved with an initiative

■ Understands the dangers of enforcement-only strategies

■ Uses individual PA techniques to practice and learn

■ Engages in peer supervision


■ Understands and embrace PA perspectives and strategies

■ Demonstrates proficiency in PA techniques and can articulate their purpose

■ Recognizes the complementary relationship between POP and PA

■ Reads and values evidence-based research and POP strategies

■ Takes initiative in building relationships with stakeholders

■ Regularly engages in peer supervision



Identifying the root causes of a problem is a function of data-driven analysis but can be better understood through the perceptions and observations of the community. The SARA model together with a community engagement plan can assist agencies in connecting with the community by giving stakeholders an opportunity to provide information and intelligence that identifies root causes in a better way.

SARA Model (Eck & Spelman, 1987)


■ Identifying recurring problems of concern to the public and the police

■ Identifying the consequences of the problem for the community and the police

■ Prioritizing those problems

■ Developing broad goals

■ Confirming that the problems exist

■ Determining how frequently the problem occurs and how long it has been taking place

■ Selecting problems for closer examination


■ Determining whether the plan was implemented (a process evaluation)

■ Collecting pre- and post-response qualitative and quantitative data

■ Determining whether broad goals and specific objectives were attained

■ Identifying any new strategies needed to augment the original plan

■ Conducting ongoing assessment to ensure continued effectiveness



■ Brainstorming for new interventions

■ Searching for what other communities with similar problems have done

■ Choosing among the alternative interventions

■ Outlining a response plan and identifying responsible parties

■ Stating the specific objectives for the response plan

■ Carrying out the planned activities


■ Identifying and understanding the events and conditions that precede and accompany the problem

■ Identifying relevant data to be collected

■ Researching what is known about the problem type

■ Taking inventory of how the problem is currently addressed and the strengths and limitations of the current response

■ Narrowing the scope of the problem as specifically as possible

■ Identifying a variety of resources that may be of assistance in developing a deeper understanding of the problem

■ Developing a working hypothesis about why the problem is occurring



State Highway Safety Office to Provide Specific Guidance to State and Local Law Enforcement Agencies to Incorporate Public Participation

The New York School of Law’s Policing Project released Beyond the Conversation: Ensuring Meaningful Police-Community Engagement together with the Police Foundation and the National Urban League. The report brought to light that the community members overwhelmingly want to be involved in policing decisions that impact their community.

Key Findings 01.

Community member responses suggest that members of the public want to participate in agency decision-making. Departments that do not routinely ask for this sort of input—or do so in a cursory manner—are missing a critical opportunity to build legitimacy and trust.

Virtually all participating police departments are taking steps to connect with members of the public, including by hosting meetings, attending forums, and using social media.


Many of these efforts are aimed at building relations with the community, as opposed to engagement that enables members of the public to provide input on policing policies and practices. In other words, there has been a great deal of community interaction, but much less in the way of true engagement

Still, it was encouraging to see that several agencies—particularly in larger jurisdictions— are taking important steps to involve their communities in key decisions. Twenty-one agencies reported seeking feedback on five or more different policies or technologies. In written responses, a number of officials highlighted the importance of this sort of engagement. One official explained, “Technology adoption stirs public concerns and raises significant privacy issues. By including our community, we can better serve their needs and are more likely to earn their trust.” Another said, “The use of force policy has a significant impact on the community. We felt we needed to understand our community groups’ input and suggestions.”


Community members overwhelmingly said that they want more opportunities to weigh in on department policies and practices. This finding suggests that agencies that do not currently involve the public in these sorts of decisions are missing a critical opportunity to build legitimacy and trust.

“Transparency is of utmost importance in maintaining public trust. Due to the privacy concerns that many have expressed about the use of automated video recording technologies, it was important to gain input from the public as well as community advocacy groups before developing and implementing policies governing their use.”

Source: Beyond the Conversation: Ensuring Meaningful Police-Community Engagement Pg.5

Policies on Which Agencies have Asked for Public Input:

Among the departments that sought input on policies and practices, most did so on a narrow set of topics. The most common topic by far—mentioned by 69% of agencies— was body-worn cameras. Many agencies also asked for public input around the use of force.

Given the national attention these two topics have attracted, it is not surprising that these are the subjects for which departments made the greatest effort to engage. The hope is that this sort of engagement becomes routine across a variety of policy areas.

Source: Beyond the Conversation: Ensuring Meaningful Police-Community Engagement Pg.11

– Los Angeles Sheriff’s Dept.
69% 35% 15% 15% 15% 13% 11% 10% 7% 7% 7% small mid - size large


Enhance Engagement with Other Law Enforcement Agencies

Areas where state police/highway patrol agencies can collaborate:


■ Provide arrestee’s last drink (establishment) data to local law enforcement and state alcohol beverage control office (ABC)

■ Establish consistent liaison roles with ABC and local law enforcement

■ Provide DDACTS impaired driving intelligence to help local law enforcement direct data driven patrols and enforcement

■ Combine engagement efforts with local law enforcement

■ Normalize communication and liaison between officers of the state and local agencies and departments to improve outcomes for arrestees and community


■ Combine engagement efforts with local law enforcement

■ Provide DDACTS impaired driving intelligence to help local law enforcement (Speed and reckless driving offense locations) that direct data-driven patrols and enforcement

■ Identify common traffic trends and data

■ Participate in information sharing


■ Provide DDACTS impaired driving intelligence to help local law enforcement that direct data driven patrols and enforcement to expand scope of harm caused by racing, such as vehicle crashes (death and injuries to drivers, passengers, onlookers, innocent bystanders) noise, vandalism and litter, loss of commercial business

■ Combine data-driven engagement efforts with local law enforcement to reach community members most likely to engage in street racing

■ Collectively use relationships with community-based organizations with the most influence over the participants of street racing

■ Ensure racing data is included in DDACTS analysis and available to local partner agencies

■ Collect and analyze street racing social media and discussion boards together with local law enforcement



A 2018 study titled, Ticketing aggressive cars and trucks (TACT): How does it work on city streets? (Telford, Cook, and Olson, 2018) looked to establish whether altering a program designed to be used on interstates could be used to reduce crashes between large tracks and vehicles in metropolitan streets.

■ The study concluded that TACT could be effective in reducing crashes on city streets involving large trucks and vehicles

■ This data-driven approach relies on traffic crash analysis and directed response from law enforcement

■ This program represents another opportunity for state and local law enforcement to work together in their response and build community support for their plan.



Provide Guidance to Law Enforcement Agencies to Incorporate a Community Engagement Model that Meets the NHTSA Standard


Community Engagement

Build Purposeful Relationships and Partnerships

■ Prioritize relationshipbased policing

■ Problem-oriented policing

■ Community events

■ Engage with other state and local agencies

Strengthen Relationships with Business Community

■ Identify stakeholders

■ Collaborate with community based. nonprofit organizations

Enhance Transparency and Trust

■ Build individual relationships

■ Youth outreach and programs

■ Transparency and community involvement in department policies

■ Professional standards

■ Social and traditional media

Crime Awareness

■ Workplace violence/disaster preparedness

Transportation Safety

Enhance motor vehicle, pedestrian and bicycle safety

■ Traffic analysis

■ Relationship-based engagement

■ Safety campaigns

■ Critical/fatal accidents

DUI Enforcement and Initiatives

■ DUI analysis

■ Education and awareness programs

■ Cannabis and multisubstance detection

■ Officer training SFSTs, ARIDE, DREs

■ Courts

■ Prosecutor’s Office

■ Partners

Traffic Engineering

■ Multi-agency analysis

■ Multi-agency problem solving and solutions

Transportation Safety Equipment

■ Traffic incident management equipment

■ Alcohol detection equipment

■ Speed measuring devices

Crime Prevention and Control

Enhance criminal investigations

■ Crime analysis

■ Relationship-based engagement

■ Social media/intelligence

■ Crime scene/evidence collection

Detect/Deter Criminal Behavior

■ Crime analysis

■ Community engagement

■ Identify narcotics distribution

■ Education and awareness programs

■ Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED)

Critical Incident

■ Active violence incidents

Resource Management

■ Crime analysis

■ Property crime

Source: Adapted from the Arlington County Police Department Strategic Management Plan 2021

Stakeholder Identification and Prioritization


Identifying stakeholders is a necessary step in implementing a successful problem-solving strategy. Primary stakeholders in multi-component plans often include the municipality, businesses, and the community.

■ Businesses

■ Owners

■ Managers

■ Security

■ Support staff


■ Individual residents

■ Community and civic associations

■ Faith-based groups


■ Local and State Elected Officials

■ County/City/Town Mayor or Manager’s Office

■ Prosecutor’s Office

■ Council/Board

■ School Systems

■ Police Department

■ Fire Department

■ Alcohol Beverage Control

■ Public Health

■ Planning and Zoning

■ Code Enforcement

■ Department of Human/Social Services

■ Department of Transportation

■ Parks & Recreation


Secondary stakeholders, such as business groups, associations, or improvement districts, support an established strategy. They enhance economic prosperity by advocating, promoting, and highlighting individual businesses and industries. Their participation in a unified strategy meets their goals and makes businesses more economically viable.

Examples of secondary stakeholders include:

■ Business Improvement Districts (BID)

■ Economic Development Office

■ Chamber of Commerce

■ Bureau of Tourism

■ Non-Profit Organizations

■ Advocacy groups

■ Media

Secondary stakeholders, such as business groups, associations, or improvement districts, support an established strategy. They enhance economic prosperity by advocating, promoting, and highlighting individual businesses and industries. Their participation in a unified strategy meets their goals and makes businesses more economically viable.

Source: The Proactive Alliance Relationship-Based Model, Mastoras & Mastoras Source: The Proactive Alliance Relationship-Based Model, Mastoras & Mastoras

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