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 objects 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.