The National Policing Institute will assist in community survey and public feedback sessions 

The City of Boulder announced today that it will partner with the National Policing Institute (NPI) to design and implement a strategic process for collecting feedback from the Boulder community on the Reimagine Policing (Update to the Police Department Master Plan) plan. This process will coincide with the release of a draft version of this plan later this summer.

The Institute is a nationally known non-partisan, non-profit research and policy organization dedicated to advancing the impact and delivery of police services through innovation and science and has extensive experience in police organizational change and reform. The organization submitted a proposal in response to a Request for Proposals in February 2022 and was selected as the winning bidder in April.

“We are about to enter an exciting phase of this project, with the issuance of a draft strategy document, and we want to ensure that we have an engagement plan in place that allows for us to hear from as many voices as possible,” said Wendy Schwartz, City of Boulder Reimagine Policing project manager. “The National Policing Institute impressed us with its proposed approach to creating a scientifically valid, randomized survey and finding ways to encourage input from communities of color and others who may have lived experiences that are important to recognize.”

NPI plans to take a multi-tiered, multi-mode approach to collecting feedback from the Boulder community. A specific engagement plan will be developed in the preliminary stages of the contract, via collaboration with city staff as well as a dedicated team of community leaders who have agreed to assist with outreach initiatives among communities of color, unhoused residents, partners with frequent engagement with the Boulder Police Department and other individuals who are often underrepresented in policy-making.

To encourage maximum community participation, the Institute has developed a strategic combination of quantitative (survey) and qualitative (interviews) engagement methods that include focus groups and open houses. The Institute’s proposal includes collaboration with internal experts on policing, race, and crime that have worked directly with its Council on Policing Reforms and Race. The Institute’s staff members will aid in ensuring all surveys and alternate engagement questions, materials, and other documents are developed in ways that incorporate cultural and linguistic competency, as well as understanding.

“The National Policing Institute is honored to work with the City of Boulder and to serve its communities. Listening to and understanding the views of everyone in the community is essential – we cannot expect the police to ‘protect and serve’ effectively without understanding the needs, concerns, and views of those who are to be served, most especially those who may be affected disproportionately by crime and responses to it,” said Jim Burch, president of the National Policing Institute.

The city has committed to paying $74,000 for the scope of work included in the contract with the Institute.

In the last three years the National Policing Institute has collected over 50,000 survey responses in the following areas:

  • Community problem-solving partnerships
  • Communications on the right response and roles for law enforcement
  • Leadership in preventing and reducing crime
  • Service expectations as a trusted partner in racial equity and support for vulnerable populations
  • Recruitment and support within the professional workforce with an emphasis on integrity
  • Transparency and accountability modeling

The Reimagine Policing effort is a two-year process to update the Boulder Police Department’s Master Plan. The drafted plan will include strategy recommendations in alignment with focus areas created collaboratively with the Boulder community through previous phases of engagement.

For more information about the project, please visit beheardboulder.org/reimagine-policing.