The Department of Justice today announced the creation of the National Law Enforcement Knowledge Lab, a free training, technical assistance and resource hub for law enforcement, designed to promote constitutional policing, improve public safety and build trust in communities across the country. Associate Attorney General Vanita Gupta will make the announcement today at the Los Angeles Police Department headquarters where she will be joined by police leaders, civil rights advocates, researchers and others from across the country dedicated to ensuring that law enforcement has access to the tools, trusted guidance and best practices for fair, impartial policing.
“Providing law enforcement with the tools, resources and support they need to do their jobs effectively and fairly makes our communities safer and stronger,” said Associate Attorney General Gupta. “The Knowledge Lab is the latest step in the Justice Department’s ongoing work to listen, learn and take action to build trust between law enforcement and the communities they serve.”
Law enforcement agencies nationwide will be able to turn to the Knowledge Lab for free, voluntary resources, including research summaries, profiles of best practices, training curricula and a roster of constitutional policing experts to support their needs.
It will build on multiple Justice Department initiatives designed to support best practices in policing in America, including the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services’ (COPS Office) Collaborative Reform Initiative, which Attorney General Merrick B. Garland announced in March. Existing resources from across the department will feed into the Knowledge Lab, making it a one-stop-shop for the latest information, training and guidance on strategies to reduce crime, protect civil rights and build public trust.
The Knowledge Lab is managed by the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA), a division of the Justice Department’s Office of Justice Programs (OJP), through a partnership with the National Policing Institute in collaboration with 21st Century Policing Solutions, and a diverse cohort of policing experts from across the country. It is intended to grow and adapt over time to meet the needs of law enforcement agencies and communities. This week’s convening in Los Angeles is bringing together police leaders, civil rights advocates and experts to help build the foundation of the Knowledge Lab and inform what it will look like moving forward.
“Constitutional policing is foundational to a just and equitable society, and it remains the bedrock of effective public safety,” said Director Karhlton F. Moore of the BJA. “America’s law enforcement officers work hard to serve our communities. The Knowledge Lab will assist agencies in their efforts to serve with fairness and integrity, and we are determined to help them live up to the highest ideals of their profession.”
For almost 30 years, the Justice Department has used its enforcement authority and has entered into settlements and consent decrees to remedy systemic patterns or practices of unconstitutional conduct. Along with other resources, the Knowledge Lab will make all Justice Department consent decrees and associated materials available online and allow law enforcement agencies to learn from in-the-field experience, not just theory, about how best to promote a positive and healthy relationship between the police and the communities they serve.
The Knowledge Lab will offer free training and technical assistance that adapts this base of information to the needs of individual law enforcement agencies. The National Law Enforcement Knowledge Lab will enable law enforcement agencies to build on a foundation supported by evidence and experience.
Associate Attorney General Gupta was joined in today’s announcement by BJA Director Moore, local officials and law enforcement and civil rights experts from across the country.