Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) Working Group Community-Oriented Policing Workshop 22 March 2013 United States Institute of Peace Washington

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1 Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) Working Group Community-Oriented Policing Workshop 22 March 2013 United States Institute of Peace Washington Chair s Summary Overview Community-Oriented Policing (COP) is a philosophy of law enforcement that focuses on proactively engaging the local community to share information and better serve their needs, as opposed to traditional law enforcement methods that are reactive and responsive to crimes, crises, or the community needs after an incident occurs. The primary goal of COP is, therefore, not to gather intelligence, but to support and protect the community by having a true understanding of the issues on the ground. Trust is the key component, especially when working with immigrant communities who may not have a strong understanding of U.S. law enforcement. This workshop focused on identifying the key attributes of COP based on experiences from COP practitioners and law enforcement officers currently utilizing this approach in their work. Panelists used case studies and personal hands-on experience of the success of COP, and how law enforcement officers have successfully integrated with their communities by developing trusting relationships to provide better safety. Partnering with community groups, other government agencies, and the private sector has also been a key component of COP, as well as establishing dedicated resources to better enable local law enforcement to engage their communities. Summary The following is a thematic summary of the meeting. It is not intended to be a transcript of the proceedings. Opening Remarks John Cohen, the Senior Advisor to the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), opened the meeting by focusing on the importance of incorporating countering violent extremism (CVE) into local law enforcement efforts. Because local law enforcement are on the front lines of CVE, DHS deployed training and resources on COP across the country to better inform local law enforcement of best practices on building relationships with their communities, understanding how violent extremism incidents can serve as case studies in identifying criminal behaviors, and in understanding the sensitivities of cultural/traditional behavioral norms. This training resulted in the creation of a joint DHS/FBI online CVE Training Resources Webportal that is accessible to law enforcement training practitioners across the country. Session 1: Community-Oriented Policing: Moderated Panel and Discussion

2 -2- This session highlighted some of the key concepts in COP, such as building trust with the community and other organizations through collaborative partnerships, distinguishing intelligence gathering from relationship building, democratic and fair policing, the need for police departments to organizationally support COP, and for police to be more integrated with the community. Panelists discussed that building trust and integrating with the community are central tenets to successful COP efforts, as can be seen in places like Hennepin County, Minnesota, a state that has a large Somali diaspora. COP cannot be a specific project that has an end, but it is a long term process. Trust is often very difficult to build, and the Canadian panelists shared three ways to build trust between the local police and the community: 1) display integrity/professionalism; 3) be honest and transparent when speaking with the community; and 3) respect community beliefs/customs and show compassion. The panelist from the International Association of Chiefs of Police said that in integrating CVE with COP, law enforcement should be careful to assess behaviors within the community, instead of simply profiling them. Social media can also be helpful in identifying potential extremist behaviors in the community. A representative from the U.S. Department of Justice s Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) explained that the distinct purpose of his office is to support COP efforts nationwide. The office advances the practice of community policing in U.S. states and in local and tribal law enforcement agencies. COPS completes its work principally by sharing information and making grants to police departments around the U.S, and offers assistance to local law enforcement based on three pillars of COP: 1) community partnerships; 2) organizational transformation; and 3) problem solving. The panelist from the Organization on Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) noted that they are currently working on a project focused on the nexus of CVE and COP. This project leverages COP as part of a gender sensitive and multi-disciplinary approach to CVE, human rights and rule of law. They will be publishing a guidebook in the next few months to help their member states better understand and incorporate COP principles into their national and local law enforcement structures. Several benefits that help further define COP were also highlighted by the OSCE, including the notion that COP: 1) utilizes human rights and rule of law; 2) improves public perceptions; 3) improves communications with public; 4) enhances the resilience of communities; 5) helps to identify and address community grievances; and 6) facilitates timely identification of critical situations. The panelist from Norway noted that police integration with the community is integral to early detection of violent extremism and subsequent intervention. Additional lessons included the need to integrate CVE work into ordinary crime prevention work, and a broad cooperation with other sectors of society (private sector, NGOs, other government agencies) to identify extremism. Session 2: The Changing Nature of Community-Oriented Policing This session brought together three law enforcement executives and COP practitioners from the U.S. and the UK to discuss challenges faced in their communities and how COP principles have been successful in building trust in their communities through CVE efforts.

3 -3- A law enforcement official from a county in the U.S. with a large Somali diaspora, Hennepin County, Minnesota, noted that law enforcement executives must be committed to COP to overcome the organizational challenges to COP implementation, such as resources including community liaison personnel, budgets for community meetings and events. o The official also noted that the police department used a community liaison model to better engage the community in Hennepin County. Given the large Somali population, a qualified Somali resident was hired into this position and has been successful in working with all communities to build stronger partnerships with the police department. This has resulted in increased public awareness, visibility of law enforcement in the community, and increased public safety. The panelist from the United Kingdom noted his government s PREVENT strategy to deter individuals from turning to terrorism. PREVENT focuses law enforcement work on sectors and institutions where there are risks of radicalization to violence. The panelist noted the usefulness of placing educators and community members in the right places to positively engage at-risk youth and to help identify extremist behaviors, as well as to challenge any potentially attractive terrorist narratives. Once engaged by law enforcement, these same communities then feel more comfortable reporting suspicious behavior that could indicate terrorist involvement. Another law enforcement official from a diverse county in Virginia stated that law enforcement is teaching public courses on internet safety to youth, school administrators and parents, in the interest of promoting more trusting relationships. As a result, parents now call their police deputy when they have law enforcement-related questions or when an issue in the community arises. To build trust specifically with youth, the Loudon County police also have an ongoing drug awareness program that has proven successful. One practitioner stated that mental illness sometimes plays a partial role in extremist and/or violent acts, depending on the individual. To address this connection between mental illness and violent crime, one county in the state of Virginia has created a counter intervention team to help with mental health issues, where radicalized individuals with documented mental health issues are identified by the community through a COP model (as well as via social media) and are taken to mental health facilities to better treat their illness; treatment they would not receive if taken to jail. Session 3: Community-Oriented Policing Practitioner Case Studies and Discussion This session focused on successful programs and examples of COP in practice. Panelists shared best practices on specific programs or efforts that have proven successful in the law enforcement agencies within their country. Common themes included the use of partnerships, relating to a community s customs and traditions, community liaisons, and tools and trainings for local police officers. The panelist from Royal Canadian Mounted Police discussed that engaging communities at their level of comfort or experience, whether speaking their language, knowing their likes and dislikes, and understanding their customs and traditions, will help build trust and provide a clear path for information exchange. This trust can result in better identification of violent extremist behavioral indicators, because in a COP model, the community takes on more responsibility of reporting criminal behaviors.

4 -4- Panelists repeatedly stated the need to integrate COP in the face of emerging and new threats and enforced the idea that proactively engaging the local community and addressing their needs, as opposed to traditional-and in the opinion of the panelistsoutdated law enforcement methods that are reactive and solely responsive to crimes and crises. Because all terrorism begins at the local level, officers must be out in the community on the front lines to be truly effective. The panelist from the Australian Federal Police noted that they use dedicated liaison officers to engage with each community. These liaison officers are very helpful resources that can focus their effort solely on building trust with the community and engaging them at the appropriate times. These officers share and exchange information with the community, provide advice and encourage alternatives to violent extremism. They also develop media strategies and brief law enforcement organizations on cultural and religious sensitivities within their communities. These efforts free other police resources to focus on the operational aspects of law enforcement. A law enforcement official from the state of Maryland highlighted the challenge of the anonymity of the lone wolf criminals who are not associated with any group within the community, and the difficulty in both finding and intentionally engaging them in COP. The CoPPRa (Community Policing and Prevention of Radicalization) project in Belgium (in cooperation with 13 EU member states) was presented as a model for equipping frontline police officers community policing officers with the tools and training necessary to play an integral role in preventing radicalization to violence. CoPPRa uses the supposition that because police officers work on the streets, understand their local communities, and are well placed to spot the signs of radicalization to violence at an early stage, they should be able to work in partnership with their local communities to prevent or to tackle radicalization to violence. CoPPRa provides police with pocket guides on COP tips and radicalization detection, curriculum and training manuals, and a forum to exchange ideas and best practices with other police officers, partner agencies and community members. The CoPPRa model also identified its own framework for frontline officers to stop terrorist activity by identifying behavior indicators: 1) unhappiness in society; 2) a search for justice; 3) frustration; 4) radicalization; 5) violent extremism; and 6) terrorism. Frontline officers are trained to pay attention to community members when they change from frustration to radicalization. There are many model programs to build the relationship between communities and police. Several examples shared during the session included, junior police academies, Eid/Iftar dinners, youth outreach activities, sports, internet trainings for both children and parents, and holding community meetings at cafes and pubs where the community feels more at ease to share problems of the community with police. Panelists all highlighted that partnerships with community members are not the only way to identify violent extremist behaviors and indicators in a COP model. Other examples mentioned include partnering with local firearms and chemical sellers to obtain information on extremist activity; partnering with other government agencies to build a more seamless operation and to help ensure that at-risk communities are seen from all angles; partnering with academia to lend insights into an extremist group within the community; and maintaining relationships with the media to protect the community and any police operations.

5 -5- Session 4: Community-Oriented Policing Practitioners Exchange In the fourth session, police officers who practice COP shared further positive experiences in COP, and focused on several best practices in at-risk communities that helped to engage communities that were not previously working well with police. The community liaison model was also highlighted as another best practice producing positive results for both the community and the police department. A police captain in Arlington County, Virginia, highlighted a 20 year process of engaging a community dealing with crime and building positive relationships and facilitating partnerships to build greater trust and better protect the public. The police intentionally built relationships with both children in the community and the local civic association by attending neighborhood events, school events, and being sports coaches. Arlington police also partnered with other local government agencies to address problems in the community. In order to establish a more proactive approach to fighting crime, the Arlington County Police Department also established a team focused on countering violent extremism, engaging children as an integral part of the community, and humanizing the police force. A national police officer from Mindanao, Philippines, noted that COP is almost a mandatory practice in their violent extremism environment. Given the multiple clans and terrorist groups at war with each other, the national police found it effective to work with communities to help mediate and amicably settle feuds between families in collaboration with local authorities and NGOs. Security officers also engage in positive dialogue with violent extremist groups who otherwise would not talk to police. The police also focus on building dialogue with youth through school visits and youth programs as a way to build trust and enforce positive messages to counter violent extremist recruitment and narratives in some communities. In the event of a limited police force, volunteers can be recruited and trained to do COP. A Deputy from Loudon County, Virginia, discussed the positive impact COP has had on the community, especially through the community resource deputies assigned to each region of the county. Because residents now have a designated point of contact in the police department that has been present at local meetings and community events, community resource deputies have received many calls asking about criminal issues or potential crime in their community, which also gives police an opportunity to control the message and refute false rumors floating around the community. The department also offers classes aimed to engage and create relationships within the community (i.e. internet safety classes). This level of communication exhibits trust and a stronger sense of public safety. Panelists were quick to point out that there should be a distinct line between intelligence gathering efforts and COP; in some regions, community resource deputies do not engage in any intelligence work so they do not risk alienating any of their relationships. Session 5: Identification of Core Elements for the GCTF Community-Oriented Policing Good Practices As the wrap-up session for the day, the moderator highlighted several common themes and insights from presentations and case studies that helped to better define COP in the CVE context.

6 -6- He also identified several good practices, and noted that the Hedayah Center would like to help develop these into a good practices document that can be distributed to GCTF members. The following are common themes and insights: The foundation of COP is ensuring public safety by building trust with the community. Terrorism begins at the local level, so it is crucial for local law enforcement to establish long, trusting relationships with the local community. COP is a philosophy of law enforcement that focuses on proactive problem solving that requires engaging the local community to better inform efforts to ensure the public safety, as opposed to traditional law enforcement methods that are reactive to crimes, crises, or community needs. Panelists shared several perspectives on COP, where some police understood it as inherent to their success, while others needed a mentality shift from the traditional way of thinking. Others said that additional training and guidance could help them engage their communities properly and effectively. COP is not the sole responsibility of police, but the community bears responsibility as well for reporting suspicious behavior and informing police of crimes. COP cannot be a specific project that has an end, but it is a long term process. Trust is often difficult to build, but the Canadian panelists shared three ways to build trust in the local police: 1) display integrity/professionalism; 2) be honest and transparent when speaking with the community; and 3) respect and understand community beliefs and customs so to better inform law enforcement on non criminal versus potential criminal behaviors and indicators. A core tenet to COP is the role of partnerships, not only with local citizens and community leaders, but also with teachers, youth, and local businesses. There must be a cross-sector approach to building community partnerships. There is a distinct line between intelligence gathering and COP. A COP practitioner must stay focused on building relationships and not on gathering intelligence or he will damage the integrity of the work and possibly damage community relationships. When we talk about CVE from a COP perspective, the focus is not only on Al Qaeda and other high profile terrorist groups, but on all violent extremists regardless of ideology. There were several common good practices that emerged from presentations and discussion, such as the following: Securing executive support and allocating sufficient resources to COP programs will help to ensure that law enforcement can engage the community and their partners effectively. Building trusting relationships between communities and local police is the cornerstone of successful COP and involves open and honest communication. Several programs accomplished this by holding sports competitions involving at-risk youth, by hosting local religious or traditional events like Eid/Iftar dinners, by conducting youth outreach activities that partner with such entities like the Boys and Girls Club, by teaching children and parents internet safety tactics, by setting up junior police academies and citizen academies, by conducting school visitations and programs on drugs and

7 -7- extremism, and by holding community meetings at cafes and pubs where the community feels more at ease to share their issues with police. Dedicated community liaison officers can focus solely on developing programs that build trust with the community and ensuring that law enforcement officials are aware of any extremism reported in a community. This can keep traditional intelligence gathering and community relationship building separate. Partnering with private sector businesses (e.g. hotels, local firearms and chemical sellers), other government agencies (both national and local), NGOs, academia, local mental health care providers, and the media brings a necessary perspective to COP. Tailoring COP trainings to the target local community is very important because communities can differ greatly. This component is especially crucial at the nexus of COP and CVE. Furthermore, practitioners and officials must be prepared to treat everyone and every community equally. There are shared concerns, such as internet safety or child protection, that apply equally to all communities. COP should not target specific messaging (CVE) to one community, while failing to address other issues (internet safety), with the same community. Distributing training manuals on COP as well as smaller pocket guides to local police has proven to be successful in Belgium s CoPPRa model for COP, which was adopted by 13 EU member states. OSCE is also developing a COP guidebook intended to help member state police forces better understand and practice COP. Identifying terrorist behavior indicators is helpful to COP practitioners as they build relationships in their community. The previously noted CoPPRa framework spells this process out effectively. As in the UK s PREVENT strategy, placing educators and community members in schools and other relevant forums to engage at-risk youth with positive messages can be an effective method of CVE, and can leverage the community in actively countering radical ideas. Engaging communities on their level, especially in immigrant or minority communities, is a crucial step in building trust. Speaking their language, knowing their likes and dislikes, and understanding their customs and traditions, will help build trust and provide a clear path for information exchange. This can also result in better identification of violent extremist behavioral indicators. Developing a compendium of stories and case studies of successful COP efforts may be helpful for COP practitioners around the world.

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