Law enforcement agencies must ensure that arrests are made in accordance with the rights protected by the U.S. Constitution and state and federal laws. An arrest should only be executed under very narrow, specific circumstances. In most cases, officers must believe a person has committed, is committing, or is about to commit a criminal infraction or citable offense.

To be part of an effective overall crime prevention strategy, arrest procedures should be consistent with the law and community priorities for bias free policing where law enforcement members treat members of the community in a fair, impartial, equitable, and objective manner. The following toolkit highlights the components of the issue. Within each component, there is associated research, resources, and programs related to investigatory stop and detention practices that can be used by agencies to better understand the issue and how to positively address that issue.

Making Arrests

Constitutional Law

Rights of the Public

Reasonable Suspicion


Preventing, Identifying, and Addressing Violations

Effective Coordination

Data Collection & Analysis

The information provided within these modules has been gathered from various sources, including consent decrees, research, and practitioner and department-developed resources. These webpage modules are intended to be a guide for departments to use to improve their Constitutional policing practices. Additional information and resources may be needed to implement the recommendations successfully. This resource is intended to be dynamic, and the Knowledge Lab will continue to update and add to these modules to provide additional and current guidance for departments.