Engaging in positive and proactive interactions with the community is important to strengthening public confidence in law enforcement while balancing effective crime control. Deepening relationships with the community can enhance trust and legitimacy between law enforcement and the community, reinforce collaborative problem-solving principles, challenge biases, and benefit criminal investigations. It is important for officers to keep these principles and goals in mind whether interactions with the community are voluntary or involuntary.  Law enforcement agencies should routinely examine their policies, procedures, training, and data collection to ensure that their practices are reflective of community priorities and needs, uphold citizens’ Constitutionally protected civil rights, support officer safety and wellness, and enhance policing efficacy. 

The following toolkit highlights 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.

Conducting Stops & Detentions

Constitutional Law

Rights of the Public

Reasonable Suspicion

Policy Considerations


Data Collection & Analysis

Addressing Violations

Additional Considerations

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.