Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $400,000)
The present proposal is for a three-phase project aimed at improving police and community stakeholder response to hate crimes. After convening and conferring with a collaborative working group of police and community activists, through a series of nationwide virtual trainings, multimedia resource guides, and written, data-based reports, the International Center for the Study of Violent Extremism, alongside experts from Police2Peace will first train police and sheriff’s deputies to build trust among their communities as “Peace Officers” as they work toward building an early warning and intervention system within their jurisdiction. ICSVE will then train frontline stakeholders, including probation officers and social workers in addition to police and sheriff’s deputies, to identify and intervene with people who are at risk for radicalization or have already adopted hateful ideologies but have not yet engaged in violence. The final phase will be for ICSVE to train investigators and victims’ services professionals to interact with victims of hate crimes in a trauma-informed manner, to investigate hate crimes effectively and efficiently, and to interact with hate crime suspects in a way which gleans the most accurate information not only about the crime itself but also about the broader network of individuals supportive of violence-justifying hateful ideologies. Throughout the project, and more intensely during the final two quarters of the project, ICSVE will collect data both from training participants as well as community members who may have interacted with training participants in order to empirically assess through quantitative and qualitative methods the efficacy of the trainings. Deliverables include a short training manual on how to construct an early warning and intervention system for police addressing violent extremism in their communities, a multimedia resource guide featuring former members of hate groups and hate crime offenders speaking about their experiences, a widely accessible final report detailing lessons learned and best practices moving forward, and a scholarly article aimed at informing researchers, policymakers, and practitioners regarding the findings from the project.