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Advancing Science-based Policing through Inclusion, Representation, & Equity (ASPIRE): A National Campaign and Career Pathways Pilot to Promote Diversity in the Policing Workforce

Award Information

Award #
Funding Category
Competitive Discretionary
Congressional District
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $1,500,000)

RTI International, the International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators (IACLEA), and the National Association of Women Law Enforcement Executives (NAWLEE) propose a project to address the need to better recruit, retain, and support officers of color in American law enforcement. With expertise in evidence-based policing; racial equity; post-secondary education and career pathways; workplace and workforce solutions (including recruitment, retention, and support of underrepresented groups in policing); and innovative, large-scale training and technical assistance for law enforcement, we will meaningfully engage students and leaders from historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) and law enforcement to develop career pathways programs into policing for diverse students and empower local agencies across the country to diversify their staff and conduct better policing through a national campaign and law enforcement agency (LEA) toolkit.

Primary activities: We will use our collective expertise to successfully meet BJA’s objectives for this project: (1) develop a national campaign focused on the recruitment, retention, and support of officers of color; (2) develop and pilot the HBCU Law Enforcement Career Pathways project; (3) plan and convene symposia to inform the national campaign; and (4) create a toolkit to aid local LEAs in better recruiting, retaining, and supporting diverse officers.

Expected outcomes: This project will develop policing career pathways programs in three HBCUs, which can be replicated in additional colleges and universities. Informed by research and project symposia engaging diverse students, educators, and law enforcement professionals, the national campaign and toolkit will empower agencies throughout the country to better recruit, retain, and support diverse officers through practical, concrete, and customizable recommendations.

Service area: The career pathways pilots and in-person symposia will be conducted in Clark Atlanta University (Atlanta, GA), Howard University (Washington, D.C.), and Southern University and A&M College (Baton Rouge, LA).

Date Created: September 29, 2022