Rules are how we govern society. They are what make us a “government of laws.” Although policing agencies have extensive manuals and standard operating procedures, many agencies still lack rules for various aspects of policing, including body worn cameras, drones, Tasers, facial recognition and automatic license plate readers, roadblocks and databases. And existing rules do not always reflect the latest research on the effectiveness of various practices.

Few policing agencies have the resources to formulate policies from scratch, or to update their practices to reflect best practices. Technology evolves so quickly that it is difficult for policing agencies to keep up. That’s where we come in. We work with criminal justice experts, community members, police officials, and many others to write model rules and policies for policing.

ALI Policing Principles

Policing Project Director Barry Friedman is the Reporter for the American Law Institute’s Principles of the Law, Policing. The ALI project is designed to draft principles that can guide policing agencies throughout the country in carrying out their duties, and can serve as a template for legislative bodies, communities, and courts. Advisers on the project include law enforcement officials, prosecutors and defense attorneys, judges, community activists, academics, and more.

Democratic Policing Seminar

Students in NYU Law’s Democratic Policing seminar, and externs to the Policing Project, are drafting model policies on practices ranging from the use of SWAT teams and consent searches, to the proper role of School Resource Officers. They have had the opportunity to vet their ideas before panels of policing officials.

The Policing Project also is helping jurisdictions and policing agencies that are trying to adopt best practices and draft policies to implement them.