In the aftermath of the Ferguson, Missouri, incident and other highly visible force incidents, public trust and confidence in the police has been shattered in cities across the United States. As a result, many police departments have sought ways to restore police legitimacy through community policing initiatives, procedural justice training, and other strategies. In fact, many have turned to Chicago, Illinois, for direction, since the Chicago Police Department has been involved in such initiatives for several years. Yet surprisingly, the law enforcement community has no way to evaluate the success of these efforts. Are the police treating people respectfully or not? Is the department improving over time? How does one city compare with other cities?
As part of the National Police Research Platform, a team of researchers and practitioners developed the Police-Community Interaction (PCI) Survey to allow community members to evaluate their contacts with the police and determine whether officers were treating the public in respectful, fair, and compassionate ways.1 After preliminary testing in Chicago and other cities, this methodology was rolled out in more than 50 U.S. jurisdictions in 2014.