Participants debated whether, or in what circumstances, communities leading these efforts should involve law enforcement. They recognized that there were both advantages and disadvantages of having law enforcement involved. Advantages include protecting the community from legal risks or assuming liability when dealing with an at-risk individual. Disadvantages including creating a “chilling effect” on communities’ willingness to conduct an intervention in the first place, for fear it may result in an unnecessary investigation or arrest.
These findings come from the Report on the National Summit on Empowering Communities to Prevent Violent Extremism. In August 2014, the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS Office) and the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Federal Law Enforcement Training Centers (FLETC) partnered with START to coordinate a National Summit on Empowering Communities to Prevent Violent Extremism. The recommendations included in the full report reflect the major themes that emerged, focusing on those that the participants appeared to support through debate and dialogue across the two-day event.
For a copy of the full report on this topic, please see the COPS website at http://ric-zai-inc.com/Publications/cops-p326-pub.pdf.
Weine, Stevan, and William Braniff. 2015. "Community-Focused Best Practices to Prevent Violent Extremism Research Brief," START, College Park, MD. September. http://www.start.umd.edu/pubs/START_FLETC_COPS_ResearchBrief_CommunityFocused_Sept2015.pdf