The Building Communities of Trust (BCOT) Initiative focuses on developing trust between law enforcement, fusion centers, and the communities they serve, particularly immigrant and minority communities, so that crime and terrorism can be addressed. This initiative has been administered primarily by the Nationwide Suspicious Activity Reporting (SAR) Initiative (NSI), a program that provides law enforcement with a capacity for gathering, documenting, processing, analyzing, and sharing suspicious activity reports about behaviors that have a potential nexus to terrorism. The NSI recognizes that each community has one of the most important roles in the prevention of crime and terrorism, since law enforcement agencies are dependent on community members to report suspicious activity information to state, local, tribal, and territorial (SLTT) law enforcement officers. To help ensure that this reporting takes place, it is essential that law enforcement and community members have strong, trusting relationships. As these relationships are developed and maintained, members of the community are more likely to report crime and suspicious activities, which is why the NSI has worked with partners at the federal, state, and local levels — including U.S. Attorney’s Offices, privacy advocacy groups, faith leaders, and a diverse group of local community members — to implement the Building Communities of Trust initiative.
This document is a complementary piece to Guidance for Building Communities of Trust1 and was developed to assist community leaders working with law enforcement agencies to facilitate dialogue and discuss ways to work together to prevent crime and terrorism. The strategies discussed here also complement national strategic goals to empower local partners to keep communities safe from threats of violent extremism.
Community leaders and local law enforcement share responsibility for addressing the prevention of crime and terrorism in their neighborhoods. This Guidance provides recommendations, resources, and tips on how you, as a community leader, can be more proactive in working with your law enforcement agencies to help keep your neighborhoods safe.