Police Foundation

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The Police Foundation, dba "National Police Foundation," headquartered in Arlington, Virginia, is a national, independent non-profit organization dedicated to advancing policing through innovation and science.[1]

National Police Foundation
FormationJuly 22, 1970
Founded atWashington, D.C.
TypeNot for Profit
Legal status501(c)(3)
PurposeTo Advance Policing Through Innovation and Science
HeadquartersArlington, Virginia
  • United States
ServicesResearch, Analysis, Training, Technical Assistance, Evaluation
Jim Burch
Former law enforcement officers/executives, Research and Behavioral Scientists, Analysts and Professional Staff
Formerly called
Police Foundation


The National Police Foundation's mission is: "Advancing Policing Through Innovation and Science"

Prior Research[edit]

Since its creation in 1970 by the Ford Foundation, the National Police Foundation has conducted research in police behavior, policy, and procedure, and continues leading efforts in new evidence-based practices and innovations in policing.

The National Police Foundation has conducted many widely cited studies and evaluations in policing, including the "Kansas City Preventive Patrol Experiment," that examined the effects of preventive patrol on crime, the Newark Foot Patrol Experiment that examined the effectiveness of foot patrol on reducing crime and Reducing the Fear of Crime in Houston and Newark, that assessed community perceptions of police and safety, and the Shift Length Experiment, which tested the impacts of different police shift lengths on patrol officers and agencies.

One key early study, “Women in Policing,” that found significant underrepresentation among women in policing, leading the Foundation to established a Research Center on Women in Policing to encourage greater hiring of women in law enforcement.

Research supported by the National Police Foundation and conducted by collaborating scholars was also featured in Malcolm Gladwell’s book Talking to Strangers: What We Should Know About the People We Don’t Know[2].

Current Research & Programs[edit]

More recently the National Police Foundation has conducted research leading to new reports including Police Body Cameras: What Have We Learned Over Ten Years of Deployment? and a National Survey on Officer Safety Training: Findings and Implications.

In late 2020, the National Police Foundation launched the First Responder's COVID-19 Relief Fund to provide support to first responders and their families who have been impacted by COVID-19.

Following the death of George Floyd, the National Police Foundation's Board or Directors authorized a $1 million campaign to support the Foundation's policing reforms agenda, including the creation of a Council on Policing Reforms and Race, the creation of a Visiting Scholar on Policing, Race, and Crime position, and two research experiments related to improving understanding of police labor relations and agreements and the efficacy of civilian oversight bodies.


The National Police Foundation maintains a publication library as well as specialized collections, such as the Critical Incident Review Library and the OnPolicing blog. The Foundation publishes an annual report detailing its key work and accomplishments, new publications and financial overviews.


The National Police Foundation is overseen by an independent Board of Directors and led by its President, Jim Burch. The Foundation's divisions include Research & Evaluation Division (which includes a data science section), National Programs Division, Local Programs Division, International Division, Development & Marketing Division, and the Finance & Administration Division. As of 2021, the Foundation has just under 50 staff and an annual operating budget of approximately $9 million.

Strategic Priorities[edit]

The Foundation's current strategic priorities include strengthening trust to keep communities safe; understanding the role of policing in a democracy; building a culture of safety within law enforcement; better understanding how to conceptualize and measure health & wellness for police officers and police organizations alike; and work that positively informs and impacts policing practices related to preventing and reducing gun violence and deadly force.


The Police Foundation was launched exclusively with private support from the Ford Foundation (1970) but operates today with funding support from many public (federal, state and local governments) and private sources as well as donations. The National Police Foundation is a GuideStar Platinum Charity

Local Police Foundations[edit]

The Police Foundation is a national organization and does not function in the same way or for the same purposes as many of the unaffiliated local Police Foundations. For a listing of local police foundations, visit the Police Foundations (Local) page.


  1. ^ "About Us | Police Foundation". www.policefoundation.org. Retrieved 2016-11-12.
  2. ^ "Malcolm Gladwell – Home". Malcolm Gladwell. 2019-05-09. Retrieved 2021-01-18.

External links[edit]