Community Policing 

Improving public safety through community policing strategies requires a holistic approach that fosters local ownership and supports community-focused interventions grounded in problem-solving, transparency, accountability, impartiality and inclusion. Implementation efforts focus on improving public perceptions and trust in the police as partners that can deliver timely, effective service that aligns with universal standards of justice, recognizes the rights of all and respects the fundamental values of human rights. 

Creative has a proven track record of implementing successful policing and community security programs, particularly in fragile communities and locations transitioning from conflict to peace.  

To reduce homicides and other violent crimes in Honduras, Creative’s USAID/OTI Convive! project focused on strengthening police capacity, building community cohesion and establishing citizen-government alliances. The USAID/OTI-funded program implemented 225 innovative community-oriented policing activities—including training 2,500 entry-level police officers in community-oriented policing. As a result of these efforts, 70 percent of residents in target communities reported increased confidence in police. 

Working with local councils in liberated Syria, Creative emphasizes the critical need for police to understand communities, build trust among residents and work in partnership with neighborhoods to deliver proactive responses to community-identified security needs. Read more about Creative’s approach to community policing in this blog, “Community Policing for Lasting Trust: Lessons from Syria.” 

Under the Access to Justice and Community Security (AJACS) and Al Rashad programs, Creative enhanced the technical capabilities of security providers and successfully increased trust with communities. This is underpinned by fundamental principles of treating all people fairly with dignity and respect, active listening to community concerns, impartial decision-making and transparency. 

Al Rashad tangibly increased community trust in Syria’s Internal Security Forces through public dialogues, mobilizing civilian oversight mechanisms and building capacity among police leadership to train its officers in community-oriented policing. Al Rashad notably surpassed its community outreach and engagement objective by more than 500 percent, translating extensive public input on security into support for setting up new community service centers that respond to public service needs, including six detainee affairs offices and two civil documentation centers. Learn more about Al Rashad’s public dialogues and community policing in this article, “Community Dialogue Sessions Spur Formation of Detainee Affairs Offices in Syria’s Liberated Areas.” 

Police officer playing on the street painting hop-scotch game at Inauguration. Usulután, El Salvador

Citizen Security 

Vulnerable youth growing up in at-risk communities and volatile environments often encounter difficult choices—gangs or extremist groups may seem like viable alternatives to a life of voiceless alienation and social exclusion. 

As leaders in evidence-informed citizen security, Creative matches appropriate programs to the specific levels of risk faced by different youth populations. These primary prevention interventions have been the staple of Creative’s youth work globally for over 20 years. 

Creative has pioneered cutting-edge strategies to reach those most at risk of joining these groups by providing individualized services, engaging families and deterring those youth from joining destructive groups. These secondary prevention programs have yielded measurable results in some of the most violent communities in Honduras. See the story “Igniting Hope in Youth,” which talks about the successes of family counseling in Honduras.  

Creative takes an integrated and holistic approach to citizen security, recognizing that neither prevention programs alone nor a singular focus on law enforcement or suppression will stem epidemic levels of violence, extremism and transnational crime.   

Real and lasting improvements to citizen security can only be achieved through a balanced approach that combines evidence-based social programs, sensible public policies and constitutional and compassionate law enforcement in initiatives that empower communities and governments to create safer neighborhoods and more secure states. 

Syrian internal security force checkpoints




Community policing for lasting trust: Lessons from northeast Syria

Building trust, particularly in regions healing from conflict, is a gradual process requiring careful nurturing and constant safeguarding against its erosion. Since the rise and fall of ISIS in northeastern Syria, re-establishing the Self Administration of Northeast Syria (SANES) as the region's de facto government and rebuilding trust in its safety & security providers has proven challenging. Learn More...


“We are having the wrong conversation about public safety in the Northern Triangle”

Creative experts offer their perspective on addressing crime and violence in Central America. Learn More...


In El Salvador, 40 prevention tools and place-based focus create big changes for at-risk communities

Harold Sibaja, Chief of Party for El Salvador Crime and Violence Prevention Project, explains the project’s far-reaching approach, its focus on the most at-risk areas, and the biggest changes he has seen to date. Learn More...

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