Privacy SOS

The “Building Communities of Trust” initiative is the term used by federal agencies to sell the new surveillance network to the public as the new face of “community policing.” 

As described in the “Guidance for Building Communities of Trust” compiled by the Justice Department’s Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS),  “The Building Communities of Trust (BCOT) initiative focuses on developing relationships of trust between law enforcement, fusion centers and the communities they serve, particularly immigrant and minority communities, so that the challenges of crime control and prevention of terrorism can be addressed.”

In testimony which the ACLU of Massachusetts submitted to the federal government about the BCOT initiative, it drew attention to the problems inherent in surveillance fusion centers and suspicious activity reporting and argued that “to build trust and public safety, funds would be better spent on traditional community policing than on programs that enlist the police into a new intelligence-gathering apparatus of questionable value.”

© 2021 ACLU of Massachusetts.