Press Release

CONTACT: Michael Friedrich

Dr. Tracie L. Keesee Announced as Project Director of  DOJ National Initiative for Building Community Trust and Justice

The National Initiative for Building Community Trust and Justice is pleased to announce the hire of Tracie L. Keesee, PhD, as project director. The National Initiative is a U.S. Department of Justice project led by the National Network for Safe Communities at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, and with Yale Law School, UCLA, and the Urban Institute as principal partners. It is designed to improve relationships and increase trust between minority communities and the criminal justice system, as well advance the public and scholarly understandings of the issues contributing to those relationships.

Dr. Keesee is well-positioned to execute the role as project director, in which she will oversee the five pilot sites implementing interventions to enhance procedural justice, reduce implicit bias, and promote racial reconciliation, three areas that hold great potential for concrete, rapid progress.

David M. Kennedy, director of the National Initiative, said: “We are tremendously honored to bring someone of Dr. Keesee’s knowledge and dedication into the leadership role for the concrete work of this project. We believe Dr. Keesee’s wide range of experience—in law enforcment, in police training and reform, and in criminal justice scholarship—makes her the ideal candidate to drive real change in practice around procedural justice, implicit bias, and reconciliation at sites nationwide through the National Initiative.”

Dr. Keesee is a 25 year police veteran. She retired as a captain of the Denver Police Department, where her final assignment was as deputy director of Colorado Information Analysis Center (CIAC), the State of Colorado’s fusion center. Dr. Keesee is also the co-founder and director of research partnerships for the Center for Policing Equity, which promotes police transparency and accountability by facilitating innovative research collaborations between law enforcement agencies and empirical social scientists, and seeks to improve issues of equity—particularly racial and gender equity—in policing both within law enforcement agencies and between agencies and the communities they serve.

Dr. Keesee holds a BA in Political Science from Metropolitan State College, academic certifications in Public Policy and Public Administration from the University of Colorado at Denver, an MA in Criminal Justice from the University of Colorado at Denver, and a PhD from the University of Denver in Intercultural Communications. She is a graduate of the 203rd class of the FBI National Academy. Dr. Keesee has published several articles across a variety of collected anthologies and peer-reviewed scientific journals.

Dr. Keesee said: “I am eager to begin the work of the National Initiative. Training and proven interventions that help strengthen law enforcement and community relationships have been at the center of my career. This timely project and the strategies it will implement have true potential to transform the U.S. criminal justice system in a way that improves fairness and justice, reduces bias among those sworn to serve the public, and shifts the often troubled relationships between authorities and minority communities toward greater trust.”



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