Clear channels of communication between the police and citizens are vital building blocks for any democratic society.

A USAID participatory youth assessment conducted in 2015 in Tangier and Tetouan revealed that youth’s sense of insecurity in their neighborhoods may be attributed to a lack of positive police presence. In an effort to bolster democratic participation, the Government of Morocco (GOM) has prioritized a series of reforms that prioritize direct engagement between police, local authorities, and citizens to better respond to their needs and improve the police force’s overall efficiency.


The COMMUNITY-ORIENTED POLICING ACTIVITY (COPA) aims to build mutual trust between citizens and local authorities to create safer neighborhoods through citizen-focused security initiatives. Community policing is both a philosophy and an organizational strategy that emphasizes partnership and collaboration between police and the communities that they serve with the objective of identifying and jointly responding to problems of crime, disorder, and fear of victimization. USAID supports the GOM’s reform efforts through COPA in designated marginalized neighborhoods in Tangier and Tetouan. The project works in three strategic areas:

  • STRENGTHENING THE CAPACITY of community-based associations to assist in resolving neighborhood crime and safety issues.
  • TRAINING AND TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE to commanders and front-line personnel of the Tangier and Tetouan police forces.
  • BUILDING TRUST AND COLLABORATION between community actors and the police through facilitated joint activities.


  • Previously, residents in these target neighborhoods did not openly discuss their safety and security concerns with police and local authorities. Through COPA, these same individuals looked past their differences to join together, learn new skills, and contribute to improving the security in their communities. From organizing soccer tournaments between youth, training sessions on security and safety problem-solving, neighborhood clean-up days, and even school field trips to the local police headquarters, USAID builds the skills of the police and residents to help them work together on addressing safety issues.
  • Through COPA, nearly 40,000 participants have taken part in community activities to build trust between police and residents and address safety issues in their neighborhoods.
  • More than 1,300 community leaders have been trained in facilitating dialogue between residents and local authorities and in organizing inclusion-focused community-building activities.
  • During FY 2021, women community leaders comprised more than 70% of participants in COPA skills development training to improve the capacity of citizens to work effectively with the police on local security and safety problems.
  • Through COPA, police and local authorities have increased coordination that targets local security and safety issues during the COVID-19 pandemic. These efforts harnessed COPA’s neighborhood-based association partners and area residents to promote COVID-19 mitigation measures, such as mask wearing, social distancing and vaccination, through community outreach and radio campaigns. Nearly 20,000 residents of COPA target neighborhoods have participated in these campaigns since April 2020.


  • AMEX International
  • Tetra Tech
Changing perceptions and building trust between citizens and the police through community activities.
USAID Morocco
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