Procedural Justice

Traffic stops by police officers are the most common way the public encounters law enforcement. Nearly 85% of all police-initiated interactions with people in their jurisdictions occur in this way. Enhancing this type of interaction may be the single most prevalent way to improve relationships between police and the communities they serve.

“It’s evidence-based policing that makes the community safer, our policing more effective, and it keeps us at the forefront of modern policing techniques”

The EPJETS Protocol (Enhancing Procedural Justice of Encounters Through Substantiation) has emerged as a meaningful engagement method to enhance traffic stops and their positive impacts for public safety in local communities. It was recently tested in a 2-year multi-city randomized-controlled trial funded by the U.S. Department of Justice, National Institute of Justice. 

The EPJETS Protocol utilizes Risk Terrain Modeling (RTM) analytics to prioritize traffic enforcement areas and inform “procedural justice” talking points delivered by officers. Data-informed conversations and key information are shared with drivers about the current traffic crash problem in the town or city. Additional elements of the EPJETS Protocol include opportunities to submit feedback as a citizen and to review the body-worn camera (BWC) footage of their own stops. When BWCs are used, the footage provided allows drivers to see how they interacted with the police and gives them peace-of-mind that the traffic stop was being recorded and could also be seen by the officer’s supervisor as a matter of accountability.

The EPJETS Protocol was originally developed by Stockton University Professor Dr. Nusret Sahin. When adopted by police departments and utilized in accordance with the training program, EPJETS has proven to significantly:

      • increase public trust in law enforcement

      • enhance the legitimacy of traffic stops and increase levels of support for traffic law enforcement

      • enhance driver and passenger cooperation with police

      • improve perceptions of police professionalism related to body-worn cameras (BWCs)

      • encourage compliance with and obligation to obey the law

    “Citizens are concerned during traffic stops. It’s a very stressful moment for some people,” Dr. Sahin said. “We are alleviating that stress…. If you want a professional police service, if you want to enhance trust between police and the citizens, then the protocol offers a simple and easy way to do that.”

    The EPJETS protocol, including its guidelines, recommendations, required technology and training to ensure success are available through Simsi’s Engage Program. Affordable access includes RTM analyses, data-informed ‘procedural justice’ scripts, survey management, and guidance with integrations of BWCs.

    Atlantic City Police Chief James Sarkos showed immense enthusiasm for his department’s use of the EPJETS Protocol. “It’s evidence-based policing that makes the community safer, our policing more effective, and it keeps us at the forefront of modern policing techniques,” Chief Sarkos said. “We are proud that we not only serve our citizens but are also accountable for our practices”.


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