The Trust Prize (The Policing Innovation and Community Trust Prize) honors and promotes trust building in local communities across the U.S. seeking to build collaboration and partnerships with local law enforcement.

Baltimore, Baton Rouge, Chicago, Cleveland, Ferguson, New York, and North Charleston are only a few of the cities where the relationship between law enforcement and the community has been breached. Restoring trust has become a major goal of local, state and federal law enforcement. The President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing has made trust and legitimacy the first pillar of police reform. Communities challenged by crime and violence need guardians who have made a commitment to protect and serve. Police legitimacy is only possible when communities and law enforcement can collaborate and share a vision of safety and peace.

The vision for the Trust Prize is to shine a bright light on what is working in America’s communities. Despite the polarization that currently dominates media coverage of police/community relationships, there are communities that are seeking to forge a new path toward reconciliation and collaboration.

The Trust Prize is a solution-oriented direct response to these challenges and the perceived impasse between communities and the peace officers that serve them. Some communities have indeed begun the innovation process. We want to acknowledge them, learn from them and create an opportunity for replication.



Expand the national narrative
Given the primary media narrative of communities only struggling, grieving, and in conflict, we want to help expand that narrative to create and build hope for legitimate options forward.
Honor the community as a whole
It is crucial to recognize the holistic, collaborative partnership required between the nonprofit sector, government, business, and law enforcement to truly create and build community trust and deliver community policing.
Enhance the impact in communities
The Trust Prize will go to communities that are already making progress. With the combined power of publicity and the awarding of significant resources ($250,000 or more to each major community) we hope to help sustain, compound, and extend the impact of the existing progress.
Provide models of success as “public domain” for other communities
With urgent national needs for change, the Trust Prize will publicize and support model communities of varying sizes and make-up for other communities looking for examples of best practices. These models will be promoted via an annual conference, social media, and an online community.
Build a Coalition
The long-term success of Trust Prize will require building a national coalition across the country that will benefit from collective engagement and action. The coalition will ultimately facilitate change in social norms specific to community-police trust building.


Under the leadership of Miles Smith, a social entrepreneur with 15 years of experience working with criminal justice reform groups through the Phoebus Criminal Justice Initiative, the Trust Prize is a collaborative social innovation to help transform, sustain, and promote community and police collaboration. The Trust Prize is a registered nonprofit in the state of California. Bios of our Board Members and Advisory Committee Members are found below. 

Board Members
Our Board Members represent key stakeholders in the arena of community-police relations with an emphasis on broad ethnic diversity. Current Board Members include:
David Muhammad
David is a leader in the fields of criminal justice, violence prevention, and youth development, and is the National Justice Partner at Impact Justice, a national research and innovation organization based in Oakland, CA. Among his many roles, David serves as a lead consultant and technical assistance provider to the Sierra Health Foundation’s Positive Youth Justice Initiative, supporting four probation departments throughout the State of California to transform their juvenile justice practice.
Karin Gornick
Karin has over 20-years experience creating, funding and driving impactful television, multimedia and educational outreach projects for companies including CNN, The Travel Channel, and Common Sense Media. She is currently Executive Producer for the new documentary, Screenagers, Growing up in the Digital Age. She is a two time Emmy Award and NAB, Service to Children’s Programming Award Recipient. Some of her favorite socially conscious projects include the film, Silent Angels: The Rett Syndrome Story and the Kauffman Foundation initiative for PBS that focuses on teens and entrepreneurship, helping kids learn self-efficacy and the importance of finding their passion in life.
Kevin Frawley
Kevin has over 40 years experience in both the public and private sectors. He began his career as an Assistant District Attorney in Brooklyn. He subsequently served as New York City’s Criminal Justice Coordinator and Commissioner of Investigation in the Administration of Mayor Ed Koch where he was the mayor’s principal advisor on criminal justice and later responsible for investigating fraud and corruption in the New York City government. He has worked closely with many law enforcement, community organizations and nonprofit firms overseeing grants they received from the Law Enforcement Assistance Administration. Kevin’s corporate experience included  the position of Chief Compliance Officer for Prudential Insurance Company. He  was appointed by Mayor Michael Bloomberg to the NYC Conflicts of Interest Board.
Melvin Cowan
Melvin serves community organizations in strategic planning, development and fostering educational access. He has initiated local efforts in Oakland, CA to foster police accountability and inspire civic engagement with the ambition to build community between law enforcement and citizenry. He also serves as a civic advisor on CA’s 17th Assembly District’s Commission on Boys and Men of Color. Melvin is a 2016 MPA candidate at the University of San Francisco.
Miles Smith
Miles is a social entrepreneur with over 15 years of experience working with the nonprofit sector as a fundraiser, a nonprofit technology sales professional, and a philanthropist serving criminal justice reform groups through the Phoebus Criminal Justice Initiative. He is the Founder of the Trust Prize. Miles holds a Masters in International Management from the American Graduate School of International Management (Thunderbird).
Roberto Villaseñor
Roberto served on President Obama’s 21st Century Policing Task Force. He recently retired as Chief of Police for the Tucson Police Department (the TPD), a position he held since 2009. He joined the TPD in 1980, and served as Officer, Sergeant, Lieutenant, Captain, and as Assistant Chief from 2000 to 2009. Chief Villaseñor was named Officer of the Year for the TPD in 1996, and has been awarded the TPD Medal of Merit three times. He also received the TPD Medal of Distinguished Service. Chief Villaseñor was also recently President of the Arizona Association of Chiefs of Police and a Board Member of the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF). He received a B.S. from Park University and a M.Ed. from Northern Arizona University.
Advisory Committee Members
Our goal is to engage a diverse group of regional and national leaders from organizations representing community advocates, youth, faith leaders, law enforcement, academia, funders, et al. We continue to invite participation from leaders working in the arena of police-community relations. Our current Advisory Committee Members include:


  1. Barry Friedman, Jacob D. Fuchsberg Professor of Law, NYU Law School, and the Founding Director of the Policing Project
  2. David Smith, President of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Kansas City and Kansas City Police Foundation Board Director
  3. Jim Bueermann, President, The Police Foundation
  4. Jim Becker, President, Richmond Community Foundation
  5. Joseph Marshall, Executive Director at Alive & Free/Omega Boys Club and SF Police Commissioner
  6. nica Palacio, Director of the District of Columbia Office of Human Rights
  7. Sean Smoot, Director and Chief Counsel for the Police Benevolent & Protective Association of Ilinois
  8. Susan Rahr, Executive Director of the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission
  9. Tracey Meares, Walton Hale Hamilton Professor, Yale Law School

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