Police Foundation Governance and Accountability: Corporate Interlocks and Private, Nonprofit Influence on Public Police


Police foundations are new private organizations used by public police services to raise corporate monies in North America. This article examines problems of governance and accountability arising in relation to police foundations and police services. Drawing from interviews, freedom of information requests and records from city archives, we analyze interlocks between corporations and police foundations via board membership. Because of the influence and control directors exercise by voting on projects and vetting other board members, links between corporations and police foundations raise ethical questions about the power of board members to influence police spending and procurement. We analyze data pertaining to four themes in literature on nonprofit organizations and directorate interlocking: philanthropy; influence and control; cooptation; and reciprocity. In conclusion, we reflect on the implications of our findings for literatures on public police governance and accountability.

Criminology & Criminal Justice, 20(2)