Community Outreach Unit

photo of two officers shaking hands with a community member

The Community Outreach Unit (COU) builds and maintains strong partnerships with Arlington's residential community and stakeholder groups through proactive engagement to foster open dialogue, improve safety and prevent crime. In collaboration with the residential community, civic association groups, and other stakeholders, the Community Outreach Unit will addresses community concerns pertaining to crime, safety, and quality of life issues, develops relevant educational programming, and ensures community members are knowledgeable about Department services and programs.  

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Meet the Community Outreach Team(PDF, 258KB)

Community Outreach Programs


Community Police Academy

The CPA is an educational program designed to create better understanding and communication between police and the community they serve. The intent of the CPA is to make participants aware of how the Arlington County Police Department operates and its role in the community. Participants are given an opportunity to increase their understanding of how police officers are trained and to experience the working environment of a police officer.

Latino Liaison Officer

In October 2021, Corporal J.P. Montoya was appointed as the Department’s first Latino Liaison Officer. The Latino Liaison Officer will proactively engage with the Arlington community to build trust and confidence. In collaboration with Spanish-speaking officers across the Department, the Latino Liaison Officer will work to develop educational programs on local and state laws, ensure the community understands their Constitutional rights, is aware of how to report crimes and seek assistance from the Department, share crime prevention information, and leverage partnerships with non-profit and community stakeholder groups to improve safety within the community.

Drug Take Back

Arlington County has taken a proactive measure in the fight against prescription drug abuse by installing four permanent drug-take back boxes. The public can now safely and securely dispose of unused, unwanted or expired prescription medications 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 day a year. This disposal service is free and anonymous with no questions asked. The Community Outreach Unit also partners with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to host collection points on the twice-annual National Drug Takeback Days. 


Fill the Cruiser Donation Drives

Throughout the year, the Community Outreach Unit leads seasonal donation drives to support many of Arlington’s nonprofit partners and neighbors in need. Most notably, the Department’s Fill the Cruiser Holiday Toy Drive, ensures that children in need receive new toys each holiday season. Other past donation drives include school supply, pet supplies, and food. 

National Night Out

National Night Out (NNO) is a community-building campaign that promotes police-community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie to make our neighborhoods safer and improve quality of life. During the event, residents in neighborhoods throughout Arlington County and across the nation are asked to turn on their porch lights, lock their doors and spend the evening outside with their neighbors, police officers, firefighters and other County personnel. Events such as cookouts, block parties and ice cream socials will occur simultaneously throughout Arlington County and nationwide.


Arlington County Public Safety Block Party

The Arlington County Public Safety Block Party, hosted by the Arlington County Police Department, Fire Department, Sheriff's Office, and the Department of Public Safety Communications and Emergency Management, is an annual, free, family-friendly summer event that provides community members the opportunity to get to know the men and women who protect and serve Arlington County, while enjoying interactive stations, safety demonstrations, entertainment, food and other activities.



Training Opportunities

The Community Outreach team offers the following safety presentations to community groups:

  • Active Shooter Training (Available Online)
  • See Something, Say Something
  • Risks, Hazards and Vulnerabilities in the House of Worship

Learn More About Community Trainings

Know Your Civic Association: Use our interactive map to locate the civic association where you live. The Outreach Teams work proactively with Arlington's civic associations to address concerns, share information, and attend meetings and events.

Request a Community Engagement Division (CED) Service

Email the Community Engagement Division