U.S. President Donald Trump signed an executive order, introducing several police reforms, while rejecting police reimbursement or dismantling requests.
His order offers federal subsidies to improve police practices, including the creation of a database to track abuses by police.
The order comes amid anger over the killing of African Americans by police.
Several US cities have proposed more radical reforms.
Speaking at the White House on Tuesday, Trump began by saying that he met several African American families who had lost loved ones, including relatives of Antwon Rose, Botham Jean and Ahmaud Arbery – the black corridor killed in Georgia earlier this year.
In his speech, the president again defended the police while condemning looters and "anarchy".
"We have to find common ground," said Trump. "But I am strongly opposed to radical and dangerous efforts to defuse, dismantle and dissolve our police departments."
He added that "without police, there is chaos".
"Americans believe that we must support the brave men and women in blue who police our streets and keep us safe," said Trump.
"Americans also believe that we must improve accountability, increase transparency and invest more resources in police training, recruitment and community involvement."
The latest reform initiative began after George Floyd's death in police custody last month.
Floyd died after a white police officer in Minneapolis knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes. The killing sparked global protests led by the Black Lives Matter movement.
There was further outrage after the death of another black man, Rayshard Brooks, who was shot during an attempted arrest in Atlanta last Friday.
What does the Trump order include?
Trump's announcement comes when Democrats and Republicans in the U.S. Congress are developing reforms on their own.
The president's executive order aims to provide incentives for police departments to improve, linking some federal subsidies to "best practices".
It will create a federal database of complaints against police officers. It will also encourage the sending of social workers alongside police officers to deal with non-violent cases involving drug addiction and homelessness.
The White House emphasized that the idea is to bring police closer to communities.
The request will also prioritize federal grants to departments that obtain high-level certifications in relation to climbing removal training and the use of force.
"As part of this new accreditation process, bottlenecks will be banned, unless an officer 's life is at risk," Trump said. "Everyone said it's time, we have to do it."
The president said the government is studying new "less lethal weapons to prevent deadly interactions".
Trump described the Atlanta incident as "very disturbing" and said his initiative was "about security".
The president also condemned the death of George Floyd, but rejected suggestions of ingrained racism in police forces.
Critics say the measures fall short of the deep reform that many are seeking.
After the announcement, Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer asked lawmakers to pass bolder laws.
"Unfortunately, this executive order will not provide the significant change and significant accountability in our country's police departments that Americans are demanding," he said.
The President of Law and Order
Analysis by Tara McKelvey, BBC White House correspondent
With the signing of the executive order, Trump gave in a little.
He considered himself president of law and order and took a hard line with the protesters. But on Tuesday, he spoke of changes in the police force.
He used dramatic language, saying he was concerned about justice. He also described the executive order, saying that some policemen, for example, would now be accompanied by social workers when they left to help drug addicts or homeless people.
The executive order was hardly the comprehensive reform that activists called for, however.
The president spoke with even more passion for the economy, and the White House was full of employees who did not wear masks.
They – like the president – were trying to get the message across that the nation and its economy are returning to their once healthy state.
What other reforms have been proposed?
In Minneapolis, some council members announced plans to disburse and dismantle the police department.
In Atlanta, following the death of Rayshard Brooks, Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms demanded a series of changes related to the use of lethal force by the police. This includes the "duty to intervene" if a police officer perceives a colleague's misconduct.
San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York and Chicago are among the cities that have said they will reform their policies on the use of force and expel racist officials.
At the federal level, Democrats introduced their own legislation to the Chamber of Deputies.
He calls for a ban on the method of detaining suspects by bottlenecks and a ban on warrants – which allow police to enter a property without notifying residents.