Policing Research Workshop: Planning for the Future
November 28-29, 2006
What direction should NIJ’s policing research take in the future? Some 40 knowledgeable and experienced law enforcement professionals (including several police chiefs), academic leaders, and government officials came together to answer this question.
The group identified several areas of interest:
- Finding the best techniques for recruiting and retaining officers.
- Identifying effective training for entry-level police officers and leadership training for first-line supervisors.
- Understanding how best to use Compstat concepts.
- Better understanding of the internal dynamics of police organizations and the impact of technology on policing.
The group emphasized the need for a large-scale multiyear “life-course” research initiative to produce baseline data to use as a starting point for developing policing performance measures and as a platform for studies to (1) assess the impact of policing practices and techniques and (2) test innovative strategies. Among the many other issues discussed were:
- How, in what format, and to whom do we disseminate research findings so that this information is usable to, and in the end used by, practitioners?
- What more can be done to tease information from what we learn from research to guide police officials’ decisions about which strategies to pursue and how to go about implementing them?
- How do we get to the point where we can develop performance measurement systems so that we can assess the quality and effectiveness of policing?
The three papers below served as the foundation for the discussion. Luncheon speaker John Klofas, Rochester Institute of Technology, spoke on the value of researcher-practitioner partnerships in problem-solving initiatives.
- “Police Organization and Management” (pdf, 41 pages) by Stephen Mastrofski, George Mason University, discusses recruitment, training, department structure, leadership, use of technology, and community policing.
- “Police Accountability” (pdf, 38 pages) by Sam Walker, University of Nebraska, covers integrity, use of force, performance measures, and police and community relationships.
- “Police Innovation and Crime Prevention: Lessons Learned from Police Research over the Past 20 Years" (pdf, 33 pages) by Anthony Braga, Harvard University, and David Weisburd, Hebrew University Law School and the University of Maryland, sets the framework for the future by giving the historical perspective.