NIJ disseminates information to policymakers and practitioners in a number of ways. One of the newest is a series of online discussions about innovations in public safety. The series is produced through the collaborative efforts of Harvard University’s Ash Institute for Democratic Governance and Innovation, NIJ, and OJP. NIJ is providing subject matter expertise, marketing assistance, and logistical support to the series.

  • Less Lethal Force
    The first online discussion, “Less Lethal Force: An Online Session on Emerging Issues and Where to Learn More,” was emceed by then-Assistant Attorney General Deborah J. Daniels and Harvard University Professor of Government Stephen Goldsmith. Police Executive Research Forum Executive Director Chuck Wexler served as moderator.

    The practitioner perspective was given by Thomas Streicher, Cincinnati Chief of Police, and Clark Kimerer, Seattle Deputy Chief. Research findings were discussed by Robert Kaminski of the University of South Carolina and David Klinger of the University of Missouri–St. Louis. The online discussion included multimedia presentations and multiple modes of interaction between the audience and presenters.

  • DNA in “Minor” Crimes
    The second online discussion, “DNA in ‘Minor’ Crimes Yields Major Benefits in Public Safety,” showcased how police departments across the United States and around the world are discovering that biological evidence from property crime scenes can play a significant role in preventing future property crimes and more serious offenses.

    The discussion featured Dr. Cecelia Crouse, DNA Technical Leader and Supervisor of the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office Crime Lab, Dr. Peter Pizzola, Director of the New York City Police Department Crime Lab, and Paul Hackett, National DNA Business Manager for the Forensic Science Service in the United Kingdom.

Archives of these two sessions and announcements of future sessions can be found on the Ash Institute’s Government Innovators Network Web site ( The site was launched in November 2004 with the aim of becoming an e-marketplace of ideas for senior-level policymakers and practitioners.