NIJ Journal 265: Director's Message
One of the most disturbing statistics to come across my desk is the sheer number of law enforcement officers who die in traffic
accidents. Most years, we lose more officers to accidents than we do to shootings. Although some accidental deaths involve
auto collisions, many take place when an officer leaves a vehicle and is walking or standing on the road. Firefighters and
other first responders face similar hazards.
The National Institute of Justice has teamed up with the Department of Homeland Security's U.S. Fire Administration to sponsor
several scientific studies of roadside safety. This issue of the NIJ Journal presents important research findings that may help improve officer safety on the roads. We asked scientists and engineers
to look at everything from what color of flashing lights will best alert drivers to an emergency to where reflective materials
should be placed on vehicles to maximize visibility. We hope these studies will contribute to safer working conditions for
law enforcement officers throughout the country.
In this issue, we also present a very different kind of study that could save lives. An intensive look at how terrorists learn
— and fail to learn — the skills they need to launch "successful" attacks highlights certain weaknesses that law enforcement
agencies can exploit as they try to detect and deter terror strikes.
For policymakers, this issue of the Journal presents research on the long view of crime and a review of the effectiveness of cognitive behavioral therapy. Both articles
give insights into successful programs.
Finally, our cover story on elder abuse shows how NIJ forensic research is helping law enforcement document these horrifying
crimes. We take an in-depth look at some special problems that prosecutors face when these cases reach the courtroom.
Acting Director, National Institute of Justice
NIJ Journal No. 265, April 2010
Date Created: April 15, 2010