U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

Police Departments' Adoption of Innovative Practices

NCJ Number
Date Published
October 2011
6 pages
This report presents the findings of the National Police Research Platform's survey of its participating law enforcement agencies regarding the status of their implementation of 10 approaches to policing that are currently regarded as innovative.
The 10 innovations included in the survey are evidence-based policing, video recording of police activities, use of Compstat, the "broken windows" crime prevention philosophy, an early intervention system, problem-oriented policing, procedural justice, "hot spots" policing, crime analysis, and community policing. Part of the questionnaire asked knowledgeable persons within the organization to indicate whether each of the 10 innovations had been adopted, whether departmental policy regarding each innovation had been established; and if so, in what year. The survey, which was conducted in October-December 2013, was completed by 76 Platform police agencies. Although 25 Platform agencies did not complete the survey, the profile of survey respondents did not differ markedly from the total Platform sample. Overall, the survey findings indicate that by 2013, large majorities of departments had adopted nearly all of the 10 innovative practices, and most of those departments had implemented formal policies to support those innovations. This pattern of fairly widespread adoption of the 10 innovations means that there are relatively few police organizations that have been highly selective about which innovations they adopt. Also, because the sample of survey respondents was a non-representative group of relatively few smaller police agencies, no conclusions can be drawn about smaller agencies' adoption and implementation of the 10 innovations. In addition to filling this research gap, future research should also examine the details of how the innovations have been implemented and the extent to which personnel are using the innovations in their work. 3 figures and 9 references

Date Published: October 1, 2011