This report summarizes the themes and commissioned papers from a workshop conducted on November 28-29, 2006, in order to provide guidance on the future direction of the National Institute of Justice's (NIJ's) police research.
Workshop participants consisted of 40 knowledgeable and experienced law enforcement professionals, academic leaders, and government officials. Participants identified several areas of interest for research, including identifying the best techniques for recruiting and retaining officers and identifying effective training for entry-level police officers and leadership training for first-line supervisors. Other suggested research topics were how best to use Compstat concepts, the internal dynamics of police organizations, and the impact of technology on policing. Participants emphasized the need for a large-scale, multiyear "life course" research project in order to produce baseline data for use as a starting point for developing policing performance measures. These performance measures would be used in assessing the impact of policing practices and techniques and in testing innovative strategies. Another research-related issue discussed was how, in what format, and to whom research findings should be disseminated so that research information is usable by practitioners. Workshop participants were also concerned about what more can be done to draw information from research to guide police officials' decisions about which strategies to pursue and how to go about implementing them. Another priority was a research plan that can develop performance measurement systems to facilitate assessment of the quality and effectiveness of policing. The three commissioned papers are entitled "Police Organization and Management," "Police Accountability," and "Police Innovation and Crime Prevention: Lessons Learned from Police Research over the Past 20 Years." Links to "pdfs" are provided for the workshop report and its commissioned papers.
Date Published: November 1, 2006