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The Ten-Step Guide for Conducting In-House Experimental Evaluations

NCJ Number
Renee J. Mitchell; Cody W. Telep; Cynthia Lum
Date Published
42 pages
Developed as part of the Matrix Demonstration Project, this guide for law enforcement practitioners leads the users through a practical example of an experiment in Sacramento, California, that examined the impact of directed patrol, using the Koper Curve principle.
The overall intent of the guide is for users to appreciate and apply high-quality research in the development of a culture of self-evaluation that produces evidence-based policing. The guide acknowledges that it is not all-inclusive; however, it does indicate a number of possible rewards and challenges for agencies that conduct their own experimental evaluations; and it discusses a number of practical issues for agencies interested in conducting a randomized trial. It includes a number of resources on evidence-based policing and experimentation at the end of each section. Prior to presenting the 10 steps for conducting an in-house experiment, the guide defines evidence-based policing, discusses the role experiments play in evidence-based policing, and describes the Sacramento hot spots experiment. The 10 steps for conducting an in-house evaluation are as follows: 1) deciding to evaluate; 2) deciding what to evaluate; 3) creating an initial working group with key stakeholders; 4) anticipating challenges; 5) garnering support for the experiment specifically and for research generally; 6) planning and strategizing for the experiment; 7) designing the experiment; 8) ensuring successful experiment implementation; 9) ensuring successful data collection and analysis; and 10) completing the experiment.