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Examining Models of Law Enforcement Crime Information Centers for Sustained Organizational Change

Award Information

Award #
Funding Category
Competitive Discretionary
Congressional District
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $709,851)

Law enforcement agencies face numerous challenges, including historically high levels of violent crime rates, calls for reform, and staffing shortages. Despite these obstacles, agencies are responsible for identifying and incorporating best practices regarding crime reduction and public safety strategies. One such strategy is establishing crime information centers (CICs), which agencies use to analyze crime data to make informed decisions about patrol deployments and the allocation of other resources. Agencies across the country are increasingly adopting CICs as a technological and data-driven force multiplier to improve policing practices and combat crime. Despite their increasing use, CICs have not been subjected to rigorous evaluation, although they do draw from evidenced-based practices such as problem-oriented and hot spots policing.

To fill this gap, CNA proposes to conduct a rigorous review of CICs across the country along with a multisite evaluation of CICs in four law enforcement agencies. The proposed approach to understanding the operations and impact of CICs will include a systematic review to understand the organizational styles and approaches of CICs implemented in law enforcement agencies across the country; process evaluations to document and understand CIC activities, policies, and procedures; and impact evaluations to determine how CICs affect crime levels and clearance rates (as assessed via arrests). To disseminate the study findings across a wide audience of practitioners and researchers, CNA will develop an implementation guidebook, impact reports, and academic journal articles, as well as present findings at conferences.

The rigorous nature of our multisite case study methodology will produce findings that are reliable, valid, and useful to the field. Through the process and impact evaluations, we will develop numerous actionable findings and recommendations that can improve the field of policing. Our findings will directly inform agencies about the best practices of CICs that create sustainable impacts on crime prevention efforts. This information will be useful to agencies with current CICs as well as agencies that are considering implementing similar CIC programs. These findings will provide key information to law enforcement leaders and policymakers who must make informed decisions about how to best invest their personnel and resources to reduce crime and benefit their communities. Given the important and timely nature of this topic, our dissemination plan will translate findings into a variety of products for the field, including both scholarly and practitioner communities.

Note: This project contains a research and/or development component, as defined in applicable law," and complies with Part 200 Uniform Requirements - 2 CFR  200.210(a)(14). CA/NCF

Date Created: September 27, 2022