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Advancing a Police Science: Implications From a National Survey of Police Staffing

NCJ Number
Date Published
Justin A. Heinonen, Jeremy M. Wilson
This article explores the opportunities and problems with using data and analysis to improve personnel management.
Data analysis can lead to innovative ways to address some of the most pressing criminal justice problems. Data collection and measurement, for example, supported the implementation of several successful crime-reduction strategies in recent decades. Ideally, data collection, measurement, and analysis could help police agencies develop evidence-based tenets of personnel management and planning as well as address problems of recruitment and retention. Police administrative data on these topics, however, have many problems, including incompleteness and inaccuracies. This article examines the extent of these as evident in a recent survey of large police agencies regarding personnel experiences and practices. It summarizes the issues that must be addressed for data analysis to yield insights on personnel issues. (Published Abstract)
Date Created: August 31, 2011