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Enhancing the Dissemination of Innovation in Community Policing: The Role of Information Sharing; Final Report

NCJ Number
Date Published
January 1998
51 pages
Based on a survey administered to police planners in 360 local organizations (all with 100 or more sworn officers) and planners in 43 State law enforcement agencies, this study examined issues related to the exchange of information regarding innovations in community policing.
The survey questioned respondents about what agencies planners are most likely to contact when they seek information, the frequency of these contacts, the mode of communication, factors that influence the choice of a contact, the resource requirements associated with these requests, whether requests are information specific, and the extent to which police planning and research units are prepared to conduct research. The study found that the communication among police planners is both frequent and relatively well organized. Communication is mostly by telephone, but electronic bulletin boards and World Wide Web sites show potential. When choosing an agency to contact, planners generally choose another agency that faces similar problems and issues; the reputation of the organization is also important. The survey also found that police organizations devote significant resources to responding to requests for information. Most planning and research managers believe their staffs have not had adequate training in the skills required to conduct research in their own organizations. The study recommends that the police community acknowledge and encourage the network of communication among police organization, including providing resources to key organizations to support dissemination activities. The National Institute of Justice should continue its efforts to enhance the research capacity of police organizations, including making research information available through electronic media. Tabulated survey responses and a copy of the questionnaire

Date Published: January 1, 1998