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Evaluation of the Locally Initiated Research Partnership Program

NCJ Number
Date Published
September 2003
271 pages

This final evaluation report is a comprehensive review of the Locally Initiated Research Partnerships (LIRP) program which promotes research and program evaluations as policing agencies develop community policing.


In 1995-1996, the Locally Initiated Research Partnerships (LIRP) program was initiated and jointly sponsored by the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) and the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS Office) of the U.S. Department of Justice. The LIRP program was designed to complement the basic tenet of community policing that organizations can achieve more by working independently. The program offered the opportunity for parallel partnerships with researchers. In fiscal year 1995-1996, the program funded 24 projects across the country. Federally funded by NIJ, the Institute for Law and Justice (ILJ) employed a theory-based evaluation approach to provide a comprehensive review of the LIRP program. Five areas are covered in the evaluation report: (1) an analyses of how research topics were selected at the local level; (2) how research was actually conducted; (3) success factors on initiating and sustaining partnerships; (4) role of research in police departments; and (5) appropriate models of partnerships. Six selected case studies of selected partnerships are presented in the report. Evaluation results provide beneficial information of general application on three models of partnership: local model, consortium model, and shared position model. The evaluation also identified three approaches for sustaining partnerships: informal contact, budget item, and memorandum of understanding. Overall, Federal funds spent on local police-researcher collaboration were funds well spent. The majority of partnerships were successful in conducting a complete research project, including implementation of recommendations from the studies. Successful projects were differentiated by four key factors: (1) the partnerships developed effective working relationships; (2) researchers gained an understanding of the local police culture; (3) research projects were tailored to the local police practitioners; and (4)both researchers and police practitioners understood the role of local research. An appendix is provided which includes summaries of partnership projects. Tables and references

Date Published: September 1, 2003