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In God We Trust, All Others Bring Data

NCJ Number
Date Published
September 2018
2 pages

Sgt. Jeremiah Johnson, Ph.D., of the Darien Police Department (Connecticut), who is a graduate of the National Institute of Justice's (NIJ's) Law Enforcement Advancing Data and Science (LEADS) Program, discusses the importance of police agencies using reliable research methodologies to collect and analyze data that will determine whether police programs and strategies are achieving their intended objectives.


Sgt. Johnson notes that the typical image of the American police officer is that of a "warrior or guardian," not as a scientist in the field of public safety, who bases her/his professional behaviors and policies on data collection and analysis that show how police in interactions with the community can effectively prevent and respond to behaviors and conditions that threaten public safety. LEADS is an important feature of NIJ's efforts to merge scientific methods with policing policies and practices. It draws police officers from across the nation to learn from experts and one another. LEADS is building a collaborative network of policing leaders who understand and prioritize how policing effectiveness can be improved through proven scientific methods of data collection and analysis. As an example, Sgt. Johnson describes his agency's spearheading of a multi-site experiment that tested the effectiveness of police patrol vehicles using static red and blue "cruise lights" at night to deter crime.

Date Published: September 1, 2018