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Police-Researcher Partnership: Building the Infrastructure for Effective Program Evaluation

NCJ Number
Date Published
September 1998
12 pages
This letter and report summarize a project funded by the National Institute of Justice to promote, create, and strengthen partnerships between police agencies and academic researchers to aid the evaluation of emerging law enforcement programs, particularly community policing and problem-oriented policing.
The project began with the development of formal police-researcher partnerships at six sites: New Orleans, Baltimore County (Md.), Charleston, W. Va., Charlotte-Mecklenburg, N.C., Grand Rapids, Mich., and Wichita, Kans. The project determined the strengths and weaknesses of each partnership, created trust-building activities for the partnerships, determined and ranked research topics, and promoted the development of realistic methodologies for evaluating the top selected police issue. The analysis revealed that the first step in establishing the police-researcher partnership was to bring the local police agencies together with the State Statistical Analysis Centers and the universities to determine police research needs and assess the researchers’ capabilities for meeting those needs. Police agency representatives and researchers from each site met in April 1997 to report on the results of implementing the police-researcher partnership and research initiatives undertaken. The partnerships are continuing to work on evaluation strategies to assess community policing efforts.

Date Published: September 1, 1998