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Research for Police: Who Needs It?

NCJ Number
Date Published
6 pages
This paper encourages the development of police-research partnerships with a focus on the development of ways to reduce crime.
In the first section, the traditionally remote relationship between research and practice is described, and the case is made for changing this circumstance. The drivers for this change include an increasing focus on the delivery of "outcomes," a more professional police service, and an increase in the analysis of data. The second section presents some examples of what research has to offer, bearing in mind the need to reduce crime. The research literature contains conceptual frameworks within which to develop new approaches; expertise in handling complex data sets and deriving agendas for action from them; and ideas on what works, where, and why. The author notes that these research findings are not always readily accessible to busy police managers. Examples are provided of the conceptual ideas that have proven useful in developing new initiatives, and the author outlines how they have been used to generate knowledge about what works, where, and why. The final section of the paper discusses what needs to change in both the police world and the academic world if productive relationships are to be developed and sustained. Among the suggestions are the need for researchers to consult with police regarding research goals that pertain to crime prevention and problem-solving, as well as the need for police to consult with researchers in establishing testable hypotheses regarding what mechanisms are directly related to crime reduction. 2 tables and 7 references

Date Published: January 1, 2001