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Research in the Ranks: Empowering Law Enforcement To Drive Their Own Scientific Inquiry

NCJ Number
Date Published
October 2018
5 pages
Publication Series
This article describes the features and benefits of the National Institute of Justice's (NIJ's) Law Enforcement Advancing Data and Science (LEADS) program, which is designed to assist both individual officers and law enforcement agencies in conducting agency-specific research in consultation with professional researchers, so as to design, conduct, and apply research that improves the scope, effectiveness, and efficiency of agency operations.
The LEADS Scholars program works directly with individual law enforcement officers to create a community of program participants that enables like-minded professionals to interact and jointly pursue research interests. In addition to sponsored attendance at research-oriented conferences and symposia, the LEADS Scholars program provides participants with technical and substantive support for research projects, literature reviews, and contact with subject-matter experts across a wide range of law enforcement issues. The Overall aim is to develop mid-rank police officers with a research -oriented focus who will be tomorrow's agency leaders. The LEADS agencies program was launched in 2017 to assist agencies in increasing their effectiveness by improving their internal capacity to collect and analyze data, conduct research, and use its findings to inform policies and practices. In its current first phase, the program is supporting evidence production and integration in eight police departments of varying sizes, capacity, and geographic location. Later this year (2018), NIJ aims to integrate lessons learned and promising practices from these efforts into a practical guide for evidence-based policing.

Date Published: October 1, 2018