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Using Research-Based Evidence in Your Jurisdiction - Interview With Hank Stawinski

NCJ Number
Date Published
July 2016
1 page
In this video and accompanying transcript, Hank Stawinski, police chief of the Prince George's County Police Department (Maryland), discusses how research can assist law enforcement agencies in solving crime through evidence-based decisionmaking and how partnerships between researchers and law enforcement can lead to innovative solutions.
Stawinski, notes that Prince George's County has achieved significant reductions in crime over the last several years through research on determining what motivates criminal behavior, what facilitates crime, and what strategies have proven effective in reducing and mitigating crime. This research is an ongoing activity driven by cooperative planning between the law enforcement agency and the National Institute of Justice (NIJ), the research arm of the U.S. Justice Department. NIJ has facilitated the establishment of partnerships between the Prince George's County law enforcement agency and researchers experienced in working with police departments. An important aspect of this police and researcher cooperation is the police agency's development of data-collection devices and an information system that maintains data on crime types, locations, and trends over time. In cooperation with researchers, determination is made about where various crime types are concentrated and distinctive factors that may contribute to the crime. Strategies can then be designed to address various types of crime in targeted locations in the county. Scientific evaluations of the impact of various countermeasures on targeted crimes can then be conducted to determine whether the implemented strategies have had their intended effect. Researchers bring rigorous scientific methodologies to crime analysis and work with the police to design, evaluate, and revise strategies for the use of police and community resources to prevent and respond to crime. Stawinski's view of the future of policing consists of police-researcher networks of cooperation in developing and evaluating the cost-effectiveness of various police strategies applied under various conditions.

Date Published: July 1, 2016