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LEADS Scholar Spotlight - Optimal Investigator Caseloads

Daniel Stewart
Daniel Stewart, a captain in the Oklahoma City Police Department and Class of 2016 Scholar of NIJ’s Law Enforcement Advancing Data and Science (LEADS) Program, discusses research he has conducted on investigator caseloads as commander of a property crimes unit with his police department. He also speaks about the impact of the LEADS program and network on his research and professional career.


So I'm in my second year of the LEADS Program. And what LEADS has, kind of, done for me is it, kind of, showed me the possibilities. So as a--as a police officer, we normally, you know, come to work, do our job. And what LEADS has done is it kind of showed me that, you know, maybe there's more to it. Maybe there's more for me to look into. Maybe there's more questions for me to ask. And I feel like I'm supported through the LEADS Program.

As a commander of a — of a property crimes unit for a larger city, I recognize that we have some problems, particularly in organized retail crime and just property crimes in general. And what I've noticed is that maybe we can do a better job of creating an environment for our investigators to be more successful. Obviously, manpower is going to be an issue. Every city, every department is in need of bodies. I'm hoping what I can — what I can learn through my research is just what is an optimal case level for an investigator, and then how I can support that. 

From a standpoint of coming from law enforcement and spending the last, you know, 18 plus years in law enforcement, you look at things as, kind of, hammer, nail, you know. You see something, you attack it, and you fix it. And I think what I'm learning through — through LEADS is that research is more than that. There's more than one tactic than just hitting a nail with the hammer. The support that you receive through LEADS is beneficial because you're surrounded by like-minded people. There's — when you realize that there are other people within law enforcement that think the same way you do, it's very invigorating.

Date Created: October 9, 2018