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NIJ's Law Enforcement Advancing Data and Science (LEADS) Program — Ongoing Class

Josh Young; Obed Magny; Nicole Powell; Tarrick McGuire
In this video, law enforcement officers discuss how NIJ’s Law Enforcement Advancing Data and Science (LEADS) scholar program benefits professional development and fosters research collaboration between law enforcement and scholars. LEADS participants discuss:
  • Integrating science into their police departments.
  • Exploring the importance of evidence-based research partnerships between local police and universities.
  • How being a LEADS scholar provides a national platform to address issues affecting local communities.


JOSH YOUNG: So one of the benefits of the LEADS Scholar Program is networking with other officers who’ve actually integrated science into their police departments. And with that collaboration, we get a body of knowledge that we could use and then share and disseminate. One thing that Obed and I have done is we’ve co-founded the American Society of Evidence-Based Policing. And one thing that we try to do is bridge that gap between academics, researchers, community members, and everyone who has a vested interest in policing. And as part of that narrative that we’re trying to translate, communicate between the research and the frontline officer so we could actually integrate real data and real science into policing.

OBED MAGNY: So one of the things we ... and the most simplistic way to say is if you’ve got a problem in your neighborhood, whether you have something going on in the organization, you want to solve that problem and you want to use scientific research in solving that problem. You want the pracademics, people associated with the American Society of Evidence-Based Policing and other pracademics coming up with those solutions in solving that problem.

NICOLE POWELL: One of the things the LEADS Scholars Program has helped me is to understand the importance of evidence-based research and the partnership between a local police department and a university. It was kind of hard to put that together because I didn’t know what it looked like. But then the last few months, I was able to get with Loyola University as well as my department — New Orleans Police Department — and build a collaboration, a research partnership and bridging that together. And we’re going to be working on, hopefully in the near future, a study of homicides clearance rates in New Orleans, looking at new measures and new strategies and the ways we can all rise the clearance rates in New Orleans.

TARRICK MCGUIRE: I’ve taken multiple activities that while being a LEADS scholar. The first thing I would like really just to talk about is my research initiative with the Mentoring Arlington Youth Program. That program really focuses on building relationships with minority youth and also teaching them skill sets to be successful. Through that program, I’ve been able to really do some publishing on a national level and have some conversations on a national level as a LEADS scholar. And so being a LEADS scholar has really elevated me from — to an executive standpoint to really talk about things nationally of things that I’m doing in my local community.

[ON SCREEN TEXT] How has the LEADS program fostered collaboration between scholars and law enforcement communities?

JOSH YOUNG: So if you look at the goal of law enforcement in general, we’re trying to obviously better ourselves, advance our profession, work within the streets that we know, have effective and the most safest outcomes for our citizens and also for our law enforcement officers. Working with the LEADS Scholar Program, what you have is a collective body of research practice that have been integrated and adopted already, and more importantly measured, and the successful interventions is what we want to pick from the LEADS scholars. We want to use that information and we want to disseminate it out. So, we’re not just keeping the information internally, but we’re sharing it with the broad body of law enforcement across the states.

TARRICK MCGUIRE: Well, for one, it allows a platform to talk about issues that are going on within our community, and not only our community that is affecting society across the country. It has allowed myself to be a representative of my organization on a national level, but with a very reputable organization such as NIJ. So, it’s been very beneficial. It allows us to be in the room and have conversations and to move really that conversation forward from a local level to a national level.

Date Created: June 13, 2016