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Reducing Traffic Fatalities – NIJ LEADS Scholar Spotlight

Sergeant James Williams

Sergeant James Williams of the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department, and NIJ LEADS Scholar, discusses traffic fatalities, the focus of his research while participating in the NIJ LEADS program. Sergeant Williams also addresses how the LEADS Program has benefited his career growth.

The Law Enforcement Advancing Data and Science (LEADS) Scholars program supports the professional development and research capacity of mid-career, sworn law enforcement officers dedicated to advancing the police profession through science.

What is the focus of your research while participating in the LEADS program?

In my role as a sergeant, I was tasked with coming up with solutions to some of the traffic crash problems we were having in the community. 

And from thinking about what I thought might work, the NIJ LEADS Program and the research allowed me to really find out what did work, test different hypotheses, and come up with solutions. The research process really started as just a few ideas about what I thought might work. And through the assistance of the LEADS Program and NIJ, I was really able to find that research of what did work. NIJ has provided me with research assistance, literature reviews, and connections to other professionals that are looking for solutions to the same problem in their communities. 

How has the LEADS program benefitted your career growth?

The NIJ LEADS Program has really opened a lot of doors for me personally [and] professionally.  I gained a lot of great relationships with smart people from across the country in policing.  It’s been a vehicle to organize my curiosity about how to make policing better, and allowed me to do research that I never thought I’d be able to do, on my own, with great support from NIJ and the other LEADS Scholars.

Date Created: March 25, 2020