Incorporating Research and Data Into Criminal Justice Agencies - NIJ LEADS Alumni Spotlight
Sergeant Jeffery Egge of the Minneapolis Police Department, and NIJ LEADS Scholar alum, discusses his experience with leads including how the program benefited his agency and his use of date to address gun violence and the opioid epidemic and the city's sentinel events review of overdose fatalities. Sergeant Egge also discusses his current work looking at investigative closures.
The NIJ LEADS Program has benefited me personally in many different ways, as well as my agency.. When you’re exposed to all of those minds, and all of those people, translating some of those projects and works that people were doing into the effective and evidence-based strategies and tactics.
It was one of the main benefits to my agency— in almost a daily, if not weekly, task or weekly mission—to try to really integrate some of those things that we were hearing from all across the country, and all of those talented and bright people that I had the opportunity to be around, or present with, or collaborate with.
My research challenges as a LEADS Scholar, were many. At the beginning, I was very concentrated on gun violence, and really tried to boil down evidence-based practices on offenders, and target hardening of victims. And some of the dynamics of place—it evolved into the opioid epidemic. One of the things that we were seeing from many of my East Coast collaborators was that the epidemic was coming. And we knew it was coming. It had not arrived in my municipality of Minneapolis, but we started to see some of those indications.
So, we were ready to go.
We had a data-driven approach. We had a way about analyzing this, and we jumped into that and became a participant in some of the national dialogue on that particular issue. One of the key partnerships that developed from the LEADS Program was our essential “event review” of overdose fatalities. We worked with our public health partners in the city of Minneapolis, as well as the state of Minnesota. We have partners at the NIJ that came and worked with us. One of the main outcomes of our essential event review of overdose fatalities was just simply looking at a particular phenomenon like overdose fatalities and really looking at sharing data and finding causations.
And the way we did that was new to our public health partners. We were looking further upstream and in some of our some of our--the ways that we went about for instance in the beginning, gun violence was the same model that we used in terms of our overdose fatalities.
So another one of the research topics that going forward I’m working right now, after graduating from the LEADS Scholars, is investigative closures. And working in investigations now and really trying to understand some of the dynamics in real-time cases. Things, like, where the — how much opioids are impacting investigations. How much is homelessness impacting investigations? And as well as what it really takes to improve investigative closures. That’s what I’m working on right now.
The advice that I have for future LEADS Scholars and for Chiefs of Police is that this work should support the mission. And it should provide purpose and direction on how to improve the organization and some of the strategies that you’re trying to implement: Be that procedural justice and improving the public trust, or in many ways crime control. But crime control has to understand and address these trust issues that have arisen in these areas about treating people with respect and equal justice under law.
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