In this video, law enforcement officers discuss how NIJ’s Law Enforcement Advancing Data and Science (LEADS) scholar program benefits professional development and provides the opportunity to network with academia and share research with other agencies to improve evidence-based policing. In addition, law officers discuss how the LEADs scholar program equips smaller agencies to improve community relations.
[ON SCREEN TEXT] How has the LEADS program benefited you and your professional development?
EDWARD PALLAS: The LEADS Program has been a great benefit to me in my professional life. I would say, first and foremost, the networking. The different scholars that I have met, that I’ve been able to connect with from around the country, not only from around the country geographically, but from around the country and the interest that they have, all levels of interests, academic what we call Pracademic, that is police officers that are also researchers, has been phenomenal, outstanding.
GARY EBLAN: What we’re looking at, really, is the--is the cross section between academia and the practical application of police work and it has given us an opportunity, in a personal sense, to pick the telephone up and call somebody in Sarasota, or Wisconsin, or California, or Florida, and say, “We have an issue. What have you been doing?” And the research is shared instantly. And that’s been a great asset for all police departments, but I can specifically talk about the Boston Police Department because that’s where I work, and that we have that resource.
JIM MAC GILLIS: The LEADS Program has benefited me and my agency in a number of different ways. It has helped inspire me to be a better researcher, applying research to practicum, and also training. My agency, it has helped bring our voice to the national theatre where we’re actually working together with other researchers and practitioners to help the profession out, applying research to practicum.
MARK LANDAHL: The LEADS Program’s been great for me both from a professional perspective and also from a research perspective being someone recently completing their doctoral research and embarking on my own research, and we’re at a tough time for law enforcement where we need evidence-based answers to what we do and why we’re doing it, and it’s a time where we can also provide both professional and the academic side to the research that’s going on that we need in this critical time.
[ON SCREEN TEXT] What takeaways do you have from your involvement in the LEADS program?
EDWARD PALLAS: Major takeaway is the people. It’s the networking. It’s the relationships you build. My background is on leadership and leadership is all about relationships, and this program has allowed me to create relationships from all over the country, at all different levels, from officers and other organizations that are likeminded and that are research-based, and I greatly appreciate that.
JIM MAC GILLIS: A person who works in a small agency has a voice that needs to be heard and be involved, and the LEADS Program has allowed me, others in this program to network with other professionals, to learn from them, to share what we’ve learned in our own agency, to learn what they have done in their agency, and how to apply that good research to practical application, improving community relations, and helping the agency overall.
MARK LANDAHL: The major takeaway is definitely even stronger, always had a good view of evidence-based policing, but it’s taken a much stronger view of how we can use research and how we should be using research to improve practice.