The utilization of research by the police
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The present-day interest in linking police practitioners and researchers in the USA finds its roots in a 40-year old recommendation made by the 1967 President's Commission on Law Enforcement and the Administration of Justice. Specifically, the Commission called for the use of social science to assist law enforcement agencies in their efforts to understand better and address the problems they face in their related communities. This advocacy spawned the rapid growth of empirical research intended to provide support to the law enforcement community. Moreover, these research endeavours found important support in federal grant funding initiatives from the US Department of Justice through the National Institute of Justice, Bureau of Justice Assistance and Office of Community Oriented Policing Services. Despite this tremendous effort to link the police practitioner and research communities, there has been little knowledge on whether the resulting empirical knowledge is utilized by the law enforcement community in the USA. The article explores the degree of this utilization through the findings of a national survey of approximately 850 law enforcement agencies in the USA. The survey explored whether law enforcement executives utilize research to inform their decisions on policy development and operations, to what areas of agency operations they have applied this research and the sources they rely upon to find this empirical knowledge. The findings show that reported use of research findings may not necessarily reflect a connection with the empirical work of the research community.
Police Practice and Research
Police Administration, Procedures and Practice