A police department is essentially a small community. Departments are predisposed to sharing ideas, norms, attitudes, ethics, and values. Some may value proactivity and arrests, while other departments may value community action and non-enforcement contacts.
Sir Robert Peel, the so-called father of modern policing, was early to identify that public trust would be essential to his vision’s success. Both before and after Peel, political theorists have written piles of books and papers on the relationship between people with authority and the people willingly subject to it.
Many professions and industries (e.g., schools, hospitals, manufacturers, software providers) use accreditation to define and distribute policy standards based on the experience and authority of the accrediting body. Beyond the pragmatic benefit of access to best practices, accreditation signals that a company or organization wants to align itself to proven, and quality assured, modes of operating. Some believe it can serve, “as a credible sign of departmental competence, and building a reputation for competence can benefit the department…and the city as a whole.”
It's likely no child has ever spent a wish on becoming a paper pusher, but it's an unavoidable part of nearly every job. Some companies, like those serving other businesses or selling goods directly to consumers, have pivoted to cloud-based document management, while others, namely government agencies and organizations serving the public, continue along the paper trail.
In a 2017 study, the Vera Institute published a study on state-level police reform. They found two goals drove the majority of new laws: increase police confidence and improve police safety. Between 2015 and 2016, "34 states and the District of Columbia enacted at least 79 bills, executive orders, or resolutions . . .to change some aspect of policing policy or practice." When looking at the entire data set, researchers identified three outcome categories for the new legislation: "improve policing practices; document police operations; and increase accountability in police use of force cases."
Evidence-based practice is not unique to policing. In fact, its proponents belong to a variety of professions, including medicine, management and public policy. For example, in the late
Training doesn't have a sterling record in the business world. Studies have found that after one hour, people forget more than 50% of a lesson.
This isn't necessarily new information, either. In the 19th century, German Psychologist, Hermann Ebbinghaus, published research demonstrating "The Forgetting Curve." He found that humans forget 40% of what they learn within 20 minutes.
You've heard the saying, "Those who can't do, teach." That might be true for an aspiring actor turned high school drama instructor, but when it comes to field training officers (FTOs), it's typically an agency's top performers who are chosen to teach your department's recruits.
You already know your department produces a lot of data. As we shared in a previous post, researchers from the University of Chicago identified seven areas of data that provide law enforcement leaders with actionable insight:
- Training and Certifications
- An Officer’s On-Duty Activity
- Use-of-Force Incidents
- Internal Affairs Review and Case Management
- Community Engagement
- Performance Evaluations
- Officer Profile – a LEO’s historic and holistic record
People produce a lot of data. How much is a lot of data? Research company