The National Institute of Justice has awarded a grant to the Center for Research in Law and Justice to continue building the National Police Research Platform. The research and development work during Phase 1 (which ended September 30, 2012) has set the stage for the next phase of the project. The current proposal for Phase 2, which began on November 1, 2012 and runs through December 31, 2015, has four primary objectives:
● Implement the full National Police Research Platform with a national probability sample of law enforcement agencies. Phase 1 successfully demonstrated the feasibility of online organizational surveys and field tested a host of new measures of organizational culture and performance. The groundwork has been completed in preparation for a large-scale roll out of the Platform methodology. The high efficiency of the online survey model allows the Platform to increase the sample size to 100 agencies nationwide at affordable costs. This not only strengthens external validity (thus increasing our capacity to translate the findings for a larger, more diverse population of law enforcement agencies), but allows for unprecedented testing of organizational and management theories of policing.
● Integrate complementary methods to gain a deeper understanding of the contextual factors that help to explain the differences between and within organizations. Phase 2 will seek to demonstrate the value of coupling data from organizational surveys, community surveys, key person surveys, official police records, LEMAS, and the U.S. Census in order to capture both internal and external factors that shape police agency performance. The integration of multiple methods and data sources should enhance and contextualize our understanding of police organizations.
● Test the utility of a longitudinal framework for understanding changes within police organizations. Drawing on theories of organizational behavior, procedural justice and other models, the Platform will introduce a plan for longitudinal measurement that explores the structure and social dynamics of police organizations and seeks to identify factors associated with changes in organizational health and performance.
● Explore the impact of translational criminology on police organizations. The platform team is committed to the notion that research can improve practice. Feedback to agencies is expected to enhance their support for research partnerships and their desire to engage in evidence-based decision making. Phase 2 will include a preliminary look at how research findings can affect management’s views of research and evidence.
The chart below shows the visual overview of the data sources to be utilized to study the life course of police organizations in this second phase of the National Police Research Platform.