Our Active/Completed Projects are our funded research projects. From studying officer fatigue to racial profiling and measuring police performance and community policing, we strive to provide the policing community with relevant and progressive information. We have a number of active projects at any one time. This list provides you with more information regarding our current activities.
BJA Byrne Grant Proposal to Develop the Law Enforcement Planning and Research Directors (LEPRD) Foru
This BJA project has two main goals. First, PERF will improve operations for large law enforcement agencies (LEA) by linking their planning and research directors (PRDs) in a network. Second, PERF will create an infrastructure to provide continual support for the LEPRD Forum. Our team has convened an advisory board to guide LEPRD’s development and completed the project online survey on the status of planning and research (P&R) units in the 200 largest LEAs in the U.S. and innovative practices being used by PRDs. We held a conference in Miami with the PRDs from the largest law enforcement agencies in April 2008. We completed development of our project PRD web site to promote the sharing of promising practices information. We are now working on the final deliverable (a promising practices guide on operating P&R units) and completing a report on the project survey results of planning and research directors. Our team is also looking for a new funding source to keep this project going after BJA funding runs out in November 2008.
BJA Conducted Energy Devices (CED) and Custodial Settings
We studied the use of CEDs and other electronic devices in custodial settings. PERF and the National Sheriffs’ Association (NSA) conducted a national survey to identify the current state of the field for these devices in custodial environments. The project report has been drafted and is currently under review at BJA. This project received a positive review by a BJA program monitor in September 2008 (Ms. Barnes) during a site visit.
BJA- Byrne Grant 2007 Data Driven Reduction of Street Violence
PERF has been serving as a subcontractor to the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office (JSO) on this new BJA Byrne Grant. PERF is teaming with JSO to reduce street violence in jurisdictions covering Duval County, Florida. PERF has been working with JSO to create a model for violent crime reduction. First, we conducted an assessment phase. Second, the results of the assessment were presented to JSO staff. Next, JSO and PERF staff agreed that a modified version of problem-solving policing (POP)/intelligence led policing (ILP) model would be implemented and compared to a saturation patrol strategy (along with a comparison group of traditional patrol). Working with JSO staff, crime mapping analyses were conducted and hot spots for the project intervention were identified. The team has also developed a training program for officers to deliver the problem-solving intervention. The team has also been identifying officers to participate in the project (particularly personnel for problem solving). Our team went to Jacksonville the end of September to finalize the POP training materials. The sheriff has given his approval for the final version of our research design.
PERF, with funding from BJS, is administering the 2007 Law Enforcement Management and Administrative Statistics (LEMAS) survey. The survey is obtaining critical information about LEA personnel, equipment, policies and programs, operations, terrorism response, computers and information systems, and other topics. LEMAS is a recurring survey series that collects information from a national sample of LEAs. PERF is handling all aspects of the data collection. To date, we have received 2,841 SSLLEA surveys out of 3,153 sent resulting in a response rate of 90.1%. Our goal is a 90+% response rate and the project is scheduled to end November 30, 2008
Conducted Energy Device Impact on Injuries and Liability
PERF will examine injury and liability issues concerning conducted energy devices (CEDs). There is a need to help agencies understand the effect the deployment of CEDs have on injuries, civil lawsuits, medical costs and worker’s compensation. The study will examine three groups of law enforcement agencies: three agencies with full CED deployment that rank the CED higher on the use of force continuum, three matched agencies with full CED deployment that rank the CED lower on the use of force continuum and a matched comparison group consisting of six agencies that do not deploy CEDs. The final product will include a document with findings, policy recommendations, and other information regarding CED deployment.
Goal 1 is to assess the current state-of-the-field, needs, and best practices in crime analysis and associated data collection as they relate to patrol work within a community policing (CP) context. To address this goal we have started our national survey of LEAs to assess their current use of, and need for, crime analysis and data collection for CP and its integration with patrol. We will use the survey to identify six to ten agencies that have successfully integrated crime analysis with CP patrol work, and will ask them to participate in a series of focus groups to explore the processes they have used to integrate crime analysis. Goal 2 is to provide guidance to LEAs on integrating data collection and crime analysis into regular patrol work within a CP context. To address Goal 2, we will form working groups, whose members would take the findings from the survey and the focus groups, along with their own experience, and identify the gaps in the current system of crime analysis being used by most LEAs and suggest concrete practical solutions to address these gaps. Next, we would conduct case studies with two agencies to increase our understanding of the implementation process for LEAs that have been successful at integration in this area. Our final deliverable would be the development of a guidebook for integrating data collection and crime analysis into regular patrol work.
COPS Grant 2007 – Community Policing Self Assessment Tool (CP-SAT) Online Project
PERF is serving as a subcontractor to ICF to develop an online version of the CP-SAT. First, we have assessed the needs of the field related to an online assessment tool through a national survey. The survey has been completed and we are now analyzing that data. Next, we are completing our new online version of the CP-SAT. We have also created a civilian staff and a community version of the CP-SAT. We are now arranging to pilot test the online CP-SAT with the Gaithersburg Police Department to test for usability, and difficulties in administration and participation.
The fellowship program is operating very productively. Our research fellow during the time period of this report (James Bennett, Metropolitan Police Department - London) worked on the POP curriculum for the Jacksonville violence reduction project, the hotspots systematic review project, an international Benchmarking study on comparing crime in major cities in different countries, and he worked on bringing together the Research/Planning Directors of large police departments to discuss common research problems and promising practices. Our new fellow (Rachael Bambery) from the New Zealand Police started the first week of September. So far, she is off to a great start, and making important contributions on the Jacksonville project and LEOPRD project.
As the demand for professional management services for police chief and public safety executive recruitment grows, PERF has continued to assist municipalities, universities and other government entities with executive search services. While tailoring its services to the needs of each community, PERF offers assistance in the following areas: advertising and actively recruiting qualified individuals; developing position profiles; developing evaluation instruments to assess candidates' skills; and conducting reference checks and structured interviews. The service targets highly qualified applicants who meet the unique needs of a community. PERF has assisted in the selection of police chiefs in a number of cities and jurisdictions, including Los Angeles, CA; New Jersey State Police; Nashville, TN; Logan Township, PA; Miamisburg, OH; University Park, MD; Charlotte, NC; Tallahassee, FL; Lee's Summit, MO; Jackson, MS; Georgetown, TX; Memphis/Shelby Crime Commission, Memphis, TN; Minneapolis, MN; Prince George's County, MD; Brookline, MA; Hoover, AL; Kansas City, MO; Pittsburgh, PA; Gainesville, FL; New Bern, NC; Grand Rapids, MI; Trenton, NJ; Salisbury, NC; New Bedford, MA; and for the New Jersey Transit Police and the University of Missouri at Columbia, and assisted with search processes in Concord, CA and Portland, OR.
Experimental Evaluation of the Mesa PD License Plate Recognition Tech Program
PERF was awarded a 27-month study to conduct the first large scale randomized experiment of the effectiveness of LPR technology. To date, we have collected baseline data on the location of all the hot spots, transit routes, and destination points for auto theft activity in Mesa. We also conducted GIS/mapping analyses to identify the highest rate hot routes for auto theft in Mesa, and combined that information with detective and patrol officer nominated routes (for those places that have high activity but do not show up in the MPD crime statistics). After completing all the planning and pilot work, the project experiment officially started in August. Our team has been working with a lead detective to monitor the experiment (this will be a yearlong process of monitoring the use of the LPR technology and collecting data). Later in 2009, we will begin collection of our post-intervention measures, conduct analysis and write the project final report. We will collect MPD data, MPD auto theft database records and GIS information, insurance data, prosecutor/court data, and qualitative interviews with MPD personnel.
Lockheed Martin (LM) - Use of Technology by Law Enforcement Project
The team began administering the survey for assessing the technology needs of law enforcement. The first two waves of surveys were disseminated in September. We will be conducting focus groups in November, and a final report and PERF publication in December.
The COPS office has funded an LAPD-led initiative that is determining the community of best practices for Internal Investigations. The project involved the commanders of Internal Affairs Units from the largest police departments in the United States. PERF is playing a major role, developing a national glossary of terms to foster standardization in the profession.
PERF's management services program provides a wide range of technical assistance and support to police agencies. Especially when department budgets are stretched and challenged to meet increasing demands with decreased resources, PERF’s management services can assess individual department needs, develop a plan, and assist with implementation of best practices and efficiency measures. PERF had provided such serves to over 100 departments/agencies. Services provided include:
agency management studies, performance audits and organization reviews;
on-site assistance in implementing recommendations;
resource allocation studies, workload assessments and beat planning assistance;
productivity analysis and improvement planning;
information system needs assessment, RFP preparation and system installation monitoring;
assistance with human resource management and personnel processes;
strategic planning and organizational development services;
police core process identification and process mapping; and
technical assistance in specialized areas such as records and information processing, budget, communications, crime prevention, management of criminal investigations and police handling of special populations.
The management services program has also assisted several departments in strategic planning for community policing. Prior projects have included work in the area of court scheduling, assessment of courthouse security and prisoner transportation; evaluation of regional as well as departmental training and education programs; resource allocation studies of small to large municipal and state police departments throughout the United States; and projects that involve the assessment of information system needs, development of a request for systems proposal, and assistance in the acquisition of an information system for several small and large departments. Other projects include work with the National Commission on the Future of DNA Evidence and with Motorola Corporation in site testing of new information technology.
Among the many agencies that have been clients of PERF's management services program have been the U.S. Border Patrol; U.S. Department of State; the U.S. Attorney, Washington, D.C.; as well as municipal, county and state police departments and sheriffs' offices throughout the nation.
PERF's management services division has been actively involved in international programs. Along with the U.S. Department of Justice (ICITAP), PERF coordinated activities to help develop a civilian, democratic policing system for Panama. PERF has worked with the U.S. Department of State, Antiterrorism Assistance Program, to complete a series of training assessments in Cyprus, Jordan, Kenya, Poland and Turkey. PERF has also conducted training sessions for leading Eastern European law enforcement officials on policing in a free society. Participants included representatives from Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary. As part of the program, PERF staff conducted detailed assessments in each of these countries.
PERF is a subcontractor to the University of Chicago, National Opinion Research Center (NORC) on this 3-year project. While we will collect some data from users and sellers, the bulk of our data will come from systematic data collection with narcotics officers. This study will use surveys, interviews with narcotics officers, and case studies/site visits in nine cities. Our project calls for a three-stage study in which the earlier stages would be both building blocks for later stages and independent sources of data. The national survey was started in July 2008 by NORC with PERF assisting by hosting the survey on our research server. A preliminary set of results was prepared for an upcoming presentation at an academic conference. To date, about 1,200 agencies have completed the project survey.
Along with our partner, Wellesley College, we will conduct a 27-month field experiment to evaluate the effects of curricula to reduce dating violence (DV) in middle schools. The study will include random assignment of 50 middle schools/200 classrooms from the 6th and 7th grades to (1) both a building and classroom-level intervention, (2) a building-level intervention, (3) a classroom intervention, and (4) a control group. The class curriculum emphasizes the consequences for perpetrators of DV, state laws, penalties and remedies for DV, the construction of gender roles, and healthy relationships. The building intervention: includes training for police and school personnel in identifying/responding to DV, introduction of school based restraining orders, mapping of “hot spots”, and use of posters for awareness and reporting of DV to the police/school. Surveys will be administered before, immediately after, and six months after treatment. We will explore whether a classroom-based program that incorporates an additional school-level intervention is more effective in changing knowledge, attitudes, and behavior than classroom interventions that do not or compared to no programming at all. The products of this research will include practitioner-focused publications, articles in journals, and presentations at conferences.
Outcomes Associated with the Use of CEDs: A 12-City Comparative Evaluation
This is a 24-month study examining injury/liability issues concerning CEDs/Tasers. We are comparing agencies with CED deployment to a matched group that do not deploy CEDs. We are assessing the effects of CED deployment on injuries to police, suspects, victims and bystanders associated medical costs worker’s compensation claims official complaints against police personnel and lawsuits. Secondly, we will compare these findings to each agency’s ‘use of force’ policies concerning CED deployment and other less-than-lethal weapons. We have conducted data collection with the following thirteen police departments: Baltimore County, Anne Arundel, Alexandria, Montgomery County, Charlotte Mecklenburg, Miami, Denver, Las Vegas, Prince William County, LA County Sheriff’s Office, Alameda County (near Oakland) Sheriff’s Office, DC Metro PD, and Savannah PD. Our team is making a push to complete this project and get the results to the field rapidly. We anticipate completing our data analyses by the end of October 2008. Throughout our study, we have coordinated our efforts with Professor Geoff Albert (USC), and this will culminate in a joint presentation of the results of our two studies at the American Society of Criminology meeting in November 2008.
PERF has been studying patrol resource allocation in a number of jurisdictions.The police patrol mission customarily embraces a variety of responsibilities that can compete for officers’ time. One critical component of successfully allocating patrol resources depends on the assignment of adequate numbers of officers to the greatest problem areas. Patrol is also the part of the police department that has the most public contact. Therefore, ensuring that the right number of officers is on patrol at the appropriate times and in the right places is a key element in providing the highest quality service to the public. The approach PERF takes to patrol staffing is to use actual workload information by hour of the day, and day of the week, for any subdivision for which information is available.The approach then compares the workload that has been performed to the personnel available. These comparisons then form the basis to determine whether sufficient patrol officers are assigned, whether the current schedule matches the workload, and what the impact of re-allocation would be.
Prince William County PD – Immigration Policy Evaluation
This is the next phase of our evaluation project of Prince William County’s new immigration enforcement policy. Our team conducted focus groups with patrol officers, supervisors, and command staff the last week of July. Also, UVA conducted interviews with community leaders and county government officials in July. In September 2008, our team conducted ride-alongs and interviews with patrol officers, interviews with the PWCPD personnel office, interviews with magistrates, interviews with ICE agents, a focus group with the new PWCPD Criminal Alien Unit, and interviews and observations in the PWC jail.
Prince William County PD – Immigration Policy Evaluation: Stage 1 Needs Assessment
: PERF teamed with the University of Virginia (UVA) and James Madison University to conduct an assessment of the implementation of Prince William County’s new immigration enforcement policy. The first phase of the project, a needs assessment, has been completed. We have also developed a more detailed budget for the main evaluation portion of the project (below we outline the main phase of our new $154,000 project).
Each year, the Senior Management Institute for Police (SMIP) provides police executives intensive training in the latest management concepts and practices used in business and government. A demanding three-week course, SMIP is taught by faculty from Harvard and Boston Universities as well as others from some of the nations top universities and the private sector. It is designed for senior police executives who will ultimately lead police agencies throughout the United States and other participating countries. As a developmental program for the profession's current and future leaders, SMIP focuses on leadership and executive development. The curriculum is much more conceptual than technical and requires participants to think in broad terms about their agencies' environments. Among the topics covered are diversity, political management, organizational strategy, performance management, organizational change, leadership, managerial problem solving, labor relations, problem-oriented policing and implementation strategies, process analysis, media relations, new policing strategies and innovations, as well as contemporary operational issues such as response to terrorism.
The program uses the case study method of instruction. Popularized by use in the nation's top business schools, this method combines careful and extensive reading of case materials, including problem analysis and managerial decisions, with classroom discussion of issues presented in each case. SMIP uses corporate, public and police agency cases and encourages participants to apply each case's concepts and issues to their organizations. This is a very demanding, fast-paced program that requires considerable commitment and hard work in class and after class through independent and group study assignments.
Other Management Education services include the development of leadership development programs uniquely created to meet an agency's needs, as well as topic-specific programs.
This is a national use of force project focusing on less-lethal weapons and less-lethal force. It is being conducted in conjunction with the University of South Carolina and the University of South Florida. The project will review less lethal force technologies, training, policies, and usages. The project involves a national study of approximately 1000 law enforcement agencies by the PERF Law Enforcement Center for Survey Research (LECSR). The project also involves individual interviews of police officers who have used force and persons who have been the subject of a police use of force.
This research project uses multiple methods to provide a broad and comprehensive evaluation of use of force outcomes. Included within its scope are a national survey of law enforcement agencies’ less lethal technologies, policies, training, and usages, a multi-site evaluation (20-25 agencies) of how organizational-level factors influence force outcomes (e.g. injuries, nature and incidence of force), a case study analysis that uses force data from two large law enforcement agencies to examine incident-level predictors of outcomes, a time-series of analysis of how the adoption of conducted energy devices (CEDs) may impact outcomes, and an in-depth review of less lethal force decision-making using interviews with officers and subjects involved in use of force encounters. Together, these components are designed to address deficiencies in previous research and answer the following critical research questions: (1) What is the current state of less lethal policy, practice, training, and usage among American law enforcement agencies?, (2) How do organizational and incident-level factors in use of force encounters affect critical outcomes such as officer and subject injuries or the nature and extent of force used, including deadly force?, (3) How do use of force outcomes among otherwise similar events differ according to the availability and use of less lethal weapons?, (4) Does an agency’s decision to adopt CEDs influence use of force outcomes?, and (5) How and why are decisions made by officers and subjects during use of force encounters and how can those encounters be managed better to produce more desirable outcomes?