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Remarks of Laurie Robinson, Assistant Attorney General
Office of Justice Programs

NIJ Research in the Real World:
From the Academy to Retirement:
A Journey Through the Policing Lifecycle
December 11, 2009
Washington, DC

       Good morning everyone. I'm pleased to welcome all of you to this installment of NIJ's Research in the Real World series.

       Before we begin, I just want to thank NIJ for organizing today's session - and all of the interesting programs that have been part of this series. There's just so much going on in NIJ and in criminal justice research generally - and I think it's so important that OJP staff and our colleagues throughout the Department - and outside the Department - be informed about what we're doing.

       I also have to say that - regrettably - I won't be able to stay for the entire program. My swearing-in ceremony with the Attorney General is this afternoon - and it's kind of a big deal to me - so I need to take a little time to get prepared. So I do want to apologize to our panelists for having to leave early.

       But I do want to say how excited I am about this project that NIJ is supporting to study the life course of policing. This is something we've needed for a long time, and I think we're now at the point where we really can't wait any longer to figure out what our goals are for recruiting and training law enforcement officers.

       You might have seen the article in USA Today last week about the turnover in police leadership in several major cities. People like Bill Bratton in L.A. who really changed the way we think about law enforcement's role - moving it from a reactive to a problem-solving model - they're stepping down, and a new generation of law enforcement leader is coming in.

       One of our roles as policymakers is to make sure that our focus on problem-solving and evidence-based practices doesn't get lost, and this means taking a fresh look at police management and accountability.

       Our panelists have spent a lot of time looking at these issues, and I want to thank them in advance for their insights and for guiding this project. I know we all look forward to hearing what they have to say today, and I know that I'll be following this project with great interest.

       So thank you all. And now I'll turn it over to Kris.

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