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From the Director: Harnessing the Power of Data-Driven, Inclusive Research

NCJ Number
Police Chief
Date Published
December 2022

This article from the Director of the National Institute of Justice, originally published in the December 2022 issue of Police Chief, discusses the importance of engaging in data-driven problem solving and of inclusive research partnerships that involve community members and police officers.


This article from the Director of the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) makes the case for the continued support of inclusive research partnerships and of the Law Enforcement Advancing Data and Science (LEADS) Scholars Program, to sustain and empower the integration of evidence and data into law enforcement policy and practice. The LEADS program is one form of uniting efforts of researchers and police practitioners. The director recommends that NIJ should encourage both LEADS scholars and police-researcher partnerships of all kinds to engage in research that uses an inclusive, community-based, and problem-solving approach. The director also lays out several topics that require a more credible research base than currently exists, including: police culture, and the need to develop strategies to recruit, retain, and promote a diverse staff; officer wellness, specifically mental health; officer activity, to engage in community-based problem solving; officer training, to determine which methods lead to change in knowledge, attitude, and skills; community trust, which is a priority for police executives, needs more accurate methods for measurement.

Date Published: December 1, 2022