Facilitators and Impediments to Designing, Implementing, and Evaluating Risk-Based Policing Strategies Using Risk Terrain Modeling: Insights from a Multi-City Evaluation in the United States
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The contemporary policing literature contains numerous examples of partnerships between academic researchers and police agencies. Such efforts have greatly contributed to evidence-based policing by increasing the knowledge base on effective strategies. However, research has demonstrated that successful collaboration between researchers and practitioners can be a challenge, with various organizational and inter-agency factors presenting difficulties at various stages of the process. Additionally, applied research can oftentimes face implementation challenges when the time comes to convert research into practice. The current study contributes to the literature by discussing researcher/practitioner partnerships and program implementation in the context of a multi-city risk-based policing project in the United States. We conceptualize police interventions as contingent on four distinct phases: 1) problem analysis, 2) project design, 3) project implementation, and 4) project evaluation. In this project, the research partners were able to successfully complete each phase in certain cities while the project experienced difficulty at one or more phases in other cities. We discuss these disparate experiences, identifying factors that facilitate or impede successful completion of each step. Policy implications and recommendations for future risk-based policing interventions are discussed.
KeywordsRisk Terrain Modeling Program Implementation Evidence-Based Policing
This article is based upon the authors’ experiences participating in researcher/practitioner partnerships funded by the National Institute of Justice, grant numbers 2013-IJ-CX-0053 and 2012-IJ-CX-0038. We thank the analysts, officers, and command staff at each of the police agencies referenced in this article for their willingness to partner with us and their hard work on this project. All opinions are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the National Institute of Justice or any of the mentioned police agencies.
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