Benefits of the Platform

Benefits to Agencies

The Platform will provide a number of benefits to the policing field:

  • Menu of research findings and measurement tools:
    Agencies will be able to choose topics of interest to them or become involved in particular data collection efforts to produce local findings.
  • Inter-agency sharing of information:
    Administrators and policy-makers can learn about how other agencies of similar size and type are responding to particular issues. This should facilitate the exchange of ideas and help to advance innovation in policing.
  • Benchmarks of organizational excellence:
    The Platform will help to define and measure “organizational excellence” on a wide range of dimensions. This documentation will help establish norms for agencies of similar size, type and region of the country. By tracking hundreds of agencies over many years, the Platform will advance knowledge of police organizations the same way that the UCR has advanced our knowledge of crime by jurisdiction size and region of the country.
  • Enhance “learning organizations” and “evidence-based policing”:
    Providing timely feedback of results from employee or community surveys will stimulate internal dialogue and lead to new ideas about improving the work environment and performance. This has already occurred in participating sites. The Platform will also allow agencies to learn quickly about the effectiveness of new technologies or programs when they are tried in several agencies simultaneously. In sum, the Platform will provide the information administrators need to engage in data-driven decision making.
  • Facilitate ongoing police-research partnerships:
    The Platform will help to facilitate cooperative and mutually beneficial relationships between local researchers and police departments. These collaborative partnerships, supported by Platform data, will generate focused projects that can be carried out with ease and less expense.

Benefits to Researchers

The Platform will provide a number of benefits to researchers in the policing field:

  • Facilitate ongoing police-research partnerships:
    The Platform will provide new opportunities for researchers and practitioners to collaborate on mutually-beneficial projects.
  • Answer important research questions:
    Key research questions about the functioning of police organizations, police culture, police-civilian encounters, and the effectiveness of innovation have not been adequately addressed in the past because of the limits of cross-sectional data or studies in single locations. The Platform will provide access to multi-site longitudinal data at the individual and organizational levels. The platform will provide a "buffet" of data elements that can be used to test specific hypotheses, replicate and extend the findings of other researchers, and view patterns of policing from new theoretical perspectives. When fully implemented, the Platform will collect annually standardized data from hundreds of law enforcement agencies and thousands of police personnel nationwide. The collection of longitudinal data from multiple agencies at various levels of analysis (officer, unit, agency, jurisdiction, and region) provides the opportunity to answer a vast array of research questions identified by police leaders or researchers. Data from the Platform will be available to researchers around the world who are interested in policing and police organizations and will support research on a wide array of policy-relevant topics.


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