Evidence Based Policing
Communities expect their police departments to look at the causes of crime and figure out acceptable solutions. In general, these solutions must be financially feasible and socially acceptable. With law enforcement agencies continually having to do more with less, evidence-based policing strategies are emerging as both an effective, efficient, and legitimate way for departments to combat crime trends. Evidence-based methods allow for the collaboration of quantitative research methods, line officer input, and proven strategies, to bring scarce resources to bear, in making an impact on problem areas, as well as improving police legitimacy within the community. The main focus of this paper is to advocate that evidence-based strategies should be employed by police agencies in order to effectively and efficiently allocate scarce resources. Some of the major concepts which evidence-based methods assist with include the more accurate and defensible estimation of crime locations and trends. Once these are determined, it is up to police leadership to come up with the best way in which to address the problem. There are several strategies, which are becoming more standardized, that provide a positive impact on criminality. Additionally, some of these methods have been shown to be proactive in nature, not just reactive to historical data. Two other benefits this paper will explore have to do with legitimacy. These strategies allow departments to improve their legitimacy with their respective community by employing proven methods based on quantitative analysis through a collaboration between scholars and practitioners.