As one arm of the criminal justice system, law enforcement is responsible for maintaining social and public order. RAND research is relevant to many issues affecting law enforcement agencies in the United States, with a focus on public safety, quality policing and community policing, and the recruitment and retention of quality officers.

  • Police officer maintaining crowd control


    Performance Metrics to Improve Police-Community Relations

    Feb 23, 2015

    Changing the way police performance is measured could prevent issues leading to civil rights violations and poor police-community relations. Should California take the lead to recommend that local law enforcement agencies must report performance metrics?

  • Mounted police outside Buckingham Palace, photo by Arpingstone/Wikimedia Commons


    Assessing the Value of Mounted Police Units in the UK

    Nov 19, 2014

    Research in the UK shows demonstrable and measurable value of mounted police in various deployment scenarios, but the decision to maintain, expand or cut mounted capacity must be based on the priorities a police force sets within limited and contracting budgets.

Explore Law Enforcement

  • Report

    RAND Review: November-December 2015

    This issue reports on efforts to help veterans transition into the civilian workforce; uptake of buprenorphine as a recovery drug for those addicted to heroin and prescription painkillers; ways to combat poppy cultivation in Afghanistan; and more.

    Oct 19, 2015

  • Police officers investigating just beyond a police line after a bus shooting


    Understanding Police Coordination

    Understanding coordination work in policing is worthy of attention by researchers for a number of reasons. When police fail to coordinate their activities adequately, crimes and their detection and prosecution can slip through organizational cracks.

    Oct 9, 2015

  • Policeman taking details


    Evaluating the UK College of Policing's New Stop and Search Training

    An evaluation of new stop and search training introduced by the UK College of Policing aims to provide an in-depth understanding of the quality and nature of the training programme's implementation, the mechanisms of change, and the impact on on officers' behaviour.

    Sep 30, 2015

  • Police officer standing outside his vehicle

    News Release

    Police Officers Face Risk of Traffic Injuries Under Many Conditions, Including When Cars Are Stopped

    Vehicle crashes are the largest cause of death among police in the U.S. Understanding the risk factors can help law enforcement agencies take steps to lower the risk of injury collisions, such as restricting motorcycle use to situations where the use of other vehicles is not feasible.

    Sep 1, 2015

  • Handcuffs on a computer keyboard


    Law Enforcement Cyber Center: A New Internet Resource for Combating Cybercrime

    The Law Enforcement Cyber Center provides vital information and resources to police chiefs, police officers, cybercrime investigators, and prosecutors.

    Aug 11, 2015

  • A wooden gavel


    In the Interest of Justice

    As the line between criminal justice and national security continues to blur, K. Jack Riley offers three principles that can help young criminology practitioners and scholars.

    Jun 26, 2015

  • A worker tends to cannabis plants at a medical marijuana plantation near the northern Israeli city of Safed


    The 10 Ps of Marijuana Legalization

    Marijuana policy is a growing topic of discussion, and laws are starting to change. Ten choices confronting jurisdictions considering legalization cover many of the critical decisions that will determine whether removing prohibition is a good idea.

    Jun 22, 2015

  • News Release

    Companies Are Making Cybersecurity a Greater Priority, but Hackers Still May Be Gaining

    While worldwide spending on cybersecurity is close to $70 billion a year and growing, many chief information security officers believe that hackers may gain the upper hand in two to five years, requiring a continual cycle of development and implementation of stronger and more innovative defensive measures.

    Jun 10, 2015

  • Police stopping on a crowded street


    Examining Police, Community Relations

    The “Strengthening Police-Community Trust” panel held Wednesday at RAND's Pittsburgh offices felt ripped from the headlines, and from the outset the discussion was focused on what the moderator called “the intersection between the community and the police.”

    May 8, 2015

  • Events @ RAND Audio Podcast


    Strengthening Police-Community Trust

    In this Events @ RAND podcast, Pittsburgh Chief of Police Cameron McLay joins Councilman R. Daniel Lavelle and RAND's director of Safety and Justice, Brian Jackson, for a conversation about why building and maintaining trust between police and the public is critical for the health of American democracy.

    May 6, 2015

  • reprioritized-det


    Interactive Tool for Ranking Digital Evidence Needs

    This tool presents the prioritized needs related to digital evidence collection, management, analysis, and use and allows the user to see how their priorities would change when the importance of different digital evidence objectives are changed.

    Apr 20, 2015

  • Police in formation at a Memorial Day ceremony in Connecticut


    When It Comes to Police-Community Relations, “Expect What You Inspect”

    As the President's Task Force on 21st Century Policing report suggests, local governments should evaluate police on more than crime statistics, and police departments and officers should be held publicly accountable for meeting the community's expectations. Adding new dimensions of performance metrics would help.

    Mar 17, 2015

  • Former Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson's badge


    To Serve and Collect? Police Department Funding, Effectiveness, and Legitimacy

    Like so many issues in public policy, one of the factors shaping the complex policing challenges facing America—and a potential lever to help address them—is simple and unsurprising. That factor is money.

    Mar 16, 2015

  • A police officer points a spotlight at a group of demonstrators near Ferguson, Missouri in August 2014


    Visions of Law Enforcement Technology in the Future

    The Law Enforcement Futuring Workshop identified ten possible future scenarios and 30 high-priority technology needs for law enforcement based on consideration of current and future trends in society, technology, and law enforcement.

    Mar 16, 2015

  • Mounted police patrol Hattersley near Manchester, northern England


    Want Better Policing? Bring on the Horses

    Neighborhood patrols by mounted police in the UK are associated with comparatively higher levels of public trust and confidence than patrols by police on foot. Members of the public engage with mounted police over six times as much as they engage with police on foot.

    Mar 10, 2015

  • Police form a line after a grand jury returned no indictment in the shooting of Michael Brown, Ferguson, Missouri, November 24, 2014


    Progress After Ferguson? Good Ideas Need Good Implementation

    President Obama's Task Force on 21st Century Policing has done a great service by providing dozens of sound recommendations—good ideas that could help avoid another Ferguson. Now we need good implementation to go along with them.

    Mar 9, 2015

  • Report

    Positive Youth Development in a School-Based Setting: A Study of the Los Angeles Police Academy Magnet School Program

    Offers a case study of a Los Angeles public school--based positive youth development (PYD) program to examine the extent to which PYD principles are incorporated in school programming and how they relate to a set of youth outcomes.

    Feb 18, 2015

  • Addenbrooke's Hospital Accident & Emergency department entrance


    Using Emergency Department Data for Crime Prevention

    Data sharing among emergency departments and law enforcement is known to reduce crime. RAND Europe researchers are developing guidance for police practitioners in England and Wales on available hospital data and its potential uses, as well as on how to establish and maintain data-sharing partnerships with NHS partners.

    Dec 19, 2014

  • An airline passenger stands in a full-body scanner at a TSA checkpoint at LAX in February 2014 after U.S. authorities issued a warning to airlines to watch out for militants who may have hidden bombs in their shoes


    What Research Says About Profiling

    When police take action on the basis of race, creed, or ethnicity it is corrosive, unfair, ineffective, and can stoke the flames of police-community tension. But as we have found from a variety of assessments, law enforcement is best served when it bases its activities on risk—not on personal characteristics.

    Dec 18, 2014

  • News Release

    Previously Removed Immigrants Are More Likely to Be Rearrested After Leaving Jail

    Unauthorized immigrants who previously have been removed from the United States are more than 2.5 times more likely to be rearrested after leaving jail, and are likely to be rearrested much more frequently than those who have never been removed.

    Dec 16, 2014