Traffic stops are the most prevalent way police have contact with the public. As research continues to show widespread racial disparities of those stopped, it is increasingly seen as a practice that, if ended, would serve the cause of social justice. Should the police continue to conduct traffic stops? Police1 conducted a survey of officers to find out what they thought.
Around one-fifth of people experiencing homelessness have a severe mental health disorder. Almost as many have a substance-use disorder. Police need better policies and community partnerships to help make their response to homelessness safer, more humane, and more effective.
This weekly recap focuses on Americans' views about voting in the age of COVID-19, what makes the U.S. Postal Service so essential, why some in law enforcement may be open to “defunding the police,” and more.
By deliberately addressing misinformation, police officers can promote safe and healthy behaviors among those in their communities. The actions they take to combat misinformation and improve protections in their communities are a critical part of the collective campaign to end the pandemic and help people return to their normal lives.
Police officers equipped like soldiers have appeared on the streets of American cities amid recent protests over George Floyd's killing. How should lawmakers reform a program that makes use of excess equipment and is popular with police departments, but that also raises substantial concerns about the militarization of policing?
The killing of George Floyd and other abuses of power have brought about growing calls to alter how we conduct public safety and, more broadly, criminal justice in America. Evidence shows there is substantial room for improvement.
Personal accountability will always have a role in policing. But the kind of cultural change that is necessary to prevent tragedy is often best tackled by focusing on the system rather than merely blaming the individual officer.
With calls to reduce spending on police, a question becomes by how much? RAND researchers studied the average amount taxpayers spend for police to respond to a reported crime. These estimates are available in a new tool that makes it easy to visualize police costs per crime by state.
Calls to “defund the police” have grown common and urgent in the wake of police killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and numerous other Black Americans. Research and community activists agree: Public safety can be improved by investing more public dollars in a social safety net, and less in policing and incarceration, in Los Angeles.
After the killing of George Floyd by police in Minneapolis and subsequent nationwide protests, the United States is seeing urgent action to reform policing. Here are insights from four RAND researchers who work on policing and community safety issues.
Scenarios of possible futures can help planners envision what the future could be, and plan ways to optimize opportunities or mitigate damage. Trends regarding retail operations, hotels, tax revenues, fines and forfeitures, and autonomous vehicles are all happening today. We've imagined how they might extend into the future.
Pittsburgh has been taking a hard look at race, wealth, and opportunity. In partnership with RAND, the city has run and published its numbers on subjects ranging from police contacts to business ownership to graduation rates as part of a commitment to do better.
Research on body cameras has shown mixed results. Complaints against police officers dropped when cameras were used, but rates of assault against them during arrests were higher. How much discretion the officers used in turning cameras on and off was also a factor.
Billions of dollars are spent worldwide on the rollout of police body cameras. There is an urgent need to understand whether the cameras help police and the public, and under what conditions they work best.
The NYPD's purging of its 2007 report on radicalization may give some satisfaction by symbolically breaking the connection between the current mayoral administration and the NYPD's previous intelligence and investigative efforts. But its significance seems questionable.
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.”
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.
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.
Neighbourhood 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.
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.
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.
After two controversial grand jury decisions not to indict police in the deaths of unarmed African Americans, a White House task force has 90 days to provide recommendations for promoting accountability among law enforcement agencies to cultivate trust between police and communities. The timeline may seem impossible, but, sadly, these issues are old and the solutions are well known.
Community leaders and police departments have a responsibility to their citizens to address questions about their policing practices, such as: What are the most significant areas of concern? How severe are the problems? What are the most effective solutions?
Authorities in Ferguson would be wise to consider following Cincinnati's example in dealing with mistrust between police and citizens after the police shooting of a young black man. The city embarked on a thorough examination of racial profiling by its police force and took steps to deal with the perception that bias was influencing the way police officers performed their duties.
Predictive policing is not an end-all solution, but rather a tool that must be used in concert with other policing resources as part of a broader anti-crime effort. Used properly, predictive policing can predict the risk of future events, but not the events themselves.
Good relations between the police and the public are a cornerstone of civil society. Everyday interactions between cops and citizens are at the heart of what defines those relations, write Jack Riley and Greg Ridgeway.