First Year Evaluation of the Caruth Police Institute at Dallas

by Robert C. Davis

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In March 2009, the Dallas Police Department (DPD) began a unique partnership with two local universities, the University of North Texas (UNT) and the University of Texas at Dallas (UT Dallas). A $10 million gift from the Communities Foundation of Texas (CFT) provided start-up funds to create the W. W. Caruth Jr. Police Institute at Dallas (CPI), which provides training for officers at all stages of their careers and serves as the research and problem-solving arm of the DPD, providing solutions to complex policing problems and developing effective crime-fighting strategies. This report describes the results of a first-year process evaluation of CPI based on an evaluation design that RAND researchers prepared with funding from CFT. The design included a process evaluation of the institute's first-year operations and an impact evaluation to assess whether and how the institute can make the DPD more effective. This report on the process evaluation examines the extent to which CPI is meeting its operational goals and the milestones set forth in its business plan, as well as obstacles to implementation and how CPI has responded to these challenges. The process evaluation included collecting information from DPD and institute records, interviews with CPI staff, interviews with senior DPD managers, interviews with participants in CPI's inaugural course for lieutenants, course evaluations completed by participating lieutenants, and observations of meetings of the CPI board of stewards and classes. Although CPI got off to a slow start, it assembled a well-qualified staff that created a state-of-the-art leadership class for lieutenants as its first course. The research and problem-solving component of the institute is also off to a solid start.

Table of Contents

  • Chapter One

    Introduction

  • Chapter Two

    Research Methods

  • Chapter Three

    Staffing and Infrastructure

  • Chapter Four

    Institute Courses: Developing Future Dallas Police Department Leaders

  • Chapter Five

    Research and Problem Solving: Introducing Evidence-Based Practice into Dallas Policing

  • Chapter Six

    Dallas Police Department Senior Staff's Views About the Caruth Police Institute

  • Chapter Seven

    Sustainability

  • Chapter Eight

    Progress Toward Goals and Objectives: A Caruth Police Institute Report Card

  • Chapter Nine

    Conclusions of the Process Evaluation

This report was sponsored by the University of North Texas at Dallas with funds from the Communities Foundation of Texas and was conducted under the auspices of the Center on Quality Policing (CQP), part of the Safety and Justice Program within RAND Infrastructure, Safety, and Environment (ISE).

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