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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.

  • Pittsburgh Police stand with a group of Pitt students

    Article

    Helping Police Find Better Strategies to Fight Crime

    Dec 14, 2018

    Which policing strategies are the most effective? A new RAND toolkit aims to help law enforcement agencies identify the best approach for the situation, and the key steps to success.

  • Social network illustration superimposed over a city at night

    Report

    How Police Could Use Social Media and Social Network Analysis

    Jul 18, 2018

    Social media and social network analysis could help law enforcement monitor for safety threats, identify those at high risk for involvement in violence, and investigate crimes and crime networks. But computer security, privacy, and civil rights protections must be in place before using these tools.

Explore Law Enforcement

  • A group of people stacking their hands together, photo by pixelfit/Getty Images

    Multimedia

    RAND Remote Series: Advancing Racial Equity Policy

    In this video conversation, RAND's Anita Chandra and Benjamin Preston discuss RAND’s efforts to address the challenges of racial equity from a variety of angles—and options for converting research into action.

    Oct 6, 2020

  • Blog

    The Evidence on Kids and COVID-19, China's Use of Big Data, Telemedicine: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on what we know (and what we don't) about kids and COVID-19, how China is using big data, the future of telemedicine, and more.

    Sep 4, 2020

  • alley, alleyway, , barbed wire", couch, settee, inner city, abandoned, building, graffiti, industrial, industry, decay, nobody, red, old, vandalism, grunge, dark, vintage, retro, urban, metal, destruction, structure, dirty, weathered, view, decline, slum, demolition, smashed, criminal, cracked, rusty, exterior, damage, crime, busted, deserted, abandon, aged, dangerous, empty, city, damaged

    Project

    Crime and Justice Research at RAND Europe

    Using evidence-based analysis to help inform policymaking both in the UK and internationally, RAND Europe offers insights into a variety of issues from the size of illicit markets to how to tackle serious organised crime and reoffending.

    Sep 2, 2020

  • Blog

    Voting in a Pandemic, the U.S. Postal Service, Defunding the Police: RAND Weekly Recap

    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.

    Aug 28, 2020

  • An illustration of people from diverse racial backgrounds. Image by Lyubov Ivanova / Getty Images

    Content

    RAND Center to Advance Racial Equity Policy

    RAND has launched a new research center dedicated to racial equity. The center supports a portfolio of innovative, high-impact racial equity research and analysis, creates a clearinghouse to help coordinate related efforts, and collaborates with organizations dedicated to advancing racial equity.

    Aug 25, 2020

  • Police continue their patrols as officials begin what they are calling a slow and methodical clean-up and removal of a large homeless encampment along the Santa Ana River Trail in Anaheim, California, January 22, 2018, photo by Mike Blake/Reuters

    Report

    The Law Enforcement Response to Homelessness

    Despite lacking the tools and resources to address the underlying causes of homelessness, police are constantly under pressure from business leaders and communities to “fix” it. Some law enforcement agencies are trying new approaches, but they need support to improve these efforts.

    Aug 25, 2020

  • NYPD officers distribute face masks in Washington Square Park, New York City, May 10, 2020, photo by nycshooter/Getty Images

    Commentary

    Police Officers: This Article Will Make You Better at Combatting Misinformation

    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.

    Aug 24, 2020

  • Camden County Police officers patrol on the streets of Camden, New Jersey, amid nationwide protests in the aftermath of the death in Minneapolis police custody of George Floyd, June 11, 2020, photo by Jessica Kourkounis/Reuters

    Report

    Would Law Enforcement Leaders Support Defunding the Police?

    Police have expressed frustration with being expected to handle complex social problems such as homelessness and substance use. Budgeting less money for police and more for other public safety strategies might appeal to law enforcement if these efforts relieve some of the unrealistic expectations on them.

    Aug 20, 2020

  • Homicide Process Mapping

    Multimedia

    Homicide Process Mapping: A Guide for Solving More Crimes

    Senior operations researcher John Hollywood describes the guidebook, Homicide Process Mapping, which lays out proven strategies for solving crimes.

    Aug 17, 2020

  • A police vehicle stops a sedan on a routine traffic stop photo by ASP Inc/Adobe Stock

    Report

    Autonomous Road Vehicles and Law Enforcement

    Autonomous vehicles promise many benefits, but questions remain about how law enforcement officers will interact with them. What will be the biggest challenges—and how can law enforcement prepare to address them?

    Jul 16, 2020

  • Journal Article

    Research in Brief: Comprehensive Suicide Prevention in Law Enforcement

    Any institution-from workplaces to schools to correctional settings to law enforcement agencies-seeking to prevent suicide must take a comprehensive approach. Science suggests that there are five components that define what such an approach looks like.

    Jul 14, 2020

  • Periodical

    RAND Review: July-August 2020

    Feature stories explore what research says about learning loss after extended school breaks; how stress and trauma affect individual and community health; and how a critical care surge response tool is helping hospitals during the pandemic.

    Jul 13, 2020

  • Detroit police line up next to an armored vehicle following a rally against the death in Minneapolis police custody of George Floyd, in Detroit, Michigan, June 1, 2020, photo by Rebecca Cook/Reuters

    Commentary

    How to Reform Military Gear Transfers to Police

    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?

    Jul 13, 2020

  • Silhouettes of police and other people, photo by wildpixel/Getty Images

    Commentary

    How to Transform 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.

    Jul 9, 2020

  • Blog

    Preparing for a COVID Surge, Reducing Police Violence, Media Literacy in Schools: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on helping hospitals prepare for a surge in COVID-19 infections, an approach to reducing police violence, teachers' concerns about students' media literacy, and more.

    Jul 2, 2020

  • Tool

    Costs of Responding to Crime: Police, Court, and Legal Services

    How much taxpayer money is spent on police, courts, and legal services to respond to crime? RAND researchers provide estimated costs by crime type and by state in a new tool that makes it easy to visualize and download the data.

    Jul 1, 2020

  • Police officers stand guard across Central Park West during a protest against the death in Minneapolis police custody of George Floyd, in New York City, June 5, 2020, photo by Mike Segar/Reuters

    Commentary

    From Warrior to Guardian: A Systems Approach to Reduce Police Violence

    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.

    Jul 1, 2020

  • A long line of police squad cars, photo by thall/Getty Images

    Commentary

    Funding—or Defunding—the Police

    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.

    Jul 1, 2020

  • A woman holds a placard as people protest outside Los Angeles Unified School District headquarters to demand that the Board of Education defunds school police in Los Angeles, California, June 23, 2020, photo by Lucy Nicholson/Reuters

    Commentary

    Defund the LAPD? Garcetti Budget Proposal Takes a Step in That Direction

    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.

    Jun 30, 2020

  • Blog

    Protests and Police Reform, Facial Recognition, Gun Policies: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on protests and police reform after the killing of George Floyd, facial recognition bans, gun policies that likely reduce deaths, and more.

    Jun 19, 2020