Law Enforcement

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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.

  • Cropped rear view of police officer giving ticket to driver. photo by kali9/Getty Images

    Commentary

    Stop, Start, or Continue? A National Survey of the Police About Traffic Stops

    Jun 30, 2021

    As research continues to show widespread racial disparities of those stopped by police, 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 think.

  • A person pays their respects at a mural of George Floyd after the verdict in the murder trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, Denver, Colorado, April 20, 2021, photo by Kevin Mohatt/Reuters

    Commentary

    Policing in the Post-Floyd Era

    Apr 30, 2021

    Calls to reform, reimagine, or disband the police can be seen as existential threats. But they present opportunities for progressive change that can work to the advantage of law enforcement.

Explore Law Enforcement

  • Marijuana buds and a gavel

    Testimony

    How Legalizing Marijuana in VT Might Affect Revenues, Budgets

    Vermonters spend between $125 and $225 million on marijuana each year. There are many factors to consider when projecting the budgetary effects legalization might have, but policy changes do not need to be permanent. Starting with incremental change and/or incorporating a sunset provision might make more sense.

    Jan 19, 2016

  • Periodical

    Periodical

    RAND Review: January-February 2016

    This issue highlights RAND research findings on the effectiveness of correctional education in U.S. prisons; an exploration of how emerging technologies present an ongoing challenge to the criminal-justice community; and more.

    Jan 11, 2016

  • Journal Article

    Journal Article

    Policing, Boundaries and the State: The Changing Landscape of Sovereignty and Security

    This study examines institutional rearrangements of policing, boundaries and the state.

    Dec 29, 2015

  • Smart phone in woman's hand.

    Report

    Electronic Surveillance of Mobile Devices for Law Enforcement

    Mobile phones collect and retain enormous amounts of information that can be useful in criminal investigations. However, state and local law enforcement face substantial challenges when accessing these data.

    Dec 10, 2015

  • Periodical

    Periodical

    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

  • Commercial Book

    Commercial Book

    Policing Integration: The Sociology of Police Coordination Work

    This book critically examines coordination work between police officers and agencies; it builds on extensive fieldwork in a multi-jurisdictional environment in Canada alongside a detailed review of ongoing research and debates.

    Oct 15, 2015

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

    Commentary

    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

  • A police officer poses with a body-worn camera on his chest in Colorado Springs, April 21, 2015

    Testimony

    Strengthening Trust Between Police and the Public in an Era of Increasing Transparency

    The United States faces the challenge of improving police-community relationships in an evolving information environment. Congress has important opportunities to help both parties build sustainable trust amid increasing transparency.

    Oct 6, 2015

  • Police officer standing outside his vehicle

    Journal Article

    Police Officers Face Risk of Traffic Injuries Under Many Conditions

    Vehicle crashes are the largest cause of death among police in the United States. Knowing 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 14, 2015

  • Police handcuffs on a computer keyboard

    Report

    Improving Information-Sharing Across Law Enforcement

    Progress has been made on information-sharing efforts within law enforcement. But there are limitations to existing technology and policy. Stakeholders can take action to build on this progress in both the short and long term.

    Sep 4, 2015

  • News Release

    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

  • Terry Lenzer

    Content

    The Lenzner-Coleman Challenge Fund for Criminal Justice Research

    After a 50-year career as a lawyer and investigator, Terry Lenzner launched the Lenzner-Coleman Challenge Fund for Criminal Justice Research in response to events highlighting fractures in police-community relations.

    Aug 31, 2015

  • Handcuffs on a computer keyboard

    Announcement

    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

    Commentary

    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

    Commentary

    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

    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

  • An information security illustration superimposed over a businesswoman holding a tablet

    Report

    Companies Are Prioritizing Cybersecurity, but Hackers Still May Be Gaining

    While spending on cybersecurity is $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

    Blog

    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

    Multimedia

    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

  • NYPD officers interact with pedestrians in Central Park, Manhattan, May 22, 2011

    Report

    Strengthening Trust Between Police and the Public

    Amid recent tensions between law enforcement and the public, three key questions must be answered to build the foundation for long-lasting mutual trust, especially given technological changes that are increasing transparency.

    May 1, 2015