Law Enforcement


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


    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


    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

  • Police constables wearing body-worn video (BWV) cameras, before a trial by the Metropolitan police, at Kentish Town in London, May 6, 2014

    News Release

    Body-Worn Cameras Associated with Increased Assaults Against Police

    Rates of assault against police officers are 15% higher when they wear cameras, possibly because they feel more confident about reporting assaults once they are captured on camera. The camera also may make officers less assertive and more vulnerable to assault.

    May 17, 2016

  • Events @ RAND Audio Podcast


    Police–Community Relations

    In this Events @ RAND podcast, our panel of experts discuss new training and technologies that help foster a better relationship between police departments and the communities they are charged with protecting.

    May 5, 2016

  • Two UK police in high-visibility jackets at an outdoor event


    Police and Crime Commissioners: Why Should We Care?

    Police and crime commissioners (PCCs) are elected officials in the UK who oversee local policing and crime. Although they have significant, growing powers that affect everyone, public awareness about PCCs is low.

    Apr 21, 2016

  • A self-driving vehicle travels on the road during a demonstration in Singapore, October 12, 2015


    The Police Could Be Controlling Your Self-Driving Car

    As self-driving cars become widespread, one of the biggest issues will be the rules under which public infrastructures and public safety officers may be empowered to override how autonomous vehicles are controlled.

    Apr 4, 2016

  • An NYPD officer stands across the street from the Apple Store on 5th Ave. in New York, March 11, 2016


    The False Choice at the Core of the Apple-FBI Standoff

    The Apple-FBI case should spark a broader debate among technology companies concerning their role in maintaining the privacy and security balance. A starting point should be to recognize that the majority of cyberattacks are related to phishing—and a user's action—not to whether a device can be secured.

    Mar 21, 2016

  • A Navy guard patrols Camp Delta's detainee recreation yard during the early morning at Guantánamo Bay naval base on July 7, 2010


    How to Fix Guantanamo's Broken Justice

    Replacing military judges with federal judges would expedite the process of resolving the Guantánamo cases in ways that would reflect better on the credibility and legitimacy of the U.S. justice system, while serving the interests of Congress, the president, survivors, and victims' families.

    Mar 7, 2016

  • jail cell hands


    Using Multi Agency Public Protection Arrangements to manage and supervise terrorist offenders: Findings from an exploratory study

    The research aimed to identify priorities for further attention by policymakers and researchers looking at the effectiveness of post-release supervision of terrorist offenders under Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements (MAPPA).

    Mar 4, 2016

  • Multimedia

    Observations from Guantanamo

    In this Call with the Experts, Jack Riley discusses the likelihood of Guantanamo Bay detention camp closing before the end of President Obama's term, as well as recommendations on how to fairly and transparently expedite the trials.

    Mar 1, 2016

  • Report

    Local perspectives in Ending Gang and Youth Violence areas: Perceptions of the nature of urban street gangs

    The aim of this study was to understand perceptions of the nature of urban street gangs and whether these gangs have changed in recent years in the 33 areas that make up the UK Government's Ending Gang and Youth Violence (EGYV) programme.

    Feb 26, 2016

  • Report

    A Community-Based, Focused-Deterrence Approach to Closing Overt Drug Markets: A Process and Fidelity Evaluation of Seven Sites

    This process evaluation describes how well seven jurisdictions adhered to a Bureau of Justice Assistance strategy to reduce overt drug markets, along with the barriers they encountered and lessons learned from their experiences.

    Feb 2, 2016

  • Members of the New York City Police Department's Critical Response Command anti-terrorism unit stand in formation on Randall's Island in New York City, November 16, 2015


    A Symbolic Purging of the NYPD Radicalization Report

    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.

    Jan 26, 2016

  • Marijuana buds and a gavel


    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

    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

    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.


    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

    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

    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


    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


    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