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.

  • 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

  • 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

    Commentary

    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

    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

    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.

    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

    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

    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

    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

    Terry Lenzner, chairman of Investigative Group International, is a member of the advisory board for RAND Social and Economic Well-Being. He launched the Lenzner Challenge Fund for Criminal Justice Research in response to recent events that highlight 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

    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