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

  • 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

  • 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

  • Gavel on laptop computer keyboard concept for online internet auction or legal assistance

    Report

    Digital Evidence and the U.S. Criminal Justice System

    There are significant challenges to successfully using digital evidence in criminal prosecutions. Through structured interaction with police digital forensic experts, prosecuting attorneys, a privacy advocate, and industry representatives, researchers identified and prioritized specific needs to improve utilization of digital evidence in criminal justice.

    Apr 20, 2015

  • Tool

    Interactive Tool for Ranking Digital Evidence Needs

    This tool presents the prioritized needs related to digital evidence collection, management, analysis, and use and allows the user to see how their priorities would change when the importance of different digital evidence objectives are changed.

    Apr 20, 2015

  • Police in formation at a Memorial Day ceremony in Connecticut

    Commentary

    When It Comes to Police-Community Relations, “Expect What You Inspect”

    As the President's Task Force on 21st Century Policing report suggests, local governments should evaluate police on more than crime statistics, and police departments and officers should be held publicly accountable for meeting the community's expectations. Adding new dimensions of performance metrics would help.

    Mar 17, 2015

  • Former Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson's badge

    Commentary

    To Serve and Collect? Police Department Funding, Effectiveness, and Legitimacy

    Like so many issues in public policy, one of the factors shaping the complex policing challenges facing America—and a potential lever to help address them—is simple and unsurprising. That factor is money.

    Mar 16, 2015

  • A police officer points a spotlight at a group of demonstrators near Ferguson, Missouri in August 2014

    Report

    Visions of Law Enforcement Technology in the Future

    The Law Enforcement Futuring Workshop identified ten possible future scenarios and 30 high-priority technology needs for law enforcement based on consideration of current and future trends in society, technology, and law enforcement.

    Mar 16, 2015

  • Mounted police patrol Hattersley near Manchester, northern England

    Commentary

    Want Better Policing? Bring on the Horses

    Neighborhood patrols by mounted police in the UK are associated with comparatively higher levels of public trust and confidence than patrols by police on foot. Members of the public engage with mounted police over six times as much as they engage with police on foot.

    Mar 10, 2015

  • Police form a line after a grand jury returned no indictment in the shooting of Michael Brown, Ferguson, Missouri, November 24, 2014

    Commentary

    Progress After Ferguson? Good Ideas Need Good Implementation

    President Obama's Task Force on 21st Century Policing has done a great service by providing dozens of sound recommendations—good ideas that could help avoid another Ferguson. Now we need good implementation to go along with them.

    Mar 9, 2015

  • Report

    Making and Breaking Barriers: Assessing the value of mounted police units in the UK

    The Association of Chief Police Officers commissioned the University of Oxford and RAND Europe to develop evidence on the value of mounted police in key deployment contexts, including neighbourhood, football and public order policing.

    Mar 9, 2015

  • Report

    Making and Breaking Barriers: Assessing the value of mounted police units in the UK: Appendices

    These appendices include the research tools used by the research team in different stages of the project, as well as additional data referenced in the main report.

    Mar 9, 2015

  • Police officer maintaining crowd control

    Testimony

    Performance Metrics to Improve Police-Community Relations

    Changing the way police performance is measured could prevent issues leading to civil rights violations and poor police-community relations. Should California take the lead to recommend that local law enforcement agencies must report performance metrics?

    Feb 20, 2015

  • Dissertation

    Positive Youth Development in a School-Based Setting: A Study of the Los Angeles Police Academy Magnet School Program

    Offers a case study of a Los Angeles public school--based positive youth development (PYD) program to examine the extent to which PYD principles are incorporated in school programming and how they relate to a set of youth outcomes.

    Feb 18, 2015

  • Brochure

    Spotlight on 2014

    Spotlight 2014 is RAND Europe’s annual review. We present our research to support policymaking in four areas of transformation: harnessing the power of ICT, safeguarding society, building healthier communities and innovating for efficiency.

    Jan 27, 2015

  • Police officer using radio to communicate

    Report

    High-Priority Information Technology Needs for Law Enforcement

    Law enforcement's knowledge of information technology and its dissemination can be improved. A federal coordinator for technology-related outreach should be designated; this coordinator would work with various offices involved to develop and monitor a dissemination strategy.

    Jan 19, 2015

  • An airline passenger stands in a full-body scanner at a TSA checkpoint at LAX in February 2014 after U.S. authorities issued a warning to airlines to watch out for militants who may have hidden bombs in their shoes

    Commentary

    What Research Says About Profiling

    When police take action on the basis of race, creed, or ethnicity it is corrosive, unfair, ineffective, and can stoke the flames of police-community tension. But as we have found from a variety of assessments, law enforcement is best served when it bases its activities on risk—not on personal characteristics.

    Dec 18, 2014