Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2021, $497,864)
The Suffolk County Police Department, in partnership with George Mason University's Center for Evidence Based Crime Policy and professors Cynthia Lum and Christopher Koper, propose a three-year partnership (SPI Category 1) to institutionalize a problem-oriented, proactive, and community-engaged approach to patrol operations with three goals. First, to augment and enhance the SCPD’s approaches to identifying and analyzing community problems, we will beta-test and implement an early warning system under development in the SCPD that identifies specific community challenges and individuals needing public safety or health responses and that prompts officers to proactive problem-solving. Second, we will carry out an intensive on-the-ground, in-residence field operations training focused on readjusting officer use of their uncommitted time using evidence-based approaches and critical thinking skills, and then attempt to sustain the use of those approaches over a year. This training will incorporate use of the Evidence-Based Policing Playbook and Case of Place tools in addition to the early warning system developed by the SCPD. The Playbook and Case of Place tools were developed by Lum and Koper in connection with the Matrix Demonstration Projects and Evidence-Based Policing Matrix, which were funded by BJA to facilitate the institutionalization of research evidence into practice. Third, and connected to the first two goals, we will create and adjust performance metrics and accountability mechanisms for patrol activities that align with these operations to institutionalize and sustain problem-solving and evidence-based approaches in patrol. Together, these activities address the core values of the SPI program and evidence-based policing: to translate, build receptivity to, and institutionalize the use of research knowledge into everyday patrol.