Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2021, $1,000,000)
Research documents many practices related to agency relationships, community conditions, agency operations, agency resources, and investigator capabilities that law enforcement agencies (LEAs) can implement to clear more violent crimes. RTI has formed a multidisciplinary team, one that understands the research and has experience investigating violent crime, conducting agency assessments, and providing training and technical assistance (TTA) to LEAs, to provide TTA to enhance shooting investigations and clearance rates.
Primary Activities: RTI will partner with practitioners and researchers who are leaders in the fields of criminal investigations, forensic science, victim advocacy, and prosecution to assess fatal and nonfatal shooting investigations in at least 10 medium and large LEAs. Sites will be selected based on a well-defined method involving crime and clearance rates and organizational ability to change. The assessments will include site visits, reviews of policies and training materials, interviews with diverse stakeholders, coding of investigation case files, and analyses of agency data and statistics. Based on experience conducting agency assessments and audits, RTI and its partners will develop comprehensive data collection instruments and logic models to support a valid and reliable assessment. Based on assessment findings, we will create a set of LEA-specific recommendations and incorporate them into a course management system. RTI will use this system to track agency progress in implementing recommendations, measure changes in agency performance, and provide TTA. RTI will provide TTA to each LEA by facilitating peer-to-peer and subject matter expert connections and by providing evidence-based tools and educational materials. In addition to these activities, RTI will host two national convenings with the participating stakeholders and related parties (1) to discuss the selection and assessment process, current agency needs, and the impediments to long-lasting change and (2) to describe the project’s findings and how they are being used by the sites, the national implications of the project, and future challenges to address.
Products and Deliverables: RTI will develop a site selection methodology, agency-specific recommendations, a website and course management system, two national convening summary reports, and a final report for the field summarizing the project and key findings. Additionally, we will complete the quarterly BJA TTA performance metrics form and work with BJA to develop additional educational products.
Service Area and Populations to Benefit: The study will be conducted nationwide and will benefit all cities and LEAs that need information and evidence about how best to improve shooting investigations to enhance clearance rates.