Evidence-Based Policing in Smaller Agencies: Challenges, Prospects, and Opportunities

The push for more evidence-based approaches to policing has led to a rethinking by law enforcement leaders about how to incorporate research and analysis into their tactics and strategies.1 Decades of successful research-practitioner partnerships have generated a relatively large body of research knowledge on interventions that can control crime; improve police legitimacy; and foster healthier, safer, and more satisfied workforces. However, the road of evidence-based policing has also been rocky. While some have embraced research as beneficial, others (including some researchers) have questioned the value of research and its applicability to the everyday needs of law enforcement. How research is interpreted, translated, and converted into everyday practices has become an important challenge and priority for evidence-based policing.