From The Director: NIJ’s Role in Strengthening Policing Science

The National Institute of Justice (NIJ), the research, development, and evaluation arm of the U.S. Department of Justice, has a long history of supporting high-quality, high-impact research in policing. Successfully implementing evidence-based policing tactics and operations depends on the development of rigorous, tested evidence that meets law enforcement’s needs and challenges.

Our investments have led to the development of modern policing strategies, including those focused on positive engagement with the community. NIJ supports research that examines how community- and problem-oriented policing strategies can be used to assist communities in solving crime and disorder problems and improve relationships with the police. NIJ is well known in the field for funding the development and testing of modern police body armor, which has saved the lives of more than 3,100 officers over the past 40 years—a 40 percent reduction in officer line-of-duty fatalities.1 NIJ also invests in data analytics, including computer-based crime mapping and analysis to reveal crime patterns and allocate resources to fight crime. Most recently, NIJ published the first body-worn camera market survey and implementation guide, and we are currently funding evaluations of this technology.