- Inducted June 2012
- Nominated by Christopher Koper, George Mason University
Micheal P. Edwards is the Director of the Department of Patrol and Enforcement for the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office (JSO). He is a 28 year veteran of the JSO who was appointed to the position of Director in 2003. He has served as Director of the Departments of Personnel and Professional Standards, Investigations and Homeland Security, and currently Patrol and Enforcement. He is a results-oriented administrator with both hands-on and management experience in many aspects of law enforcement. He is also a problem solver with effective leadership skills such as decision making abilities and team building capabilities with vision toward attainment of organization mission, goals and objectives.
Director Edwards began his career with the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office in 1983 as a Corrections Officer. In 1984 he became a police officer and was assigned to the Patrol Division; later becoming a police instructor at the Academy. In 1991 he was promoted to sergeant and served in the Patrol Division and later the Inspections Unit. Micheal was appointed to Chief in 1995 serving in the Traffic/Special Enforcement and Patrol Divisions.
He holds a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from Central Michigan University, a Bachelor of Science Degree in Human Services from Thomas Edison State College, an Associate of Science Degree in Criminal Justice from Florida State College at Jacksonville and an Associate of Arts Degree in General Education also from Florida State College at Jacksonville. His training includes: Chief Executive Seminar, Florida Department of Law Enforcement, 2011; Leadership Jacksonville Class of 2006; 51st Session, DEA Drug Unit Commanders Academy, 2005; 200th Session United States Secret Service Dignitary Protection Seminar, 2000; 186th Session, FBI National Academy, 1996; and Career Development and Instructor courses (i.e., Firearms Instructor, Defensive Tactics Instructor, Law Enforcement Driving Instructor and First Responder Instructor).
Evidence-Based Research and Practice:
Edwards is selected for the Evidence-Based Policing Hall of Fame for his commitment, along with Crime Analyst Jamie Roush, to using research and data analysis to improve police operations in Jacksonville. Both have contributed greatly to making crime analysis a key element in JSO’s decisions about resource allocation and strategy utilization, and they spearheaded JSO’s participation in a large-scale randomized experiment that has altered the agency’s approach to violence reduction and hot spots policing.
In 2007, they entered into a partnership with researchers to enhance JSO’s approaches to reducing street violence. As part of this effort, they committed to undertaking an ambitious and ground-breaking randomized experiment to test the comparative effectiveness of directed patrol and problem-oriented policing approaches at hot spots of violent crime. Taking part in the experiment required a substantial investment of resources for JSO, as the agency dedicated a large group of officers to problem-solving or directed patrol at 43 hot spots. Director Edwards and Ms. Roush were the key actors in approving and implementing the experimental initiatives.
Following the experiment, which showed that problem-solving produced larger and more lasting crime reductions at hot spots than did directed patrol, Director Edwards and Ms. Roush led the effort to institutionalize the results of this research into JSO’s practices. Specifically, they spearheaded the development, training, and implementation of the Operation Safe Streets unit, which consists of 20 officers dedicated to full-time problem solving at hot spots of violent crime. In doing this, Director Edwards and Ms. Roush have had to confront several challenges with regard to resource allocation, marketing, training, and the ongoing refinement of problem-solving, a strategy with which JSO had only limited prior experience.
But even more importantly, they continue to work towards the long-term goal of institutionalizing the use of research, analysis and evaluation throughout JSO. As partners with the Evidence-Based Policing program of the CEBCP, they and JSO continue to partner on a variety of evaluation and organizational projects, including the Matrix Demonstration Project. Their long term efforts and commitment to evidence-based policing provide important lessons in not only translating a research experiment into regular deployment, but sustaining and institutionalizing these efforts over time.
Publications and projects reflecting Director Edwards’ efforts:
Taylor, B., Koper, C. S., & Woods, D. J. (2011). A randomized controlled trial of different policing strategies at hot spots of violent crime. Journal of Experimental Criminology, 7, 149–181.