What should police be doing (or not be doing) to best address crime and disorder? What will increase public satisfaction and enhance perceptions of police legitimacy? These are important questions for researchers, practitioners, and policy makers to consider. These questions have been the subject of many policies, research evaluations, and pilot programs. Still the larger question remains: what really works effectively when it comes to policing?
The Center for Evidence-Based Crime Policy at George Mason University in collaboration with the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Arizona State University and the City of Seattle, at the request of the Office of City Auditor, have undertaken a review of the current literature in the field.
This website was originally created in 2013 by Cody Telep in collaboration with Charlotte Gill and David Weisburd. The website was initially released by the Office of City Auditor in November 2014. The website was updated by Cody Telep in Spring 2016 and Spring 2018 with new studies and research findings.
How did we evaluate the literature?
Programs were evaluated using the Evidence-Based Policing Matrix, a research-to-practice translation tool that organizes rigorous policing studies visually, allowing agencies to view the field of research, from its generalizations to its particulars. Additionally, Campbell Collaboration systematic reviews and other reviews of the literature were consulted (when available). Read more on our Methodology and Intervention Coding page.
The Seattle Police Department Case Study
As a case study, the Seattle Police Department (SPD) provided short descriptions of how their practices (as of March 2014) aligned with the literature and ideas in effective policing. We reviewed what the department has done in the past, against the current literature and ideas in effective policing. A summary of our findings appears in the SPD case study page. We updated the links and materials in Spring 2018, except for those concerning SPD. We hope to receive updates from SPD in the future.
- Read more about what is (and is not) effective in policing
- Visit the Resource Library to explore other research on “what works?” in policing
Evidence-Based Policing Matrix
- Explore and learn more about the Evidence-Based Policing Matrix
Seattle Office of City Auditor
Read some of the recent policing-related reports from the Office of City Auditor