Policing Research: Dear Colleague Letter From Greg Ridgeway, Fiscal Year 2014 

The “Research and Evaluation on Justice Systems” solicitation referenced in this letter has closed. View a list of awards made under that solicitation.

Thank you to everyone who submitted an application.

Dear Colleague:

This letter alerts all social and behavioral science researchers about the National Institute of Justice's (NIJ) interest in receiving proposals related to policing and crime that can strengthen our knowledge base and enhance criminal justice practices. NIJ has been building its policing research portfolio for many years and will continue to do so in its pursuit of improving the administration of justice in this country.

NIJ's policing research portfolio runs the gamut from police organization and management to the effectiveness of crime prevention and control strategies to police accountability. In the early years, NIJ's research focused on evaluating the standard strategies of policing such as response time, problem-oriented policing and police response to domestic violence. As community policing gained traction as a critical strategy for policing throughout the United States, NIJ shifted its focus to testing, measuring and reporting on its success and on examining effective and ineffective implementation strategies.

Recently, NIJ's police portfolio has focused on such issues as building researcher-practitioner relationships, police organization and management, use of technology on police practices (e.g., license plate recognition, CCTV, and less lethal technologies), hot spot policing, police integrity, use of conducted energy devices, health and safety, use of force, reducing false convictions, early intervention systems, police legitimacy, and use of evidence-based knowledge.

As new research topics evolve, many of the topics covered in initial research remain of significant interest to NIJ and the field. In its efforts to prevent and reduce crime and violence, NIJ's Office of Research and Evaluation strives to address the questions raised by police practitioners and academics and to stay abreast of the latest developments in policing practices. NIJ's Office of Research and Evaluation's particular interest in the policing research area for fiscal year 2014 involves such topics as:

  • Evaluations of technologies implemented by police agencies, including the impact of technology on police organizations and cost-benefit analyses of implementing such technology.
  • Evaluations that examine the impact of internal and external procedural justice training mechanisms to promote police integrity.
  • Randomized controlled trials of interventions or programs of interest to address criminal justice issues confronting law enforcement.
  • Research on the use of intelligence-led policing.
  • Research and evaluation on science-based approaches, policies or interventions designed and implemented to promote officer safety and wellness.
  • Research on police investigations.

Other topics of research on policing are valuable as well. As with police organizations across the country, NIJ is interested in building sound, evidence-based knowledge of interventions and programs that work and can be tested in a variety of organizations under varied circumstances.

Search past awards for illustrative examples of current and prior projects.

Interested prospective applicants are highly encouraged to consult with relevant project officers prior to submission. In the case of policing, Dr. Brett Chapman at Brett.Chapman@ojp.usdoj.gov and Mr. Eric Martin at Eric.D.Martin@ojp.usdoj.gov are the appropriate project officers.

This is not a special competition or new program. Proposals in response to this Dear Colleague Letter must meet the requirements and deadlines of the solicitation to which they are submitted.

The appropriate vehicle for responding to topics covered in this letter will be NIJ's "Research and Evaluation on Justice Systems." To receive an e-mail when NIJ issues a solicitation, subscribe to NIJ.gov. You can also follow us on Twitter Exit Notice
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The "Research and Evaluation on Justice Systems" solicitation should be available on the NIJ website in February 2014.


Greg Ridgeway, Ph.D.
Acting Director
National Institute of Justice

Date Created: January 7, 2014