The purpose of this study is to examine the prevalence of police practitioner-research partnerships in the United States and examine the factors that prevent or facilitate development and sustainability of these partnerships.
This study used a mixed method approach to examine the relationship between law enforcement in the United States and researchers. A nationally-representative sample of law enforcement agencies were randomly selected and given a stratified survey to capture the prevalence of police practitioner-researcher partnerships and associated information. Representatives from 89 separate partnerships were interviewed, which were identified through the national survey. The primary purpose of these interviews was to gain insight into the barriers and facilitators of police and practitioner relationships as well as the benefits of this partnering. Lastly four case studies were conducted on model partnerships that were identified during interviews with practitioners and researchers.
The sample was drawn using the 2009 National Directory of Law Enforcement Agencies (NDLEA) database, which contains information on 15,759 state and local law enforcement agencies. A stratified sampling strategy was employed to provide a nationally-representative sample of law enforcement agencies that used these three criteria from the NDLEA. Agency type categories were state police and highway patrol, municipal and county police departments, and independent city and county sheriff departments. The U.S. census categories were used to identify the four regions of agency location. Jurisdiction population was divided into the following categories:
Under 10,00010,000 to 49,99950,000 to 99,999100,000 to 499,999500,000 to 999,9991,000,000 or more
However, there were 921 agencies that did not have a jurisdiction population provided in the NDLEA. This group was classified into a seventh category of "missing population."
The first step in the sampling process was an oversampling of state law enforcement agencies and large municipal and county agencies. This involved selecting all state police or highway patrol for each state (n=50) and all municipal and county agencies serving areas with 100,000 jurisdictional population or more (n=827). The remaining sample (n=1,141) was randomly selected from agencies with jurisdictional populations of less than 100,000, divided across the above population, region, and agency type categories. This randomly selected portion of the sample was intended to be equally distributed across the strata. However, some strata had no agencies or low counts, resulting in some strata having fewer agencies in the sample than others. As a result of this strata representation and an effort for equal representation, a total of 2,018 agencies were initially selected. After the initial survey was distributed, three agencies were identified as not providing law enforcement services, resulting in a final sample of 2,015.
Longitudinal: Panel: Interval,
Law enforcement agencies included in the 2009 National Directory of Law Enforcement Agencies (NDLEA) database.
Agency and Partnership
Dataset 'file3-GENERAL_SURVEY.sav' contains 871 cases with 57 variables covering topics such as: the nature of the partnerships, research benefits, community policing techniques, and use of technology.
Dataset 'file4-INDIVIDUAL_PARTNERSHIPS.sav' contains 393 cases and 20 variables covering topics such as: research funding, research products, and success of the partnership.
A likert-type scale was used.