Researchers and police look to advance evidence-based policing practices at conference

Representatives from 40 different police agencies in the U.S., Canada and Mexico are taking part in the inaugural conference of the American Society of Evidence-Based Policing. The ASU School of Criminology and Criminal Justice is hosting the two-day event.

"It's exciting that ASU is able to host this first of a kind conference," said Cody Telep, an assistant professor in the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice. "These are practioners that are interested in integrating research into practice and pushing forward what we know about what works in policing by doing their own studies."

The first day of the conference featured Tempe Police Chief Sylvia Moir, Stockton Police Chief Eric Jones and Multnomah County (Portland, Oregon) Sheriff Mike Reese talking about the challenges and benefits of adapting evidence-based practices. Another panel with representatives from Mexico, Canada and the United States  showcased examples of how officer-led initiatives helped reduce violence.  A third panel, moderated by criminology professor Michael White, focused on the growing use of body-worn cameras by police agencies. 

Stockton Police Chief Eric Jones

Stockton Police Chief Eric Jones presents during the inaugural conference of the American Society of Evidence-Based Policing.

The second day of the conference includes discussions on bringing together stakeholders to help improve policing outcomes and how to incorporate evidence-based practices by using innovative data and technologies.  Predictive analytics is the focus of another panel, moderated by criminology professor Charles Katz, who has helped establish the practice with police departments nationwide. Assistant professor Rick Trinkner will lead a discussion on how evidence-based practices can improve every aspect of a police agency's culture and its legitmacy with citizens.

"For me, I hope attendees understand that they can use research to become more effective, more efficient or get a better return on their investment," said Renée Mitchell, president of the American Society of Evidence-Based Policing and a sergeant in the Sacramento Police Department.

"We want them to come away from this conference knowing they can do this kind of research themselves," Mitchell said. "They are getting to see how peers are driving their own research with good mentors helping them understand effective research design."

The American Society of Evidence-Based Policing is a non-profit dedicated to helping police adopt best practices based on evidence-based research with the goal of "ensuring that the least harmful, most effective, fairest and safest research-based strategies are employed to prevent crime, reduce harm and improve community wellness."