November 4, 2022

Untapped Levers for Improving Policing

Crime Lab highlights its research studies that are helping to improve policing.

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In our last update, we shared new insights from our ongoing evaluation of READI Chicago – the largest randomized controlled trial of a community violence intervention (CVI) program ever carried out in the United States. Today, we want to share surprising lessons we’re learning about another key pillar of public safety in America: policing.

Over the past several decades, much of the conversation about policing has focused on police strategies and police funding. We’ve debated broken windows vs. community policing, tactical units vs. officers walking the beat, hiring more patrol officers vs. fewer. These debates are important and relevant to ending the gun violence crisis we face. But new research from the Crime Lab has convinced us this decades-long focus has overshadowed other promising levers to improve police officer effectiveness.

WHAT WE’RE DOING: Both of these levers offer an enormous opportunity to make our cities safer and more just. But how do we tap into them? In May 2022, the Crime Lab and our partners launched the University of Chicago Community Safety Leadership Academies (CSLA) to find out. Composed of both a Policing Leadership Academy and a CVI Leadership Academy, the CSLA aims to be the most impactful and robustly evaluated public safety training program ever offered in the United States, with the first cohort starting in 2023. Please reach out if you’re interested in partnering with us or learning more.

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