The Police Foundation takes a unique perspective on research. Unlike many organizations we strive to conduct research for policing, not on policing. This makes a profound difference in how we conduct and disseminate research. Our goals are twofold. First, we conduct high quality research that produces results directly applicable to the field of policing. Our research is designed to address the questions, challenges, and problems faced by contemporary law enforcement agencies. Second, we act as a translational agent to move existing research from theory into practice.
The Police Foundation exists to support thoughtful innovation in the science and craft of policing. Perhaps the most apparent innovations in policing have come in the form of new technology. The rapid development and adoption of technology such as mobile devices, unmanned aerial systems, and AVL tracking often leaves agencies scrambling for answers to complex questions about implementation, measures of success, and cost effectiveness. Innovation can also come in the form of social and cultural changes. The Police Foundation conducts the research needed to thoughtfully implement these changes.
Democratic policing requires effective communication between law enforcement agencies and the public it serves. Democratic policing is also intrinsically linked to police legitimacy. The Police Foundation has conducted over 40 years of research to support the ideas of democratic policing. Most recently we have engaged in research designed to shed light on the decision making process that leads to wrongful conviction. We have also worked to spread the principles of democratic policing on an international level, most recently in Liberia and Mexico.