Six new members inducted into the Evidence-Based Policing Hall of Fame

The Evidence-Based Policing Hall of Fame recognizes innovative law enforcement practitioners who have been relentless champions of institutionalizing the use of research, analysis, and evidence-based practices in their agencies. Since the inception of the Hall in 2010, 43 individuals have been inducted into the Evidence-Based Policing Hall of Fame. Last week, at the annual Center for Evidence-Based Crime Policy Symposium at George Mason University, six new members were inducted.

Jim Burch, President of the National Police Foundation, inducts Chief Howard Hall and Assistant Chief James Chapman of the Roanoke County (VA) Police Department into the Evidence-Based Policing Hall of Fame during the Awards Ceremony. (Photo by Max Taylor)

Learn more about each of the inductees below.

Chief Howard Hall and Assistant Chief James Chapman 

Chief Howard Hall and Assistant Chief James Chapman are members of the Roanoke County, Virginia, Police Department. Chief Hall has served as chief of RCPD since 2012, after retiring from 26 years of service with the Baltimore County Police Department. Assistant Chief Chapman has served Roanoke County for 24 years. They were nominated by Professors Sue-Ming Yang and Charlotte Gill of George Mason University.

Chief Hall and Assistant Chief Chapman were recognized for their efforts in supporting a major Strategies for Policing Innovation initiative to implement and evaluate a program to improve police response to community members experiencing a mental health crisis. This new approach aimed to address a particularly underserved and large population—those who have called the police because they are in crisis but do not meet the criteria to be taken into emergency custody.Chief Hall and Assistant Chief Chapman were instrumental in leading the development of a response protocol in collaboration with a 24-hour mobile crisis response team in which a mental health professional would take over crisis calls once officers stabilized the situation.

In their recommendation, Yang and Gill write that the project required the sustained leadership, assistance, and commitment of both Hall and Chapman for the intervention and evaluation to be successfully implemented. Yang and Gill particularly note their collaborative experience with Hall, Chapman, and their officers as they continue to solidify their agency’s commitment to using research and analysis to change the way their agency responds to those in need.

Their efforts are especially notable because there exist only a few rigorous experimental studies that have tested police responses to those experiencing a mental health crisis. Chief Hall and Assistant Chief Chapman’s efforts will help to build knowledge for others in this crucial area.

Chief Hall was also recognized for his long-term commitment to evidence-based policing across two agencies, previously as Captain in the Baltimore County Police Department and currently with Roanoke. He continues to lead efforts to develop and implement data-driven approaches, in particular, the DDACTS model for traffic safety and crime prevention. He has also served as a mentor to other officers and analysts to sustain and institutionalize evidence-based practices in the agencies in which he has served.

Captain Ken Clary  

Captain Ken Clary has served for over 25 years in the Iowa State Patrol and is the commander for Area C, which covers a quarter of the state and 28 counties. Captain Clary is a National Institute of Justice LEADS Scholar and an Executive Fellow of the National Police Foundation. He was nominated by Professors Cynthia Lum and Christopher Koper of George Mason University.

Cpt. Clary is recognized for developing and institutionalizing an innovative, and evidence-based initiative known as the Fatality Reduction Enforcement Effort in the Iowa State Police to combat fatal vehicle crashes on rural roads and communities, a major concern across most states in the U.S. Captain Clary used research evidence from place-based criminology, deterrence and opportunity theory research, problem-oriented principles, and police legitimacy to create the only existing program of its kind to reduce fatalities on rural roadways using a non-punitive, preventative-based approach.

Captain Clary is recognized today not only for his development of this program but because he has institutionalized it into the regular deployment of his patrol officers, one of the most difficult achievements of evidence-based policing. In 2018 he piloted the program with a group of troopers who carried out nearly 10,000 implementations of the intervention as part of their daily activities. In 2019 all of his state troopers are now carrying out the tactic as a normal part of their patrol, and they are on track to perform over 40,000 implementations by the end of this year. Each activity is logged so that the activities can be monitored, tracked, and evaluated for impact, and he directly mentors officers to implement these evidence-based tactics.

Chief Andrew Fletcher 

Chief Fletcher has served with the South Simcoe Police Service in Ontario Canada since 2015, and before that spent over 30 years with the Halton Regional Police Service in Ontario Canada. He holds leadership positions with the Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police and is a recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal. He was nominated by Laura Huey, Director of the Canadian Society of Evidence-Based Policing.

Chief Fletcher was recognized for his extensive commitment to advancing evidence-based policing in both the South Simcoe Police Service as well as in Ontario through his efforts with the Ontario Chiefs of Police and the Canadian Society of Evidence-Based Policing. His efforts in South Simcoe have focused on committing his agency to assessing and evaluating the agency’s mental health crisis response team program, designing and supporting research studies to test other interventions in his agency to determine their effectiveness, and also to develop core skills with his leadership team to more effectively use evidence-based approaches in their daily work. His efforts also extend beyond his agency. Due to his leadership in the Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police, the OACP has become a full partner in the Canadian Society of Evidence-Based Policing, becoming one of four LEADs agencies in Canada, a program similar to the NIJ LEADS agency program. He has been working with other agencies to develop research efforts to evaluate supervised injection sites and has challenged programs that have been shown to be ineffective from research and that lack empirical support. Professor Laura Huey describes Chief Fletcher as a “pivotal figure” in Ontario’s evidence-based policing movement.

Lieutenant Jason Potts

Lt. Jason Potts has served with the Vallejo, California, Police Department for over 18 years, and is currently a watch commander in its patrol division. Lt. Potts is a leader in the American Society of Evidence-Based Policing and alumni of the National Institute of Justice LEADS Scholars program, as well as a Policing Fellow at the National Police Foundation. He was nominated by Sgt. Renee Mitchell, member of the Hall of Fame and founder of the American Society of Evidence-Based Policing.

Lt. Potts is recognized today for not only advancing evidence-based policing in his agency and nationally, but for his extensive efforts in building the evidence-base for policing through the multiple research experiments that he has developed and led. He has completed two randomized controlled trials in his department that are focused on advancing knowledge of daily police operations. The first tested the effectiveness of automated license plate readers, finding that LPRs can improve an agency’s ability to detect stolen vehicles and identify stolen plates. He also led another experiment focused on the deterrent effects of flashing blue and red police lights on auto burglaries and theft in a high-density shopping area, finding that the intervention significantly reduced auto burglaries. He is currently implementing yet another experiment to test how virtual reality training may inform future police training. Lt. Potts has contributed significantly to evidence-based policing beyond his agency as well. He has been an integral part of the advancement of the American Society of Evidence-Based Policing. In her nomination of Lt. Potts, Renee Mitchell noted that his dedication to evidence-based practices is unparalleled.

Karin Schmerler 

Karin Schmerler is one of the nation’s premier crime analysts and supported the Chula Vista, California, Police Department for 18 years. Before her policing service, she served as deputy and acting assistant director of the Program and Policy Support and Evaluation Division of the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services. She is twice the recipient of the Herman Goldstein Award for Excellence in Problem-Oriented Policing and the Bright Idea Award from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.

Ms. Schmerler is recognized for her extensive contributions to advancing problem-solving approaches in the field. For example, in the Chula Vista Police Department, she coordinated the Bureau of Justice Assistance Strategies for Policing Innovation (SPI) initiative in her department, focused on reducing repeat domestic violence calls and crime. Using a problem-oriented policing framework, she carried out an in-depth analysis of domestic violence, was central to the coordination of the department’s response, and also collaborated with researchers to ensure that impact evaluations of her agency’s efforts were undertaken. The Chula Vista Domestic Violence SPI initiative resulted in a significant decline in domestic violence incidents. But this is only one example of many that reflects her long-term commitment to evidence-based policing in Chula Vista. She previously worked with the U.S. DOJ Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS Office) and the International Association of Crime Analysts on developing guides for law enforcement on reducing disorder and nuisances at high-crime motels as well as on problem-solving more generally. Her problem-solving ideas have been used and replicated both her and abroad.

Congratulations to the 2019 inductees of the Evidence-Based Policing Hall of Fame!

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