A former police chief reflects on how law enforcement agencies can do a better job of using science to reduce crime.
Cities face a growing number of fiscal challenges, among them balancing the need to combat crime with the cost of policing. Decreases in funding for public safety mean that police departments cannot support an ever-increasing number of law enforcement officers — or, in many cases, even the status quo. Therefore, police officials must shift their attention to the science of controlling crime and disorder. That model is called evidence-based policing, and it represents the field's "most powerful force for change," according to criminologist Lawrence Sherman.