LEMIT Research

[ Archived Emerging Issues ]

Emerging Issues

We recognize that there is not much that is truly new in policing today. Old ideas and existing practices sometimes become today's buzz words when they are re-labeled. The R & D Unit in LEMIT is committed to monitoring trends to identify truly emerging issues as well as those that may have been with us for some time, but are becoming more salient.

It is important for law enforcement professionals to be informed about these issues that may affect the day-to-day practice of law enforcement. This page serves to conglomerate up-to-date information on significant and substantive issues both relevant and important to Texas law enforcement.

The Texas Sexual Assault Kit Evaluation Project

The Police Foundation, in conjunction with the National Center for Victims of Crime and the Joyful Heart Foundation, measured the results of two recently established Texas laws.  One law (SB 1911) intended to make it easier for victims of sexual assault to receive a high-quality forensic medical exam.  The other law mandated the testing of all untested sexual assault kits in police storage and required comprehensive sexual assault kit testing moving forward. SB 1191 has fallen short of achieving its intended goals and SB 1636 is associated with increased workloads for crime labs but is not associated with increasing trends in sexual assault reports and arrests.

Project Page
SOURCE: POLICE FOUNDATION

SB 1636 Findings
SOURCE: POLICE FOUNDATION

SB 1191 Findings
SOURCE: POLICE FOUNDATION

Safeguarding Officer Mental Health

The National Alliance on Mental Illness has been working collaboratively with police professionals and professional organizations on ways to build officer and agency resiliency. NAMI has made resources available for police leaders to begin addressing this significant issue.

Law Enforcement and Mental Health
SOURCE: NAMI

Officer Mental Wellness
SOURCE: NAMI

Preparing for the Unimaginable: How Chiefs Can Safeguard Officer Mental Health Before and After Mass Casualty Events
SOURCE: NAMI and COPS

National Consensus Policy on Use of Force

The National Consensus Policy, released in January 2017, resulted from collaborative work by 11 police professional organizations. The National Consensus Policy follows the 2016 release of the 30 Guiding Principles on Use of Force by the Police Executive Research Forum.

President's Task Force On 21st Century Policing

This important Task Force was formed in the wake of events that occurred in the fall of 2014. The Task Force obtained information from a host of stakeholders for the purpose of identifying ways to enhance crime fighting while also developing and improving relationships between the police and the communities they serve. Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey and Professor Laurie Robinson co-chaired the Task Force. The Final Report was released in May 2015 and offers several recommendations. Police personnel of all ranks are encouraged to not only read this report but to consider how the recommendations may have a positive impact within their agencies and communities.

Final Report of the The President's Task Force on 21st Century Policing

Office of Community Oriented Policing, President's Task Force on 21st Century Policing

Body-Worn Cameras

Body-worn cameras stand to enhance trust in police and enhance police services. Yet implementing this technology can present challenges. Many resources have recently been made available to assist police departments as they implement a body-worn camera program.

National Body-Worn Camera Toolkit
SOURCE: Bureau of Justice Assistance

Body-Worn Cameras: Concepts and Issues Paper
SOURCE: International Association of Chiefs of Police, National Law Enforcement Policy Center

Body Worn Cameras Phoenix Webinar
SOURCE: Smart Policing Initiative, Bureau of Justice Assistance

Evidence-Based Policing

Borrowing from research in the health care industry, Lawrence Sherman made the case in 1998 that police should ground their practices in available research evidence. This notion has taken root in corrections but has been slower to take hold in policing. Recent tools have become available to help police decision makers identify crime-reduction strategies that have the best chances of succeeding. Some of the tools are listed below.

Evidence-Based Policing
AUTHOR: Lawrence W. Sherman
SOURCE: The Police Foundation

Being Smart on Crime
AUTHOR: Chief Jim Bueermann (retired)
SOURCE: National Institute of Justice

Crime Solutions
SOURCE: Office of Justice Programs

Evidence-Based Policing Matrix
AUTHORS: Cynthia Lum, Christopher Koper, & Cody W. Telep
SOURCE: George Mason University

10-Hour Shifts and Sleep Deprivation

An experiment was conducted in the Detroit, Michigan and Arlington, Texas police departments to compare the outcomes of 8-, 10-, and 12-hour shifts. The results show positive support for 10-hour work shifts.

The Shift Length Experiment and Research Overview from the National Institute of Justice
AUTHORS: Karen L. Amendola, David Weisburd, Edwin E. Hamilton, Greg Jones, & Meghan Slipka
SOURCE: The Police Foundation

Sleep Deprivation: What Does it Mean for Public Safety Officers
AUTHOR: Bryan Vila
SOURCE: National Institute of Justice

Procedurally Fair Policing

A central concern for all police agencies is legitimacy. In order to ensure the cooperation of the public, agencies and officers must be viewed as legitimate authority. The primary method to accomplish this is by mandating that all interaction between law enforcement and civilians follow objective standards of procedural fairness.

The Paradox of American Policing: Performance without Legitimacy
AUTHORS: Tom Tyler & Albert Pearsall
SOURCE: COPS Office

Don't Jump the Shark: Understanding Deterrence and Legitimacy in the Architecture of Law Enforcement (Webinar)
AUTHOR: Tracey Meares
SOURCE: National Institute of Justice

Enhancing police legitimacy
AUTHOR: Tom Tyler
SOURCE: American Academy of Political and Social Science