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CACP 2017

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S uccessful policing has always relied on the availability of information whether it's a tip that helps to solve a case or large amounts of data stored in a records management system. With increased scrutiny and cries for greater public accountability, police are now tasked with backing up their decisions with evidence-based data. Today, a police service's ability to readily access research and best practices is critical. Peer reviewed, academic research, a study conduct- ed within a police service or an evaluation of a practical solution may all contribute to a useful body of knowledge… if you know where to find it. Canada's law enforcement needs a cost-effective way to expand their resources. Luckily, a changing environment also brings new tech- nology and solutions to support evidence-based police decision making. Canada is about to join the UK, US, Australia, and the Netherlands in creating an innovative solution to facilitate collaboration towards evidence-based policing. Introducing RF Connect RF Connect is a new online portal developed by the CACP Research Foundation for the Canadian law enforcement community. Users can access, store, and share research and information online, and connect with each other, academics, public safety, and related experts. A first for Canadian law enforcement, RF Connect gives police and others a cost-effective way to expand their own resources, bringing groups and individuals together to share information, discuss issues, ask questions, and develop research projects in a collaborative way. "We see a real need to be connected to other (policing) organizations to both access and share resources, best practices, and other information," says Bob Downie, Chief Constable of the Saanich Police Service. "Too often, we waste time reaching out to personal contacts at other police agencies or universities to get answers to questions or find research to support an initiative or a decision, and many times these contacts don't have what we need." Initiatives, such as RF Connect, which pool the resources of many for the benefit of all, are an affordable step towards a professional policing environment that embraces evidence- based practice. A Resource that Saves Resources RF Connect combines timely access to resources from a variety of sources with collaboration to help police improve decision making and service delivery which will help everyone save time and money. The platform offers the familiarity and ease of use of LinkedIn plus enhanced abilities to build a shareable repository of information. It's a community of like-minded individuals who benefit from the collective knowledge bank. RF Connect is a secure place to: • Discuss issues and questions that you may encounter daily with other police services across the country. Finding out if anyone has data on how equipment bars impact the safety ratings of police vehicles, for example, is as simple as posting a message in the discussion forum on RF Connect. • Find academic and police partners to collaborate with on research projects. Sharing the effort and the results will help to reduce duplication on studies that everyone needs. • Learn and share best practices with others that may be adopted within your service or your community. The ability to quickly obtain information about policies and procedures, training and program materials or business cases from other police services across the country may help you to implement your own more efficiently. • Help future police leaders build professional networks for career development. RF CONNECT: A SHARED RESOURCE… SHARED BENEFITS FOR CANADIAN POLICING By Susan Clarke and Leigh Ferguson, CACP Research Foundation 62 CACP 2017 Annual Review RF CONNECT

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