CACP Bulletin

Summer 2014

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Page 10 of 13

8 CACP Summer 2014 S ince the 1990's, when austerity budget cuts eliminated a research unit in the then Ministry of the Solicitor General of Canada, policing has laboured on without the benefit of an objective central research capacity to guide progress and to share information. Responsibility fell to CACP to fill the gap through the formation of a Research Foundation but progress stalled due to lack of funding. In 2012 the CACP Board took steps to fulfill the objective of the CACP Research Foundation: To create and develop the highest standards of effectiveness in law enforcement by fostering and encouraging research. Under the guidance of Foundation Chair Debra Frazer, Ottawa Police Service, a reconstitut- ed committee began work to achieve this aim. A survey of police research needs culminated in a Summit meeting in Vancouver, BC, on November 22, 2012, where attendees assembled a list of research priorities. This work was the foundation for the March 2014 release of a Canadian Police Executive Research Agenda, a comprehensive report that identifies needs and priorities. The Agenda is available on the CACP website. It was clearly established that Canada's police executives require relevant, evidence-based research that will: 1. Lead to better decision-making. Today's police leaders work in an increasingly complex environment and require access to authoritative, reliable and time sensitive research in order to make informed decisions. 2. Promote a broad approach to problem solving. Today's police leaders encounter problems and issues that are closely linked to community safety, health, housing and social service matters. We require access to research from a broad range of experts to assist in the development of strategies and solutions to problems. 3. Advance the profession of policing. Each generation of police leaders must add to the body of evidence-based research passed on to successors. This is how a profession develops and matures. Based on the facilitated discussions and in-depth assessments undertaken at the Research Summit, six priority issues were identified that form the Research Agenda. While no ranking is assigned, highlights are presented below. HUMAN RESOURCES Police leaders identified a number of key issues related to human resources. These include: leadership development, the impact of the changing face of society, and the issue of civilianization of roles traditionally assigned to sworn officers. FUNDING & FINANCING Issues related to funding and financing are a clear priority for Canada's police executives—both today and in the years ahead. Police executives are looking to understand with greater nuance and clarity what is driving the cost of policing and how to evaluate the benefits to the community. COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT Building stronger relationships with the communities we serve is a priority. A number of key issues came to the foreground including how the public wants to engage with police, how we may commu- nicate more effectively, and how we help the public understand the full range of what we do, the challenges we face, and the difference we make. OPERATIONS Operational issues were seen as being very important and police executives focused on the need for strategies to quickly adapt to new types of crimes and other issues surfacing in the ever-changing police environment. Specifically, we are concerned about the following questions: • How do we capture knowledge (e.g., gained from major events) and exchange best practices with one another? How can our learning be improved? • How do we best identify, share, and use research that has already been conducted? • Police executives are focused on creating a continuously learning community so that we are not duplicating efforts and so they can learn rapidly from the experiences of others. IMPACT OF TECHNOLOGY The obvious and on-going concern for the impact of technology was discussed in different terms including operations, the impact of social media, the affect on budgets, the changing nature of crime and investigations, and the need for far-reaching coordinated Good News For Police Research by The Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police Research Foundation

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