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Research Services
Law enforcement agencies face difficult issues but often lack the data necessary to address them. Dolan Consulting Group now offers evidence-based research services to analyze common issues facing your department and give you data-driven strategies to address them.
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Traffic Stop Data Analysis

Law enforcement leaders today often have to respond to allegations of racial profiling levelled against their agency by the news media, individual citizens, activist groups or politicians. In response to these allegations, many law enforcement agencies examine their traffic stop, arrest, or use of force data for evidence of racial bias in these agency activities.

If done improperly, such an analysis can easily produce false evidence of racial disparities – needlessly destroying your agency’s reputation and deflating the morale of your honest, hard-working personnel. Our team of experienced experts can assist your agency by providing consultation on how to properly gather and analyze your data in a way that is fair to both the community and your officers. Our experts can also conduct a full, external, and impartial analysis for you, applying current best practices to conduct an honest assessment for your agency.

The most fundamental component of a proper analysis is to go beyond census data, which does not necessarily reflect the demographics of drivers on the road by service area and time of day, to determine a community’s driving population as an accurate benchmark. DCG Traffic Stop Data Analysis Services include:

• Assisting your agency in collecting data on the demographic composition of drivers engaged in vehicle crashes by service area and time of day to establish a legitimate benchmark for traffic violation stops.
• Comparing this benchmark to the demographic composition of drivers who were actually stopped for traffic violations.
• Analyzing stops for criminal investigative reasons as a separate data set, comparing these stops to the demographic makeup of criminal suspects as reported by crime victims within your community.
• Reporting statistical findings in a way that gives your officers and your community the most fair and unbiased examination possible.

Evidence-Based Recruiting and Retention Analysis

Law enforcement agencies across the country are struggling to recruit enough quality applicants to fill officer vacancies. Many are also under increasing pressure to obtain greater gender and racial diversity in their hiring process.

As a result, law enforcement agencies need evidence-based solutions to increase the effectiveness of their recruiting efforts and retain the good personnel they already have working within their agency.

Through an Evidence-Based Recruiting and Retention Analysis, our team will study your existing personnel and, through statistical analysis, determine:

• What factors led your current employees to become officers
• Why they joined your specific agency
• What your agency is doing right in terms of officer retention
• What is most likely to result in your current officers leaving for another agency or another profession

The findings will then result in a report tailored to your agency with an action plan of recommendations for how best to attract and retain more people like the officers your agency already employs and retain the officers you already have.

Traffic Stop Data Analysis Training

Some law enforcement agencies have personnel with the talent and resources to conduct their own traffic stop data analysis project, but lack knowledge of the most state of the art methods. This 7-hour training course is designed to educate the personnel responsible for producing your agency’s traffic stop data report. It discusses the most current methods for collecting, analyzing, and reporting these data. The course material emphasizes avoiding techniques that lead to false reports of racial disparities, and how to identify appropriate benchmarks and analysis techniques that produce impartial results that are fair to both your officers and your community.

Evidence-Based Strategy or Program Evaluation

Programs, policies, or strategies implemented within law enforcement agencies are rarely evaluated regarding their effectiveness. Did the program or strategy have the desired outcome? Unfortunately, we usually do not know for sure. Sometimes, however, an agency’s program or strategy is challenged by a local community group or politician, or a policy is challenged by an officers’ union. At other times, funding cuts jeopardize the continuation of a program. In such cases, our team can often provide an evaluation of the program, policy, or strategy by examining your agency’s data, or combining it with other data sources, to determine if it had the intended impact. Depending on the type of program or strategy involved, it sometimes is even possible to estimate how much of a financial savings resulted from the program.  

Law Enforcement Supervisor Style Analysis

Social scientific research has revealed and verified the existence of four distinct supervisory styles among law enforcement leaders. Each of these supervisory styles has its own strengths and weaknesses. Knowing your own leadership style strengths and weaknesses, and those of the rest of the leaders within your organization, can improve the overall efficiency and strength of your organization. Our team has developed and validated a survey instrument to identify a law enforcement leader’s primary and secondary leadership style. Each individual who completes the survey instrument receives a report that reveals the individual’s primary and secondary leadership style, a detailed description of these leadership styles, and recommendations about the individual’s leadership strengths and potential areas of leadership weakness.  

Patrol Staffing Analysis

Law enforcement agencies are often in a struggle with municipal government leaders over funding for appropriate staffing, but often base their arguments on anecdotal incidents or past staffing levels. Our team can conduct a methodologically sound, evidence-based analysis tailored to your agency and jurisdiction. Our team will examine your agency’s unique crime statistics, call for service loads, traffic patterns, officer safety conditions, and physical geography to provide a research-based estimate for the most efficient deployment of patrol officers by shift and geographic area.

Crime Analysis and Strategy Recommendations

Law enforcement agencies today are under pressure to police smarter and do more with less. When faced with a spike in overall crime, or a rise in a specific type of crime, some agencies lack the crime analysis personnel or resources needed to develop an evidence-based response strategy. Our team can conduct an analysis of your crime spike problem, identify the factors contributing to it, and provide proven evidence-based strategies your agency could implement to reduce or eliminate this crime problem.

Arrest or Use of Force Data Analysis

Some law enforcement agencies struggle with accusations of racially biased activity with regard to arrests or use of force. These accusations are usually in response to a high-profile incident and often fail to examine the general tendencies of your agency’s behavior. A proper analysis examines the racial and ethnic characteristics of persons arrested or involved in use of force encounters and compares these characteristics to those who are legitimately at risk for arrest or use of force. Working with your agency, our team’s analysis uses advanced research methods for analyzing your arrest or use of force data and compares these data to appropriate benchmarks, such as crime victim descriptions of criminal suspects when examining arrests, or persons who engage in violence towards the police when examining use of force incidents. Our analysis gives your officers the most fair and unbiased examination possible.

Hiring Pool Market Analysis

Local government agencies are often under great pressure to ensure their labor force matches the racial and ethnic composition of their citizenry. The racial and ethnic proportions of those individuals who meet the minimum qualifications for employment, however, may be very different than the racial and ethnic proportions of those in the general population. A recruiting market analysis examines the Census data for your community’s metropolitan area and uses the minimum hiring requirements of your specific agency. This analysis will reveal the true racial and ethnic makeup of those in your local area that are qualified to apply for employment with your agency. It will also reveal the impact specific hiring requirements (such as requiring a college degree) will have on the number of potential applicants available, and the racial and ethnic composition of this potential hiring pool.

Developing Organizational Performance Leadership