Effective, efficient and economical: those are the key goals the U.S. Department of Justice has identified for the Smart Policing Initiative (SPI). As budgets tighten and personnel is reduced, police departments across the country are looking to maximize productivity more than ever. SMART, which stands for "strategically managed, analysis, research driven and technology based," is a new paradigm in law enforcement. The SPI helps to identify strategies and techniques to improve crime fighting, and ways they can be practically implemented and put into practice. This year, over $4 million dollars will be given to a maximum of seven awardees to further the advancement of smart policing.
Two Purpose Areas
Applicants may apply under one of the following two areas:
- Purpose Area 1 - Innovative, data-driven approaches to current law enforcement challenges
- Purpose Area 2 - Projects that initiate and test interventions that respond to precipitous increases in crime
In addition, the project should focus on the following:
- Testing, establishing, and/or expanding evidence-based law enforcement programs
- Establishing partnerships between researchers and tactical operations within police departments
- Encouraging collaboration with police agencies, outside agencies and the communities they serve
- Using resources such as technology and data in innovative ways that allow law enforcement agencies to focus their resources on high concentrations of criminal behavior and crime
- Sharing the knowledge and advances with the entire police community
Selected Past Recipients
- Boston - achieved a reduction in violent crime through safe street teams and community-oriented policing
- Baltimore - implemented of a gun offender registry that produced measurable reduction in gun crime in targeted areas
- Reno - used public education and broad community coalitions to reduce prescription drug abuse
- Philadelphia - conducted an experimental evaluation of different crime-fighting tactics
Applying to the Smart Policing Initiative
Eligible applicants include Native American tribes and tribal organizations, state and local government, nonprofits, and consortia. Apply by January 26, 2017. Applicants are encouraged to submit their applications 72 hours before this date.
The Smart Policing website has a multitude of resources for those who want to further explore this concept. You can read about the 30 SPI sites across the nation. There are also recorded webinars, reports, guides, quarterly newsletters, podcasts on relevant topics, a data center, and a technical assistance center.