In 2014, the Law Enforcement Advancing Data & Science (LEADS) Scholars Program was established through a partnership between the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) and the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP). The three-year program “aims to identify and nurture the next generation of law enforcement leadership through encouraging the use of evidence-based research to advance criminal justice.” By my count, 62 officers from around the US and Canada have gone through - or are currently participating in - the LEADS Scholars Program. This year, in addition to 12 Scholars, LEADS also admitted two Civilian Analysts and four Academics: Cory Haberman, Kyle McLean, Natalie Todak, and me.
Our first order of business was to attend the 2019 IACP Conference in Chicago, which just ended yesterday. While there, I got to meet all of the current LEADS Scholars as well as a few alumni. We had a few roundtables where we discussed challenges and concerns surrounding the infusion of evidence into policing. We attended panels on recruitment/retention, social media, and pursuit policies. We sat in on IACP’s Research Advisory Committee meeting. We ate deep-dish pizza. But most importantly, we networked. I can’t wait to see where the program goes from here.
The LEADS Scholars are truly an impressive bunch. You can read more about them, and the great work they’re doing in addition to their regular responsibilities, here.