Current Issue

Fatal Police Shootings: Patterns, Policy, and Prevention
Special Editor: Lawrence W. Sherman

Vol. 687, January 2020

The promise of evidence-based policing is to reduce harm with better research for targeting, testing, and tracking police actions. The problems of using evidence-based policing to reduce harm are found in the emotional dimensions of ethics and risk. These problems are most pronounced with fatal police shootings, where the risks of injury to American police are often framed as a zero-sum choice in relation to the ethics of taking citizens’ lives. Yet evidence-based policing offers good prospects for reframing the debate over fatal police shootings, in ways that could reduce harm to both police and citizens.

The January 2020 ANNALS volume offers substantial new evidence for initiatives at all levels of U.S. government that could help to save lives in police encounters with citizens. Putting that evidence to work remains the major challenge facing the American police.

From the Archives

Truth as a Weapon in the Free World
Vol. 278, November, 1951
Richard Brecker

From the Introduction

In an address to the American Society of Newspaper Editors on April 20, 1950, President Truman declared that it was necessary for us to “make ourselves heard round the world in a great campaign of truth.” Calling attention to the vital importance of the psychological front in the present battle for world friendship, the President noted that the task of presenting the truth “to the millions who are uninformed or misinformed or unconvinced… is not separate and distinct from other elements of our foreign policy. It is as important as armed strength or economic aid.  ‘We must,’ he said, ‘pool our efforts with those of the other free peoples in a sustained, intensified program to promote the cause of freedom against the propaganda of slavery.'”