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.
2004 Ernest W. Burgess Fellow
Marta Tienda is Maurice P. During ’22 Professor in Demographic Studies and Professor of Sociology and Public Affairs at Princeton University, where she directed the Office of Population Research from 1997 until 2002. She has held appointments at the University of Chicago, where she served as Chair of Sociology; the University of Wisconsin; and Stanford University (as visiting professor). Dr. Tienda is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and is past president of the Population Association of America. Her research interests include ethnic and racial stratification, poverty and social policy, and the sociology of employment and labor markets.