Special Editor: Lawrence W. Sherman
Volume 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.