This is the U.S. Justice Department's National Institute of Justice's (NIJ's) Strategic Plan for its LEADS program (Law Enforcement Advancing Data and Science Initiative) for 2018-2023, which is a program that supports the professional development of "research-minded" law enforcement officers who are committed to implementing evidence-based policing.
This is done by funding participant's attendance at the IACP (International Association of Chiefs of Police) annual conference and a summer symposium on policing research. One of the most valuable aspects of the LEADS program is the community it creates by connecting officers with like-minded peers, many of whom face similar challenges in advancing evidence-based policing in their departments.
The program now includes ad hoc support for research led by the LEADS scholars; support for scholars to attend academic conferences and present their research; opportunities for LEADS scholars to serve as peer reviewers on scientific proposals; publishing opportunities; and access to other Office of Justice Programs (OJP) and IACP resources.
The LEADS Strategic Plan for 2016-2023 is based on the recognition that NIJ must engage more broadly with the law enforcement agencies themselves. In 2017, NIJ launched the LEADS Agencies program, which is intended to increase agency effectiveness.
The program is tailored to agencies' needs, as it addresses capacity-building and assistance along a continuum that includes data collection and analysis, integration of existing evidence into policies and practices, and the development of in-house research capabilities.
Other priorities of the Strategic Plan are to support the next generation of research-minded law enforcement leaders and to build and sustain a community of practice to support evidence-based policing. Objectives under each of the strategic priorities are outlined.