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Friday, November 13, 2015

Fictionland Police Department Citizen Trust Initiative Summary of Research Design and Outcome Evaluation

Fictionland Police Department
Citizen Trust Initiative
Summary of Research Design and Outcome Evaluation

Table of Contents
  1. Citizen Trust Initiative - Research Design
    1. Design Approach
    2. Design Approach Rationale
    3. Pros and Cons of Approach
    4. Complicating Factors
  2. Citizen Trust Initiative - Outcome Evaluation Measures
    1. Objective - Equip all officers with body cameras
    2. Objective - Re-organization of the Internal Affairs Department
    3. Objective - Review of past citizen complaints
    4. Measurement Validity Rationale


In undertaking the Citizen Trust Initiative, we need to validate that the changes we make have positive, valid, and reliable results; we will establish a research design in order to asses the outcome of the program, and assign specific measurements against our objectives to weigh how successful these changes are in relation to our desired program goals.

  1. Citizen Trust Initiative - Research Design
    1. Design Approach – The research design model we will be using is the simple pre-post testing model.
    2. Design Approach Rationale – The simple pre-post testing model will be used in that we are unable to use control groups in our measurement of our program; our target population lies in the community itself, but the measure we will use most often, the number of citizen complaints, is generated from contact with, to be redundant, the portion of the population that officers come into contact; in addition, we are unable to use multiple pre-tests due to the fact that our pre-test pool comes from a “unified” pool.
    3. Pros and Cons of Approach – On the positive side, the pre-post testing model is easy to use, and is the only model suitable for use in our situation; the negative consideration is that this model does not account for confounding factors.
    4. Potential Complicating Factors – The most likely confounding factors would be false citizen complaints generated in political bias and interference from special interest groups; Ferguson and the Zimmerman cases give us examples in which political considerations have developed a public presentation of a narrative devoid of relevant facts in these cases. The next most likely complicating issue is that we have three objectives aiming at the same goal; this may have the effect that it may be complicated to determine which of our three objectives has the most relevance in attaining our goal.
  2. Citizen Trust Initiative - Outcome Evaluation Measures
    1. Objective - Equip all officers with body cameras
      1. The first measure will be in comparing the number of citizen complaints made before the change (pre-test) against the number of complaints made after the population of officers has been quipped with cameras (post-test)
      2. The second measure will be of a comparison in the number of use of force incidents prior to such equipage to the number of incidents after equipage.
    2. Objective - Re-organization of the Internal Affairs Department
      1. We return to the use of citizen complaints as a measurement; however, this will be a continuing evaluation post-intervention.
      2. The second use of citizen complaints will be a measurement of cases that can be validated as justified; the number of citizen claims as a whole can be seen a a measure of trust in the department, while the number of times that we find officer misconduct will reflect how well our officers have internalized our reforms and as a measure of how IAD has responded to the re-organization.
    3. Objective - Review of past citizen complaints
      1. The pre-test measure will be a ratio of citizen complaints against the number of validated complaints prior to the review; the post-test will be a comparison in how many of the reviewed cases were found to be reviewed incorrectly by the previous iteration of IAD.
      2. The second measure will be a comparison of officer discipline cases generated through citizen complaints pre-review to the number of cases after reviewing the same cases.
    4. Measurement Validity Rationale – We justify the use of citizen complaints as a primary measure of trust in the department on three bases; face validity, content validity, and criterion-related validity. The number of citizen complaints satisfies the requirements of face validity due it the value of direct feedback after officer interaction. We are also satisfied that this method of measurement covers the range of public trust in the department, meeting content validity requirements. Finally, we feel that the use of this measure can reliably be correlated with other data-collection measures such as use of force incidents and officer discipline cases.
The Citizen's Trust Initiative must successfully prove to the public that the focus of the department is in fulfilling our criminal justice mission fairly and equitably; to do so requires that objective, not subjective, measures are taken of interactions between our officers and the community, and the consequences thereof.

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