PERF's Research Group carries out nonpartisan, scientific studies on police practices and policies to inform the national dialogue on law enforcement and build a body of knowledge about policing. As a nonprofit organization, PERF is committed to the application of research in policing and to promoting innovation that will enhance the quality of life in our communities. PERF researchers collaborate with practitioners, public officials and community groups to make PERF research useful not only to decision makers and law enforcement agencies but also to the communities harmed by violence and other forms of crime.
PERF's success is built on the active involvement of its members: police chiefs, superintendents, sheriffs and other law enforcement leaders. Since its founding in 1976, PERF has conducted seminal research in areas such as community and problem-oriented policing, racially biased policing, multi-jurisdictional investigations, domestic violence, officer fatigue, the police response to people with mental illnesses, police leadership and management concerns, use of force and crime-reduction.
PERF continues to conduct cutting-edge police and criminal justice studies on topics such as hot spots policing, violence reduction, officer safety, law enforcement technology, less-than-lethal weapons, civilianization, law enforcement recruiting and hiring practices, law enforcement training academies, crime analysis, homeland security, police and immigration, organizational change, agency level performance measurement, offender re-entry, community policing, victimization, and investigations.
PERF's Research Group has strong capabilities in quantitative and qualitative research design, statistical analysis, measurement, survey design, and program evaluation. PERF's work has included the development and use of a variety of sampling plans, experimental and quasi-experimental designs, cross-sectional and longitudinal designs, measurement and questionnaire design, scaling routines, and longitudinal studies.
Further, the Research Group encompasses a strong survey capability spearheaded by PERF's Law Enforcement Center for Survey Research (LECSR). LECSR has successfully fielded dozens of surveys over the years on behalf of both private and government funding institutions. Whatever your survey needs, LECSR can help your organization to answer important research questions.; View the LECSR brochure.
PERF's staff members are also skilled at translating research results into practical, easy-to-understand material that can be put to use by practitioners. PERF publications are used for training, promotion exams and to inform police professionals about innovative approaches to community problems.