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The Texas Center for Policing Innovation helps make communities more livable by working with public officials and community leaders to improve public safety. In situations where public safety is at risk or quality of life can be enhanced, we fulfill this mission through an integrated set of core activities. The choice of which are undertaken is determined by a comprehensive need assessment. Projects typically involve three phases, namely: a) assessment, b) intervention, and c) evaluation.

Phase I: Assessment

The assessment process begins with the establishment of an assessment team assembled for each project. Team membership is determined in an ecologically valid way, taking appropriate account of historical, cultural, political, and situational factors that play a role. The assessment team consists of members with experience at all levels of police agencies and substantive expertise as needed, for example, in the areas of: a) protection of civil rights, b) facilitation of gender equity, c) support for democratic institutions, d) support for market-based economies, and e) effective and fair civilian police force development.  The team conducts an on-site assessment usually lasting around a week. The team prepares a report and a briefing for the project steering committee.

Phase II: Intervention

The particular intervention to be employed in any given case is designed by a steering committee. Although the composition of the team will vary from project to project, we generally try to keep the same Chair in order to realize the efficiencies in economies of scope. We presently utilize Mr. Bill Geller as our steering committee Chair. Mr. Geller is a former Associate Director of the Police Executive Research Forum. He also prepared a white paper on policing in emerging democracies at the request of the then-Director of NIJ, Mr. Jeremy Travis.

Mr. Geller is one of the many leading lights of the civilian policing field who will serve on project steering committees. Project steering committee team members will be chosen based on their fit with project issues. Steering committees will be composed of people such as:

  • Lisa Belsky, Expert on Community and Economic Development Partnerships with Police
  • Mike Berkow, Esq., Savannah-Chatham Police Chief
  • Richard "Dick" R. Bennett, Professor of Justice, Department of Justice, Law and Society, American University
  • Chief Theron Bowman, Ph.D., Chief  of the Arlington, Texas Police Department
  • Constable Keith Collins of the Lancashire Constabulary, England
  • Anne Marie Doherty, Esq., Retired senior executive with the Boston Police Department
  • Alana Ennis, Senior Manager, Crisis Management, Global Security Office, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu.
  • Paul Evans Jr., Esq., Retired Commissioner, Boston Police Department.
  • Eduardo Gonzalez, Former Director of the US Marshals Service and former police executive in Metro-Dade and Tampa, FL
  • Sheldon "Shelly" F. Greenberg, PhD, Associate Dean, Division of Public Safety Leadership, School of Education, Johns Hopkins University
  • Michael Jez, M.S., Chief of the League City, Texas Police Department
  • Eileen LaHaie, Executive Director of the Florida Regional Community Policing Institute
  • Sharon Lubinski, Minneapolis Police Department Assistant Chief
  • Jerry Oliver, Former chief of police in a number of cities
  • David Onek, Director of Berkeley Center for Criminal Justice at Boalt Hall, University of California-Berkeley, Law School
  • Rana Sampson, Public Safety Consultant
  • Mike Scott, Director of the Center for Problem-Oriented Policing and Assistant Professor, University of Wisconsin Law School
  • Ellen Scrivner, Ph.D., John Jay College of Criminal Justice
  • A person with cultural expertise that matches the culture of the community, governmental and nongovernmental organizations being assessed

Briefed by the assessment team and informed by its report, the steering committee develops a blueprint for the intervention. The intervention generally consists of some combination of training and technical assistance. The training and technical assistance is most likely to be in-country, but we have capacity and experience in bringing foreign police commanders to the U.S. for that purpose as well. A hallmark of the interventions we design will be approaches that are no more complex than necessary, but comprehensive enough to increase the chances that key stakeholders in-country will support the improvements sought by the intervention. We aim for impactful, sustainable changes in line with the agreed purposes of the project.

Phase III: Evaluation

Program evaluation is undertaken to the full extent desired by the project funder and is both formative and summative. Summative evaluation—the most traditional form—determines whether desired outcomes and intended impacts were realized. It informs the stakeholders whether the project delivered what it was supposed to.

Unfortunately, summative evaluation information arrives too late to be of use in modifying implementation strategies to maximize realization of goals. Formative evaluation provides the project team with thoughtful analysis and real-time data that allow for changes in implementation during implementation. Wherever the formative evaluation data suggests implementation is not working as intended, the steering committee is convened, presented with the data and expert advice of in-country service providers, and asked to revise the implementation strategy.


picture of police officers

picture of police officers