Our commitment to saving officers' lives is rooted in understanding what is harming officers and resulting in over 100 line-of-duty deaths each year.1 Our approach to training and resource development is based in empirical evidence and is continually being evaluated.
The Office of Applied Research is led by Dr. David Carter and is staffed by professionals with advanced degrees in criminology and criminal justice. Subject experts are engaged with the Office of Applied Research when specific skill sets and knowledge are needed. In addition, the Office of Law Enforcement Advisement and Coordination works closely with the Office of Applied Research to provide insight from current and former law enforcement professionals to ensure that research products are practical, relevant, and beneficial.
The VALOR Officer Assault Database (VOAD) is an ongoing collection effort to identify open-source reporting of incidents involving a law enforcement officer who was the victim of an assault. The Office of Applied Research uses this convenience sample of reported assaults to provide collective insights on officer assault characteristics and trends.
Prior to each on-site training delivery, a site-specific research package is developed for instructors and students. Included in these packets are general demographic data, Uniform Crime Report (UCR) Crime in the United States and Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted (LEOKA) data, recent National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund (NLEOMF) data, VOAD data and maps, and recent articles from the region related to or affecting law enforcement. The local site-specific research is compiled to provide training participants and instructors with information about the region where our training is being held. Initially produced for VALOR instructors, the site research provides a baseline awareness of the community, law enforcement capacity, assault data, and current law enforcement issues. With feedback from instructors this valuable resource became available to training participants.
As an effort to identify trends, threats, and various other officer safety topics, the Office of Applied Research constantly evaluates publications for application or implications to the law enforcement community. Using this approach allows emerging issues to contribute guidance to VALOR curricula and resources.
As trends or threats are identified, additional research is conducted and a one-page bulletin (flyer) is developed to be disseminated to law enforcement officers to enhance situational awareness. The bulletins include citations for source materials to support evidence-based practices and training.
Our product development is rooted in evidence-based research to examine which behaviors of law enforcement officers can be affected to increase their safety and wellness. The Office of Applied Research works in collaboration with the development team to focus materials to facilitate transfer of knowledge and lasting behavior change.
1United States Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation. (September 2017). Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted. Retrieved September 5, 2018, from https://ucr.fbi.gov/leoka/2016.