U.S. Department of Justice: Strategies for Policing Innovation
Strategies for Policing Innovation (SPI) provides resources and opportunities to enable police agencies to identify and define their most pressing crime problems and institute lasting operational and organizational changes that foster reliance on and effective use of evidence-based practices, data, and technology.
Recipients of funding under the SPI program will test promising crime prevention, response, and reduction practices; implement evidence-based strategies; improve the effectiveness and efficiency of police agencies’ processes and procedures; implement and test justice information sharing technology; and establish a system for evaluating their effectiveness.
SPI augments the Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) program, which is focused on reducing violent crime. SPI award recipients are required to coordinate proactively with the PSN team in the respective district of the United States Attorney’s Office (USAO) in order to enhance collaboration and strengthen the commitment to reducing violent crime.
Applicants may submit an application under the following purpose areas. Applicants may submit an application to more than one purpose area; however, they must not be identical or duplicative in terms of focus areas, approaches, and/or methodologies.
Purpose Area 1: Supporting Innovation. Applications are solicited from eligible entities interested in developing innovative, data-driven approaches to challenges currently confronting law enforcement agencies. Applicants will:
- Describe the innovative, data-driven approach to be implemented
- Create an action plan to evaluate the effectiveness of the approach, for which an applicant may engage a research partner to create the plan
- Identify a specific violent crime problem to address
- Develop a prevention, mitigation, or response strategy to address the problem
- Evaluate the project
- Assess and report the results, which will make the results publicly available
The evaluation design must include outcome measures capable of informing a credible assessment of the effectiveness of the strategies. Applications not including such measures will not be awarded. Applicants are strongly encouraged to focus on issues likely to be confronted by other law enforcement agencies in the United States. Examples of such issues include, but are not limited, to:
- Use of predictive analytics and approaches to address violent crime
- Innovative approaches to engaging communities in crime prevention and reduction efforts, in particular, with emphasis on targeting criminal violent gangs
- Effective approaches to increasing the investigative analytical capacity within a law enforcement agency
- Innovative approaches to reducing chronic violent crime in a specific community
- Innovative approaches that deal with violent offenders and are intended to decrease the risk of harm to first responders and increase officer safety
Purpose Area 2: Responding to Precipitous Increases in Crime Through Applied technologies and/or Improved Justice Information Sharing. Applications are solicited from eligible entities that are experiencing precipitous increases in crime or in a type or types of crime within their jurisdictions, and propose to implement and test applied justice information-sharing technology designed to respond to these crime increases and to improve criminal justice data exchange. Applicants are asked to define their unique challenges and the associated impact on local communities, and to provide a comprehensive implementation plan for using applied justice information-sharing technology to reduce or mitigate crime problem(s). In doing so, they must:
- Identify and promote technology solutions that target preventing, investigating, prosecuting, and responding to precipitous increases in specific crime(s)
- Leverage new and existing partnerships to include other criminal justice entities, community organizations, and private or public providers, to enhance the applicant’s ability to respond to these specific crimes within their jurisdiction
- Develop policies and practices around the use of the technology solution that promote decision making with the intent to reduce the precipitous increase of the identified specific crime(s)
- Apply the information-sharing or other technology solution(s) at all levels of the organization and in a manner that supports operational effectiveness and efficiency
In order to be considered for an award, applicants must clearly identify how the funding will directly address a precipitous or extraordinary increase in crime(s) or a type or types of crime in the jurisdiction. Specifically, applicants must:
- Identify a crime that has precipitously increased within the jurisdiction.
- Identify the period of time during which the crime or relevant category of crime increased and provide evidence substantiating the claimed increase. Examples of such evidence include statistics, research findings, or other objective evidence.
- Describe the law enforcement and/or justice information sharing solution or technology to be implemented to address the identified crime increase and drive its reduction.
- Utilize an action plan to evaluate the effectiveness of the information sharing solution. An applicant may engage a research partner for this purpose.
- Develop a comprehensive implementation and testing strategy to reduce and prevent the identified crime.
- Evaluate the project.
- Assess and report the results, which will make the results publicly available.
Applicants are strongly encouraged to focus on law enforcement and/or justice information sharing or applied technology initiatives that will provide information likely to be of benefit to other law enforcement agencies in the United States. Examples of such initiatives include but
are not limited to:
- Technology integration initiatives, to include data-sharing enhancements to existing records management systems, case management systems, state or regional data-sharing networks, analytical tools, and mobile technology platforms. Agencies may also seek to improve information exchange among criminal justice system partners to improve the completeness of records on offenders, warrants, cases, and incidents.
- Data linking and identity management initiatives, to include the combination of data sources or provision of access to multiple data systems, and the establishment of appropriate access control rules and record linkage protocols to ensure quality and completeness of the information being shared.
- Mobile technology operation initiatives which enable increased data entry by officers and sharing among officers and investigators in the field, as well as the provision of enhanced mobile technologies to allow remote access to data and analytic resources (particularly to aid in case management).
- Data repository integration initiatives which modify current practices and increase an agency’s current investigatory capacity by providing timely access to available regional and national data resources. Such data resources include, but are not limited to, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ National Integrated Ballistic Information Network (NIBIN) and eTrace, as well as the FBI’s National Data Exchange (NDEx), Combined DNA Index System (CODIS), and Violent Criminal Apprehension Program (ViCAP).
- Social network analysis (SNA) initiatives which provide systemic approaches to investigating linkages among groups or individuals of interest to law enforcement. SNA may be used to facilitate joint investigations, deconfliction activities, or access to supplementary data resources. Projects in this area must have safeguards in place to ensure the protection of individuals’ privacy and civil liberties.
- Analytical capacity-building initiatives, to include the establishment or enhancement of crime analysis centers (CACs), real-time crime centers (RTCCs), or fusion centers (FCs). Such centers, when linked regionally, provide critical information that facilitates coordination among agencies and jurisdictions. Linkages between these centers and ongoing efforts underway with the relevant prosecution and correction agencies are especially important to establish and maintain. Such centers often use advanced technology, such as geographic information systems, biometrics, and predictive analytics.
Amount: Approximately $4,500,000 is available to make up to five awards of up to $700,000 each under Purpose Area 1 and up to two awards of up to $500,000 each under Purpose Area 2. The period of performance is 36 months.
Eligibility: State, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies, governmental non-law enforcement agencies acting as their fiscal agent, federally-recognized Indian tribal governments that perform law enforcement functions, or tribal consortia consisting of two or more federally-recognized Indian tribes (including tribal consortia operated as nonprofit organizations) acting as a fiscal agent for one or more tribal law enforcement agencies.
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