Research conducted in the PRL explores how psychology can contribute to various police activities. Three lines of research are currently being focused on by an excellent team of honours students and graduate students, as well as national and international collaborators.

1. EVIDENCE-BASED POLICING

Some of the most recent research being conducted in the PRL relates to evidence-based policing. Current projects include:

  • Examining police officer receptivity to research
  • Determining the degree to which findings in Canadian police research can be reproduced or replicated
  • Police-academic partnerships and how best to translate academic research into police practices and policies

2. POLICE DE-ESCALATION AND USE OF FORCE

Much of the current research being conducted in the PRL examines various issues related to police de-escalation and use of force. Current projects include:

  • Defining and measuring de-escalation
  • Examining the relationship between de-escalation and officer safety
  • Examining how officer characteristics (e.g., personality, anxiety), suspect characteristics (e.g., race, gender), and environmental characteristics (e.g., background noise, scene complexity) influence de-escalation and use of force decisions
  • The validity of firearms qualification tests for predicting police officer performance in dynamic use of force events
  • Memory for use of force events and the use of specialized interviewing and reporting techniques to improve recall for these events
  • The identification of use of force myths endorsed by the public and impact of these myths on juror decisions in trials involving allegations of excessive force
  • The role of body worn video cameras in use of force events, including the impact of cameras on police officer behaviour and the influence of cameras on memory for use of force events
  • The role of body worn video footage in trials involving police use of force

3. PSYCHOLOGICALLY-BASED INVESTIGATIVE TECHNIQUES

Other research conducted in the PRL focuses on the reliability and validity of psychologically-based investigative techniques, such as geographic profiling and crime linkage methods. Current projects include:

  • The development of statistical prediction rules for discriminating between genuine and faked suicide notes
  • Examining the “genre” of the suicide note
  • A comparison of statistical methods for predicting crime linkages and series membership
  • The development of a new crime linkage method to support the work of Behavioural Investigative Advisors
  • The use of crime linkage evidence in courts around the globe

OUR RESEARCH HAS BEEN FUNDED BY:

    

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