Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2021, $745,317)
The Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) collects information regarding the number, types, and characteristics of law enforcement training academies (LETAs) through its Census of Law Enforcement Training Academies (CLETA) data collection series. Recent high-profile, officer-involved incidents have resulted in nation-wide scrutiny and a reform movement to align law enforcement services and engagement with community expectations. Officer training has played a role in these efforts, and discussions include which training topics are most critical for law enforcement reform, which types of officer training are most effective, and how much officer training is needed. Information gathered in the 2023 CLETA will be crucial to understanding the current state of officer training and facilitating reform discussions.
The purpose of CLETA is to identify currently operating LETAs that provide basic training and to conduct a census of those LETAs to collect information on the characteristics of the academies, their trainings, their instructors, and their trainees. Key objectives of the 2023 CLETA include (1) developing and testing a questionnaire, (2) updating the existing frame of training academies, (3) fielding the CLETA, and (4) conducting data cleaning, analysis, and delivery of datasets.
RTI International (RTI) has experience collecting high-quality law enforcement data for BJS, including the last iteration of CLETA, the 2018 Census of State and Local Law Enforcement Agencies (CSLLEA), and the 2016 Law Enforcement Management and Administrative Statistics (LEMAS) survey. In completing these projects, RTI demonstrated success in addressing the challenges of maintaining frame integrity, collecting high-quality data from law enforcement entities, and delivering well-documented and accurate datasets. Our 2023 CLETA proposed team includes law enforcement subject matter experts, a former law enforcement officer, LEA data experts, and survey operations experts who have contributed to numerous BJS-sponsored law enforcement research efforts, including the 2018 CLETA.
RTI has partnered with The National Police Foundation (NPF) and the International Association of Directors of Law Enforcement Standards and Training (IADLEST) to carry out the 2023 CLETA. These recognized and respected partners bring law enforcement expertise and direct access to the LETA community.
Outcomes from the 2023 CLETA will include project management related reports, Office of Management and Budget clearance materials, stakeholder consultations, an updated LETA frame, a tested and refined multi-mode survey instrument, and data files with supporting documentation.