Over the past two decades, the United States has faced remarkably low clearance rates (22.3%) for Part One offenses. Low clearance rates exact both severe economic and social penalties on the affected communities, as well as decrease police legitimacy. Little research exists on the link between the efficacy and effectiveness of investigations and crime clearance rates, and while clearance rates must not be examined in isolation from other crime prevention efforts, we should improve them as a nation.

Over the course of the two-year initiative, eligible law enforcement agencies and their partners can request assistance from the NRTAC. With BJA approval, BJA approved Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) and partner staff will conduct an in-depth assessment of the investigative process of the requesting department. These assessments will require at minimum reviews of the agency’s organization, record management systems, resources, policies and procedures pertaining to investigations (assignments, supervision, and management), crime analysis function, information-sharing, multi-agency collaboration, selection and training of investigators, evidence handling and forensic science capacity.

Once the assessment is complete, we will employ the most efficient and effective TTA delivery systems to convey practical information in “easy to consume” formats. We will provide technical assistance to selected departments on a wide range of topics that are directly related to conducting high-quality investigations, in addition to technical assistance related to CGICs.

As a consortium, we will hold two scanning, analysis, response, and outcome convenings and that will include a knowledgeable participant mix of practitioners, researchers, and public safety policy experts. Convenings will focus on effective investigative responses and strategies, and will produce policy briefs, analysis reports, forensic science updates, and best practice reviews.