The National Institute of Justice (NIJ) is drawing on University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) expertise to support new efforts in evidence-based policing.
Justin Nix, Ph.D., assistant professor in UNO’s School of Criminology and Criminal Justice, is one of just four experts participating in the first year of the NIJ’s new Law Enforcement Advancing Data and Science (LEADS) Academics program.
The role will connect Nix with officers from around the country with the goal of sparking new research and encouraging information sharing between law enforcement and scholars.
“It’s about bringing research findings into the real world,” Nix said. “As a field, criminologists have struggled with translating scientific findings so they can be used to inform policy and practice – so I couldn’t be more excited about this program.”
Nix brings considerable experience working with police agencies. Past collaborations include work with police in Columbia, South Carolina investigating an increase in burglaries and a gang resurgence; a partnership with the San Francisco Police Department in investigating potential racial disparities in police stops and use of force; and research assistance to the Phoenix Police Department in responding to a significant spike in officer-involved shootings.
Gaylene Armstrong, Ph.D., director of UNO’s School of Criminology and Criminal Justice, said the NIJ’s selection speaks to the value of Nix’s work and the quality of the school’s faculty.
“We are so proud to have Justin as part of this inaugural cohort and look forward to seeing the impactful collaborations that are going to come out of this program,” Armstrong said. “Ultimately, everything we do is about public safety and strengthening communities. Programs like this one are so important when it comes to bridging the gap between research and practice.”
UNO’s School of Criminology and Criminal Justice is home to the nation’s top ranked online criminal justice graduate program. A majority of its students are criminal justice professionals looking to advance their careers and students who plan to seek leadership positions within criminal justice agencies and related organizations.
The new LEADS Academics program complements the NIJ LEADS Scholars program for law enforcement officers, established in 2014. This year’s participants include representatives from Nebraska and Iowa.
About the University of Nebraska at Omaha
Located in one of America’s best cities to live, work and learn, the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) is Nebraska’s premier metropolitan university. With more than 15,000 students enrolled in 200-plus programs of study, UNO is recognized nationally for its online education, graduate education, military friendliness and community engagement efforts. Founded in 1908, UNO has served learners of all backgrounds for more than 100 years and is dedicated to another century of excellence both in the classroom and in the community.