Publications

2008-2014 Executive Session on Policing and Public Safety

New Perspectives in Policing series

New Perspectives in PolicingSocial Media and Police Leadership: Lessons from Boston
by Edward F. Davis III, Alejandro A. Alves, and David Alan Sklansky

The very timely and effective use of social media in the hours and days following the Boston Marathon bombings may serve as a model for other law enforcement agencies in the United States. A new report, Social Media and Police Leadership: Lessons from Boston, spotlights the ways in which the Boston Police Department (BPD) successfully leveraged its social media platform throughout the investigation to keep the community informed and engaged. The report, published as part of the New Perspectives in Policing Series by the Program in Criminal Justice Policy and Management at Harvard Kennedy School (HKS), is co-authored by former BPD Commissioner Edward F. Davis III.

Downloads 

  • The Report and the Press Release 
  • Media inquiries should be directed to:  Doug Gavel (617) 495-1115

Media Coverage

  • Listen to HKS PolicyCast:  Ed Davis on Social Media’s Role after the Boston Marathon Bombings
  • More press relating to this and other HKS reports on the Boston Marathon and Aftermath, including articles, congressional testimony, and interviews.

"The Boston Police Department has long embraced both community policing and the use of social media," the report begins. "The department put its experience to good and highly visible use in April 2013 during the dramatic, rapidly developing investigation that followed the deadly explosion of two bombs at the finish line of the Boston Marathon." Davis and co-authors Alejandro A. Alves and David Alan Sklansky identify several key moments following the explosions when the BPD turned to Twitter to communicate critical information. Within one hour of the bombings, they explain, the department had sent out a tweet confirming what had happened along Boylston Street.... more


New Perspectives in PolicingPolice Leadership Challenges in a Changing World
by Anthony W. Batts, Sean Michael Smoot and Ellen Scrivner

Retired Oakland Police Chief Anthony Batts, Director and Chief Legal Counsel of the Police Benevolent and Protective Association of Illinois Sean Michael Smoot, and former NIJ Deputy Director Ellen Scrivner examine the impact of new technology and a new generation of police officers on existing police culture. There is a new generation of police recruits entering the profession, with habits and expertise in different areas that can clash with police organizations' traditional paramilitary culture and industrial type bureaucracy. The success of police organizational leaders may depend on how effectively they recognize and adapt to the dynamic characteristics of younger officers. Police Leadership Challenges in a Changing World argues that these "contemporary employees" present not only leadership challenges, but significant opportunities, as they bring demographically unique attributes to law enforcement that may help it align better with community and citizen expectations. The contemporary employee demonstrates a familiarity with technology and social media; new attitudes towards their role in law enforcement and the community, greater acceptance of diversity; and new expectations regarding autonomy, participation in decision making and flexibility of working conditions. These skill sets, attitudes and expectations are among the competencies needed for 21st century law enforcement....more

 


New Perspectives in Policing 2012

Exploring the Role of the Police in Prisoner Reentry 
by Jeremy Travis, Ronald Davis and Sarah Lawrence

In this paper John Jay College of Criminal Justice President Jeremy Travis, East Palo Alto Police Chief Ronald Davis, and and University of California, Berkeley School of Law Director of Policy Analysis and Program Evaluation at the Chief Justice Earl Warren Institute on Law and Social Policy Sarah Lawrence examine the role that police officers have in prisoner reentry in an age with historically high amounts of parolees reentering their communities every day. Traditionally, the police have played little part in facilitating the reentry of prisoners into the community, both because the police have seen their role as limited to the surveillance of probationers and parolees for the violation of the terms of their release or the commission of new crimes and because of a historical lack of trust between organizations that work with returning offenders and law enforcement agencies. In Exploring the Role of the Police in Prisoner Reentry, the authors argue that police, particularly urban police departments, have a major role to play in prisoner reentry, in part because of high recidivism rates among returning offenders and because of their concentration in some of the poorest, highest crime neighborhoods. Greater involvement of the police in prisoner reentry can promote public safety through more focused problem-oriented policing efforts and increase police legitimacy, particularly in minority communities, through enhanced community policing efforts...more