Academic Partnerships

The importance of evidence-based research in policing has been discussed nationally among the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police. In support, the Waterloo Regional Police Service (WRPS) is promoting academic partnerships. We recognize the tremendous opportunity to collaborate with researchers to explore theory and develop applications that will help guide current and future approaches to policing. Increasing our breadth and depth of knowledge is a necessary step towards better decision-making and making a positive difference among our members and the community we serve.

For a consistent and mutually beneficial experience, WRPS has developed a standard approach to academic partnerships. We envision that formal arrangements will be a clear investment where partnerships i) will support the goals and objectives of our Strategic Business Plan, ii) may help guide policy changes and evaluate initiatives that will ultimately better meet member and community needs, and iii) create opportunities for police members to share and contribute their experiences, knowledge, skills and abilities. The benefit for academic researchers is that they will i) learn about the practical side of policing, ii) potentially see the application of their findings, iii) be able to train students using real data and field-work, and iv) fulfill career goals by advancing knowledge in the field that could be disseminated among the academic community. To realize these mutually beneficial outcomes, partnering does require following a process. 

Memorandum of Understanding

The MOU is essential for establishing expectations going forward. It begins with a statement of purpose and follows with a clear delineation of the roles and responsibilities of each partner. It lists internal positions serving as Points of Contact and a communication plan that specifically outlines provisions for the sharing of information and the reporting of results with an emphasis on review and collaboration prior to publication.  The MOU is meant to identify a primary, consistent, responsible faculty advisor/team lead who will act as the external Academic Partner. The same, or additional, Principal Investigators may be named in specific research project submissions. The MOU is required whether it is an academic initiating a Request for Research or whether it is WRPS initiating a Research Expression of Interest.

Selection of Research Projects

One of the fundamental criteria that will assist WRPS in determining whether to partner on a specific research project when externally initiated (i.e. academic-led) will be if it aligns with our Strategic Business Plan. Mutually beneficial research may also include, but is not limited to, research within the Principal Investigator’s area of expertise that contributes to policy and/or procedure, evaluates current programs, assists to inform operational decisions, and/or advances knowledge in the field of law enforcement.

When WRPS leads the Research Expression of Interest, the selection will be based on whether the proposal meets our identified needs. These needs will be shared in an open call with a transparent evaluation approach in place.

Current Open Calls for Academic Partnership:

  • There are currently no open calls for academic partnerships.

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