Schenectady Police Department Partners with the John F. Finn Institute for Public Safety, Inc. on Police Responses to Dual Role Victims
October 20, 2016 – The Schenectady Police Department and the John F. Finn Institute for Public Safety, Inc. will partner on a study of police interactions with victims of violence. The project will be supported by a grant from the National Institute of Justice.
The study will examine how police officers and detectives respond to the incidents that involve “dual-role victims” – victims who are also known to police as offenders. Research has shown that people who are involved in criminal behavior are also more likely to be victimized; the overlap between victims and offenders, particularly in violence, is substantial. Little is known, however, about law enforcement practices with respect to dual-role victims, compared with other victims, or about the practices that maximize victim cooperation and/or help-seeking. Finn Institute researchers will estimate these differences – in offense classification and reclassification, in investigative case assignment and actions, and in patrol officers’ behavior toward victims. In addition, researchers will give victims of violent offending voice by interviewing such victims to learn what police practices and behaviors are important in their eyes. Finn Institute Associate Director Sarah McLean said, “Given the paucity of empirical evidence in this area, it is our hope that findings and methods from this study will serve to stimulate and support further research in other jurisdictions, and, by doing so, police practice can be guided by research-based policy, procedures and training.”
The Schenectady Police Department and the John F. Finn Institute previously partnered on a study of procedural justice in policing, which was also funded by NIJ. McLean added, “We are pleased to work together once again to conduct research that may serve to point the way toward better outcomes – greater cooperation in investigation and prosecution, better follow-up in seeking assistance in the aftermath of violence victimization – through more evidence-based practices.”