Law Enforcement

two images of law enforcement - officers interacting with a young boy, and officers interacting with two men

Our researchers identify methods in which law enforcement agencies, community organizations, and individuals can come together and work toward a mutual goal of lower crime rates, improve conscientious policing, and reduce recidivism. Through these efforts we partner with local, state and federal law enforcement and prosecutors to increase positive police interaction, decrease incidents of human trafficking and study the extensive history of police and prosecutorial interaction with sexual assault victims.


Cleveland Division of Police Settlement Agreement Data Coordination

October 2016 - present

In 2015, the City of Cleveland and DOJ entered into an agreement that requires the Cleveland Division of Police  to make a number of fundamental changes to its policies, practices, procedures, training, use of data, and more following a 2014 investigation into a pattern of excessive force that violated constitutional and federal law. Since 2016, the Begun Center's data team has worked with the City of Cleveland and Cleveland Division of Police to provide data management including data collection, cleaning, analysis, and dissemination. 

Funder: City of Cleveland

Partners: Cleveland Division of Police

Research Team: Daniel J. Flannery (Principal Investigator), Rodney Thomas, Chase Klingenstein, Jay Youngless


Cuyahoga County Co-Responder Program

Cleveland is developing a city-wide police and mental health co-responder program, drawing upon the work of a pilot program that operated in one of Cleveland’s neighborhood police districts back in 2016. The city will restore the police and mental health co-responder team program and expand it from one police district to a city-wide program. Five teams will each consist of one police officer and one crisis (mental health) worker who will respond to scenes involving a mental health crisis. An assessment will be completed on scene and the clients will be referred to mental health agencies and/or transported to an emergency mental health facility if necessary. Anyone in need of alcohol or other drug services, including opioids, will be quickly linked to the appropriate treatment facility. The goal of the current co-responder project is to improve linkages to mental health and other services for individuals in mental health crisis, decrease high crisis intervention utilizers, decrease the number of transports to psychiatric emergency departments, and reduce recidivism.

The Begun Center is assisting the Cleveland Division of Police (CDP) in analyzing and reporting required Bureau of Justice Assistance performance measures using secondary data from Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) forms, the Co-Responder Mental Health Sheet, and CIT incident-level data from Brazos forms. Recidivism follow-up data will be collected by the Cuyahoga County Corrections Planning Board and provided to the Begun Center evaluation team. Prospective law enforcement data about program barriers, successes and implementation recommendations will be collected via a Qualtrics online survey.

Funder: Department of Justice

Partners: City of Cleveland, Cleveland Division of Police, ADAMHS Board of Cuyahoga County. Frontline Service, Murtis Taylor Human Services System, Cuyahoga County Corrections Planning Board

Research Team: Daniel J. Flannery, PhD (Principal Investigator), Rodney Thomas, Michelle Riske-Morris, Chase Klingenstein, Anya Nazarenko


Targeted Violence and Terrorism Prevention

September 2020 - present

The Department of Homeland Security awarded $10 million to 29 projects to support the development of a nationwide Terrorism and Targeted Violence Prevention (TVTP) Framework. The projects aim to improve communities’ ability to prevent individuals from mobilizing or radicalizing to violence. These programs will create or enhance locally-based prevention frameworks to address these emerging threats. These projects address the wide range of violent ideologies and mobilization factors that lead to targeted violence and will cover many aspects of prevention, including building resilience, intervention, recidivism prevention, and reintegration programs at the local level. The TVTP grants support the development of local prevention capabilities at a time when DHS is observing an uptick in online efforts for terrorism recruitment and radicalization from a variety of sectors.

The Begun Center for Violence Prevention Research and Education at Case Western Reserve University will work with the Northeast Ohio Regional Fusion Center (NEORFC) to provide training to identify and report violent extremism in rural areas and create a local, scalable threat assessment tool specific to the rural communities of Northeast Ohio.

Award: $184,981

More info: https://www.dhs.gov/tvtpgrants

Research Team: Daniel J. Flannery, PhD (principal investigator) Ryan McMaster, Rodney Thomas, Angela Kavadas, Ed Dabkowski


Innovations in Community-Based Policing

October 2018 - present

Principal Investigator: Mark Singer, PhD


Police Recognition of Need (PRN)

The Begun Center serves as a research and evaluation partner to police districts who engage with PRN, which is based on the principle that police officers are “first social responders.” They often see people/families in crisis well before social service agencies have been contacted. Officers will take the time and effort to get citizens’ the help they need for family support, trauma exposure and emotional well-being.

Residents living in urban low-income neighborhoods are often faced with a number of challenges including but not limited to: gainful employment, accessible transportation, personal safety, and adequate clothing, housing and nutrition. The PRN program is designed for officers to provide citizens who have a recognized need for food, with $40 gift cards to a local supermarket. Cards are given at officer discretion and recognition of need. After providing the food card, officers send an e-mail to a private site and write a paragraph describing the circumstances under which the card was given. Community Engagement Officers in all five Cleveland police districts have been given food cards.

Cross culturally, the provision of food has significant importance not only to biological sustenance, but also as a means of group/family sharing and interaction, and a way to show care, support and comfort. It is with this importance in mind that the PRN program provides citizens with food as a concrete symbol of officers’ consideration and concern for the citizens they serve.

Principal Investigator: Mark Singer, PhD


Police Assisted Referral (PAR)

The Begun Center serves as a research and evaluation partner to the Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority Police Department and Frontline Services, Inc. to provide support to the Police Assisted Referral Program. PAR is a partnership among law enforcement, university crime prevention, the public housing community and mental health services that aims to identify potential violent crime early on by helping people with counseling and other services. Officers are trained to focus on three major points: recognize; identify; refer.

Principal Investigator: Mark Singer, PhD

Read about the Police Assisted Referral Program.


Fugitive Safe Surrender (FSS)

The Begun Center serves as a research and evaluation partner to police departments and faith based organization across the nation to support and evaluate local Fugitive Safe Surrender programs.

Principal Investigator: Daniel J. Flannery, PhD