Out of the Shadows: Policy Research for Midsize Law Enforcement Agencies: A Call to Action

Out of the Shadows: Policy Research for Midsize Law Enforcement Agencies: A Call to Action

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Large cities benefit from problem- and issue-oriented research, conferences, and forums sponsored by academic institutions, think tanks, and national organizations. Smaller communities benefit from problem- and issue-focused work by rural development institutions.The challenges facing midsize city governments and communities tend to be overlooked, however. Organizations and associations that champion the interests of cities, including the National League of Cities, the United States Conference of Mayors, and the International City/County Management Association, are almost silent regarding information for understanding the nature and needs of midsize cities.

The single item of direct value discovered in general literature pertained to the Rochester Conversation on Mid-Size Cities (2002). Sponsored by Cornell University, the Ford Foundation, Eastman Kodak, and several nongovernmental organizations in the Rochester, New York area, this Conversation discussed ”...whether being mid-size calls for developing a new awareness of the importance...of these special places.” Not surprisingly, their answer was “Yes.” It is contextually useful, as well as logical, to recognize that midsize city governments confront issues and needs that parallel those of midsize city police departments, none more evident than a search for identity and definition. The issue is taken up later in the report.

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