EBP Public Safety Training Series

Washington State University’s
Training Series for Evidence Based Practices in Public Safety

This project-based series is designed to guide participants through basic elements of development and execution on an evidence-based practice program, which they will individualize to their department’s needs.

This training series is for early to mid-career professionals in public safety roles with aspirations of advancing to leadership positions. The series further requires engagement from leadership in their department to serve in a mentorship role and to provide internal support and guidance for the program participant and the project they are working to implement.

It is expected that the participant and mentor will enter the program with a specific problem area or issue they would like to solve for their department. Over the course of the series the participant will learn about, and apply, evidence-based methods as they work to develop and evaluate interventions that serve to mitigate their identified problem area or issue. Please read below for project examples.    

This 11-month program will run on an annual basis starting with an intensive 5-day in-person segment, transitioning to online coursework and instruction, and ending with an intensive 5-day in-person segment. These in-person segments take place at WSU’s Spokane campus; see the Course Curriculum page for dates and details.



The series kicks off with an intensive 1-week in-person session; a detailed agenda is outlined in Course Curriculum.

Topically, the 6 pillars of policing from the 21st Century Taskforce Report are threaded throughout the curriculum and are continually returned to and utilized as guiding principles for this series. The pillars are covered through several mechanisms and across various topics, which can generally be bucketed as follows:

  • Policing topics covered include legal considerations, procedural justice, bias, risk management, social justice, DEI, and organizational and political environments are covered throughout Part 1.
    • Learning objectives include primary domains of procedural justice; disparities in police-community interactions; impact of human factors on risk; building trust and legitimacy within communities; systemic barriers to DEI (diversity, equity and inclusion) in policing; common failure modes for change; and how we can leverage the history of policing toward a brighter future.
  • Several weeks are devoted to data science, data collection, data management, and data visualization; this continues in greater depth in Part 3, once participants have their own datasets to analyze and present.
    • Cursory overviews of “all-things-data” will be presented throughout Part 1, which will prepare students for success in designing their project/intervention. The majority of data collection occurs during Summer/Part 2, with analysis as a principal component of Part 3.
  • Relationships within public safety departments, as well as their external community partners, are of utmost importance to improving the wellbeing and lives for all; workplace health and wellness are often-overlooked factors in successful partnerships.
    • Learning objectives include importance of, and how to develop, research-practitioner partnerships; factors contributing to effective and ineffective partnerships; partnership strategies; organizational performance and change management; culture development and management; leadership retention; and officer safety and wellness.

 PART 2:

During the summer semester, officers will not have dedicated online coursework or classes. Instead, this is where they will focus time on the actual research project and data collection. While there will be no formal instruction during this time, the teaching team will be available by appointment to answer questions, provide insight, and support the officer’s progress.


The final block of this program focuses on pulling together all the pieces into a cohesive presentation for department and community leadership, detailing the problem, the intervention, the data, and how to successfully put solutions in place to benefit the community long-term. Additional emphasis is placed on collaborative grant writing to fund initiatives.


  • A domestic violence reduction program, testing an educational intervention where police partner with ER staff to identify and assist victims of domestic violence.
  • A diversity in recruitment program, testing a targeted community outreach program partnering with minority leaders, faith-based organizations, and other community mentors.
  • A police fatigue reduction program, testing a training intervention designed to help officers get better sleep and counter fatigue effects on duty.