European police science: connecting practice, education and research
This article seeks to contribute to the discussion about the future of European police research in connection with practice and education.
Police research is not merely relevant for police agencies and their partner organisations, but mainly also to police knowledge and police education. Through the application of rigid methodological and theoretical frameworks, police research may contribute to the valorisation of police practices.
There is a clear need to link research and higher education more closely, and this does not merely require to train the trainers, but also to actively build a stimulating environment for teachers at police academies to acquire an academic degree or PhD. Efforts to build a feasible and internationally vibrant community of police scholars also require the expansion of nodes of cooperation and exchange. According to the author, this can be developed on a European scale but can even ‘go global’ by means of EU-partnership programmes (ENP).
In this context, the emphasis lies strongly on the validation and valorisation of existing police knowledge. Police research can be supported by an interdisciplinary approach, with a balanced mix of legal, sociological, economic and psychological perspectives. Cross-disciplinary research may literally be able to cross borders with a focus on police science.
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