Our paper on functional form of police performance index is now Peer Reviewed and Published

Officials pay attention to how their agencies are ranked. Think of the influence of the U.S. News college rankings. Bearfield, Maranto and Wolf ranked cities by an index that includes both homicides and police-related civilian deaths. But my new paper shows that how high a city ranks depends on the mathematical function used to combine the individual variables into a single score. Functions that are equally plausible can make the rankings more or less sensitive to police-related civilian deaths.

The publisher allows me to give away some free downloads, so you can get the paper at https://www.tandfonline.com/eprint/HGTQKSQXDRZR5IAUMGWW/full?target=10.1080/10999922.2021.1886439

David S. Reed (2021) Police Performance Rankings Depend on the Functional Form of the Index: A Comment on Bearfield, Maranto, and Wolf, Public Integrity, DOI: 10.1080/10999922.2021.1886439

Don’t throw out the real practitioners with the imaginary ones.

The public administration research community is obsessed with serving an imaginary image of public administration practitioners, according to Professor Muhammad Azfar Nisar writing in Administrative Theory & Praxis. He suggests that researchers should stop trying to serve the imaginary practitioner, and instead engage directly with the public. I have a different suggestion; that researchers should engage with real practitioners, rather than imaginary ones. See how and why in my paper at https://osf.io/preprints/socarxiv/db7pt/

Police Performance Rankings Depend on the Functional Form of the Index

Bearfield, Maranto and Wolf (2020) advise policy-makers to measure policing outcomes using a metric that includes rates of homicide, police-related civilian deaths (PRCD) , and poverty. They present such an index, which they call the Police Performance Index (PPI). But alternative functional forms that are equally plausible can lead to different rankings of police departments, and therefore different policy conclusions. My comment presents one such alternative index, under which changes in police-related civilian deaths have a greater potential effect on a city’s ranking: https://doi.org/10.31235/osf.io/r8yst

Our paper gets cited: Increasing Citizen Engagement and Access to Information

David Reed’s paper, Technology: Increasing Citizen Engagement and Access to Information, has been downloaded from SocArXiv over 600 times, and has been cited in two works listed in Google Scholar. The paper’s recommendations are:

  1. Welcome the Civic Hackers
  2. Eat Your Own Dog Food
  3. Don’t Panic about Guerrilla Government

The paper is at https://osf.io/preprints/socarxiv/hws4f/

Dear Bureaucrat: The advice column for people who work in the public sector


Readers ask, and Dear Bureaucrat answers, based on scientific research and real-life experience. Some of the columns are:

Or browse all the Dear Bureaucrat columns in Federal Times.