CNA Executive Session

Early Warning Systems: What’s New? What’s Working?

On September 24, 2015, CNA convened an executive session in Arlington, VA, on “Early Warning Systems: What’s New? What’s Working?” This session provided criminal justice leaders, policy makers, and researchers with an opportunity to share information and discuss approaches that deepen our understanding of emerging issues in American policing.

Early warning systems (EWS) are data-based police management tools that are designed to proactively identify officers with a disproportionate number of citizen complaints, use of force, vehicular accidents, etc. These systems are often used to address poor performance and patterns of problem behavior. Research into early warning systems and their effectiveness has gained recent attention and importance in light of police-community relations surrounding highly publicized events such as police shootings, deaths in police custody, and concerns about police use of force. The implementation of these systems, however, is an emerging art, with effective use depending on the quality of existing data, agency expertise, the existence of internal consensus, and other factors. This executive session engaged both researchers and law enforcement practitioners in a review of current knowledge and practice on this topic, in identifying research gaps, and in exploring how agencies can best implement such systems.

  • Click here for the meeting agenda.
  • To download a copy of the report, click here.

Recordings of the remarks and panels delivered at the session can be accessed by using the following links:

CNA, a nonprofit research and analysis organization located in Arlington, VA, serves the public's interests by providing in-depth research and solutions-oriented analyses to help decision makers choose the best course of action in setting policy and managing operations.

Note to writers and editors: CNA is not an acronym and is correctly referenced as "CNA, a nonprofit research and analysis organization located in Arlington, VA."


Elizabeth Cutler
Communications Program Manager

Liza Cordeiro
Senior Advisor Marketing