As Part of Task Force, NPI’s Chief Behavioral Scientist Provides Recommendations on Policing to the Government Accountability Office

November 15, 2021

In Fall 2020, the National Policing Institute’s (NPI’s) Chief Behavioral Scientist, Dr. Karen L. Amendola, was appointed to the American Psychological Association’s (APA’s) Presidential Task Force on Use of Force Against African Americans. Earlier this year, on June 17, 2021, members of that APA Task Force, including Dr. Amendola, met with the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to discuss the organization’s forthcoming report to Congress on policing.1 As part of their roles on the task force, members were asked to provide input relating to psychological evidence on reducing excessive force by police through a variety of promising (or established) practices such as de-escalation, procedural justice, pre-employment psychological screening, and more.

They were also asked to provide the GAO with any data or research pertinent to preventing police use of excessive or deadly force. Experts were also able to give feedback on several evidence-based practices that current law enforcement agencies and/or communities are using to help the GAO further refine these recommendations.1 The report is expected to be released by the GAO in the next couple of months.

In addition to other recommendations and resources provided by APA, Dr. Amendola provided NPI’s work on procedural justice (Owens, Weisburd, Amendola, & Alpert, 2018) and early intervention systems (Amendola & Davis, 2018) to the APA to provide to the GAO. She further assisted in answering several questions from the GAO to APA, including providing information about de-escalation, women in policing, higher education standards, and more. To learn more about NPI’s work on procedural justice and early intervention systems, please review the below resources.


Owens, E., Weisburd, D., Amendola, K. L., & Alpert, G. P. (2018). Can you build a better cop? Experimental evidence on supervision, training, and policing in the community. Criminology & Public Policy, 17(1), 41-87.

Amendola, K. L. & Davis, R. C. (2018). Best practices in early intervention system implementation and use in law enforcement agencies. National Policing Institute and Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA). Retrieved



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