Karen Amendola

Karen L. Amendola, Ph.D.

Chief Behavioral Scientist

Safety & Justice Division


Karen L. Amendola has more than 25 years of experience in public safety research, testing, training, technology, and assessment. With the National Policing Institute for over 20 years, Dr. Amendola currently serves as the Chief Behavioral Scientist. Dr. Amendola earned both her Ph.D. and M.A. in Industrial and Organizational Psychology from George Mason University, as well as an M.A. in Human Resources Management from Webster University. She has worked with dozens of local, state, and federal agencies. Dr. Amendola was Associate Editor for Psychology and Law for the 10-volume Encyclopedia of Criminology and Criminal Justice published by Springer Verlag, New York (2014).

In addition, Dr. Amendola was the lead investigator of a study of eyewitness identification case outcomes. A series of articles on that research and its outcomes were published in the esteemed Journal of Experimental Criminology (Amendola & Wixted, June 2015). With her colleagues, Amendola’s experiment on compressed work schedules in policing was also published in the Journal of Experimental Criminology, and was awarded the 2012 Outstanding Field Trial by the Division of Experimental Criminology of the American Society of Criminology (a synopsis of the Shift Length Experiment is available online).

Dr. Amendola is a member of the American Psychological Association and its section “Psychologists in Public Service,” American Society of Criminology and its Divisions of Experimental Criminology and Policing, the International Association of Chiefs of Police, and the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology. She was appointed to the APA’s Presidential Task Force on Use of Force Against African Americans, and also served for more than five years on the Scientific Review Committee of the National Center for Credibility Assessment (at the time, it was called the Department of Defense Polygraph Institute).

Dr. Amendola also previously served as Chair of the National Partnership for Careers in Law, Public Safety, Corrections, and Security, and as a member of the research advisory board of the Innocence Project in New York.

Areas of Focus

  • Officer safety, health, and wellness
  • Evaluation of evidence
  • Applied psychology in policing
  • Shift scheduling practices
  • Hiring, selection, and promotion
  • Eyewitness identification procedures
  • Organizational culture
  • Performance measurement
  • Psychology and law

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