Train to Serve in the Anaheim Police Department

Last registered on November 29, 2023


Trial Information

General Information

Train to Serve in the Anaheim Police Department
Initial registration date
November 14, 2023

Initial registration date is when the trial was registered.

It corresponds to when the registration was submitted to the Registry to be reviewed for publication.

First published
November 29, 2023, 9:57 AM EST

First published corresponds to when the trial was first made public on the Registry after being reviewed.


Primary Investigator

University of California, Irvine

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
University of California, Irvine
PI Affiliation
University of California, Irvine
PI Affiliation
University of California, Irvine

Additional Trial Information

In development
Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
Prior work
This trial does not extend or rely on any prior RCTs.
Despite the centrality of training in proposals to reform policing, credible causal evidence on how police training impacts police behavior in the field is limited. We will evaluate a 40 hour classroom training program developed by the Anaheim Police Department (APD), which is intended to promote officer wellness and procedurally-just decision making. Officer volunteers were randomly assigned to a treated or waitlisted-control condition, with the treated group being assigned to a week long course lead by an experienced local police trainer. We evaluate this training through surveys of treated and control officers, surveys of adult Anaheim residents, as well as administrative data on police actions in the field.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Coles, Carolyn et al. 2023. "Train to Serve in the Anaheim Police Department." AEA RCT Registry. November 29.
Sponsors & Partners

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Experimental Details


Anaheim Police Officers will take part in a one week class (40 hours) titled "Policing with the Heart, Mind, and Body." The training will cover cross-cultural communication, policing in diverse communities, procedural justice, officer wellness, and recovery after traumatic events.
Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
Self reported Officer wellness, Community satisfaction with police in general and targeted surveys, Officer stops and arrests per stop, Use of Force
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Community satisfaction will be based on responses to standard questions about legitimacy and trust, as well as direct questions about satisfaction with police in a recent encounter.

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Officer stops, arrests, and force by race and ethnicity
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
The 40 hour training program being evaluated was based off of a successful procedural-justice focused training program (Weisburd et al 2022), with the addition of 8 hours of training in wellness and stress management. A total of 42 officer volunteers to take part in this study were randomly assigned, via random number generator, to training or a waitlisted-control group.

At the end of each day, trained officers were asked to complete a survey about their satisfaction with the course and mental wellbeing. Currently, APD officers are encouraged to distribute their contact information to people they interact with. At the end of the 5th day, officers in both treatment and control were given additional business cards linked to community satisfaction surveys. Distinct cards were handed out to officers in treatment and control groups, as well as different divisions.

6 months after the conclusion of the training, individual administrative records on officer interactions, collected under the Racial and Identity Profiling Act of 2015, will be extracted, and used to construct the primary and secondary measures of how frequently officers stopped and arrested individuals, as well as how often they were involved in incidents where force was used. These administrative outcomes will also be examined based on the perceived race of the stopped civilians.
Experimental Design Details

Randomization Method
42 officer volunteers, identified to researchers via a random ID, were divided into districts and ranked by arrests per incident from April 2023 to October 2023. Three offices with limited field activity during the pre period were assigned to their own "district." Within district, officers were assigned to pairs based on their nearest neighbor. Within-pair randomization was done by Stata - all officers were assigned a random number from a U(0,1) distribution, and within District-arrest rate pair, the officer with the lower random number was assigned to the first round of training, and the officer with the higher number was assigned to the second round of training. The random ids of officers assigned to treatment were returned to APD staff, who translated these IDs to officer badge numbers.
Randomization Unit
Officer-pair level.
Was the treatment clustered?

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
24 arrest-pairs
Sample size: planned number of observations
42 officers
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
24 officers assigned to treatment, 24 assigned to waitlist control
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
With 42 officers in our sample, a priori power calculations suggest we will be able to detect a 44% change in our outcomes with 80% power. This is a large MDE, but a substantial increase over Weisburd et al 2022, which had a sample size of 28 officers.
Supporting Documents and Materials

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Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number
Analysis Plan

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Post Trial Information

Study Withdrawal

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Is the intervention completed?
Data Collection Complete
Data Publication

Data Publication

Is public data available?

Program Files

Program Files
Reports, Papers & Other Materials

Relevant Paper(s)

Reports & Other Materials