Research Methods

Instructor: Tanveer Makhani

Course Overview


The Chief wants to measure citizen satisfaction with the police. The Sheriff wants to determine the fear of crime in the community. The Mayor wants to know if the time and money devoted to your agency’s crime suppression program has had any measurable impact on the town’s crime rate, and the City Manager wants your department to prepare a formal proposal to obtain state or federal grant funds.

How will these and similar tasks be accomplished? Through the examination of quantitative and qualitative information, through the preparation, dissemination, and evaluation of surveys, and through the use of scientific methods of inquiry that are designed to separate fact from fiction and truth from mere perception. In short, these tasks will be accomplished by research!

Given the current economic climate, we no longer have the luxury of taking a “shotgun approach” to the delivery of police services. Today’s police administrators must know they are not only doing the right things, but that they are doing things right. That is, they must KNOW that the programs they implement are indeed effective in reducing crime, they must KNOW that they are addressing actual—as opposed to simply perceived—causes of crime, and they must KNOW that they are allocating resources in such a way as to maximize their return on investment.

As such, the need for the use of research methodology to provide agency administrators with this knowledge has never been higher and the demand for people who can do it has never been greater. Regardless of your role within your organization, your participation in the Research Methods in Criminal Justice course will provide you with knowledge you can use to heighten the effectiveness and efficiency of your agency. Upon completion, you will have the tools to design and implement scholarly research projects, the skills to acquire and analyze data, and the confidence to employ scientific principles to justify your conclusions. Armed with the results of your work, you will now have the ability to provide your fellow administrators, officers, and investigators with objective information they can use to address a wide variety of law enforcement concerns.

This is a 6-week (40 hour) course that provides you with techniques you can use immediately to solve real-world problems. Since research involves the assembling and examining of many facts, the process and results of research, as presented in this course, can be used to mobilize people to meet new challenges, to enhance policies, and to gain a decided advantage in the fight against crime. Further, this course provides useful and exciting insights into not only the traditional crime problems facing agencies today, but into the use of a variety of strategies to deal with new or emerging issues as well.

This online course provides you with the flexibility to complete its requirements from anywhere at anytime. Presented in a comfortable environment that encourages both individualized and group instruction, this course blends effective learning strategies with the flexibility needed by the busy criminal justice professional. An internet connection is all that is required to enjoy the easy-to-use online classroom that presents the course in an engaging and meaningful format. You can complete the program from home, work, or any place convenient for you and your schedule.

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Crime Analysts or Police Planner

This course is ideal for crime analysts and police planners to become acquainted with the range and scope of tools available to the criminal justice researcher. We will teach the essential professional skills involved with research methods.

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Police Officers

A patrol officer, community policing officer, crime prevention officer, intelligence officer, investigator, or a patrol or investigative supervisor that acquires, uses, or presents data/information as a part of your job.

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Supervisors and Managers

The course is also great for those who supervise crime analysts and police officers, investigators and helping them to understand the best research methods in the criminal justice field and how to ensure their charges use those methods to perform their best.

What People Are Saying About This Course

    “I went against all my inner instincts and took the Research Methods In Criminal Justice and Criminology online course through the Alpha Group Center. Don’t get me wrong, I have enjoyed all of the Alpha Group classes that I have attended, Criminal Intelligence Analysis, Criminal Investigative Analysis, Advanced Criminal Investigative Analysis, Crime Analysis Applications, but I was apprehensive of taking an on-line class, especially when I’ve heard that Research Methods can be a bear.
I have to tell you that I enjoyed it thoroughly. I finished the course in just a few short weeks and learned a great deal about conducting research with some of the problems that we have in the area. Problem oriented policing is a big concept in Crime Analysis and doing research on problem areas is a great part of it. The instructor, Tanveer Makhani, was very helpful with the class and made it a much easier learning environment. I encourage everyone who needs this class for Certification to definitely consider taking it. Four other analysts from our agency, Pinellas County Sheriffs Office, have also completed this course.”

ROBIN WILFONG, Geographic Profiling Analyst, Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office

“Just a quick note to let you know the Alpha Group has outdone itself with the inception of the Research Methods in Criminal Justice online course. I recently completed the course and must say it was the most interesting course taken since attending the previous analysis courses offered by your group. Initially, I was hesitant to make a commitment to the course as I had never participated in an online program before, and the 6-week time frame seemed daunting; but I can now confidently state there is sufficient time allotted to complete the lessons. The format was exceptionally user-friendly and designed in a way that even inexperienced computer users could successfully complete the course. I anticipated the course material would be somewhat “dry,” however was amazed at how interesting the topics were and how motivating the quiz format was. Last, but definitely not least, was the unlimited assistance provided by your facilitator, Tanveer Makhani. Tanveer was always accessible, prompt-to-reply, extremely personable and highly knowledgeable. Like you, Steve, Tanveer has succeeded in leaving a memorable impression as an instructor, one whom I would not hesitate to contact in the future. In closing, I look forward to applying my newfound skills within my position as Crime Analyst. This course, in addition to the other Alpha Group courses, has been a tremendous asset that has enhanced my proficiency and competence as a Crime Analyst. I anxiously await any future courses the AGC decides to offer.”

DIANE WILKINS, Crime Analyst, Greater Sudbury Police Service

What You’ll Get


More Than 8 Hours of Video Lessons

Self-paced: take the course wherever and  whenever you like.

What You’ll Learn

This course will allow you to learn—and demonstrate knowledge of—research methods within the criminal justice field. Focus is placed on becoming acquainted with the range and scope of tools available to the criminal justice researcher. We will demystify the essential professional skills involving:

Course Content

  • Pure Versus Applied Research
  • Qualitative and Quantitative Research
  • Researchese: The Language of Research
  • Concepts, Operationalization, and Variables
  • Research Problem Formulation
  • Research Ethics and Professionalism
  • The Researcher Versus Law Enforcement Role
  • Avoiding Ethical Problems and Harming Respondents
  • The Experimental Model and Research Design
  • Rival Causal Factors: Internal and External
  • The Classic Experimental Design
  • Probability and NonProbability Samples
  • Mail and Internet Surveys
  • Properly Creating and Delivering Surveys
  • Advantages and Disadvantages of Interviews
  • Telephone Surveys and Interviews
  • Participant Observation and Case Studies
  • Unobtrusive Measures and Secondary Analysis
  • Validity, Reliability, and Triangulated Strategies
  • Use of Thurstone Scales, Likert Scales, and Guttman Scales
  • Indexing, Levels of Measurement, and Statistics
  • Data Analysis, Table Reading, and Graphic Presentations
  • Sources of Useful Law Enforcement Information
  • How to Conduct Productive Internet Searches
  • How to Interpret the Research of Others
  • How to Design and Implement a Research Project
  • How to Prepare the Final Written Research Report
Chris Savos

Your Instructor: Tanveer Makhani

Tanveer’s passion for adult learning began in the healthcare industry where he served as a leading innovator for healthcare organizations and alliances nationwide. He soon became a visiting professor for Bachelors and Masters Degree Programs at the University of Tennessee, College of St. Scholastica, and University of Mississippi, and was subsequently recruited as an advisor for the enhancement of their educational delivery systems. He has also developed a full-length Masters Level Degree Program in Knowledge Management and Business Intelligence, an online curriculum targeted towards top management and executives. Mr. Makhani’s personal interests later brought him to the law enforcement profession where, in conjunction with the Alpha Group Center for Crime and Intelligence Analysis, he now presents online instruction to members of law enforcement agencies and other criminal justice organizations in the use of research methods and scientific inquiry.

Always at the cutting edge, Tanveer focuses on the creation of today’s programs through the use of tomorrow’s technologies. As such, he regularly presents at national conferences and seminars on topics surrounding effective knowledge management and data analysis. As co-founder of DotMinds Learning Inc., he also conducts executive training sessions and educational workshops on industry-specific subject matter. As part of this role, Tanveer routinely builds online classes, curricula, and programs that satisfy client needs and objectives. Within the law enforcement arena, Tanveer works to provide agencies with organizational training solutions, departmental learning programs, and community education tools. By building an online presence for criminal justice establishments and associations, he is able to enhance their professional development directives in a very positive way.

Tanveer is a magna cum laude graduate of University of California, Berkeley, with degrees in Cognitive Science and Computer Science. His honors dissertation addresses effective adult learning techniques and explores the cognitive phenomena behind successful learning and training programs.


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Most large organizations, and many smaller ones, will reimburse tuition for professional development.

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