GREENSBORO, N.C. (WGHP) — Josie Cambareri has worked at the Greensboro Police Department for over four years behind the scenes in community engagement and public information, helping people get information about police matters. 

Now she’s set to take on a new role. It’s one that aligns Greensboro with larger cities and models a style of policing that puts data front and center.  

It’s a job Cambareri has worked her whole life to do with a decade of studying research. She has a master of science in criminology and is completing her Ph.D. in measurement, methodology and program evaluation.

“Somebody who does research, you could go work at a research institute. I love working for the city of Greensboro. I love working for the Greensboro Police Department,” Cambareri said.

Cambareri will become the GPD’s public safety research scientist and evaluator. It’s a fancy title with a simple premise. 

“Greensboro Police Department has put a priority on research and evaluation for the last about three years,” Cambareri said.

When John Thompson became police chief in January, he knew he wanted a person specifically dedicated to evaluating everything the department does using data.  

“Evidence-based policing is this idea that everything we do, all the practices, policies procedures and programs … should be scientifically backed,” Cambareri said.  

Her new position takes an objective look at everything from community engagement initiatives, high-crime risk areas and even tactics like hot-spot policing.  

“It is our responsibility to ask what’s working, what’s not working and how do we know,” she said. 

The goal of the work is to make sure department resources are used as effectively as possible, especially as it deals with unprecedented staffing challenges.  

“We have incredible officers that are doing very hard work in an ever-evolving profession,” she said, “technology is rapidly evolving, and we have less personnel than ever had before.” 

Cambareri’s research, working with partners from the federal to the local level, will help the department delegate resources and empower officers with tools and information to be more effective and even safer on the job.  

“I work with officers every day. I see the work that they do every day … I think that the internal research we produce will be really in tune with what they need,” Cambareri said. 


Greensboro News

More Greensboro news from

As Greensboro grows and battles its share of violent crime, Thompson wants the future of the department to be shaped by science.   

“He wants to be able to say the decisions we are making are informed and backed by science. I think that gives the community confidence in what we are doing, and it’s even an opportunity to increase transparency and trust,” she said.

She will step into the new role next month. A new public information manager will take the helm later this year.