Criminology associations brought an academic police expert and two police officials to Capitol Hill yesterday to brief congressional staff members on the importance of criminal justice research in developing effective policing strategies. Criminologist Geoff Alpert of the University of South Carolina described studies on the causes of a dramatic increase in driving-related officer fatalities. Deputy Seattle Police Chief Clark Kimerer spoke on police partnering with researchers to develop a better understanding of crime “hot spots.” Lt. Michael Spochart of the U.S. Capitol Police said partnerships between researchers and police departments “bring nothing but good to the community.”
The event was organized by the Criminology and Criminal Justice Policy Coalition of the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (ACJS) and the American Society of Criminology (ASC). Panelists, including Dean Todd Clear of the Rutgers University School of Criminal Justice and Melissa Barlow, president of ACJS and a professor at Fayetteville State University, stressed what they called the critical role grant-making and data-gathering roles of the U.S. Justice Department’s National Institute of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, and Bureau of Justice Assistance.