University is on the Case for Police Institute

University Will Research Crime Deterrence, Prepare Law Enforcement Leaders

Jan. 8, 2008

UT Dallas will fill key research and training roles in the crime-fighting work of the W.W. Caruth Jr. Dallas Police Institute, plans for which were detailed Tuesday.

Criminology researchers at the University will study a wide variety of police staffing and crime issues for the institute. The University’s doctoral criminology program will also attract the next generation of police administrators seeking to further their education.

About the UT Dallas Criminology Program

The institute will be housed on the new Dallas campus of the University of North Texas.  It was made possible by a $9.5 million grant from the W.W. Caruth Jr. Foundation at the Communities Foundation of Texas.

“Police departments typically aren’t the beneficiaries of major philanthropic gifts like this, especially as a direct investment in our officers,” said Dallas Police Chief David Kunkle. “Growing the department requires recruiting, training and retaining the best and brightest officers we can. This institute will help us develop the most effective, up-to-date  force in the nation.”

The institute is designed to educate and train Dallas Police Department leaders to confront their city’s crime issues.  It will also seek to develop innovative policing strategies to serve as models for other cities.

The idea for the W.W. Caruth Jr. Dallas Police Institute came out of research by the nonprofit Rand Corp., which was hired in 2006 to study best policing practices and identify the optimal strategies for investing in the department.  Rand interviewed  Dallas Police staff members  and reviewed available training opportunities locally and nationally.

Currently, the DPD only provides in-house training through the level of sergeant. Once an officer is promoted to the rank of lieutenant, available external training programs to help officers develop leadership skills are scarce. The institute will offer at least one 10-week mid-level management course, two four-week supervisory courses and one five-day executive seminar annually for police officers.

The institute also will function as a research facility by providing a forum for the department to solve complex management problems through discussions between police and university scholars. By comparing and measuring the effects of different crime fighting approaches, it can serve as a laboratory to evaluate new techniques and tactics.

The institute is set to begin operations March 1, 2008.


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