The Reducing Crime podcast
With over 180,000 downloads and plays, this monthly podcast features conversations with influential thinkers in the police service and leading crime and policing researchers working to advance public safety. Often amusing, often enlightening, always informative. Host Professor Jerry Ratcliffe chats to a range of international guests covering policing, practical criminology, and public safety policy.
The podcast is available directly from SoundCloud or Apple podcasts, where you can also subscribe to get access to new podcasts when they become available. You can also find the podcast in most dedicated podcast outlets, such as Stitcher, Spotify, and Google podcasts. Follow @_reducingcrime on twitter for updates on the latest episodes and news.
Also, if you are an instructor or lecturer then send a DM on twitter to @Jerry_Ratcliffe with your work/university email address for a free spreadsheet with multiple choice questions for every podcast episode. Each episode also has transcripts (see below).
More episodes: 1-20 | 21-40 | 41-current
#59: Mark Evans
Mark Evans, OBE is the Deputy Chief Executive for Insights and Deployment with the New Zealand Police (NZP), and Vice President of the Australia and New Zealand Society of Evidence Based Policing. He is responsible for Policy and Partnerships, Ministerial Services, Intelligence, Evidence Based Policing, Critical Command Information & Deployment, and Road Policing. In a previous career, he reinvigorated crime and intelligence analysis in the Police Service of Northern Ireland. We discuss what he has learned about change and innovation in policing in large agencies.
Mark Evans, OBE is the Deputy Chief Executive for Insights and Deployment with the New Zealand Police, and has been a member of their executive team since 2011. He is also the New Zealand Police lead for their response to the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the terrorist attacks on two mosques in Christchurch on 15th March 2019. An innovator in the education and practice of evidence-based policing, he has an MBA from Manchester Business School, was inducted into the Hall of Fame at the Center for Evidence-Based Crime Policy at George Mason University last year. He is also a Visiting Professor at University College London where he teaches on their MSc in countering organised crime and terrorism and their MSc in police leadership.
#58: Steve James
Dr. Steve James is an assistant professor in the Department of Translational Medicine and Physiology at Washington State University, having previously served for over 20 years in the British military. He has since become one of the US’s foremost experts on the effects of fatigue and sleep deprivation on law enforcement. He outlines a range of practical ways police officers can manage their sleep, coffee and stimulant intake, overtime, and seasonal changes.
Steve James has a Bachelors degree from Trinity College, Dublin, and an MA and PHD from the university where he is now an assistant professor in the Department of Translational Medicine and Physiology, Washington State University.
His PhD dissertation was on ' The Effects of Fatigue and Distraction on Driving performance in Police Officers', and his work has attracted funding from the National Institute of Justice, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Office of Naval Research, DARPA, and the Department of Defense. He has been published in leading journals across both criminology and medicine.
Note: In the episode, Steve discusses the work of John Violanti.
#57: Ken Pease
Ken Pease, OBE is a British crime prevention legend, and the pioneer who directed the Kirkholt repeat burglary prevention project. He is currently a visiting professor at University College London, the University of Manchester, and Huddersfield University. We discuss the Kirkholt project, as well as his time teaching in Canada, having his class bombed by the provisional IRA, repeat victimization, and misleading government graphics.
25 years ago, Ken Pease was awarded an OBE-named an Officer of the Order of the British Empire-for "services to crime prevention". Now approaching his 80th year Ken Pease has been an important voice in British crime prevention for half a century. He is a previous Head of the Home Office Police Research Group, and currently a visiting professor at multiple universities.
In 2013 he received the Ronald Clarke ECCA award for contributions to environmental criminology, and a festschrift in his honor was published in 2007. His most recent book, Self-Selection Policing, was written with Jason Roach and published in 2016. Here's a link to the Beating Crime report, complete with terrible graphic mentioned in episode.
#56: Vera Bumpers
Vera Bumpers is the police chief for the Houston Metro Transit Authority Police Department. She has served as the president of the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives and is this year’s winner of the Woman Law Enforcement Executive of the Year Award. We talk about mentorship, community outreach, and her role encouraging other women in policing.
Chief Bumpers has served as the National President of NOBLE - The National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives - is on the Board of Directors for the IACP and served on their Women’s Issues Task Force. She is also an active member of the NAACP. She holds a bachelor’s in criminal justice, an MA in education, and graduated from the FBI National Academy. Locally, Vera serves as a commissioner on the Commission Against Gun Violence, chairs the Houston Community College Police Academy Advisory Board, and is a board member for the Houston Recovery Center.
#55: Scott Payne
Scott Payne served in law enforcement for 28 years, primarily with the FBI in a long-term undercover capacity. We discuss his role infiltrating outlaw motorcycle gangs, sacrificing goats to gain access to white supremacist, neo-Nazi groups, and playing Lynyrd Skynyrd songs at Ku Klux Klan rallies. He also talks honestly about the mental and physical toll it took on him and his personal relationships.
Retired Special Agent Scott Payne served in law enforcement for 28 years, first with the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office, South Carolina, and then with the FBI. Payne led investigations targeting drug trafficking organizations, special interest alien smuggling organizations, gangs, violent crime, criminal enterprises, public corruption, and domestic terrorism. Payne was also an FBI SWAT Team Operator for over 7 years. Scott has been the primary undercover agent in numerous long-term undercover operations. These operations included violent motorcycle gangs, public corruption, murder for hire, drug trafficking organizations, and domestic terrorist groups
#54: Jeff Asher
Jeff Asher is a nationally recognized crime data analyst and co-founder of the data analytics firm AH Datalytics.
We caught up at the annual meeting of the International Association of Chiefs of Police where we talked about the spectacular failure that has been the launch of the National Incident-Based Reporting System and how we might be able to fix it.
Jeff Asher is a nationally recognized crime data analyst and co-founder of the data analytics firm AH Datalytics. Jeff spent years as a crime analyst with both the City of New Orleans and Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office, and prior to that he worked on spook street, as an analyst for the Central Intelligence Agency and Department of Defense.
Jeff’s analyses have appeared nationally on data journalism website FiveThirtyEight, The New York Times, The Atlantic, and more. Jeff holds an MA from George Washington University and a BA from the University of Texas. You can follow Jeff on Twitter at Crimealytics.
#53: Art Acevedo
Art Acevedo has served in state and local law enforcement for over 35 years, and been chief with the California Highway Patrol, in Austin, Texas, Houston, Texas, and for a short tumultuous tenure, Miami, Florida.
We talk about COVID and cops, his career, extremism in politics, his viral public address after the murder of George Floyd, and what needs to change in police leadership. You can follow Art on twitter @ArtAcevedo
Cuban born Art Acevedo came to the US at the age of four and was raised in El Monte California. His father had been a police officer in Cuba, and in 1986 Art joined the California Highway Patrol. He rose to make chief in 2005. He moved to municipal policing, and was hired as police chief in Austin, Texas in 2007, spending nearly a decade leading that department. He followed that up a stint as police chief in Houston Texas from late 2016 to early 2021.
In April 2021 Art Acevedo was sworn in as police chief in Miami Florida, starting a tumultuous, somewhat fractious and ultimately short-termed tenure that lasted barely six months before he was fired by the city manager. He is currently interim police chief in Aurora, Colorado.
#52: Stijn Ruiter
Stijn Ruiter is a Dutch sociologist who specializes in environmental criminology and why crime happens where it does. Since 2009, he has worked at the Netherlands Institute for the Study of Crime and Law Enforcement. We chat about translating policing research across national boundaries, and in particular his role as research program leader for a new initiative – what works in policing – towards evidence-based policing in the Netherlands.
Stijn Ruiter is a quantitative sociologist from the Netherlands who has published extensively in both Dutch and English. At the Netherlands Institute for the Study of Crime and Law Enforcement, known by the Dutch acronym NSCR, involved in testing policies and practices to prevent crime. He is currently a research program leader for a new initiative, what works in policing. His work has been funded by the Dutch Research Council, the Netherlands Ministry of Justice and Security & the Netherlands Police. Towards evidence-based policing in the Netherlands, a collaboration between the Dutch Ministry of Justice and Security, Netherlands Police, and NSCR.
#51: Bill Brooks
A cop for over 45 years, Bill Brooks is the chief of the Norwood Massachusetts Police Department, where he leads a team of about 60 police officers. He's also an award-winning expert on eyewitness identification, and has worked closely with the Innocence Project.
We discuss the police pullback, generational change in policing, and the latest approaches to eyewitness identification.
Bill Brooks is a graduate of the FBI National Academy, and sits on the board of the directors of the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP).
Bill is an expert in the area of eyewitness identification, a member of the Supreme Judicial Court's study committee on eyewitness identification, and also served on a related committee at the National Academy of Sciences. He presents nationally on behalf of the Innocence Project, and was the 2012 recipient of the Innocent Network's Champion of Justice Award. In 2015, he received the Civil Rights Award for Individual Achievement from IACP. Follow him on twitter at @ChiefBrooksNP
#50: Gloria Laycock
Welcome to a masterclass on the history of crime prevention. My guest, Gloria Laycock, headed the UK Home Office Police Research Group and was founding Director of University College London’s Jill Dando Institute of Security and Crime Science – the first such institute in the world. We discuss 50 years of policing and crime prevention, repeat victimization, and working with policy makers.
Gloria Laycock, OBE worked as a psychologist in the UK Prison Service for 10 years before moving into the policy realm of the British government. As founding Director of University College London – UCL’s - Jill Dando Institute, she was director of research supporting the What Works Centre for Crime Reduction until 2016. Gloria was awarded her Bachelor of Science in psychology at UCL in 1968 and PhD from the same department in 1975, so it is fitting that more than 50 years since she started at that institution, she is Professor Emeritus of Crime Science at UCL. She was awarded an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours in 2008 for services to crime policy.
#49: Kristen Ziman
Kristen Ziman joined policing as a 17-year old cadet. She spent her 30-year career with the Aurora Illinois police department during which time she was the first woman Lieutenant, first woman Commander, and eventually the first woman chief.
During her tenure as chief, a former employee walked into one of the city’s manufacturing companies and murdered five people and injured five police officers. We talk about that event, and the lessons she learned.
Ziman is best known for her time as the first female police chief in Aurora, Illinois. Having done her 30 years, she recently retired and is a sought-after public speaker on leadership and resilience. Ziman remains heavily involved in policing policy. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Aurora University and master’s degrees from Boston University and the Naval Postgraduate School. She serves as Vice President At-Large for the International Association of Chiefs of Police, and is a graduate of the FBI National Academy #249.
Her book Reimagining Blue: Thoughts on Life, Leadership, and a New Way Forward in Policing was published in July 2022.
#48: Shon Barnes
Shon Barnes is the police chief in Madison, Wisconsin. A new documentary follows Chief Barnes and two other black police officers as they undertake a historic civil rights march from Selma to Montgomery Alabama. I chat with Dr. Barnes about his embracing of education and evidence-based policing, the challenges of working with communities in the post-George Floyd world, and the lessons he took away from his three-day trek across Alabama.
Prior to joining Madison in February 2021, Chief Barnes was the Deputy Chief of Police in Salisbury, North Carolina and before that he rose to Captain with the Greensboro Police Department (NC) where he began his career as a patrol officer in 2000. Shon is an NIJ LEADS scholar, and council member on the National Policing Institute's Council on Policing Reforms and Race. Dr Barnes has a B.A. in History and Pre-Law, and a Master's in Criminal Justice from the University of Cincinnati. In 2018 he was awarded a Ph.D. in Leadership Studies from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University.
Further information on the 54th Mile Policing Project can be found here.
#47: Jackie Sebire
Jackie Sebire retired this month as Assistant Chief Constable of Bedfordshire Police in the UK. We discuss Dr Sebire's work as a director on the UK College of Policing's Senior Command Course, her time as staff officer to Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick, and important new findings she just published around independent domestic violence advisors. Oh yes, and Amy Winehouse's cat.
For most of her 30 year career, Dr Jackie Sebire rose through the detective ranks in the Metropolitan Police in London, rising to be a Detective Chief Superintendent. She then moved to Bedfordshire Police, retiring as Assistant Chief Constable. She has gained national prominence in a multitude of areas, including as chair of the Academic Expert Reference Group for the College of Policing and previously as the Serious Violence Coordinator for the National Police Chiefs’ Council. She has an undergraduate degree from the University of Cambridge, two Masters degrees, and a PhD from the University of Leicester. Dr. Sebire is on the directorial staff of the British College of Policing's Senior Command Course.
#46: Wes Skogan
Wes Skogan is emeritus professor at Northwestern University and in the area of community policing, he is one of the foremost authorities in the world. We discuss the origins and development of community policing in Chicago, the importance of case workers alongside violence interrupters, and the core components that can reinvigorate community policing. Importantly, he identifies key ways it can move forward.
Wesley Skogan has been at Northwestern University since 1971. His work has focused on the interface between the public and the legal system, crime prevention, victim services, and community-oriented policing. Wes is a Fellow of the American Society of Criminology, a member of the Scientific Committee of the International Society of Criminology, and he was a Senior Fellow of the Open Society Institute. He chaired the National Research Council’s Committee on Research on Police Policies and Practices, and was a member of the their Committee on Law and Justice. Google Scholar shows him to be one of the most highly cited policing scholars of all time.
#45: Scott Charles
Scott Charles is the Trauma Outreach Manager for Temple University Hospital, director of the Cradle to Grave program, and coordinator of the hospital’s Trauma Victims Support Advocates program. We discuss how he came to be running these hospital-based violence interruption programs (HVIPs), how they work to change the lives of gunshot victims and young people at risk of gun crime, and what he has learned from thousands of conversations with gunshot survivors.
Scott Charles is the Trauma Outreach Manager for Temple University Hospital and is Director of the Cradle to Grave program. He also coordinates the hospital’s Trauma Victims Support Advocates program which connects violently-injured patients to crime victim services throughout Philadelphia. His work with trauma surgeon Dr. Amy Goldberg has been showcased on CNN, CBS News, ABC World News, MSNBC, Huffington Post, and NPR's Fresh Air with Terry Gross. Their work has also been featured in the New York Times and in the documentaries 'Number One with a Bullet,' 'Gun Fight,' and 'GSW.' A resident of the Germantown section of Philadelphia, Scott holds degrees in psychology from the University of Pennsylvania.
#44: Jason Roach
Dr. Jason Roach is a chartered psychologist, Professor of Psychology and Policing, and Director of the University of Huddersfield's Secure Societies Research Institute. In the podcast, we talk about some of his projects that have involved offender self-selection and trigger crimes, criminal decision-making, nudging and influencing crime prevention, and learning from offenders.
Jason Roach is Professor of Psychology and Policing - and Director for the Secure Societies Research Institute - at Britain’s University of Huddersfield. He is also a Chartered Psychologist and Editor-in Chief for the Police Journal. Prior to joining the criminal justice field, Dr Roach worked in psychiatric wards and mental health hostels in the north of England. He spent some time as a crime analyst for the UK’s Home Office, before moving to academia. His research interests include investigative decision-making, cold-case homicide, and evolutionary psychology and crime, and he has written four books, including a key work in 2016 called ‘Self-Selection Policing’, co-authored with the British crime prevention legend Ken Pease.
#43: Walter Katz
Walter Katz is the Vice President of Criminal Justice for Arnold Ventures. He received his law degree from the McGeorge School of Law at the University of the Pacific and his undergraduate from the University of Nevada, Reno. The conversation covers his background as a public defender, his work as Deputy Chief of Staff for Public Safety for Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, police oversight, public safety budgets and the role of civilian policy makers, use of force, and minimizing police-involved shootings.
Walter Katz is the Vice President of Criminal Justice for Arnold Ventures, a philanthropic non-profit focused on improving American society in four areas, Criminal Justice, Education, Health, and Public Finance.
Prior to joining Arnold, Walter was a public defender in Southern California before eventually being appointed as Deputy Chief of Staff for Public Safety in the administration of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel. He has also been the Independent Police Auditor for San Jose, California and has served as Deputy Inspector General for the County of Los Angeles Office of Inspector General involved with oversight of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
You can find him on twitter @w_katz1
#42: Justin Nix
Justin Nix's research centers on policing with emphasis on procedural justice, police legitimacy, and the use of deadly force. Dr. Nix was the recipient of the American Society of Criminology's Division of Policing “Early Career Award” in 2020, and is this year's “Outstanding Young Experimental Criminologist” awarded by the Division of Experimental Criminology. We chat about his research on procedural justice, police legitimacy, and the use of deadly force.
Justin Nix is a distinguished associate professor at the University of Nebraska, Omaha. Justin has undergraduate, Masters and a PhD in Criminology and Criminal Justice from the University of South Carolina.
In the episode, the discussion covers his research on demeanor, his work on police shooting disparities, the turnover of police officers in one police department, and an article that refers to the iceberg phenomenon during the discussion of disparity not being the same as bias. You can read more of his research here.
Justin also references a blog post by Jerry Ratcliffe on why we can minimize, but not eliminate, bad police shootings.
You can follow him on Twitter @jnixy
#41: Charles Ramsey
Charles Ramsey is one of the most revered leaders in American policing. He joined the Chicago Police Department as a cadet in 1968 and rose to lead both the Washington DC Metro police department and the Philadelphia Police Department. He co-chaired President Obama's Task Force on 21st Century Policing.
The discussion covers 1960s racism in policing, recruitment, leadership, dealing with bad news, working with academics, compassion fatigue, identifying and promoting talent in the department, and mental health of police leadership when facing deaths in the ranks.
As mentioned in the introduction to the episode, Reducing Crime: A Companion for Police Leaders, is now available in Spanish.
Charles Ramsey joined the Chicago Police Department as a cadet in 1968, and was sworn-in in 1971. He was Chief of the Metropolitan Police Department in Washington DC during the Chandra Levy Murder Investigation, the 9/11 Terrorist Attacks, the 2001 Anthrax Attacks, and The 2002 DC Sniper Investigation.
In January 2008 he moved to be the police commissioner in Philadelphia, and during his tenure homicides dropped below 250 for the first time since the 1980s. In 2014 President Obama chose Ramsey to serve as Co-Chair of the President's Task Force on 21st Century Policing. Chuck Ramsey has also served as President of the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF) and the Major Cities Chiefs Association (MCCA).
He has bachelor and masters degrees from Lewis University, and is a graduate of the FBI National Academy, the National Executive Institute, and the Naval Postgraduate School.
More episodes: 1-20 | 21-40 | 41-current