• Jerry Ratcliffe

Ten ways to use the Reducing Crime podcast in class, updated for summer 2022



Looking for multimedia for your fall policing class? Here are ten topics covered by the @_ReducingCrime podcast with some ideas for response papers or class discussions.


POLICE OVERSIGHT: Listen to episodes #26 (Hans Menos) and #43 (Walter Katz) and design the police oversight model for your town in such a way that it provides support for good police officers to do a difficult job and take proactive action while still providing sufficient oversight, accountability and transparency.

WOMEN IN POLICING: Listen to episode #23 (Mo McGough) on the 30x30 initiative and women in policing, and then compare and contrast the career experiences of women police leaders, from the UK #47 (Jackie Sebire) and the US #49 (Kristen Ziman, episode due 26 July).

BLACK COMMUNITIES: Read Rod Brunson’s Washington Post article on over/underpolicing, listen to his episode #30 and of Phil Goff’s (#21), and describe the various impediments and solutions for police working with Black communities.

LEADERSHIP: What are the differences and similarities between the leadership styles and perspectives of police leaders from the UK: #14 (Sir Denis O’Connor) and #31 (Alex Murray) and the US: #37 (Bill Bratton) and #41 (Charles Ramsey)?

OFFICER WELLNESS: Research the particular stresses faced by people who are police officers and design an officer wellness program for your town, making specific reference to ideas raised in episodes #12 (Ian Hesketh) and #29 (Bill Walsh)

VULNERABLE COMMUNITIES: Listen to episodes #32 (Jennifer Wood) and #20 (Chris Magnus). What are the challenges faced by police when dealing with vulnerable populations such as people with drug and alcohol addictions or experiencing homelessness?

INVESTIGATIONS: Read Eck and Rossmo’s 2019 Criminology and Public Policy article “The new detective” and listen to the two episodes where they discuss the challenges of clearance rates and detective work #08 (John Eck) and #04 (Kim Rossmo). How would you improve police investigative practice?

COMMUNITY POLICING: #46 (Wes Skogan) provides a history of community policing and #48 (Shon Barnes) a real-world police chief’s perspective. What is the future for community policing? What are the challenges?

PROTESTS AND PUBLIC ORDER: Research the Capitol Hill Occupied Protest Zone that was set up briefly in Seattle in 2020 and listen to the perspective of the police chief, Carmen Best (#35). Then listen to episode #34 (Ed Maguire). Write a reflection paper.

URBAN VIOLENCE AND SHOOTINGS: With the rise of violence in urban areas police are likely to be concentrated in high crime areas #18 (Thomas Abt) with the increased risk of police-involved shootings #42 (Justin Nix). Are there ways to manage or mitigate these risks?


Bonus section

And if you need a few more ideas….

POLICING AND CRIME PREVENTION POLICY: Briefly describe some of the hindrances to changing government crime policies, based on the experiences of #40 (Don Weatherburn) and #50 (Gloria Laycock, episode due 29 August).

RECRUITING DIVERSITY: Listen to #33 (Tanya Meisenholder) and design a recruitment campaign that specifically reaches out to an underrepresented group in police ranks.

PHILADELPHIA SPECIFIC: Want episodes featuring Philadelphia folk? #01 (Tom Nestel), #24 (Kevin Bethel), #26 (Hans Menos), #32 (Jennifer Wood), #41 (Chuck Ramsey), and #45 (Scott Charles).

AUSTRALIA SPECIFIC: Want episodes with Aussies or Australia related? #02 (Mike Newman), #10 (Geoff Barnes), #19 (Lorraine Mazerolle), #40 (Don Weatherburn).

DATA AND EBP: #28 (Debra Piehl), #27 (Rachel Tuffin), #11 (Rob Briner), #03 (Jakob Lindergaard-Bentzen).

UNUSUAL TOPICS: Covert policing and informants #38 (Ian Stanier), sex workers and trafficking #15 (Ella Cockbain), gunshots and trauma #45 (Scott Charles), consent decrees #25 (Danny Murphy), California Prop 47 #09 (Charis Kubrin).

OFFENDER BEHAVIOR AND THEORY: #16 (Marcus Felson), #22 (Robert Shrug), #05 (Tamara Herold), #44 (Jason Roach).

PRACADEMICS: #06 (Wendy Stiver), #13 (Renee Mitchell), #48 (Shon Barnes), #36 (Katy Barrow-Grint), #39 (Natalie Hiltz).

POLICING GURUS: #07 (Geoff Alpert), #17 (Larry Sherman), #46 (Wes Skogan).



Two more tips for instructors:

If you are an instructor or college professor and would like multiple choice questions for every episode, please direct message me on twitter (@jerry_ratcliffe) or email jhr@temple.edu. Please make sure that you email from your work account and provide a link to a faculty page or faculty directory that shows some details of your instructor status. I only ask as I've had students try to con me out of the multiple choice questions more than once! ;-)

And finally, to aid ADA/disability assistance, there are transcripts available for every episode. Just go to reducingcrime.com/podcast and click on the grey transcript button in the top right of any episode block.




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