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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 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 and click on the grey transcript button in the top right of any episode block.

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