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SIU professor talks policing practices

Published: Aug. 3, 2021 at 5:16 PM CDT
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CARBONDALE, Ill. (KFVS) - One Southern Illinois University professor is studying ways to improve policing.

Dr. Tammy Kochel, teaches criminal justice at Southern Illinois University.

She has been teaching her students real world experiences in the classroom to help them learn more about policing in communities

“We did a crime prevention through an environmental design analysis in an apartment complex, did some community surveys and talked about what police are doing in that location, and how the apartment complex manager might go about reducing some of the crime problems that were happening there,” said Kochel.

Kochel, during her research said police and community relationships is an issue. She said these are a few recommendations she has to fix that problem.

“Working to improve relationships between the police and the community that they serve through community policing, through procedurally just policing, making sure that we are touching base, the police departments are touching base and doing some community surveys to get feedback, doing focus groups in the community to get feedback for the police,” explained Kochel.

She primarily works with the St. Louis County and the Springfield, Illinois Police Department on grant funded projects.

Kochel studied the aftermath of the 2014 Ferguson riots

“We had done some community surveys and high crime neighborhoods all around Ferguson prior to that and then I hired SIU students to help do follow up telephone interviews with community residents to look at how the experiences they had, in Ferguson and with the protest and with police impacted their perceptions of police going forward,” she said.

In her studies, they found initially, black residents in St Louis County showed a significant drop in trust in police fairness, by 25 percent, and police legitimacy, by 8 percent, during the first two months following Michael Brown’s death. White residents reported no significant change in trust or legitimacy.

But she said these solutions are proven to work..

“But also applying evidence-based strategies that have been shown to either to reduce crime problems or improve police community relationships I think all of that together are things that we should be focused on,” Kochel explained.

For more in-depth studies. You can find more information on SIU Database.

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