Criminal Justice and Criminology - Research and Projects

Research and Projects

Criminal Justice and Criminology

Law Enforcement Surveys

Criminal justice and criminology majors who enroll in a special projects course are commissioned as independent research teams by police departments across Rhode Island and Massachusetts that are seeking to gain accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation of Law Enforcement Agencies.

Working with program faculty, students compose and distribute surveys to residents and business owners to assess citizen attitudes and opinions concerning their police department’s performance with respect to crime issues, services, activities, quality of life issues and personal safety concerns. Results are used to analyze the way the department delivers services and, perhaps, change the allocation of resources where needed.

Students also conduct face-to-face interviews with a cross-section of community members, focusing their questions on the professionalism, helpfulness, knowledge and courteousness of law enforcement personnel.

After compiling and analyzing the data, students write reports on the community’s perceptions of law enforcement and present their findings to the police departments, respective local government officials and/or city councils, and the public. A final report is made available to the public, and follow-up press releases highlighting the study’s findings are circulated.