The other day I got a Google Scholar alert about this new article in Injury Epidemiology. It’s a descriptive study showing that 60% of police killings involve municipal departments, 29% county departments, 8% state departments, 3% federal agencies, and <1% tribal or other departments. It looked interesting (and it was!) so I downloaded the full text, and the following passage in the methods section immediately caught my eye: MPV defines fatal police violence as “any incident where a law enforcement officer (off-duty or on-duty) applies, on a civilian, lethal force resulting in the civilian being killed whether it is considered ‘justified’ or ‘unjustified’ by the U.

Near the end of each of the past few calendar years, I’ve been looking back on the peer reviews I’ve submitted - things like how often I recommended rejecting vs. revising papers, how long it took me to submit my reviews, and how often the editor’s decision was consistent with my recommendation. Today, I’m looking back at the reviews I did in 2023, and this year, I also kept track of the review invitations I declined.

Much is being made about an apparent increase in the use of deadly force by U.S. police officers. In January, The Guardian ran a story titled “It never stops: killings by US police reach record high in 2022”.1 And last week, The Washington Post (WAPO) ran a story titled “Fatal police shootings are still going up, and nobody knows why”. In this story, one of us (Justin) was quoted as saying “It’s hard to know if the increase is meaningful or random.

A few days ago Andy Wheeler posted about career outcomes for people who earned their PhD in Criminal Justice from SUNY Albany between 2010 and 2020. He found that roughly 50% of those who graduated during this period are currently working as a university professor. It made me curious about where all the UNO graduates have ended up.1 As of today, 97 people have earned their PhD in Criminology and Criminal Justice from the University of Nebraska Omaha.

About 2 years ago I posted about my peer review “stats” and how I typically approach the review process. Today, I decided to look back at my reviews for 2022. Altogether, I’ve now reviewed 162 manuscripts. Last year, I agreed to review 20 manuscripts for 15 different journals, which is par for the course for me. I’ve completed 19 as of today (the last is due in a few weeks). Of those 19, I recommended conditionally accepting 2 (11%), revising and resubmitting 5 (26%), and rejecting 12 (63%).

Recently, a couple local journalists reached out to me about an apparent surge in shootings and homicides in Omaha. My first instinct when I get those calls around this time of the year is that it’s probably seasonal variation. But maybe not. So before I schedule an interview, I like to pull the data and have a quick look, if possible. Fortunately, OPD has been posting incident-level crime data on its website since 2015.

Awhile back I pulled together some thoughts on how to (1) find scientific research and (2) make sense of it all once you’ve found it. It’s mainly geared toward students or practitioners who need to quickly assess the evidence base on some program or policy. I’m sharing it now in hopes it might be useful for folks teaching research methods or assigning term papers/research proposals to students who don’t have much experience doing that sort of stuff.

This semester, for the first time since I was in grad school, I decided to post the slides I use for my undergraduate Police & Society course. My main fear was that students would (mistakenly) believe this would enable them to skip class and still do well on the exams. But what finally persuaded me was when I asked #AcademicTwitter to weigh in last December and got mostly encouragement and positive feedback from others who’ve adopted this policy.

I’ve been screaming this into the void on Twitter lately so I figured I’d pull all my thoughts together in a blog post. On January 12th, ABC News published a story claiming that fatal police shootings had declined 13% in 2021 “amid calls for reform on use of force.” The story also claimed that Florida saw the biggest decrease in shootings (from 93 to 44).1 At that time, The Washington Post’s (WAPO) database was showing 888 fatal police shootings.

Each calendar year at my university we have to complete this thing called “Digital Measures,” where we basically list off all the stuff we did over the past 12 months. Publications, grants submitted/awarded, classes taught, service activities, media contributions…everything. It’s tedious but it is kind of cool to look back on the past year and see which goals you met (and which goals you didn’t meet). In my first year on the tenure track, a senior faculty member advised me to keep a record of everything I did, so that I’d have all the receipts when it was time to submit my tenure materials.