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WCSU Scholars in Action online forum to stream April 6

WCSU faculty panel on Webex to discuss data use in policing & law enforcement policy

DANBURY, CONN. — The Western Connecticut State University Office of the Provost will host a Scholars in Action program presented via Webex on Tuesday, April 6, 2021, featuring four Division of Justice and Law Administration faculty members in a panel discussion about “Data Driven: How Strong Data Analytics Can Inform Police Policy.”

Participants in the online program beginning at 4 p.m. will discuss topics including trends in police program funding, police relations with communities in the aftermath of officer-involved shootings, the role of crime data analysis in police policy decisions, and the current legal and policy framework surrounding use of force by law enforcement officers. Featured panelists are Assistant Professor Dr. Mohsen Alizadeh, Associate Professor Dr. Hasan Arslan, Assistant Professor Dr. Rainer Kroll and Assistant Professor Thomas Miller. Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Missy Alexander will moderate the panel. The public is invited to join the Webex presentation at no charge by accessing the registration page for the event.

Following are the topics that the panelists will discuss during the program:

  • Alizadeh will discuss his research investigation of the impact of the 9/11 attacks on police program funding in his presentation, “Focusing Events: Theory and Change in Policing Style.” His research has examined 24 years of federal grants to identify shifts in emphasis in New York City programs for general policing, community policing and homeland security. Basing his analysis on theories of focusing events and moral panic, Alizadeh’s study argues that 9/11 became a catalyst for public policy change moving policing programs in the direction of homeland security.
  • Arslan’s presentation, “The Impact of Police Shootings in the United States on Police-Community Relations,” will offer findings from his examination of information drawn from the Statistics Help Officer Training database. Arslan has observed that officer-involved shootings heighten tensions in police-community relations, but that actual, accurate and comprehensive national statistics on these shootings are not readily available. His study argues that a shift toward data-based policymaking and police training would improve police-community relations and provide support for a more rational public debate on sensitive topics.
  • Kroll will explore the evolution in use of geographically based data in policing in his presentation, “Police Agency Use of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) in the Traditional Analysis of Crime.” Kroll notes that analysis of crime data has long been an important factor in determining efficient police resource allocation and effective response to criminal activity. From locating crime sites on maps with colored stick pins to the current GIS software, mapping and data-driven charts have informed policing policy, helping departments to respond to crime within their jurisdictions with targeted enforcement policies.
  • Miller will discuss the legal framework for use of lethal force in the United States in his presentation, “The State of the Law Surrounding Use of Force.” Miller’s talk will examine laws and policies governing use of force by law enforcement agencies across a wide range of geographic locations and jurisdictions. He also will review the legal ramifications of these laws and policies and their potential impact on decisions regarding the use of force.

For more information, contact Sherri Hill of the Office of University Relations at The online registration page for the event may be accessed at the following URL link:



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