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ASU criminologist to speak at White House task force on policing

two men at table discussion in front of audience
January 28, 2015

Mike White, a professor in the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Arizona State University, is scheduled to address members of President Obama's Task Force on 21st Century Policing.

The task force meets Jan. 31 at the University of Cincinnati. It includes Tucson Police Chief Roberto VillaseƱor and is chaired by Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey and former Assistant U.S. Attorney Laurie Robinson.

"They are having experts come in and talk about a range of different issues in regards to police practices with particular regard to minority communities," says White. "My specific assignment is to speak to the task force about the key pressing research issues that the task force should think about with regard to body-worn cameras."

White is the author of a Department of Justice analysis of police camera studies, considered the most comprehensive to date.

He and criminology professor Charles Katz have also been asked to guide federal efforts to create a website and tool kit for police agencies to implement the use of officer-worn cameras.

"It's a great honor," says White. "This is a big deal in terms of police community relations, and there is this kind of ground swell of energy and momentum. The fact that the Department of Justice and the White House is bringing in academic experts to engage in the dialogue and lead the conversation is very rewarding."

White and Katz have considerable experience guiding police efforts nationwide through the ASU Center for Violence Prevention and Community Safety, part of the College of Public Service and Community Solutions. The two professors have provided research and training to police as part of the Department of Justice SMART Policing Initiative, which helps police incorporate evidence-based practices to improve policing outcomes.