Dr. Kelling To Offer Insight on “Broken Windows” Police Practices

Logos for STAFSOne of the fathers of “broken windows” policing will present the Dr. Larry Hoover Distinguished Lecture Series for professionals in the field at the Law Enforcement Management Institute of Texas (LEMIT) on Feb. 16.

Dr. George L. Kelling, a Senior Fellow at the Manhattan Institute and Professor Emeritus at the School of Criminal Justice at Rutgers University and Northeastern University, has consulted at many of the major police departments across the country. In 1972, Dr. Kelling worked at the Police Foundation and conducted several large-scale experiments, including the Kansas City Prevention Patrol Experiment and the Newark Foot Patrol Experiment, which led to the “broken windows” theory of policing.

“The Dr. Larry Hoover Distinguished Lecture Series at LEMIT is pleased to host Dr. George Kelling and have him present his historical and relevant theory of ‘broken windows,’” said Dr. Rita Watkins, Executive Director of LEMIT. “This theory has been part of the responsive fabric for police departments across the country. Our goal with the series is to have distinguished researchers and practitioners present their scholarly work to law enforcement professionals. To have the chance to listen and discuss with theorists is a wonderful opportunity to gain insight into core societal issues. Dr. Kelling will do that for us.”

Dr. Kelling has been called one of the most significant figures in policing in 50 years.

“George Kelling’s striking insight from qualitative analysis of data from the Newark Foot Patrol Evaluation is captured by the term ‘broken windows,’” said Dr. Hoover, a longtime professor at Sam Houston State University for whom the lecture series is named. “Broken windows is a metaphor referring to the fact that if all the windows in a structure are whole, all will stay whole, but if a single broken window is left unrepaired, soon all the windows will be broken.

“The extension to police strategy is if petty offenses, or even incivilities, are tolerated in a neighborhood, serious crime will surely follow, i.e., all the windows will soon be broken. The perception has been verified on numerous occasions, and altered police enforcement strategies worldwide from a singular focus on serious crime to a far broader approach to criminogenic environments.”

Dr. Kelling co-authored an essay on “broken windows” policing with Dr. James Q. Wilson of Harvard University in 1982 in The Atlantic, which outlines the new theory for tackling crime. He co-authored Fixing Broken Windows: Restoring Order and Reducing Crime in Our Community with his wife, Catherine M. Coles, which outlined “broken windows” applications by police from New York to Seattle to combat disorderly conduct as a way to control crime. Among the programs Dr. Kelling developed were a campaign against fare evaders on the New York City subway, which led to a radical reduction in crime, and quality of life initiatives in New York City, which cracked down on panhandling, unsolicited window washing, street prostitution, public drinking, and other disorderly behaviors.

Dr. Kelling is currently writing two books on the rediscovery of policing and on his hometown of Milwaukee. Dr. Kelling holds a B.A. from St. Olaf College, an M.S.W. from the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee, and a Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin at Madison.

?The Larry T. Hoover Distinguished Lecture Series was created by LEMIT in 2015 to present innovative and practical ideas for law enforcement agencies on policing in the 21st Century. The program is named in honor of Dr. Hoover, who was instrumental in creating LEMIT and in researching and creating innovate police practices.

The program will be held on Feb. 16 from 8 am. – 5 pm at LEMIT, 1600 Bobby Marks Boulevard, Huntsville. The cost of the program is $95 and lunch is included. For more information, visit http://www.lemitonline.org/programs/special/HooverSpeakerSeriesFeb2015.pdf

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