Dr. Oliver Presents Policing in America

New Book

Dr. Willard Oliver released a primer on policing in contemporary law enforcement agencies.

Dr. Willard Oliver recently penned a new policing textbook to provide a primer on theory and practices in the field and to promote a better understanding of issues facing contemporary agencies.

Policing in America: An Introduction was published by Wolter Kluwer. It is the 14th book for the prolific faculty member in the Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology, who has served as author or co-author of books on the history of criminal justice, criminal justice policies, policing, homeland security, and crime and Hollywood. He also expects to release another new book on August Vollmer, considered the father of American policing, in 2017 as well as new offerings on de-policing and Teddy Roosevelt and his role in creating the Secret Service and FBI.

“I was invited to author the book by the publisher and, after having taught policing for 20 years, I thought it was time for me to write a policing book in my own style,” said Dr. Oliver, a Professor in the Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology.

As a former police officer and a retired military veteran of Operation Desert Storm, Dr. Oliver is in a unique position to address both the theoretical and practical aspects of policing. The book focuses on providing a contextual understanding of the key concepts in American policing, while examining prominent issues facing law enforcement officers in the United States today. It encouraged students to think critically about the role of policing in society.

Among the topics addressed are:

  • The history of policing in the United States and its roles in society
  • Types of police agencies and how they are organized
  • Career opportunities available in the field
  • Laws governing police activities and discretion used in enforcement
  • Policing strategies and the police culture
  • Patrol and investigations
  • The use of force and accountability
  • Stress and other issues, including political, economic, social, and technological

Among the current issues addressed in the book are minority representation in police departments, the use of body cameras, the fiscal constraints of a police career, and the impact of police shootings on the profession.

“I wanted to take political, social, and technological issues facing American policing today and present not just the popular public opinion on the issues, but the police perspective as well,” said Dr. Oliver. “By giving voice to the police officers on these issues, as well as the other policing concepts in the book, it was my intent to provide the student with a better understanding of the complexities of American policing.”

Dr. Oliver joined the faculty at Sam Houston State University, College of Criminal Justice in 2003. His areas of expertise include policing, crime policy, and the history of criminal justice. His recent research has focused on de-policing, Presidential crime policies, and homeland security.

Member of The Texas State University System