Criminal Justice Evaluates Public Safety Programs

Written by Laura Paskin
January 15, 2015

Criminal Justice faculty, assisted by student and alumni researchers, are evaluating programs of the Seattle Police Department (SPD) and Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission (WSCJTC). Over the next two years, Department Chair Jacqueline Helfgott, principal investigator, and Professor Will Parkin, co-investigator, are evaluating SPD micro-community policy plans. In addition, Helfgott is developing and administering a survey to measure perceptions of the Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) Model in SPD culture and evaluating the WSCJTC CIT curriculum; both projects will be completed by June 2015.

Graduate students in the MA in Criminal Justice program and undergraduate criminal justice students are assisting with the SPD projects. Graduate program students and alumni and department adjunct faculty are assisting with the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission project.

Micro-community policy plans are a primary initiative of SPD Chief O?Toole. The Crisis Intervention evaluation research survey is part of city and state efforts to improve the implementation of the crisis intervention model.

"These projects give our students the opportunity to address important programs in our community and build on their classroom learning," Helfgott said. "Research and evaluation are becoming more and more essential to increase effectiveness and efficiency of criminal justice agencies."

The Seattle Police Department projects are funded by the Seattle Police Foundation.

The College of Arts and Sciences, the largest college in Seattle University, offers B.A., B.S., and master's degrees in Criminal Justice and a graduate Certificate in Crime Analysis.