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Expert on profiling, use of police force joins justice program

A nationally recognized expert in racial profiling and police use of force, himself a former police officer, is joining the graduate program in criminal justice at Washington State University Spokane.

Michael R. Smith, an associate professor, holds a law degree from the University of South Carolina and received his Ph.D. from Arizona State University. Smith has expertise in policing, law, criminal procedure and civil liability. He was a police officer in the City of Richmond and in Fairfax County, Virginia, for three years.

Smith served as the featured speaker for the civil rights conference that the FBI’s Detroit field office held in five cities across Michigan during the fall of 1999. The conference was attended by police executives and community activists from throughout Michigan and focused on federal civil rights law and the use of force by police. Recently, he has provided training on racial profiling to police chiefs, sheriffs and other law enforcement executives from throughout the United States.

Smith has published several articles on civil liability of police and on the use of force by police. He co-directed a multi-city project funded by the National Institute of Justice: “Perceptions of Police Accountability in the Citizen Complaint Process,” and is currently studying racial profiling with the Miami-Dade Police Department.

His work has been published in Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies & Management, Police Quarterly, Crime & Delinquency, the Kansas Journal of Law & Public Policy, and other journals, and he has authored or co-authored several book chapters and technical reports.

“We are proud to have Dr. Smith join our criminal justice faculty,” Faith Lutze, director of the WSU criminal justice program, said. “His exceptional research skills and his desire to work closely with the criminal justice community will be a tremendous asset to our university, to Spokane and to the Northwest region.”

Smith’s expertise will be highlighted later this year at a conference for law enforcement officials. Plans are in the works for a conference on racial profiling to take place during the 2002-03 academic year, to be sponsored by WSU Spokane and WSU’s Thomas S. Foley Institute for Public Policy and Public Service.

About the WSU Criminal Justice Program

The WSU criminal justice program, founded in 1941, is one of the oldest such programs in the nation. It was home to the first chapter of Alpha Phi Sigma, the criminal justice honorary. Graduates of the graduate program have distinguished themselves in law enforcement, juvenile justice, corrections, government and industrial security, and state planning agency research and evaluation positions. A significant number are enrolled in doctoral programs in pursuit of the Ph.D.

About Washington State University Spokane

WSU Spokane is the urban campus of WSU, a land-grant research university founded in 1890. The campus features advanced studies in criminal justice, health sciences, the design disciplines, education, business, and engineering. WSU is ranked by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education as a research extensive and doctoral-granting university.

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