May 23, 2020


Remembering 3 Giants in the Field of Policing Research

Dear PERF members,

Today, I’d like to pay tribute to three people who were pillars in the study of policing for almost 50 years, and who have passed away over the last year:

-- George Kelling, the Harvard University criminologist known for research studies that included the landmark Kansas City Preventive Patrol Experiment of 1972-73, the Newark Foot Patrol Experiment of 1978-79, and the “Broken Windows” article in 1982.

-- Herman Goldstein, the University of Wisconsin Law School professor who, early in his career, served as Executive Assistant to the legendary Superintendent O.W. Wilson of the Chicago Police Department.  Of all of Goldstein’s research, his 1990 study, “Problem-Oriented Policing,”  probably had the greatest impact. 

-- David Bayley, the State University of New York at Albany professor who conducted research on criminal justice in India, Japan, Australia, Canada, Great Britain, Singapore, and the United States.

Much has been written about the significant, substantive accomplishments that these researchers and scholars have made.  However, what is equally important is the impact that these three individuals had on the careers of aspiring police chiefs and academics.

I  was very  fortunate to know all three.  They worked hard learning what cops do, and helped shape the thinking of generations of police leaders and academics.   Their work lives on in the careers of so many of us.    

Here are some comments and stories that speak to how these individuals approached their work.



William Bratton, former NYPD Commissioner and Chief of Police in Los Angeles:

My first exposure to George Kelling was reading the Atlantic Monthly article on “broken windows,” which resonated with me, because that’s what I had found in the 70s. I was living what he was writing about.

George loved being out in the field and walking around with the cops. That’s why that report was so influential. He was not writing about someone else’s experiences; he was writing about his own. He wasn’t an academic; he was a field researcher. He didn’t just write about what others thought. He wrote about his own experiences.

Kelling understood cops because he spent a lot of time with them. That’s why I enjoyed him so much. We had that shared respect and empathy for what cops were trying to deal with.

The transit initiative was the one where we really bonded. People were giving up on New York, and certainly giving up on the subway.  But we really believed that the community policing model, as we understood it, could work in the subways, the streets, and foreign countries.

Later when I was chief in Los Angeles, I took him down to skid row. He loved every moment of those several days, walking around skid row, because he looked at it from the perspective of how to fix it. Everywhere he looked, it was about “How can I make this better?”

George also wrote in a way that allowed you to  understand his experiences, and how he passionately believed that we could make things better by practicing what he was writing about.


Ed Flynn, former Police Chief in Milwaukee, WI; Arlington, VA; and other cities:

George was my mentor and guide long before I actually met him. As I worked my way up the chain of command in Jersey City, his eloquent, inspirational and empathetic prose gave me an invaluable framework to understand my work. As importantly, his rigorous research on police methods and tactics (the Kansas City Patrol Experiment, the Newark Foot Patrol Experiment) challenged conventional wisdom in important ways.

When I did finally get to know him, I was chief in Chelsea, MA: the poorest city in the state with the highest violent crime rate. With a new Community Policing grant, I hired IACP to do community-oriented policing training for the entire department, and I insisted that George be the keynote speaker. He agreed.

And he was just what the cops needed to hear. He was a missionary (as befitted his divinity school training) for the inherent worth of policing and of community connection, and he clearly understood and valued police officers’ work. The department turnaround started with that speech.

But afterwards, George confided something in me. He said, “I'm not sure I'm going to cash this check from the IACP.”  When I asked, "Why not?" he replied, “The IACP viewed me as an apostate, as a heretic, as a danger to law enforcement after the Kansas City study. I think I might frame this check in recognition that my heresy became doctrine!” I think it was the Lutheran in him.  


Steve Edwards, former Senior Policy Advisor for Law Enforcement, DOJ Bureau of Justice Assistance:

George gave you great freedom to work, but he always wanted to know what you were doing, and you had to be honest about mistakes. Doing high-quality, groundbreaking research required honesty and trust in the negotiation of getting into a police agency, developing relationships and interacting with police officers, collecting data, sticking to the research design, etc. 

George knew there would be mistakes in doing field work. He used to say he expected one small mistake per day, one medium mistake per week, and one large mistake per month. But honestly addressing your mistakes was critical to building trust.

I learned this lesson when I was in grad school and had a summer fellowship working for George, studying an anti-robbery unit of the Birmingham, AL Police Department.  I was embedded with the unit, and despite my role as an “observer,” I got close with the members, and at the end of the summer they gave me a going-away party at a country-western bar.

There was a confrontation at the bar that spilled into the street, and the members of the unit and I got into a rather large fight.

I didn’t tell George about this. That was my mistake, and of course he found out.  So the next day, my last day before returning to grad school, he ordered me to DC for a meeting at 1909 K Street, where I got a significant reprimand about the jeopardy I had created for this significant project on street crime.  George told me if it hadn’t already been my last day on the project, I would have been fired. 

To this day I can’t walk past 1909 K Street without thinking of that experience!


Mary Ann Wycoff, who conducted research studies at the Police Foundation and PERF for nearly 30 years:

George spent lots of time in the field, and had great respect for the officers he worked with. In projects in Dallas and Kansas City, he arranged for officers to work part-time with us. In those early years of the 1970s, researchers in police departments were highly suspect characters. But as the bonds strengthened, these officers became indispensable interpreters of our data and what we were seeing.  Our projects were based on hard data – officer surveys, citizen surveys – but those numbers were understood in the context of what we had seen with our own eyes. 


Francis X. Hartmann, Senior Research Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government:

George could be grumpy, but he was always willing to listen.  He didn't shut people out when they disagreed with him.   

When he was puzzled, when he felt that he didn’t know enough about something, he always (in his words) “went to ground.” He sought out information from real people about what was happening.  Once we were part of an Executive Session on Juvenile Justice, and George said, “I have to go to the courts, sit and listen and watch, to see what’s actually happening.” 

That’s what he did. George was not an armchair theorist.

A colleague told me that once George was invited to speak to students at St. Olaf College, his alma mater. The St. Olaf chapter of Black Lives Matter protested it beforehand, but they went in and listened to him. The protests seemed to energize George, and he insisted on meeting the chair of the BLM group for breakfast the next day.



Chuck Ramsey, former Chief of Police in Washington, DC and Police Commissioner in Philadelphia:

In the early 1990s, when I was with the Chicago Police Department, Superintendent Matt Rodriguez wanted to move the department toward community-oriented policing, and he named me the project manager in charge of putting that whole strategy together. It was a huge task, so I reached out for as much help as possible, including to Herman Goldstein. He agreed to be an advisor.

The first thing that impressed me was how humble Herman was. He was soft-spoken, had a good sense of humor, was easy to talk with and down-to-earth.

And Herman was not  someone who only knew policing from books. He understood policing. He understood things that could be done in our profession to make us better.

I considered Herman a friend. Our relationship first developed out of working on the project together, but he was the kind of individual that you wanted to stay in touch with afterwards. And when I took the job in Washington, D.C., I could tell he was proud that I had been given that position.


David Couper, Chief of Police in Madison, WI from 1972 to 1993:

Herman Goldstein was my mentor, colleague and friend for over 50 years. He was “in my corner” during the tumultuous years when we worked to change the Madison Police Department from basically an all-white and all-male traditional police department.

What drove Herman’s vision? Some years ago, he visited Lithuania and shared his thoughts with me when he returned. His grandparents resided in a small rural town before the Shoah. They did not survive it. Herman saw what the Holocaust did and came to understand the role local police had in it. It was the local police who rounded up Herman’s grandparents and other Jews in their town and executed them prior to the arrival of the SS. Herman worked passionately to make sure that never would happen here in America.

For years, Herman had a triptych of three photos on his wall. The first showed an elderly woman who had fallen down in the street. The second picture shows a police officer helping her stand up, and the final picture shows the woman hugging the officer. Just a police officer helping a citizen in need. That was the message he taught year after year.


Mary Ann Wycoff: 

For years, Herman Goldstein taught a class on law and policing, and his students spent many hours riding in Madison squad cars.

A friend of mine worked with Herman in the embryonic stages of problem-solving policing, before it had a name.  They spent hours just talking to police about how they did their work, how they made decisions. They saw officers solving problems.  That is how problem-oriented policing began.



Prof. Robin S. Engel, School of Criminal Justice, University of Cincinnati:

When I was a graduate student at Albany, David spent significant time with his students, and he hosted visitors from around the world.  To help acclimate these foreign police officials as they became students in our country, he would host dinner parties and invite current students. 

David always planned the seating arrangement for these dinners, to encourage lively conversations. At one of these dinners, I was seated next to the wife of a Japanese police executive.  She had a kind smile and pleasant demeanor, but didn’t speak a word to me other than to say hello.

A few moments later, I realized David’s motive. He asked me how my volleyball team was doing this season, and the woman’s eyes lit up. She played volleyball!  She ended up joining my team and played for the next two years, and we became lifelong friends.

In little ways like this, David demonstrated an uncanny knack for reading people and situations.  It was this ability that made him such an amazingly gifted scholar, and able to practice his craft easily in countries around the world.  He could step into foreign countries and understand contexts and relationships. It was his deep understanding and connections to people that made him unique.


Prof. Lorraine Mazzerole, University of Queensland, Australia:

David Bayley was an extraordinary man. He and his wife and daughters  became my U.S. “family.” I spent holidays and summers with them in upstate New York. Many happy memories. When I came back to Australia, he and his wife stayed with me in my home. He was always curious, always asking questions. His favourite word was “wonderful,” and that’s what he was. 


Robert F. Lunney, former Chief of Police in Edmonton, Alberta:

When David and I served together on a team of consultants for the police reform in Northern Ireland, his wisdom, insights and telling observations brought clarity to the work of our team, and stamped his mark on the real reforms achieved through his advice and mentorship.  A fine gentleman, he leaves behind a host of good memories and a deep appreciation for his contribution to policing in a free society.


Prof. Edward Maguire, School of Criminology and Criminal Justice, Arizona State University:

David Bayley made major contributions to the comparative international study of police and the links between policing and democracy. David was my mentor, and he inspired me to build a career studying policing internationally. I will always be grateful for his contributions to my life and career.


PERF’s Weekend Clips are below.  Enjoy your weekend as we honor those members of the military who died in service to our country.





Weekend Clips

Chicago Sun-Times: ‘Why not Chicago?’ New Police Supt. David Brown is eyeing history

Brown, the former police chief in Dallas, wants to see fewer than 300 murders a year along with reforms that go “above and beyond” what’s required by the CPD’s consent decree. All the while, he plans on staying “true north.”


Potomac Local News: ‘The people and our mission:’ Retiring police chief reflects on 44 years of service

Public servants are more important than ever in the current coronavirus pandemic, yet, the Prince William County Police Department is losing its guiding member: Chief Barry Barnard.

Barnard, who has served Prince William County police for 44 years, with four of those years as chief, announced his retirement on May 13. He is the fourth chief of police to lead the department since its creation 50 years ago.


ABC 7 Chicago: Homecoming for new ATF-Chicago special agent in charge Kristen deTineo

The I-Team talked exclusively with new ATF-Chicago boss Kristen deTineo, who grew up in the Beverly neighborhood on Chicago's South Side. She is coming home to oversee the ATF office here, by way of Washington D.C., Baltimore, Virginia and San Diego.

But deTineo's story isn't as much where she's been but how she got there.

"I have a mom who's a nurse. I have an uncle who's an ATF agent," said deTineo, who is both.

Her public service career began as a Navy nurse. She was once assigned to the USS Comfort, the hospital ship that just pulled out of New York Harbor after treating COVID patients.

"I was in the active reserves at the time 9/11 had happened," she told the I-Team. "I had only come off of active duty about three months prior to that, and there was a definite need for nurses."

And so after the al Qaeda attack on America in 2001 she delayed her coveted move to ATF, but eventually became a federal agent.

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