A West Virginia University professor who walked the beat as a police officer and worked for the FBI believes contemporary police practices normalize violence.

“In the current ‘law enforcement’ model of policing, the police and community become strangers and adversaries rather than friends and partners in creating safe places,” said James Nolan, a professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology in the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences. “My research focuses on new models of policing that aim at both reducing crime and building strong relationships,” Nolan said.

While at WVU Nolan has received funding from the U.S. Department of Justice, COPS Office to develop new outcome measures for his policing models. He has also co-authored The Violence of Hate-4th edition, which includes a new section on police violence.

Nolan is available by phone at 304.293.8582 or 304.657.0516, or email jim.nolan@mail.wvu.edu. Additional information is also available at WVU’s Research Center on Violence.

David Fryson, WVU’s vice president of diversity, equity and inclusion, is calling for a renewed conversation about race and equality – one that may be uncomfortable, but necessary. “The recent tragedy regarding the police shootings in Baton Rouge and Minnesota followed by the horrific assassination of five officers in Dallas is forcing us into the needed conversation on race that we often allude to but rarely deeply consider,” says Fryson.

Fryson, an attorney and ordained minister, has spent his entire life working on issues of diversity. At WVU, he has helped lead critical conversations related to these issues.

“Working together with University Police, we have attempted to provide an environment of openness and respect,” Fryson said. “It is possible to be supportive of the #BlackLivesMatter movement while at the same time being supportive of the police and the crucial role they play in our society.” Fryson can be reached at 304.293.3431 or by email at david.fryson@mail.wvu.edu

West Virginia University experts can provide commentary, insights and opinions on various news topics. Search for an expert by name, title, area of expertise, or college/school/department in the Experts Database at WVU Today.



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