FSU College of Criminology & Criminal Justice Establishes Policing, Security Technology, and Private Security Research & Policy Institute

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The Florida State University College of Criminology & Criminal Justice is pleased to announce the establishment of the Policing, Security Technology, and Private Security Research & Policy Institute.

American law enforcement agencies and private security are increasingly faced with challenges regarding loss of community confidence, growing rates of violence and gun crime in urban centers, and more daily reliance on technology. As a result, companies and organizations are turning to security, safety, and resiliency functions to help navigate the threats and disruptions they now face.

The Institute, which is part of the College’s Center for Criminology and Public Policy Research, seeks to address this need by bridging the gap between criminological scholarship, policing, and the use of technology. The Institute partners with police, the private sector, and other agencies to conduct research and inform law enforcement policy with evidence-based practices that engage the community, increase public safety, and secure government and private assets.

Brian and Darrel Stephens have been appointed to lead the Institute. Brian Stephens is the CEO of BMS Security Solutions, which provides advisory and security services to companies, institutions, and individuals. He also served as the former Chief Security Officer at Bank of America and held a number of positions at the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. Darrel Stephens has had a distinguished career in and consulting on police leadership and management, and the use of research in police policies and practices. This includes serving as Chief of the St. Petersburg and the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Departments and Executive Director of both the Police Executive Research Forum and the Major Cities Chiefs Association.

“Darrel and I are excited about the potential of the Institute,” said Brian Stephens. “This is a unique opportunity to be a part of a vision that brings private security and policing together to develop evidence-based solutions to the safety and security challenges of today and the future.”

To accomplish its mission, the Institute is building partnerships with a number of local, state, and national law enforcement associations and organizations. The Institute will capitalize on these partnerships to collaborate on research and executive development initiatives.

The Institute also plans to offer executive leadership education to law enforcement professionals at all stages of their careers who must confront the issues of implementing evidence-based practices, partnering with researchers and community leaders, serving diverse political environments, and utilizing rapidly changing technology. By doing so, the Institute hopes to further address the need to keep field practitioners abreast of evidence-based research and use research to inform policy decisions at the local, state, and national levels.

“Creating and maintaining safe communities is not just the responsibility of the police,” said Thomas Blomberg, Dean of the College of Criminology and Criminal Justice. “It requires wide ranging partnerships with the community, private sector and other governmental entities to develop effective evidence-based policies and practices. We believe the Institute is in a unique position to contribute to re-imagining public safety in this ever-changing environment.”