Monday, June 5, 2017

Justice Center provides students skills leading to work with APD

Victoria Goss is doing crime analysis
for APD
Victoria Goss, a 2017 Justice graduate, is doing crime analysis work with the Anchorage Police Department (APD). Sevy Sheppard, a Justice and Sociology double major, is working with APD as part of the Mayor's Americorps Program (MAP).  Both are leveraging skills they learned in Justice Prof. Troy Payne's Crime Analysis and Mapping course, JUST A432.

Goss attributes her contract-hire in APD's crime analysis unit to both Dr. Payne's course and an internship he organized for her in crime analysis last summer. Through his contacts at APD she was able to get the experience  that led to her being hired after graduation. Police sergeants, community council members and homeowners are among those who contact Goss with requests for crime data analysis.

Sevy Sheppard is working with APD as part of the Mayor's
Americorp Program
Sheppard snagged one of two positions created by the new Mayor's Americorps Program at APD. She beat out 20 other applicants and is now working with fellow UAA student Demry Mebane on a research project going door-to-door surveying residents of Fairview, Mountain View and Spenard on neighborhood safety and perceptions toward APD. Sheppard and Mebane worked together to create the 25-question survey to get a better idea of the safety needs of the neighborhoods and individual residents.

 "We hope to provide the Anchorage Police Department with the data they need to bridge the gap between police officers and these specific communities," Sheppard wrote in an email. "We only have until mid-August, so we are working hard to provide beneficial results!" she added.

The work Victoria and Sevy are doing will have tangible community impacts, according to Dr. Payne. "They're making the world better because the Justice Center provided the skills and connections, and the students provided smarts and drive."