Tim Hegarty, Captain RCPD | Undergraduate Studies in Criminology
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Tim Hegarty, Captain RCPD | Undergraduate Studies in Criminology

My name is Tim Hegarty. I’m a captain
with the Reilly County Police Department and I’m currently the investigations
division commander. We wanted to develop a community survey instrument. We had a community that a neighborhood that there was some violence actually a
homicide a number of his shootings and we wanted to address the problems in
that in that neighborhood and one of the things we wanted to do was have officers
go to door-to-door and deliver a survey. And we wanted it as we did with the citizens survey, we wanted it to be a good survey. And we wanted to accomplish something. So again Dr. Williams was there to help us build this particular instrument and we ended up stopping the violence. And the project won an award from the Kansas Association of Chiefs of Police. So another positive experience with the department. Then our best experience came in 2012 when I was the patrol division commander. And we were looking for crime reduction strategy and we wanted it to be founded in evidence and we wanted to evaluate whether it actually did what we believed it was going to do. So again I made the call to Dr. Williams and she again was a very willing partner. And it was about a three-month study and it in fact proved that what we set out to accomplish we did in fact accomplish. There was statistically significant evidence that the crime reductions we saw were not random, they were a result of what we did. So we submitted this project to the International Association of Chiefs of Police for one of their awards for their excellence in police research awards, and lo and behold, we won one of those. So they, the International Association of Chiefs of Police, flew Dr. Williams out to Philadelphia in 2013. And we received this award alongside her and that was that’s a pretty big deal for a little agency in little Manhattan, Kansas to receive such international recognition. So all the interactions that we’ve had that I’ve personally had with Kansas State University in the sociology department whether it’s all these things.
I’ve been invited as a guest speaker a number of times. it’s been very very
positive. I even have one of their former students working for me as a detective,
he recalls me as a guest speaker in his class shortly after the shooting of Trayvon Martin. I don’t recall him of course, but he recalls me showing up and
speaking and addressing some difficult questions but addressing them openly and
honestly and so I guess that outlines most of the experience I’ve had.
I was actually also an adjunct instructor for the department for a
semester. They needed someone at the last minute to teach a course called
juveniles in crime.They had hired someone from another University to come
in and do some teaching. He was ill so Dr. Sue (Williams) recommended me to her. She
reached out said would you teach this course and it was literally the week
before semester was to begin. Our agency only requires a high school degree but
the profession is moving towards higher level of requirements and there are a
number of agencies across the United States, in which, a college degree is a
requirement to be a police officer. What I hope that our relationship can become
with criminology at Kansas State University, is that we can develop some internships some paid internships. We think it would
be a great idea and as I said I’m not the ultimate decision-maker I’m not the
chief but we think would be a great idea to have people on board who are
interested in criminology who could actually do work with the
agency. In internships in the past it’s been more of ride-alongs and just
sitting and watching and and not very productive and we haven’t had a lot of
applicants and I think that’s that’s part of the problem is that we haven’t
immersed them in police work and and let them have an idea of what it really is
and let them get their fingers dirty so to speak so moving forward that would be
my hope. I have yet to meet a person that when I mentioned Dr. Williams their face
doesn’t light up and say she’s one of the best teachers I’ve ever had. She has
had such an influence on the students they are often disappointed that their
schedule doesn’t work out where they can take one of her classes. So I think she’s
been a tremendous asset

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