Researcher Says We're Getting Better at Reducing Crime

Article excerpt

Dr. Richard Janikowski, the criminologist who has lived and worked in Memphis for more than a quarter of a century, recently bought a home security system for the first time.

It was for his new home in the North Carolina mountains, where he and his wife, Dr. Phyllis Betts, are moving this summer as they retire from the University of Memphis.

"We're more concerned about bears than anything else," said Janikowski, who will teach his last class Wednesday morning as associate professor in the Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice.

"I've never felt the need for a security system in Memphis. We've never been robbed. Never had a burglary. Never had a car stolen. We haven't had any problems."

Janikowski arguably knows more than anyone about crime in Memphis. As director of the Center for Community Criminology and Research, his deep data analysis was critical to developing the hot- spot policing strategy known as Blue CRUSH.

After 25 years of intensive research, what has Professor Janikowski learned? …