My dissertation examines the rise of police “militarization” – a phenomenon in which law enforcement agencies across the United States have increasingly adopted military strategies and equipment, from forming and regularly deploying SWAT teams to acquiring tactical gear designed for combat zones.
Using rigorous multivariate regression analyses of a unique combination of federal datasets, this project is oriented around the following questions:
- How can we measure police adoption of the “military model,” which has informed American policing since the early 20th century?
- Why have some police agencies militarized more than others?
- What is the association between militarization and police use of force?
- Does the militarization of a police agency predict dynamics in adjacent criminal justice institutions – such as jails?
In a project based on my Master’s research, I investigate the relationship between policing practices and immigration enforcement. I use quantitative methods to examine whether police agencies that have implemented more progressive, culturally-competent policies – such as promoting community-oriented policing or prohibiting race-based policing – exhibit a lower rate of immigrant arrests than those that have not.