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Joseph A. Schafer, Ph.D., M.S.

Associate Dean of Research
College of Public Health and Social Justice

Criminology and Criminal Justice

Courses Taught

Research Methods, Policing & Society, Foundations of Criminal Justice; Issues in Policing


  • Ph.D., Criminal Justice, Michigan State University, 2000
  • M.S., Criminal Justice, Michigan State University, 1997
  • B.A., Criminology, University of Northern Iowa, 1995

Research Interests

Policing; police organizations; leadership & organizational change; police decision making; innovation in criminal justice; evaluating criminal justice policies and strategies; emerging and future issues in crime and justice.

Publications and Media Placements

Schafer has more than 50 research articles appearing in various academic journals and policing periodicals. He is the author/editor of a number of white papers and books, including: 

  • Policing 2020: Exploring the Future of Crime, Communities and Policing (2007)
  • The Future of Policing: A Practical Guide for Police Leaders and Managers (2012)
  • Effective Leadership in Policing: Successful Traits & Habits (2013)
  • Contemporary Research on Police Organizations (2018) 

Media Placements: 

Schafer is the series editor for the Perspectives on Crime & Justice Series published by the Southern Illinois University Press. He is also an expert for the Criminal Justice Research Alliance on issues of policing and police organizations.

Honors and Awards

  • Inducted to the Wall of Fame, School of Criminal Justice, Michigan State University (2016)
  • Emerald Literati Award for Excellence (2009 Highly Commended Paper), awarded to “Developing effective leadership in policing: Perils, pitfalls, and paths forward” published in Policing (2010)
  • Commitment & Service Award, Society of Police Futurists International (2007)

Professional Organizations and Associations

  • Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences,
  • American Society of Criminology
  • American Society of Evidence-Based Policing
  • Global Law Enforcement Public Health Association
  • Midwestern Criminal Justice Association

Community Work and Service

Schafer routinely conducts workshops on leadership, organizational change, and the future of policing for police executive development programs. He has worked with agencies across the US, as well as agencies in Canada, Denmark, Australia, and the United Arab Emirates. His current research engagements include work with the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department.

He is a fellow with the Australian Institute for Police Management and a past fellow/scholar with the a federal law enforcement agencies and the Centre of Excellence in Policing & Security (Griffith University). Schafer currently serves as a Commissioner for the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA).