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I'm a Professor of Criminology and Justice Studies at Drexel University in Philadelphia. My research focuses on police authority and accountability, and specifically, how police "fit" into the overall context of urban neighborhoods -- particularly those characterized by racial isolation, and social and economic resource deprivation. My work also examines intersections among community violence, police tactics, and urban health behaviors/outcomes.


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From the publisher:

In Policing Beyond Coercion, Robert Kane introduces a powerful narrative that encourages policing to move beyond its traditional paradigm with its emphasis on coercion and control. Kane opens by offering a definition of police – based largely on the seminal writings of Egon Bitner and Carl Klockars – and then applies that definition to the police role, arguing that it is time for society to think of policing as an institution whose primary role is to protect life – even when enforcing the law or using force. Kane describes and explains the police subculture, use of force, discretion, recruitment, and accountability and then demonstrates how a protection of life mandate can help policing adapt itself to remain a crucial public institution in a post-George Floyd world. Kane speaks to readers in ways that encourage them to question their assumptions about who the police are while asking them to think about who the police might become.


My research primarily focuses on the social ecology of policing and police authority and accountability. Most of my work includes spatial elements, examining the spatial distributions of police coercive interventions. I've conducted studies examining police misconduct in the NYPD, the effect of Taser exposure on cognitive functioning, and most recently, the effects of a police co-response model on vulnerable populations in the Philadelphia subway system.


I mostly enjoy teaching in the areas of urban crime, comparative justice, and crime mapping using Geographic Information Science software. The Criminology program at Drexel is urban, analytical, and international; and I have developed and taught courses that reflect these values. My best, and most challenging, teaching moments occur when taking students overseas to study such topics as policing and social control during the Third Reich.

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