NSU’s Criminal Justice Program marks first doctoral dissertation in program’s history

Roberto Santos Roberto Santos, a doctoral student in the NSU Criminal Justice program, has successfully completed and defended his dissertation – the first in the history of the Criminal Justice Program. Santos’s work, entitled A Quasi-Experimental Test and Examination of Police Effectiveness in Residential Burglary and Theft from a Vehicle Micro-Time Hot Spots” was presented to the committee in September.

As a doctoral student in the Criminal Justice program, Santos’s research focused on whether traditional policing strategies were effective in preventing residential burglary and theft from vehicles. He looked at data over a five-year period that focused on “micro-time hot spots,” which are groupings of crime incidents (i.e. flare ups) that occur in specific places at specific times. His study showed a direct correlation between increased police presence in places of emerging crime and the decrease in residential burglary and theft from vehicles – with increases in police response time having a direct effect on overall rates.

Santos said he is deciding on an adjunct professor position and plans to eventually move from law enforcement into a full-time academic position in criminology and criminal justice so that he can share his knowledge with others.

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