The Professor Who
Became a Cop

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Dr. George Kirkham, who has been described by the late William F. Buckley, Jr. as “...an honor to his profession, ”received his doctorate in criminology on a full scholarship at the University of California, Berkeley. He is currently Professor Emeritus at the Florida State University College of Criminology & Criminal Justice, where he taught and conducted pioneering research for twenty years. His many professional honors as a criminologist include The Distinguished Service Award, The Freedom’s Foundation at Valley Forge Award and the J. Edgar Hoover Award.

Dr. Kirkham has been called upon more often than any other criminologist in the nation to provide expert witness testimony in cases involving police, jail and private security issues.


He is nationally and internationally known as “the professor who became a cop” for taking leave of his university post to study crime and the police in a way that no criminology professor had before: after attending and graduating from a police academy, Dr. Kirkham spent six months as a patrolman on a high crime beat in a major American city. After rejoining the faculty at Florida State University, he continued working as a fully-sworn police officer on a part time basis throughout his academic career, ultimately serving with four different law enforcement agencies in assignments as diverse as uniformed patrol, crisis intervention, vice & narcotics, criminal investigation and undercover work as part of an organized crime strike force.

Over the years, his observations on the police have appeared in research and law enforcement journals in many other countries, including England, Canada, Germany, India, Australia and Russia. He has authored 23 law enforcement training films and video tapes which are used to instruct police officers and administrators throughout the nation. Under grants from the U.S. Department of Justice, Dr. Kirkham's award winning film series, "Police: The Human Dimension" was distributed to the law enforcement training directors of all 50 states and the F.B.I. Academy. This series is also used at Peel Centre in London to train the British Metropolitan Police.

Dr. Kirkham has served as a consultant to over 50 law enforcement agencies at the federal, state and local level. His experience as an expert witness for plaintiffs and defendants in civil actions, and prosecution and defense in criminal matters, encompasses over 1,500 cases in nearly every state.

In addition to receiving widespread professional recognition, Dr. Kirkham's work has also been the subject of considerable attention by the mass media and the American public: he was the subject of a CBS 60 MINUTES segment entitled "Ivory Tower Cop," and has made numerous national television and radio appearances to discuss the subjects of crime and the police, including ABC's GOOD MORNING AMERICA, FOX NEWS, MSNBC, and BBC WORLD RADIO. His article "A Professor's Street Lessons" was serialized in newspapers throughout the nation and has been read by more police worldwide than any article ever published by the F.B.I. during the eighty year history of its LAW ENFORCEMENT BULLETIN. Dr. Kirkham's best-selling personal autobiography, SIGNAL ZERO, was selected by Book-of-the-Month Club as one of its alternates and his views on the police have appeared in publications ranging from NEWSWEEK, TIME, U.S. NEWS & WORLD REPORT, READER'S DIGEST and PEOPLE MAGAZINE, to the UNITED STATES CONGRESSIONAL RECORD and INTERPOL.

 
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