Natalie Todak

Natalie Todak

Assistant Professor
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(205) 975-1301
UBOB 213

Research Interests: Policing, race & gender in criminal justice, qualitative research methods

Teaching Interests: Policing, research methods, criminology

Office Hours: T/TH 9:00 - 11:00 a.m.

  • B.A., University of California, San Diego, Psychology
  • M.S., Bowling Green State University, Criminal Justice
  • Ph.D., Arizona State University, Criminology & Criminal Justice

I am a policing researcher with a particular interest in answering my research questions using qualitative and mixed research methods. I originally majored in criminology and criminal justice because I wanted to become a police officer. However, after working on a study of crimes committed by police officers at BGSU, I found my passion in research and writing. My first studies focused on the experiences and perspectives of female police officers. In graduate school I became intrigued by ethnographic and qualitative research, which motivated me to learn interview, focus group, and observation methods. I have since conducted studies on topics including police use of the TASER, body-worn cameras, and de-escalation tactics.

In my policing classes, I use many examples from my research experiences, including the 300 hours I spent on ride-alongs for my doctoral dissertation. In the name of research I have been thrown up on, bitten by a police K9, and tased by a police officer, to name a few anecdotes. Most importantly, as a teacher I enjoy helping passionate students improve their writing skills, identify and pursue their personal goals, and push the limits of their critical thinking.

Download Curriculum Vitae

Research Interests

My primary research interest is American policing, with a focus on topics such as violence reduction, police-citizen relationships, and use of force. My doctoral dissertation was a mixed methods field study of police de-escalation tactics, which I conducted in collaboration with the Spokane Police Department in Spokane, Washington. I have also extensively studied the impact and consequences of police technologies, including TASERs and body-worn cameras.

Select publications

  • Todak, Natalie & Michael White (forthcoming). An integrated, reflexive theory of police misconduct. In Scott H. Decker & Kevin A. Wright (Eds.), Criminology and Public Policy, 3rd Edition, Philadelphia: Temple University Press.
  • Todak, Natalie (in press). The decision to become a police officer in a legitimacy crisis. Women & Criminal Justice.
  • White, Michael D., Natalie Todak, and Janne E. Gaub (in press). Assessing citizen perceptions of body-worn cameras after encounters with police. Policing: An International Journal.
  • White, Michael D., Janne E. Gaub, & Natalie Todak (in press). Exploring the potential for police body-worn cameras to reduce violence in police-citizen encounters. In Matthew Hickman and Abi Dymond (Eds.) Special Issue on Police Body-Worn Cameras. Policing: A Journal of Policy and Practice.
  • James, Lois, Natalie Todak, & Suzanne Best (2017). The negative impact of prison work on sleep health. American Journal of Industrial Medicine, 60(5), 449—456.
  • Gaub, Janne E., David Choate, Natalie Todak, Charles M. Katz, & Michael D. White (2016). Officer perceptions of body cameras pre- and post-deployment: A study of three police departments. Special Issue on Police Body-Worn Cameras. Police Quarterly, 19(3), 275—302.

Academic Distinctions & Professional Memberships

  • Board Member, Social Media Director, and Member of the Western Society of Criminology
  • Member of the American Society of Criminology (Division of Policing) and the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences