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

Natalie Todak is an Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. She earned her Ph.D. in 2017 from Arizona State University. She studies topics in American policing. A major focus of her work is on police-community interactions. She has conducted fieldwork with police agencies in Arizona, California, and Washington state. Her doctoral dissertation was a mixed methods examination of de-escalation tactics with the Spokane Police Department.

Dr. Todak’s second area of focus is on the experiences of police officers and prison workers. Her current research projects include a study of “police unicorns” (women in elite police specialty units), an international exploration of the experiences of women in policing, and the prevalence and causes of PTSD in prison workers.

She has also conducted research on police technologies including body-worn cameras and TASERs.

Dr. Todak teaches a variety of courses in criminology and criminal justice. At UAB, she has taught Research Methods, Police-Community Relations, and Women & Criminal Justice, among others.

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