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: M/W 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. Her research involves collaborating with police agencies to improve effectiveness and community relationships. She has been involved in numerous projects examining the impact and consequences of police technologies, misconduct, and has spent the past four years studying effective strategies for de-escalation. Her work shows an emphasis on mixed, qualitative, and ethnographic methods. She is published in leading journals, such as Criminology, Criminology and Public Policy, Women & Criminal Justice, and Police Quarterly.

Dr. Todak is currently addressing the questions of how to improve recruitment, selection, and retention of underrepresented groups in American policing, and the impact of police diversity on key social outcomes. She is especially interested in identifying ways to enhance the ability of police to serve underprivileged and marginalized community groups.

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