Friday 21st April 2017

Today I got up and went downstairs and had breakfast with the Cullens. Paula had made eggs, bacon and toast and Frank and I sat and ate together.

I then got dressed and then Frank drove us into the University of Cincinnati. On the way, we went through the downtown area of the city and into Over the Rhine – this was where I had done a lot of the fieldwork for my 2013 book ‘Policing Youth Violence’ and I was particularly interested to try and find the ‘Stop the Violence’ mural that I had taken a photo of there and that eventually became the cover of the book. I had the idea that it would be good to get a photo taken there holding my book up, with the mural in the background. We weaved our way all round the community looking for it, re-visiting places I remembered so well like Finlay Market where the CIRV office used to be located. I noticed that the office was no longer there, and had heard from colleagues last evening that the initiative was no longer in operation because of various other political developments. Try as we might, we simply could not find the mural but I did notice many changes in Over the Rhine – a huge gentrification project has clearly taken place whereby new houses had sprung up, buildings had been renovated and there were fewer people hanging around on street corners However, once we got further north I could see that the poverty and disadvantage was still there, and realized that the gentrification process had simply led to the displacement of poverty further north.

We arrived at the university, parked the car and went into the School of Criminal Justice and I also saw a huge change there – a big modernization project has taken place since I was last here, and the offices and classrooms are fantastic – really modern and totally transformed from what I remember, Frank took me round and I met several familiar faces like Mike Benson and John Eck who I met back in 2011 and 12. We went into Frank’s office and had lunch and he showed me some of the books, posters and gifts he has collected over the years. It was a real honour to be his guest here, given his long track record and profile as one of the world’s most leading and distinguished criminologists.

At 1.30pm my presentation took place, with around 30 people in attendance – a range of staff members and graduate Doctoral students from the school. I shared my research and insights from Scotland on police use of stop and search, its relationship with procedural justice and impact on police/youth relations. The talk went well and there were lots of questions and great discussion afterwards. Frank introduced me and gave a vote of thanks at the end. There is a great culture here of building a vibrant Postgraduate student community and students are highly involved in working with faculty on publications, teaching and moving on a journey towards becoming full-time academics themselves. It is very inspiring to see this type of ethos, and one that Frank clearly still thrives on.

Afterwards, several of the students waited behind to talk to me and then Frank and I thanked Janice Miller, the school admin coordinator for all her help in setting everything up for today before going over to the bookshop where I bought a couple of Cincinnati Bear t-shirts – one for myself and one for Alan.

 

We drove back to the Cullens’ house via Over the Rhine again. I had received an email from Dan Gerard, former captain from Cincinnati Police Department who now works for the university, in response to my earlier email asking about the email. He said it does still exist and gave me the exact street where it was located. However, Frank and I share several things in common – our passion and talent for criminology research, our interest in tennis, our tendency to be organized and methodical in our work but also our lack of a sense of direction while driving! Weave in and out the streets of over the Rhine as we might we could not find the mural. I called Frank’s wife Paula who guided us around over the phone, since she has a great sense of direction (reminding me very much of the respective talents and skills of me and Karen). However, we still could not find it and got lost several times in the process.

We got back to the house and Frank had invited three of his graduate students to come to dinner. The three female students are all doing their Doctorates under Frank and were great company – Hannah and Amanda were both American and Heejin was from Korea. We had a lovely meal and great conversation until after 11pm when they left.

After this, it was time for bed. I had received another email from Dan giving me the exact location in the named street for the mural, so Frank and Paula said we could go there before going to the airport in the morning to have one last go at finding it – meaning a 6am start tomorrow. Frank and Paula said that it would only take us 15 minutes more to go there via the airport.

 

 

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