Congrats to Dr. Huff on being awarded a BJA grant!

Dr. Jessie Huff has been awarded an $800K grant from the Office of Justice Programs in collaboration with Tacoma Police Department!

This significant grant is part of the 2023 Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) FY 23 Smart Policing Initiative Grant Program and is poised to have a transformative impact on TPD’s ability to investigate gun crime.

The primary objective of this grant is to equip the Tacoma Police Department with cutting-edge technology aimed at enhancing their capacity to investigate gun-related offenses. The grant will facilitate the implementation and evaluation of three distinct technologies that will play a pivotal role in improving TPD’s investigative capabilities.

First, the grant will support the implementation and assessment of ShotSpotter technology, designed to identify gunshots, and provide precise gunshot locations. This technology aims to significantly reduce response times, ultimately enhancing the quality of investigations by enabling the collection of vital evidence such as shell casings and witness statements.

Secondly, the grant will fund the implementation and evaluation of fingerprint technology with the capacity to analyze fingerprints collected from shell casings. This advancement is expected to bolster TPD’s ability to identify suspects in shooting cases where casings are recovered.

Lastly, the grant will facilitate the replacement of a 3D laser scanner used for capturing comprehensive, accurate views of on-scene evidence and generating 360-degree views of crime scenes. This upgrade will play a crucial role in improving the overall evidence collection process in gun-related crime cases.

Dr. Jessie Huff’s invaluable professional experience and expertise in criminology and criminal justice will be instrumental in the successful implementation and evaluation of these cutting-edge technologies. Her research, which utilizes experimental methods to examine police programs and policies, has focused on identifying effective strategies for achieving public safety and ensuring equitable police encounters with diverse populations. Dr. Huff is recognized as an NIJ LEADS Academic and has collaborated with law enforcement agencies across the United States to evaluate various programs, including body-worn cameras and violence reduction strategies. She was one of the evaluators of the Phoenix Police Department Crime Gun Intelligence Center. Her research endeavors have received funding from prominent organizations such as the Department of Homeland Security, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Bureau of Justice Assistance. Her work has been published in prestigious outlets including Criminology, Journal of Criminal Justice, Journal of Experimental Criminology, and Justice Quarterly.

This collaborative project is aligned with the Tacoma Police Department’s broader Violent Crime Reduction Plan, which aims to achieve an overall reduction in violent crime within the City of Tacoma.

From all of us in the VIPR Lab, congrats, Dr. Huff!

Justin Nix
Justin Nix
Distinguished Associate Professor

My research centers on policing with emphases on procedural justice, legitimacy, and police shootings.