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"Extraordinary" Criminologist Scott Decker '72 Profiled by Associated Press

May 25, 2006

Scott Decker.jpgMay 25, 2006, Greencastle, Ind. - Scott H. Decker, Scott H. Decker, professor and chair of criminology at the University of Missouri-St. Louis and 1972 graduate of DePauw University, decided years ago "that the science of criminology could help law enforcement agencies serve the public better, and he felt obliged to lead them there," notes an Associated Press story. "Next month, Decker will leave St. Louis to help Arizona State West University create a school of criminal justice and develop a doctoral program."

AP's Cheryl Wittenauer writes, "In 29 years at Missouri-St. Louis, (Dr. Decker) helped shape its criminology doctoral program into the fourth-highest ranked in the country. He also applied his expertise in the community, collaborating with local and state criminal justice agencies, analyzing their data, and helping them think strategically to be more effective." East College 2005 2.jpg

"He showed how you could build an internationally renowned academic unit that simultaneously served the community," says Terry Jones, political science professor and former dean at UM-SL. "One is hard enough. To do them both at the same time is an extraordinary feat."

A member of the Missouri-St. Louis faculty since 1977, "Decker wrote 11 books and 100 articles on street gangs, homicide, delinquency, illicit drug use, female burglars and crime control policy," the article points out. "He presented more than 130 papers at U.S. and international conferences -- which gave him a large following and a window into strategies that worked in other cities. He procured $4.5 million in research grant money and edited leading journals in his field."

Read the complete text at the Web site of Illinois' Belleville News-Democrat.

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