MTSU professor helps secure $950K in funding for TBI
MURFREESBORO, TN (WSMV) – The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation received $950,000 in funding Wednesday due to the research and evaluation efforts of a Middle Tennessee State University professor.
MTSU associate criminal justice administration professor Ben Stickle took six years’ worth of policing experience from patrol to the classroom when he changed careers to become a professor.
“While completing research for my Ph.D., I realized I could marry my policing skills and academic skills to research crime and develop methods to prevent the crimes,” Stickle said. “Thus, I’m able to use my degree to help the police and the community at large.”
A decade after leaving the force, three of Stickle’s research and evaluation efforts helped TBI receive a combined $950,000 in funding from the Bureau of Justice Assistance and the Bureau of Justice Statistics.
MTSU officials said two of the grants fund studies on the impact COVID-19 has had on crime and criminal justice at the state and local level, the first at $79,000 evaluating data from 2020 and the second at $80,000 evaluating data from 2021.
“We hope to produce several scholarly publications related to this effort and help police and government leaders understand crime in Tennessee and how it may have shifted during the pandemic,” Stickle said.
The third grant awarded Stickle an additional $800,000 as part of the state’s Enhanced Collaborative Model Task Force to Combat Human Trafficking Program, which brings together stakeholders from different areas of law enforcement to combat all forms of human trafficking across the state.
“I want detailed, actionable research that will help someone not be a victim of crime, and when they (crimes) do occur, to help police solve crime,” he said. “We can … prevent crime by understanding the structure and nature of it.”
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