Date of Defense


Date of Graduation




First Advisor

Charles Crawford

Second Advisor

Patrick Cundiff


Black Lives Matter, police, officer perceptions, campus police department


In 2014, following the police-involved deaths of Eric Garner and Michael Brown, researchers focused their attention on the existence of a “Ferguson Effect,” such that rising homicide rates could be attributed to a reduction in proactive policing due to concerns over heightened public scrutiny. While UCR data would eventually refute the existence of such an Effect, previous research has found that there does appear to be evidence of a perceptual belief in the Ferguson Effect among municipal officers. To date, very little research concerning officer perceptions or experiences has been conducted with campus police departments, creating a substantial gap in the research literature that this study attempted to address. Data for the current study comes from an anonymous, 22-question, web-based survey that was administered to the WMU Public Safety (WMUPS) police department. This study was conducted in an effort to explore the impact that the Ferguson Effect has had on officers’ perceptions of the Black Lives Matter movement and their experiences. The conclusion of this study is that a perceptual belief in the Ferguson Effect does exist among some officers within the WMU Public Safety police department. Experiences at BLM events seem to be consistent with most officers agreeing that they were peaceful overall, but with some indicating that they did experience antagonism.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Open Access

Presentation.pdf (710 kB)
Defense Presentation

Included in

Psychology Commons