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Panel Discussion to Focus on Police Use of Force

February 1, 2016

KUTZTOWN, Pa. - The Kutztown University Criminal Justice Department will host a panel discussion "Police Use of Force:  An American Crisis" on Tuesday, Feb. 23, at 6 p.m. in Schaeffer Auditorium. 

The panel will consist of Mark Talbot, chief, Norristown Police Department; Dennis J. Skayhan, Berks County District Attorney's Office; Ashley Heiberger, captain, Bethlehem Police Department, Dr. Thomas Robinson, KU assistant professor of psychology and John Dillon, chief, KU Public Safety and Police Services.  The discussion will be moderated by Dr. Lindsey Runell, assistant professor of criminal justice, Kutztown University.

The event is free and open to the public.  Please be advised that presentations, recordings and videos used during the panel discussion may contain adult language.

Recently there have been a number of communities that have been affected by large scale civil unrest, reactions to perceived and/or actual incidents of police use of excessive force and inappropriate use of lethal force. The riots and demonstrations that followed these incidents were not, however, reactions solely to perceived incorrect decisions by a single police officer. Instead, these incidents acted as sparks to ignite long-standing perceptions of injustice committed by local criminal justice agencies. This panel aims to investigate the circumstances that promote these perceptions of systematic injustice in communities, the specific safety concerns of law enforcement during police-citizen encounters, how the police respond periods of civil unrest and possible methods to improve police-public relations.