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Institute of Criminology


The Institute extends their congratulations to Professor Lawrence Sherman who has been awarded the 2020 August Vollmer Award by the American Society of Criminology in 'recognition of an individual whose scholarship or professional activities have made outstanding contributions to justice or to the treatment or prevention of criminal or delinquent behaviour'.

Professor Sherman is the 61st recipient of this honour.   He has long admired the work of the American Police Chief and Professor, August Vollmer (1876-1955), the founder of science-based policing.  As the first Police Chief of Berkeley (and later the LAPD), Vollmer became nationally known for hiring university graduates as constables, assigning police to patrol in automobiles, and installing a radio in a police car — as well as for his prolific writing about police reform.  He was appointed the first professor of police administration at the University of Chicago in 1929.  In 1932 he went on to hold the same post and founded the first School of Criminology at University of California at Berkeley.  In 1934 Vollmer was the first criminologist to receive a Public Welfare Medal awarded by the US National Academy of Sciences.  In 1941 he founded the American Society of Criminology (originally called the National Association of College Police Training Officials).

Professor Sherman has spent many years promoting Vollmer’s work in the development of American policing, and encourages anyone studying and / or teaching about policing and its leadership, to reflect on what Vollmer would do today. 

Professor Sherman's foreword to the most recent and comprehensive biography of Vollmer, written by Will Oliver at Sam Houston State, can be read here.