Teaching Introduction to Policing: A Letter from Author Kenneth J. Peak

Teaching Introduction to Policing: A Letter from Author Kenneth J. Peak

Greetings colleagues,

Upon beginning my teaching career as an adjunct instructor (and, later, as an assistant professor) in criminal justice, I remember well the great trepidation that accompanied these initial forays into higher education.

How do I prepare the course, including a syllabus and exams? Engage the students with lectures and exercises? Evaluate writing assignments? Use classroom technologies? Maintain departmental/university classroom and teaching policies?

I have enthusiastically authored a book titled Teaching Introduction to Policing that addresses all of these questions. I feel strongly that this comprehensive, inexpensive, utilitarian book could benefit new adjunct instructors, assistant professors, and graduate teaching assistants, as well as tenured instructors that want to better engage students and discover new ways to approach the teaching of criminal justice courses.

The book’s topics include practical advice for designing a course that will meet both the instructor’s needs and those of their students, setting the tone on the first day of class, and determining effective student learning outcomes. There are discussions of diverse teaching and learning methods (including adult-based, problem-centered learning, the lecture approach, instructing large classes, and using case studies and exercises), as well as some ideas for instructing students on the history of policing, the nature of patrol, criminal investigations, the rule of law, police accountability, civil liability, various local and national policing agencies, and contemporary issues in the field. The book concludes with discussions of how to integrate technology in the classroom and accurately assess student learning, and the positive and negative aspects of teaching introductory policing courses.

Although this book is devoted to teaching the introductory policing course, it has many applications to other criminal justice courses as well.

Thanks for your attention to this matter.


Ken Peak, Professor Emeritus
University of Nevada, Reno
Department of Criminal Justice


To learn more about Teaching Introduction to Policing by Kenneth J. Peak, visit its title page in the Cognella Title Catalog.

Purchase the text before June 30, 2018, and enjoy a $10 discount on either print or digital formats! Simply use the code PEAK10OFF during checkout.