David Bayley: Another Giant Laid to Rest

I received the following from Maurice Punch, another of the “giants” who have conducted significant research and written about police for purposes of their improvement.

Professor David Bayley

“David Bayley was a pioneer – and later a stalwart – of policing studies along with Goldstein, Skolnick, Bittner, Reiss and, in the UK, Banton. In the 1960s US policing was widely a problem profession – with violence, corruption and discrimination – leading to the influential President`s Commission and later the innovative work of the Police Foundation.

“David was exceptional among early police researchers attending to those issues – mostly myopically fixated on their own society – in his  comparative studies of policing and governance in India and Japan: and he went on to make a highly significant and lasting contribution to our field in many ways. I met him in the late 1970s and invited him to a policing conference in the Netherlands in 1980: after that we met occasionally and I was on the programme with him a few years back at a conference in Sweden.

“He always came across as one of those gracious people who seem to fill multiple roles effortlessly and are “gentle” in their demeanour – rather like Herman Goldstein – yet demanding simply by example. David was industrious and highly productive; he took his administrative duties seriously; and he was most supportive of his students and staff. Doubtless cohorts of graduate students were eternally grateful for his sage tutelage and constant encouragement.

“That early generation comprised primarily white males but there was early on Maureen Cain, Mary Ann Wycoff and Susan Ehrlich Martin followed later by many colleagues of diverse ethnicity and gender who have enriched our field. David was alert to that and also remained intellectually curious and willing to convey his knowledge and experience at home and abroad. At that conference in Sweden in 2014 his presentation was crystal  clear, wide ranging and much appreciated by the Nordic audience: it was delivered with a freshness as if he was still early in his career and eager to impress.

“Those pioneering police researchers who form the bedrock of our field have mostly enjoyed longevity but that generation is inevitably beginning to pass away with David, Herman Goldstein and George Kelling leaving us within the last 12 months. David, Herman and George will be sorely missed by many.”  — Maurice Punch, Senior Visiting Fellow, Mannheim Centre, Department of Social Policy, London School of Economics (m.punch@lse.ac.uk

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Obituary: David H. Bayley

On May 10, 2020 David Bayley’s life came full circle: he died near Granville close to where he was born 87 years earlier.

David earned his PhD in political science at Princeton University.  He was professor of criminal justice first at University of Denver and then at the State University of New York at Albany where he was the Dean of the School of Criminal Justice and a Distinguished Emeritus Professor who was highly respected for his superlative teaching and mentoring.  He was the author of eighteen well-regarded scholarly books and many journal articles.  His academic work became the practical foundation for promoting fair and democratic policing.  He was also involved in creating new policing policies in the aftermath of political conflict in Bosnia and Northern Ireland.  His passion was creating policing policies that relied on building community ties and minimizing coercion.  He received international honors for his decades of contribution to the field, including the Order of the Rising Sun, Golden Rays with Neck Ribbon from the government of Japan.