An ASU professor is helping the Montgomery Police Department work to reduce violence in Alabama’s capital city.
Dr. Earnest Blackshear, assistant professor of psychology and director of the ASU Community Violence Research Laboratory, has been appointed chairman of the Montgomery Police Department’s (MPD) newly formed Montgomery Task Force on Community Violence.
The task force will address what statistics show is the leading cause of death among black males in Alabama and in the nation — homicide by a firearm at the hands of another black male.
Blackshear, who is a clinical psychologist, said he was handpicked by Montgomery Mayor Todd Strange and MPD Chief Kevin Murphy to head the task force.
“I did a segment on ASU’s WVAS-FM’s 90.7 ‘Perspectives’ program where I discussed black-on-black violence. Word got back to the mayor, and he called a meeting with me and ASU’s director of Public Safety,” Blackshear said.
After developing a full presentation on black-on-black violence for the MPD, Blackshear said he then was selected as a consultant and chair of the new task force.
Murphy said Blackshear was an ideal choice to lead the task force because of his academic and real-life experience.
“I receive a lot of proposals for programs and initiatives … Dr. Blackshear’s methodology and the way he constructed his study and application to real-world problems of violent crimes was the best I’ve ever seen,” Murphy said. “He has real-world experience; he’s been in the field; he really gets it.”