SPEA graduate follows father’s passion for keeping the public safe

Following in a father’s footsteps usually means inheriting the family business. But for father Scott Teal and daughter Sydney Teal, it means sharing a passion for keeping the public safe. They both followed their passion to the School of Public and Environmental Affairs (SPEA) at IUPUI.

Sydney Teal
Sydney Teal

Even in high school, Sydney knew she didn’t want to work the typical 9-to-5 corporate job. She spent her free time volunteering for the Special Olympics and teaching children with disabilities how to play soccer. Sydney wanted to work in a field where she could help people in her community.

Sydney was inspired in part by her father’s career. Scott earned his Master of Public Affairs with a concentration in Criminal Justice from SPEA at IUPUI in 1996. He is a senior special agent and violent crimes coordinator at the Lexington, Kentucky, office of the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. While he was studying at SPEA, Scott taught criminal justice classes part-time and interned with the Indianapolis Public Safety Director’s Office. (more…)

SPEA study shows tax on plug-in vehicles is not answer to road-funding woes

Given declining revenues from gasoline and diesel fuel taxes and the need for new ways of funding road infrastructure, state and federal policymakers are considering or have enacted annual registration fees for plug-in vehicles. In a paper to be published in the August issue of Energy Policy, SPEA researchers say that approach is misguided.

Jerome Dumortier
Jerome Dumortier

According to the paper, the registration fees already adopted by at least eight states reflect concerns about how the growing number of electric vehicles may affect road infrastructure funding. Electric vehicles do not contribute through fuel taxes to road construction and maintenance.

Those concerns are reflected by a Washington state legislator who is quoted as saying, “electric cars will be driving on the highway right along with all the other cars … we believe they should be paying their fair share.” (more…)

Indiana State Police veteran funds largest endowed scholarship in history of SPEA at IUPUI

A 29-year veteran of the Indiana State Police has committed to fund the largest endowed scholarship in the history of the School of Public and Environmental Affairs at IUPUI.

Marv Smalley

Marv Smalley, a 1980 SPEA graduate, made the commitment through a bequest that will fund two renewable full-tuition scholarships in perpetuity. The Marv Smalley Indiana State Police Scholarship Fund will support one scholarship, while the second will be funded through the Bicentennial Campaign matching gift program. (more…)

Large reductions in prison population can be made without endangering public safety, SPEA study says

A paper published in the journal Criminology & Public Policy addresses one of the most important crime policy questions in America: Can prison populations be reduced without endangering the public?

Jody Sundt
Jody Sundt

That question was examined by researchers who tested the impact on public safety of California’s dramatic efforts to comply with court-mandated targets to reduce prison overcrowding

The results showed that California’s Realignment Act, passed in 2011, had no effect on aggregate violent or property crime rates in 2012, 2013 or 2014. When crime types were disaggregated, a moderately large, statistically significant association between realignment and auto theft rates was observed in 2012. By 2014, however, this effect had decayed, and auto theft rates returned to pre-realignment levels. (more…)

IU Public Policy Institute names Kathy Koehler as interim director

The IU Public Policy Institute today named Kathy Koehler as its interim director. Koehler will succeed Mark Lawrance, who stepped down last month after leading the successful Thriving Communities, Thriving State project.

Kathy Koehler
Kathy Koehler

Koehler, who earned her Master of Public Affairs from the School of Public and Environmental Affairs (SPEA) at IUPUI, begins her new role in early May.

“Kathy has spent her entire career helping state government, nonprofit, and education sectors evaluate what is needed to achieve their goals,” said SPEA Dean John D. Graham. “She brings a great appreciation of the Institute’s research and knows how to pull the right people together to support the organization’s resources and key initiatives.” (more…)