Faculty Spotlight: Roberto Santos
Former police commander Roberto Santos joined the Radford University Department of Criminal Justice in August.
Santos has 22 years of policing and four years of experience as a U.S. Marine under his belt, something that Radford took into account when hiring him.
“I am grateful that Radford values my applied research and practical experience,” said Santos. “I chose Radford for my ‘second career’ because it is a university that values students and research, builds relationships with communities and focuses on preparing students for successful careers after graduation.
“The Criminal Justice department provides the opportunity to teach and mentor current and future criminal justice professionals, as well as collaborate with other faculty to continue my work conducting applied research and evaluation of criminal justice organizations,” Santos said.
Roberto Santos made the transition to Radford University with his wife, Rachel Santos, who also teaches in the Criminal Justice Department.
“Once we came to Radford for our interviews and spent time with everyone, from the Criminal Justice faculty and students, to Dean Katherine Hawkins and the other university faculty, we were ‘hooked,’” Roberto Santos said. “We were honored that Radford University agreed that we were both a good fit.”
Over the last decade, Roberto and Rachel Santos have worked with leaders of police agencies from around the U.S. and co-created Stratified Policing, which is an organizational framework in which each rank of a police organization is engaged in the implementation of evidence-based strategies and is held accountable for doing so. They have also developed a “comprehensive methodology for tailoring Stratified Policing for all-sized agencies.”
“An important part of the research and development of Stratified Policing was my testing the implementation of the structure and making adjustments based on real world application,” Roberto Santos said. “My practical and research experience has given me the ability to effectively assist police agencies in implementing and evaluating their crime reduction, use of force, community engagement and training practices.”
Santos is also looking forward to using his practical experience to guide what he teaches in the classroom.
“My experience in policing and as a Marine allows me to not only discuss criminal justice issues from a theoretical perspective, but also from a practical perspective,” Santos said. “It allows me to translate concepts that are often abstract and complicated into real world examples that students can relate to both in their own lives and as future criminal justice professionals.”