University of Pittsburgh

Pitt Law Professor David Harris to Testify Before U.S. Congress

Publish Date/Time: 
November 4, 2011

David Harris, a University of Pittsburgh professor of law, will testify at 10 a.m. Nov. 4 in a hearing before the U.S. House Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security. The hearing, titled “Twenty-first Century Law Enforcement: How Smart Policing Targets Criminal Behavior,” will take place in Room 2141 of the Rayburn House Office Building in Washington, D.C.


Harris, Distinguished Faculty Scholar and associate dean for research at Pitt, is among four experts on law enforcement from around the country to testify. Harris was invited to testify by Rep. John Conyers Jr. of Michigan, the ranking member of the House Committee on the Judiciary.


“For our police to do the best job they can, they have to be smart on crime, not just tough on crime,” Harris said. “Being smart means using intelligence, and that means cultivating strong relationships and real partnerships with the communities police serve, because the best source of intelligence is the members of the community.”


Author of Profiles in Injustice: Why Racial Profiling Cannot Work (The New Press, 2002), Harris also noted that practices like racial and ethnic profiling that break down these bonds must be discouraged. “Being smart means using all of your assets, and a supportive community is the most important asset police can have,” he said.


Profiles in Injustice led to federal efforts to address profiling and to legislation and voluntary efforts in more than half the states and hundreds of police departments. Harris also is the author of Good Cops: The Case for Preventive Policing (The New Press, 2005), which uses case studies from around the country to show that citizens need not trade liberty for safety: They can be safe from criminals and terrorists without sacrificing their civil rights if law enforcement uses strategies based on prevention.


Harris does professional training for law enforcement officers, judges, and attorneys throughout the nation and internationally and with public officials and citizens’ groups locally and nationally to improve police services and public safety.


To view the hearing notice, click here.    


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