Natalie Hipple

Department of Criminal Justice IU Bloomington

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Areas of Expertise

Gun violence, nonfatal shootings, police problem-solving, evaluations of criminal justice programs.

Expert Bio

Natalie Kroovand Hipple, associate professor of criminal justice at Indiana University Bloomington, is an expert on gun violence, problem-solving policing, incident reviews, restorative justice and evaluation of criminal justice programs.

She is a subject matter expert for the Bureau of Justice Assistance’s Strategies for Policing Innovation initiative and is the principal investigator for a national evaluation of the Innovations in Community Based Crime Reduction/Byrne Criminal Justice Innovation program. She has published numerous articles and reports most recently appearing in The Journal of Crime and Justice, Policing and Society, and Violence and Victims.

Expert Videos

Natalie Hipple IU Experts Database video transcript [Words appear: What is your area of expertise?] [Video: Natalie Hipple, associate professor of criminal justice at Indiana University, is interviewed on camera] [Hipple speaks: I have a couple main areas of interest. My first is gun violence. Gun violence is a large umbrella, so within that I'm specifically focusing on non-fatal shootings. Those are instances where someone is actually shot and survived. Non-fatal shootings happen at a rate so much higher than homicides, and I think they really can be used to help inform policy and practice with police departments. If they were to include all the information they can gather around non-fatal shootings along with their homicides, they could help try and move that needle and reduce some gun violence in their jurisdiction. The other area I really like to concentrate on is police problem solving. So how do police departments solve problems that may or may not be criminal issues to begin with? For example, homelessness.] [Words appear: What are your achievements in this area?] [Video: Natalie Hipple is interviewed on camera] [Hipple speaks: Some of the work I'm really proud of that I've been doing recently has been around non-fatal shootings. What people don't understand is that there is no national definition of a non-fatal shooting, so some jurisdictions might say that shooting a gun and not hitting anybody is a non-fatal shooting. And it is, no-one's been killed. However, those are really hard to measure because generally community members don't always call the police when someone just fires a gun into the air. And then in another jurisdiction they may actually want to make sure that the firearm was pointed at someone and fired. So there's really a lack of a way to compare across cities, where cities are compared all the time on their homicide rates. It's easy to compare large jurisdictions to small jurisdictions because you're using that rate. There's nothing you can do with that for non-fatal shootings. So over the last year or two I've spent a lot of time thinking that through and have put forth a definition of a non-fatal shooting that I would encourage jurisdictions to use.] [Words appear: What do regard as the top issues in this area?] [Video: Natalie Hipple is interviewed on camera] [Hipple speaks: I think it's a difficult time for police departments all across the country. They're having trouble recruiting, they're having trouble retaining officers. Generally speaking, most police departments are running under-staffed, under what they're fully funded to have -- the number of bodies, the number of officers they're fully funded to have, they're running below that -- and there's a lot of reason for that. And one of them I think is just the climate surrounding policing. And a lot of that has to do with relationships with the community. So I think police departments and police agencies, law enforcement agencies, really have to work hard to repair some of these really damaged relationships. Some of my work is focused on victim cooperativeness as it relates to non-fatal shootings. And you think that someone has been shot, why wouldn't they participate in the prosecution of their case and the investigation of their case by the police department? But my work has shown, in Indianapolis, upwards of 50 percent of victims that are shot and survive don't want to talk to the police for various reasons. And that's one of the things we still need to look at is why some of these folks are unwilling to participate in the investigation of their case. But we can't affect violence, we can't change violence or reduce violence without the help of the community.] [Words appear: What could policymakers do to address these issues?] [Video: Natalie Hipple is interviewed on camera] [Hipple speaks: So policing policy historically has not been based on data. So to help improve policing policy, I think policy makers really need to be pushed to be informed by data. I think getting police departments to partner with capable researchers to help inform their policy in their day-to-day operations as well as larger-scale city policy or jurisdictional policy or state policy is so important.] [Video: The Indiana University trident appears] [Words appear: Indiana University] [Words appear:]
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Additional Information

The Washington Post, "The way cities report gun violence is all wrong":

National Resource and Technical Assistance Center for Improving Law Enforcement Investigations, "Nonfatal Shooting Primer":

National Police Foundation: "5 things you need to know about nonfatal shootings":

Updated on: September 9, 2019