Few American cops go to Cambridge--but that renowned bastion of British learning is exactly where Cmdr. Ross E. Swope of the Metropolitan Police Department in Washington and a 1997 graduate of the Police Executive Leadership Program in the School of Professional Studies in Business and Education --will be headed this fall, thanks to a rare Fulbright Fellowship.
Swope is a much-decorated, 26-year veteran of the Washington police force who obtained a master of science in applied behavioral science following two years of study in PELP. "I went into that program with a bachelor's degree from one university and a master's degree from another, but experiencing two years at Hopkins was the driving force that opened the door for me to consider seeking a Fulbright Fellowship," Swope says.
Swope will spend three to six months researching "fear of crime and quality of life, and how police in the United Kingdom are dealing with these issues." He will be affiliated with Cambridge's Institute of Criminology and is one of only two American policemen to win the prestigious fellowship.
"He is the most published of all of our students," says Sheldon Greenberg, director of PELP, citing more than a dozen articles Swope has written for publications such as The Police Chief, Law Enforcement News and La Tribune du Commissaire de Police in France. "All the instructors had incredible admiration for him, as did his colleagues."
Swope is fourth in command at the D.C. Police Department and in 1996 won the Medal of Valor and Medal of Merit for grabbing a would-be suicide who was straddling the rail on the Sousa Bridge over the Anacostia River, preventing him from jumping. His commands have included the downtown business district, residential neighborhoods, low-income and public housing, and small business communities. He developed and implemented a joint Federal Bureau of Investigation-Metropolitan Police Department Warrant Squad to capture violent offenders--a program that became a model the FBI used to develop similar units in more than 100 cities nationwide.
From what he calls "a practitioner's viewpoint" as a veteran policeman, Swope singles out Greenberg and SPSBE dean Stanley Gabor for their creation of PELP. "I can't praise them enough for the quality of that program."