Dr. Vance McLaughlin

Dr. Vance McLaughlin joined the JSU Criminal Justice Department in summer 2006, having previously taught at the University of North Carolina at Pembroke from 2003 to 2006 in their Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice. He served as Director of Training and then as Director of Planning for the Savannah Police Department between 1987 and 2003.

Dr. McLaughlin taught at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte from 1981-1987, and served as a police officer for the Sarasota Police Department from 1974-1975.

Dr. McLaughlin received his BS in Finance from Pennsylvania State University in 1971. He earned his MS in Criminology in 1977 from Florida State University, and his Ph.D. in Criminal Justice Planning from Pennsylvania State University in 1984.

 Areas of Interest

Dr. McLaughlin's areas of interest include police personnel issues and the use of force, mass legal executions, and homicide. He has testified as an expert witness in subject control by state, federal and military courts. In 2004, he evaluated all subject control training and policies for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives.

Selected Publications

He has published two books one of which. "J. Frank Hickey: The Postcard Serial Killer," tells the true story of America's first profiled serial killer, John Frank Hickey, and his eventual capture. In addition, Dr. McLaughlin is extensively published with over 30 professional publications. He is a recognized expert on police use-of-force policy and on homicide studies.

Additional Research 


Jacksonville State University 

Department of Criminal Justice
129 Brewer Hall
(256) 782-5483