Dr. Bakhitah Abdul-Ra'uf

Associate Professor of Criminal Justice, Study Abroad Program Faculty Director, & Faculty Associate, Center for Police Practice, Policy and Research

  • Ph.D., University of South Florida
  • M.A., Antioch University
  • B.S., Cheyney State University

Dr. Abdul-Ra'uf joined the Radford University faculty in 1993.


Office: CHBS Building, Room 5027
Phone: 540-831-6338
Email: bbabdulr@radford.edu

Dr. Abdul-Ra'uf


Dr. Bakhitah Abdul-Ra’uf is a Socio-Cultural and Applied Anthropologist, and Associate Professor of Criminal Justice. She holds a Ph.D. from the University of South Florida. Her research interest includes Police-Community Relations, Social Justice Mediation (training certificate, U of Mass, Amherst), Shari’a (Islamic Law) and Comparative Criminal Justice Systems. She has worked with the police in Virginia and Florida where she conducted ethnographic studies. The Florida study included attending the police academy as a full participant observer. She has also observed the Auckland New Zealand Police while living with a Maori (indigenous population) family. Dr. Abdul-Ra’uf has observed both the Finnish Police in Joensuu, Finland, and students/recruits at the Police College of Finland in Tampere, Finland. While at the Police College of Finland, she presented research that she conducted with the Blacksburg, VA Police Department. Graduate courses taught include, Social Awareness, Qualitative Research Methods and a number of seminars including, Understanding Police Organizations.

Recent Professional Activities

Dr. Abdul-Ra’uf recently authored The Blacksburg VA Police Department: A Model of Professionalism and Social Justice in the Law Enforcement Executive Forum Journal.  This publication is based on her most recent ethnographic research project which focused on police subculture, emphasizing the socially defined role of the police in Blacksburg, VA. The research also examined the training and socialization process which conceptualizes the life style or role of the police officer from their points of view, their definitions of reality, and the conditions that promote favorable relations within the community. The significance of the study was to focus on street level or patrol officers, and resided in efforts to identify Social Justice issues that create and nurture favorable relations between the police and communities in general.  The goal of the project was to describe, using an ethnographic approach, the police occupational subculture as it relates to current police training and practices, the relationship between the police and the community, and a comparison of practices relating to police-community practices between Blacksburg Police (small college town) practices and that of a previous ethnography conducted by Dr. Abdul-Ra’uf of the police in a mid-size city. Having gone through a police academy in Florida as a recruit, Dr. Abdul-Ra’uf was accepted not just as a ride along and observer, but as someone who could relate to the general subculture of the police.  Dr. Abdul-Ra’uf continues her relationship with the Blacksburg Police Department as she and Sgt. Kale Craver are currently examining municipal and police leadership.  Additional information about professional activities is available on Dr. Abdul-Ra'uf's vita.