Wolfgang Pindur

In 1984 a Newport News city official called Wolfgang Pindur, professor of urban studies and public administration, “Mr. Police in Tidewater.” That might have been an understatement.

Pindur, who came to Old Dominion in 1974 and died suddenly at age 56 in 2001, actively helped local police departments in many ways, including consulting on the hiring of new chiefs and evaluating programs and departments. A 1978 study in Portsmouth documented, for example, that police responded more quickly to complaints from whites than from blacks.

He headed many national studies of juvenile-justice programs across the country and wrote more than 100 reports, articles and books on the effectiveness of widespread juvenile programs.

Pindur was national field manager for a five-city program designed to help police identify and arrest juvenile drug users, who are responsible for a large percentage of juvenile crime. His research was partly funded by more than 60 grants from local, state and federal agencies.

No distant theorist, Pindur often rode with police on their patrols. He felt compassion not just for juveniles but for their victims and for the officers who tried to enforce laws that sometimes returned juveniles to the streets faster than the officers could complete the paperwork.

Quest Fall 2005 • Volume 8 Issue 2