Jessica Gillooly, PhD

Assistant Professor, Sociology & Criminal Justice

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Jessica Gillooly joined the Sociology & Criminal Justice Department at Suffolk University in Fall 2021. Before transitioning to Suffolk, she was a postdoctoral research fellow at the Policing Project at NYU School of Law. Dr. Gillooly’s research portfolio focuses on 911 dispatch, policing, organizations, and race. Central to this work is a large multi-method project about dispatch centers and the role the 911 system plays in the criminal justice system. Using a mix of quantitative, qualitative, and conversation analytic methods, she examines the process through which caller requests become police responses. One thread of her research examines the function of the 911 call-taker in mediating caller requests, and their impact on policing in the field. Another thread explores the public’s reliance on 911 and identifies potential organizational policy reforms aimed at rethinking the current dispatch-and-response system.

Research/Fields of Interest

  • Policing
  • Dispatch
  • Organizations
  • Racial disparities
  • Public policy
  • Public sociology

Selected Publications

Gillooly, Jessica. (2022, June 4). “Why 911 dispatch is critical to the Uvalde shooting investigation.” The Hill. 

Gillooly, Jessica. (2022, January 7). “The First Lesson of Fielding 911 Calls: Don't be an alarmist.” The Los Angeles Times A-11.

Gillooly, Jessica. (2021). “Lights and Sirens: Variation in 911 Call-Taker Risk Appraisal and Its Effects on Police Officer Perceptions at the Scene.” Journal of Policy Analysis and Management (JPAM).

Gillooly, Jessica. (2020). “How 911 Callers and Call-Takers Impact Police Encounters with the Public: The Case of the Henry Louis Gates Jr. Arrest.” Criminology and Public Policy.

Gillooly, Jessica. (2020, July 27). The Missing Link in Police Reform: 911 Call-Takers. The Crime Report.

Gillooly, Jessica. (2018, May 27). 911 operators need better training, too. The Washington Post, p. A19.


  • Co-Principal Investigator. (2020-2022). “Reimagining Dispatch and Transforming First Response.” Microsoft Grant.
  • Honorable Mention 2020 ProQuest Dissertation Award.
  • Rackham Predoctoral Fellowship, 2019
  • NICHD Population Studies Training Grant, 2014, 2015, 2017

Professional Activity/Presentations and Posters

  • (2021 – Present). 911 subject matter expert, US Department of Justice Civil Rights Division.
  • (2021). “The Organizational Construction of Discretion Inside Dispatch.” Presented at the 2021 Annual Conference for the American Society of Criminology.
  • (2021). When the Call Comes In: Summary of Current State of ECCs/Police Dispatch and their Potential Role in Reducing the Criminal Justice Footprint.” MIT Unbundle Policing Challenge. Virtual workshop hosted by Stand Together Ventures Lab and MIT Solve. (2021). Virtual Summit on College & University Policing. Presentation hosted by the Racial Equity and Justice Institute and the ACLU of Massachusetts.
  • (2021). Rescuing 911: Opportunities for Reform in Police Dispatch. Virtual Panel hosted by the Quattrone Center at the University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School.
  • (2020). Reimagining the Role of Police Stops in Public Safety: A Workshop Series on Reducing Harm through Research, Policy, and Practice. Virtual Panel hosted by Georgetown University Law Center, Howard University, and The Lab @ DC.
  • (2019). “911, Is This an Emergency?” Policing Colloquium: The Cutting Edge of Public Safety, NYU.
  • (2019). “911, What is your prejudice?”: Racial bias and call-driven policing. Panel on Policing and 911, Ford School of Public Policy, University of Michigan.

Courses Taught at Suffolk

  • Police and Society
  • Introduction to Criminal Justice
  • Theories of Crime


PhD, University of Michigan 

MPP, University of Chicago

BA, Brown University

Portrait of Jessica Gillooly.

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Courses Taught

  • CJU-207-A Police and Society