Office: 109 Gries Hall
I grew up in Sarasota, Fla. and eventually went to the University of Florida to begin the Pre-Med program. During the second semester, I took a criminal justice course as an elective which completely changed my career path. I graduated from UF with a degree in criminal justice in 1987 and immediately joined the Venice Police Department where I worked as a patrol officer, K9 handler, and law enforcement trainer.
Following a line-of-duty injury and subsequent medical retirement in 1999, I decided to go back to college and enrolled in the master of public administration program at Florida Gulf Coast University followed by the doctoral program in Public Affairs at the University of Central Florida.
In 2003, I accepted a faculty position at Florida Gulf Coast University where I was able to create the Weapons and Equipment Research Institute through a series of sizable federal grants. This institute was tasked with the testing and evaluation of law enforcement and corrections equipment or technology. However, its primary function was to evaluate the less lethal weapons currently in the law enforcement marketplace such as: batons, chemical agents, flash bangs, electric weapons, chemical munitions, impact munitions and compressed air weapons.
After promotion to full professor in 2013, I started researching university programs around the country that incorporated the police academy into its curriculum. From the moment that I discovered the criminal justice program at Northern, I knew that this was a university that I would like to join. A very short time later (about a week), the advertisement for department head appeared on the website and I immediately applied and was selected for the position.
My research interests are use of force, less lethal weapons and the utilization of police dogs in the law enforcement function. I have three large German shepherds (two are descendants of my first police dog) and I am looking forward to seeing how well Florida dogs react to winter snow. My wife Jennifer James-Mesloh was just hired at Northern as an assistant professor and coordinator of the master of public administration program and my ten-year-old son Perry starts middle school this year.