Date of Award

January 2020

Degree Type

Open Access Thesis

Document Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Justice Studies

First Advisor

Kristie R. Blevins

Department Affiliation

Justice Studies

Second Advisor

William McClanahan

Department Affiliation

Justice Studies

Third Advisor

Kevin I. Minor

Department Affiliation

Justice Studies


Previous research has shown that police presence, which involves visibility of law enforcement personnel, is often related to perceptions of individual safety and individual behavior. The purpose of this study was to explore perceptions of college students and campus law enforcement regarding visibility of and citizen/police interaction on Eastern Kentucky University’s campus. The first phase of this project was designed to measure student awareness and visibility of “ghosted” police vehicles, which are black with matte black markings on the doors and have few easily visible indicators of law enforcement vehicles, versus other police types of police vehicles on campus. The second phase of the study involved measuring the police perception of safety on campus while using the ghosted vehicles. Survey and interview data were analyzed to explore whether the use of ghosted law enforcement vehicles impact perceptions of safety and crime detection. Potential policy implications concerning the use of ghosted vehicles are discussed.