Corporal John Wagstaff, Jr.


Corporal John “Jack” Wagstaff Jr. is currently assigned to the Special Victims Unit in the Durham Police Department’s (NC) Criminal Investigations Division. Prior to investigations, Wagstaff was a patrol officer and supervisor in the Uniform Patrol Bureau, where he served on multiple specialty teams, including the Crisis Intervention Team (CIT), Patrol Sharpshooters, Mobile Field Force, and Honor Guard. Since joining the DPD in 2015, he has been recognized as the Officer of the Month on four occasions and was awarded both Officer of the Year and Crisis Intervention Officer of the Year in 2018. In 2020, Wagstaff earned his Advanced Law Enforcement Certificate from the North Carolina Criminal Justice Training and Standards Commission.

Corporal Wagstaff is a staunch purveyor of knowledge in policing and has helped translate research into practice in a variety of capacities. Most recently, he formulated a campus-community coalition that employed an environmental management approach to reduce the consequences of disruptive, off-campus college partying. Wagstaff’s appetite for research grew from an undergraduate internship with the Charleston Police Department (SC) where he helped establish a Family Violence Unit built on evidence-based practices designed to minimize trauma, improve victim receptiveness to follow-up services, and appraise risk for clinician-investigator paired follow-up under the Childhood Development-Community Policing model. This experience led him to later recommend policy/protocol uplifts and forge new partnerships to improve the Durham Police Department’s response to intimate partner violence. At the request of clinical partners at Duke’s Center of Child and Family Health, Wagstaff helped identify system-level barriers to a collaborative response to domestic violence among stakeholder organizations and plan realistic, multi-agency training for first responders under the Durham Integrated Domestic Violence System grant.

Corporal Wagstaff holds a B.S. in Business Administration and a B.A. in Spanish from the College of Charleston, as well as a M.S. in Criminal Justice-Public Administration from Liberty University. The focus of his graduate research was engendering a climate for evidence-based policing through organizational design. He has co-authored research on the relationship between citizen oversight and procedural justice in policing, which was published in the American Journal of Criminal Justice. Other research interests include police accountability, leadership, and organizational change.