The Center for Applied Community and Policy Research brings research, evaluation, and policy expertise to bear on the challenges facing America’s communities. From community wellness to violent crime, affiliated faculty study real-world problems and develop evidence-based solutions to help improve the delivery of government and related services.

The center is proud to partner with a diverse range of communities, including its hometown of San Antonio, as it works it to develop and evaluate policy solutions to urban problems.

Current Research Themes

  • Neighborhood safety
  • Violent crime
  • Racial equity in policing
  • Mental health and 911 response

City Partners

  • San Antonio
  • Dallas
  • Tacoma
  • Salt Lake City


  • Research design
  • Program evaluation
  • Quantitative and statistical methods
  • Survey methods
  • Interviewing and focus groups
  • Policy analysis
  • Legal analysis
Michael Smith, J.D., Ph.D.


Michael Smith, J.D., Ph.D.


Criminology and Criminal Justice

Meet the Director

Michael R. Smith is a Professor in the Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice and director of the Center for Applied Community and Policy Research at UTSA. He holds a J.D. from the University of South Carolina and a Ph.D. from Arizona State University. Dr. Smith is a former municipal and county police officer whose research interests involve the use of force, racial disparities in police-civilian contacts, and violent crime. He is currently the principal investigator on four violent crime reduction projects with communities and law enforcement agencies in Texas, Washington, and Utah. His work has been funded by the National Institute of Justice, the Department of Homeland Security, the Bureau of Justice Assistance, and a variety of state and local governments. He has published broadly at the intersection of law, public policy, and policing for more than 25 years.

Contact Us

  • Center for Applied Community
  • and Policy Research
    • The University of Texas at San Antonio
    • 501 W. César E. Chavez Blvd.
    • San Antonio, TX 78207