College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences > Academics > Criminology > Faculty > rhonda-delong

Rhonda K. DeLong

Dr. DeLong earned her Doctorate, Master’s, and Bachelor’s degrees from Western Michigan University in Sociology and Criminology. She earned her Associate’s degree from Kalamazoo Valley Community College in Law Enforcement, and began her career as a police officer in the city of Marshall, Michigan. Dr. DeLong has served as a certified police officer since 1985 and brings her experience into the classroom. She currently serves as a part-time officer with the Village of Decatur, Michigan police department.

Much of her research has focused on issues of police selection and training, and the philosophy of community policing. More recently, her research has focused on the rehabilitation of offenders through the introduction of canines into the correctional facility. In 2017 she contacted Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart regarding the creation of a canine program at the jail. Sheriff Dart accepted the idea; and after much research into canine programs, she created the name “Tails of Redemption,” and the program was launched. The name references redemption for the detainees as well as that for the shelter dogs, who reside at Chicago Animal Care and Control. The detainees and canines live together for 8-12 weeks in a selected area of the jail, where the dogs are trained in basic obedience, and the detainees receive unconditional love from their canine companions.

Dr. DeLong recently published a manual with Kendall Hunt publishing entitled, “Police, Courts, and Corrections. Problem-Solving Exercises for Students and Practitioners.” She has also presented at various conferences, published book chapters and articles on community policing, along with her community outreach to help change the image of the police in America. She began her full-time teaching career in Criminal Justice at Indiana University South Bend. Dr. DeLong taught at Ferris State University, where she was granted tenure. Her teaching assignments also included Siena Heights and Governor’s State University, and part-time instructor in Sociology at Kalamazoo Valley Community College and Western Michigan University.

Dr. DeLong has served as a substance abuse educator for public health and presented programming in the county jail and school systems in Van Buren County, Michigan. During her time with public health, she worked with juvenile offenders who were placed on consent probation, providing them with positive intervention to be able to move forward.

She is involved in the rescue and rehabilitation of dogs and currently has eight rescue dog companions. Her interests include animal welfare, photography, kayaking, bicycling, weight training, football, and watching “Blue Bloods” and “Chicago P.D.”​