David Ridgway


David Ridgway

Office: PSA 318
Phone: 215.895.0482

Curriculum Vitae: Download PDF


  • MS, Sociology, Criminal Justice, St. Joseph's University, 1991

Research and Teaching Interests

  • The correlations between poverty and public welfare, especially theories of the perpetuation of poverty
  • Courses in police practice and police procedure
  • Sociology of crime


I entered the Philadelphia police academy on November 12, 1969 and was assigned as one of the first mounted patrol officers when then mayor Frank Rizzo re-created the mounted patrol in 1972. I was assigned a particularly important beat on Chestnut Street which covered Independence Hall National Park at 5th Street and went on to Broad Street. Police patrol on a horse.  Nothing better!

On December 23, 1974 I was promoted to corporal, and with the promotion, I lost my horse.  It was a bitter sweet day for me.  But after two more years, I was made a detective.  "Soft clothes", unmarked cars.  I loved the work, and stayed a detective for 18 years, having such assignments as East, Northeast, and Southwest divisions, Major Crimes and Homicide, assigned to cold cases.

While holding these positions in the department I completed my bachelors and masters degrees part-time over many years. My teaching career began in 1993 at Community College of Philadelphia, where I taught sociology and criminal justice part-time.  In 1995 I was hired as an adjunct professor at Allentown College of St. Francis DeSales (DeSales University).  I upgraded their undergraduate criminal justice degree with new courses in spousal abuse, family abuse, and terrorism.  In 2003, I worked with Dr. Julia Hall to create Drexel’s major in Criminal Justice.

Last year I was asked to become a faculty fellow of the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity and immediately agreed.  The brothers asked me to guide them in their fraternity requirements to have a sound mind and body. Since my association with Sig Ep, their national chapter authorities have declared our chapter a residential learning community through my leadership.  This is a huge honor and the brothers are commended for all their academic effort and hard work. If fraternity life interests you, please come see me.

I'm at Drexel now for 11 years.  The students and faculty as well as the support staff are the best in the world and this place is a good home for us all.  Here you're respected and honored for your accomplishments, and helped and supported through bad times.