Bryan Vila, PhD

WSU Spokane
P.O. Box 1495
Spokane, WA  99210-1495

Telephone: 509.358.7711

Curriculum Vita (pdf)


Micronesian Blues: The Adventures of an American Cop in Paradise  
Read "The Spokesman
Review" 30 Nov, 2009
article here. (pdf)
The Role of Police in American Society: A Documentary History (Primary Documents in American History & Contemporary Issues) by Bryan Vila    

Capital Punishment in the United States: A Documentary History    

Bryan Vila, PhD

Professor of Criminal Justice and Criminology
Director, Simulated Hazardous Operational Tasks Laboratory, Sleep & Performance Research Center


Bryan Vila, Ph.D., is a professor of criminal justice and criminology at WSU Spokane. Prior to joining WSU in July 2005, he directed the Division of Crime Control and Prevention Research at the U.S. Department of Justice's National Institute of Justice. Dr. Vila has served as Principal Investigator or Co-Principal Investigator on $7.6 million in externally funded research projects. He has brought eight grants/contracts totaling $5.5 million to WSU in the past six years. Dr. Vila received his Ph.D. in Ecology from the University of California, Davis in 1990.

He has held tenured faculty positions at the University of California, Irvine and the University of Wyoming. He was honored with the College of Liberal Arts Outstanding Career Achievement in Scholarship Award for 2012 for his research on the impact of fatigue and stress on police performance, his publication record, and his successful grantsmanship.

Before he became an academic, Dr. Vila served as a law enforcement officer for 17 years—including nine years as a street cop and supervisor with the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, six years as a police chief helping the emerging nations of Micronesia develop innovative law enforcement strategies, and two years in Washington, D.C., as a federal law enforcement officer.

Dr. Vila teaches courses on criminology theory, research methods, policing, crime control, human ecology, justice and human performance, and capital punishment.

Research Spotlight

Read "Distracted Emergency Drivers Cause Crashes", (NBC Bay Area, 13 Dec, 2012 article)

View more videos at:

See Dr. Vila's presentation on fatigue and critical job task performance.

Learn more about WSU's ground-breaking research on sleep and human performance.


Upcoming Talks

June 4th, 2013, “Interactions Between Police Officer Deadly Force Judgment and Decision Making, Work Shift and Fatigue.” SLEEP 2013, Baltimore, M.D.

June 14, 2013, “Fatigue Management.” Oregon Institute of Occupational Health Sciences (nee CROET) Symposium on Sleep and Shift Work: Impact on Health, Safety and Productivity, Oregon Health and Science University, Portland, Ore.

September 24, 2013, “Police Shootings of Unarmed Suspects: Understanding the Limits of Human Performance.” National Association for Civilian Oversight of Law Enforcement, 19th Annual Conference, Salt Lake City, Ut.

Recent Invited Talks

April 22, 2013, “Tired Cops: Balancing Social and Workplace Justice.” Cardiff University Research Seminar, Cardiff, Wales.

April 17, 2013, “Tired Cops Research: Results from High-Fidelity Simulations of Hazardous Operational Tasks.” University of Surrey Research Seminar, Guildford, U.K.

April 15 & 18, 2013, “Police Long Working Hours in the United States: Consequences and Interventions.” Time for Justice Workshop on Long Hours Causes, Consequences and Alternatives Police Federation of England and Wales, Leatherhead, England.

April 10, 2013, “Tired Cops: What Research Tells Us about Managing Fatigue.” Police Officers’ Research Association of California, Annual Symposium (plenary workshop), Reno, N.V.

March 16, 2013, “Tired Cops & Sleep Deprivation: New Research Findings on the Impact of Fatigue and Sleep Loss on Police Officers.” Pacific Northwest Sleep Association, Biannual Training Conference (plenary workshop), Stevenson, Wash.

February 4, 2013, “Resilience and Fatigue: Research-Based Traction for Action.” USDOJ/OJP and Major Cities Chiefs of Police National Officer Safety and Wellness Group Meeting: Psychological Health, Washington, D.C.

Research in Progress

Developing a Common Metric for Evaluating Police Performance in Deadly Force Situations (NIJ, 2008)

BCOPS Stress and Subclinical Cardio-Metabolic Disease in Police: A Longitudinal Study, (NIH/NIOSH, 2010)

Experimental Test of the Impact of Work-Related Fatigue on Police Officer Vehicle Collision Risk (Calif. DOJ/POST, 2011)

Impact of Work-Shift Related Fatigue on Deadly Force Judgment and Decision Making, Driving, Cognition and Tactical Social Interaction Performance (ONR, 2011)

Empowering the Strategic Corporal: Training Young Warfighters to be Socially Adept with Strangers in Any Culture (DARPA, 2012)


Crime Control and Prevention (PDF)
Criminology Theory (PDF)
Introduction to Political Science Research Methods (PDF)

Selected Publications