Lois James is a Research Assistant Professor in our Sleep and Performance Research Center. The Center and our Criminal Justice program have worked with the Spokane Police Department on a number of studies and trainings.
Bryan Vila is a Criminal Justice professor and a researcher on our campus. His research on police work has received attention in a numberofmediaoutlets, including the New York Times, NPR and CNN.
Recently, Vila presented at TEDx Spokane, an event independent of TED Talks but with a similar mission: to share ideas.
Vila talked about the various factors that impact police officers’ decision making processes, including fatigue, too much work and too little sleep, distractions in the squad car and more. Vila attributes some of this to insufficient funding in many police departments around the country. Vila’s suggested solutions to these problems boil down to increasing staffing and improving how the challenges of shift work are managed.
Our own Devon Grant administered the study. Her theory, which is supported from the study of the two KXLY reporters, says that people fall asleep sooner if they stay away from their smartphones and tablets for an hour before going to bed.
So if you want a better night of sleep, you might want to avoid that e-reader in bed.
Some recent media on police distractions and police shootings featured research from the WSU Spokane campus.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch had a long story on police officers in the wake of the Ferguson, Mo. riots asking for more officers due to fatigue, stress and scrutiny.
WSU Spokane researcher Lois James is quoted, and talks about her findings that show police officers hesitate longer when involved in a possibly deadly encounter with black suspects. James is part of WSU’s criminal justice program.
While the research is happening in Spokane, it’s reaching audiences all over the country.
KARE TV, a Minneapolis TV station, teamed up with Minneapolis Public Radio to investigate how police officers are often distracted while driving. The two media outlets’ investigation brought them to Bryan Vila, a criminal justice professor at WSU Spokane who has studied a number of things relating to police officer fatigue and distractions: