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Research Leads to Changes in Police Department Policies

WSU Criminal Justice

WSU Criminal Justice

(Ed. Note: The latest edition of the WSU Spokane Magazine is available as a PDF here. It is also distributed statewide to WSU alumni and friends. We will share a story each day from the latest issue on the blog. Enjoy!)

By Kevin Dudley

Research conducted in the Criminal Justice program at WSU Spokane has succeeded in changing practices and policies of local and national law enforcement agencies, as well as connected local law enforcement more strongly to the University.

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KING TV in Seattle Features WSU Spokane Police Reaction Lab

WSU Spokane Research
WSU Spokane Research
KING TV Screen Grab

Researchers in our Criminal Justice department are once again gaining attention for their innovative research on police decision-making.

In the past few days, KING TV in Seattle aired two stories featuring the research:

WSU lab studies the science behind police shootings

Shoot or don’t shoot? A reporter is put to the test

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WSU Spokane Research Gaining Worldwide Attention

Lois James WSU Spokane

Lois James WSU Spokane

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.

James conducted research last year that showed racial disparities in police confrontations. Her research showed that participants in the study hesitated longer to shoot when confronted with black suspects compared to white and hispanic suspects.

This research was timely, since the nation is currently in an ongoing debate regarding police shootings in the wake of the deadly shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo.

As one might expect, this research has received considerable attention from around the world. Here’s a rundown of some of the coverage James’ research has garnered so far:

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CNN’s Don Lemon References WSU Spokane Research

Bryan Vila WSU Spokane

Bryan Vila WSU Spokane

Our research on police and deadly encounters has received attention in a number of places.

Dr. Lois James’ research shows that police officers hesitate longer when encountering black suspects in deadly situations than they do with white suspects.

Dr. Bryan Vila’s research on police fatigue and decision making shows that police officers have an extremely difficult job and was featured on Anderson Cooper 360.

Last night, CNN’s Don Lemon hosted a town hall called “Cops Under Fire” and referenced the research happening on our campus.

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