Associate Professor and Graduate Program Director
Wilson-Short 112A, WSU Pullman
Ph.D., Sociology, 2012, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, New Mexico.
M.A. Sociology, 2007, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, New Mexico.
B.A. Criminology, 2004, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Dale Willits, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor of Criminal Justice and Criminology who joined WSU in the fall of 2015. Dr. Willits earned his Ph.D. from the University of New Mexico in 2012. His research takes an interdisciplinary approach to explore issues related to crime, justice, and public safety. His current work focuses on policing (race and policing, police-community interactions, and the role of organizational structure in explaining policing outcomes) and drug policy (the effects of drug legalization).
Quantitative Methods (undergraduate and graduate), Research Methods (undergraduate and graduate), Advanced Research Methods (graduate)
Drug policy, policing, race, research methods, and violence
Dr. Willits is currently working on projects in the following areas: police-citizen encounters, the effects of marijuana decriminalization on policing and crime, the role of marijuana in traffic safety, the situational efficacy of general strain theory for explaining violence, and the role of work in youth delinquency.
His research is currently funded by the National Institute of Justice and the Washington State Traffic Safety Commission.
Excellence in Graduate Teaching, College of Arts and Sciences, Washington State University, 2020
Outstanding Faculty Mentor, Criminal Justice & Criminology Graduate Student Association, Washington State University, 2019
Outstanding Faculty Mentor, Criminal Justice & Criminology Graduate Student Association, Washington State University, 2018
Greg and Beth Pierce Fellowship Award, Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology, 2018
Outstanding Faculty Mentor, Criminal Justice & Criminology Graduate Student Association, Washington State University, 2017
Beuthel, Mae (2019, October). Marijuana legalization has no effect on crime. The Daily Evergreen: https://dailyevergreen.com/64762/news/marijuana-legalization-has-no-effecton-crime/
Camden, Jim (2019, October). WSU study of connection between marijuana legalization, crime turns up surprises. The Spokesman Review: https://www.spokesman.com/stories/2019/oct/20/wsu-study-of-connection-betweenmarijuana-legaliza/
Candy, Mike, and Todd Show (2019, October). On-Air Interview Regarding Effects of Cannabis Legalization on Crime. KIRO Radio, Seattle, WA: https://mynorthwest.com/1564141/wsu-study-crime-marijuana/?
Hill, Kip (2019, October). Study by WSU researchers shows no significant link between marijuana legalization and crime rates. The Spokesman Review: https://www.spokesman.com/stories/2019/oct/08/study-by-wsu-researchers-shows-nosignificant-link/
Kelety, Josh (2019, October). Study: Marijuana legalization in Washington and Colorado didn’t increase crime. The Inlander: https://www.inlander.com/spokane/study-marijuanalegalization-in-washington-and-colorado-didnt-increase-crime/Content?oid=18420446
McCall, Rosie (2019, October): Does legalizing pot increase crime rates? It hasn’t in Colorado and Washington, a study has found. Newsweek: https://www.newsweek.com/legalizingpot-increase-crime-rates-colorado-washington-1463622
Perkins, Dan (2019, November). Recorded Interview Regarding Effects of Cannabis Legalization on Crime. America’s Cannabis Conversation: https://www.blogtalkradio.com/w420radio/2019/11/13/crime-studies-vaping-legislationlegalities-in-marketing-s1e8
Wells, Megan (2018, August). How today’s BWF footage will shape tomorrow’s LEO training. PoliceOne: https://www.policeone.com/police-products/bodycameras/articles/478527006-How-todays-BWC-footage-will-shape-tomorrows-LEOtraining
Koslicki, Wendy M. and Dale Willits. The Iron Fist in the Velvet Glove? Testing the Militarisation/Community Policing Paradox. International Journal of Police Science and Management.
Nowacki, Jeffrey and Dale Willits. Forthcoming. “Adoption of Body Cameras by United States Police Agencies: An Organizational Analysis.” Policing & Society.
Willits, Dale Violent Propensity, Strain, and Violent Intentions: A Test of Agnew’s Revised Conditioning Hypothesis. Deviant Behavior.
Willits, Dale and David Makin. 2018. “Show Me What Happened: Studying Use of Force through Analysis of Body-Worn Camera Footage.” Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency 55, 51-57.
Roussell, Aaron, Kathryn Henne, Karen S. Glover, and Dale Willits. 2017. “The Impossibility of a “Reverse Racism” Effect: A Rejoinder to James, James, and Vila. Criminology & Public Policy.