Skip to main content Skip to navigation
Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology Dale Willits

Associate Professor and Graduate Program Director
Wilson-Short 112A, WSU Pullman
509-335-8320
dale.willits@wsu.edu
Curriculum Vitae

 

 

 

Education

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.

Profile

Dale Willits, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice and Criminology who joined WSU (at the Pullman campus) in the fall of 2015. Dr. Willits earned his Ph.D. from the University of New Mexico in 2012 and previously held a tenure-track position in the California State University system. His research takes an interdisciplinary focus making use of criminological, sociological, and public health insights to explore issues related to criminal justice and public health outcomes. His current work focuses on policing (race and policing, police-community interactions, and the role of organizational structure in explaining policing outcomes), drug policy (the effects of drug legalization and the persistence of illicit drug markets), and violence (the situational etiology of violence, trends and predictors of gun violence, trends and predictors of homicide).

Courses Taught

Quantitative Methods (undergraduate and graduate), Research Methods (undergraduate and graduate), Advanced Research Methods (graduate)

Research Interests

Drug policy, policing, race, research methods, and violence

Research Projects

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.

Recent Honors

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

Media Interviews

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

Select Publications

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