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Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology Dale Willits

Willits, DaleAssistant Professor
Johnson Tower 723, WSU Pullman
Curriculum Vitae



Ph.D. Sociology, 2012, University of New Mexico – Albuquerque
M.A. Sociology, 2007, University of New Mexico – Albuquerque
B.A. Criminology, 2004, University of New Mexico – Albuquerque


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 interests explore issues related to policing (police organizational structure, policing outcomes, and policing data), the etiology of crime, violence, and the relationship between place and crime. His research makes use of a broad variety of methods, including regression analysis, GIS and spatial analysis, social network analysis, text-mining, and qualitative comparative analysis. Recent publications have appeared in Crime & Delinquency, Homicide Studies, Youth & Society, and Policing and Society.

Courses Taught

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

Research Interests

Policing, Violence, Criminological Theory, Data Quality

Research Projects

Dr. Willits is currently working on projects in the following areas: police-citizen encounters, the effects of marijuana decriminalization on policing, the role of marijuana in traffic safety, the situational context of firearm crimes, 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, the Washington State Traffic Safety Commission, and through internal grants at Washington State University.

Select Publications

  • Roussell, Aaron, Kathryn Henne, Karen S. Glover, and Dale Willits. Forthcoming. “The Impossibility of a “Reverse Racism” Effect: A Rejoinder to James, James, and Vila. Criminology & Public Policy.
  • Willits, Dale and Jeffrey Nowacki. 2016. “The Use of Specialized Cybercrime Policing Units: An Organizational Analysis.” Criminal Justice Studies 29, 105-214.
  • Roberts, A., & Willits, D. (2015). Income Inequality and Homicide in the United States: Consistency across Different Income Inequality Measures and Disaggregated Homicide Types. Homicide Studies, 19(1), 28-57.
  • Willits, D. (2015). Situational Predictors of Violent Intentions: Results from a Factorial Survey. The Social Science Journal, 52(2), 176-187.
  • Willits, D., Broidy, L. M., & Denman, K. (2015). Schools and Drug Markets: Examining the Relationship between Schools and Neighborhood Drug Crime. Youth & Society, 47, 634-658.