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The Complex Social Interactions Lab

 

Dr. Dale Willits.
Dale Willits, Assistant Professor, Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology
Dr. David Makin.
David Makin, Assistant Professor, Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology

The Complex Social Interactions Lab has grown tremendously since it first started in fall 2016 after assistant professor David Makin received a faculty seed grant in the WSU Grand Challenges program. Led by Dr. Makin, the research team includes Dr. Dale Willits, also of the Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology; Dr. Rachel Bail of Florida State University; and Dr. Bryce Dietrich of the University of Iowa, Iowa Informatics Initiative (UI3). Rachael Brooks is the lab manager and senior research assistant. In addition, the CSI has started to collaborate with Dr. Bala Krishnamoorthy, an associate professor of mathematics from WSU Vancouver.

Following are just a few of the accomplishments and updates from the last year.

Undergraduate Research Internship Course (CRM J 499)
Thanks to Sisouvanh Keopanapay and Dr. Makin’s outreach efforts, we have been fortunate to work with a lot of great undergraduates in the lab. Since the start of the internship in fall 2016, a total of 60 undergraduates have participated in the lab with over 8,000 hours of body-worn camera (BWC) footage annotated. This semester we have 23 undergraduate coders and have been working hard to annotate even more hours of BWC footage. It is anticipated that the number of undergraduates participating in the lab will continue to grow each semester.

Traffic Safety Grant
Drs. Dale Willits, David Makin, and Wendy Koslicki received a grant from the Washington State Traffic Safety Commission. Led by Dr. Willits, the project explored procedural justice in the context of traffic stops in Washington State from the perspective of the officer, driver, and a third-party reviewer. The data used for this study were collected from officer and driver surveys and annotations of procedural justice measures from recorded observations in police BWC footage. The research highlights the importance of considering different perspectives for exploring perceptions of procedural justice (officer, driver, and third-party assessments) as well as examining different types of data (surveys and BWC footage).

Video Quality in Public Safety (VQiPS).
Video Quality in Public Safety (VQiPS).

Keynote Speaker
Dr. Makin was a keynote speaker at the National BWC Training and Technical Assistance Meeting held at George Mason University and sponsored by the US Department of Justice Body-Worn Camera Policy and Implementation Program. During the talk, Dr. Makin discussed the organizational challenges and importance of creating internal dialog around how units within the organization would like to use BWC footage. As research shows, much of the focus on BWC concerns implementation, with limited consideration as to how organizations leverage this data to improve operational effectiveness.

Congressional Staff Tour.
Congressional Staff Tour.

PoliceOne Interviews
Dr. Makin and Dr. Willits had interviews with PoliceOne staff regarding the use of BWC footage in understanding the effectiveness of law enforcement officer training. They discuss how BWC footage can help police agencies better evaluate training protocols and identify best practices for how an officer approaches an incident. They also discuss the potential for researchers to analyze how stress influences an officer’s behavior by using biometric data collected from their BWC. This data can be used to understand how training methods work under varying degrees of stress.

WSU Annual Congressional Staff Tour
Dr. Makin presented to Congressional staff during their annual tour to WSU. He discussed the importance of private–public partnerships, methodology, and technology being developed within the lab, and the critical need for interdisciplinary research toward improving officer health and safety, reducing risk, and improving the development and refinement of training.

Police Video Surveillance and Analytics Best Practices Conference

Dr. Makin presenting "The Current Reality for Policing Body Camera Research".
Dr. Makin presenting “The Current Reality for Policing Body Camera Research”.

Dr. Makin presented two presentations to law enforcement and public safety leaders at the 2018 Police Video Surveillance and Analytics Best Practices. Dr. Makin discussed the process for how a law enforcement agency can transform body-worn camera footage into informative data as well as the policy considerations and best practices for accomplishing this.

Body-Worn Camera Perception Summit

Dr. Makin presented at the Body-Worn Camera Perception Summit on findings from a BWC perception study that was conducted in partnership with researchers from the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory and Dr. Koslicki. The discussion focused on research gaps in examining law enforcement officers’ perceptions of events as compared to BWC data.

Article by Rachael Brooks.

Body-Worn Camera Perception Summit Attendees.
Body-Worn Camera Perception Summit Attendees.

Conference Presentations

  • Bill, S.J., Smith, E.A., Stewart, K.D., Makin, D.A., Willits, D. (2018). Evaluating Training Using Body-Worn Cameras: A Pilot Study using Cadets in the WSU Police Corps. Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences. New Orleans, LA.
  • Brooks, R., Makin, D.A., Koslicki, W., Willits, D. (2018). Converting Police Footage into Actionable Data: Working with Police Agencies. Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences. New Orleans, LA.
  • Makin, D.A., Willits, D., Koslicki, W., Bailey, R., Dietrich, B., Brooks, R. (2018). Situational and Environmental Determinants of Observed Emotional States in Police-Community Interactions. Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences. New Orleans, LA.
  • Willits, D., Makin, D.A., Hemmens, C., Koslicki, W., Brooks, R., Hoff, S., (2018). Citizen, Police, and Third-Party Perceptions of Procedural Justice in Traffic Stops. Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences. New Orleans, LA.
  • Brooks, R., Willits, D., Makin, D.A. (2019). Describing What Happened: Understanding the Average Police-Citizen Encounter. Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences. Baltimore, MD.
  • Makin, D.A., Willits, D., Brooks, R. (2019). Hot Neighborhoods? Situational Analysis of Emotionality Intense Police-Community Interactions. Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences. Baltimore, MD.
  • Willits, D., Makin, D.A., Brooks, R. (2019). Conflict Avoidance: A Situational Analysis of Police De-Escalation Tactics. Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences. Baltimore, MD.

Workshops and Invited Presentations

  • Enhancing Training and Risk Management: Converting Body-Worn Camera Footage into Actionable Data. David A. Makin (Keynote Speaker). National BWC Training and Technical Assistance Meeting, 2019, Arlington, VA
  • Deconstructing Complex Social Interactions and Improving Equity and Opportunity in Policing. David A. Makin (Featured Presenter). Congressional/Legislative Staff Tour, 2018. Washington State University: Pullman, WA.
  • VQiPS Workshop Wearable Cameras Panel. David A. Makin (Featured Presenter). Video Quality in Public Safety (VQiPS) Workshop, 2018. Albuquerque, NM.
  • Maximizing the Application Uses of Your UAV Program. David A. Makin (Featured Presenter). Public Safety UAS and Counter Drone Conference, 2019. Miami, FL.
  • The Future of UAV Tech and Policy. David A. Makin (Featured Presenter) & Major Christian P. Quinn, Fairfax County Police Department (Co-Presenter). Public Safety UAS and Counter Drone Conference, 2019. Miami, FL.
  • Case Study: BWC Use of Force- Officer and Victim Injury. David A. Makin (Featured Presenter). The Body-Worn Camera Spring Summit, 2019. Miami, FL.
  • Body Worn Camera (BWC) Perception Study Phase 1 Report. David A. Makin (Featured Presenter) & The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory. Body Worn Camera Perception Summit, Laurel, MD.
  • Enhancing Your Video Surveillance Technology and Implementation Policies. David A. Makin (Featured Workshop Presenter) & Gary Jenkins (Featured Workshop Presenter). Police Video Surveillance & Analytics Best Practices, 2018. Fort Lauderdale, FL.
  • Operationalizing Body-Worn Camera Video to Enhance Intelligence-Led Policing. David A. Makin (Featured Presenter). Police Video Surveillance & Analytics Best Practices, 2018. Fort Lauderdale, FL

Media Interviews and Press

Project-Related Links

Contacts:
Dr. David Makin
Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice and Criminology
dmakin@wsu.edu
509-335-2455

Dr. Dale Willits
Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice and Criminology
dale.willits@wsu.edu
509-335-8320

Washington State University