College of Arts and Sciences

Dept. of Criminal Justice and Criminology

Bryan Vila

Photo: Bryan Vila

SSCF 701, WSU Spokane
Curriculum vitae


Ph.D. Ecology, 1990, University of California, Davis
M.S. Ecology, 1989, University of California, Davis
M.P.A. Public Administration, 1974, Pepperdine University
B.S. Public Management, 1972, Pepperdine University


Bryan Vila, Ph.D., is a professor of criminal justice and criminology at WSU Spokane. Prior to joining WSU in July 2005, he directed the Division of Crime Control and Prevention Research at the U.S. Department of Justice's National Institute of Justice. Dr. Vila has served as Principal Investigator or Co-Principal Investigator on $7.6 million in externally funded research projects. He has brought eight grants/contracts totaling $5.5 million to WSU in the past six years. Dr. Vila received his Ph.D. in Ecology from the University of California, Davis in 1990. He has held tenured faculty positions at the University of California, Irvine and the University of Wyoming. He was honored with the College of Liberal Arts Outstanding Career Achievement in Scholarship Award for 2012 for his research on the impact of fatigue and stress on police performance, his publication record, and his successful grantsmanship. Before he became an academic, Dr. Vila served as a law enforcement officer for 17 years—including nine years as a street cop and supervisor with the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, six years as a police chief helping the emerging nations of Micronesia develop innovative law enforcement strategies, and two years in Washington, D.C., as a federal law enforcement officer.

Courses Taught

Introduction to Criminal Justice, Policing, Criminological Theory, Research Methods, Seminar in Evaluation Research

Research Interests

Impact of erratic work hours and shift work on safety, health and performance of critical job tasks of police, military and medical personnel; Cross-cultural police training and national security

Research Projects

Empowering the Strategic Corporal: Training Young Warfighters to be Socially Adept with Strangers in Any Culture (DARPA, 2012)
Impact of Work-Shift Related Fatigue on Deadly Force Judgment and Decision Making, Driving, Cognition and Tactical Social Interaction Performance (ONR, 2011)
Experimental Test of the Impact of Work-Related Fatigue on Police Officer Vehicle Collision Risk (Calif. DOJ/POST, 2011)

Learn more about WSU's ground-breaking research on sleep and human performance.

Invited Talks and Presentations

“Comprehensive Police Fatigue Management to Improve Safety, Procedural Justice and Your Bottom Line.” Major City Chiefs Association Winter meeting, Houston, Tx., 05 Feb. 2014
“Ethics, Justice and Human Performance.” U.S. Coast Guard Academy Annual Issues in Ethics lecture, New London, Conn., 21 Mar. 2014
“Tired Cops and First Responders: Sleep, Justice and Public Safety.” SLEEP 2014 (Invited CME workshop), Minneapolis, Minn., 04 June. 2014

Select Publications

Innovative Drowsy Driver Detection Technique, Accident Analysis and Prevention, 2012
Shift Work and the Incidence of Injury Among Police Officers, American Journal of Industrial Medicine, 2012




Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology, PO Box 644872, Washington State University, Pullman WA 99164-4872, 509-335-8611, Contact Us