Criminal justice experts at Washington State University (WSU) are developing innovative technology to improve police–community relations, officer training and public safety.
Researchers in the new Complex Social Interaction (CSI) laboratory at WSU are using body-worn cameras and advanced scientific tools and techniques—such as data analytics, biometrics and machine learning—to examine the complex factors that shape interactions between police and community members. The interdisciplinary, intercollegiate research team is led by David Makin, assistant professor of criminal justice and criminology.
It is the first to explore police officer decision-making and interpersonal interaction by examining data from body-worn cameras, Makin said. “This cutting-edge research and technology will provide revolutionary insight into police practice as well as real-world applications for improving organizations and decision-making at the individual level.”
The team is using the information to design algorithms and new software to help public safety agencies improve police-community relations, reduce conflict, cost and liability, and enhance the health and well-being of law officers and their communities, Makin said.