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The trouble with staying awake: BCOPS study addresses shift work hazards

Chronic fatigue and other ills brought about by irregular work schedules have always been a concern for law enforcement officers. Only relatively recently has there been any scientific analysis of the problem.

The webinar featured several presenters who each broke down data gathered during a longitudinal study of police officers in Buffalo, NY. The Buffalo Cardio-Metabolic Occupational Police Stress (BCOPS) study followed hundreds of public safety officers between 2004 and 2020, tracking their work schedules and health over the course of the project.

Bryan Vila.

The seminal work in this area was an unrelated research effort published over 20 years ago. Tired Cops by Bryan Vila (now a Ph.D. and retired professor of criminal justice at Washington State University) detailed some of the health hazards suffered by cops who worked irregular schedules. Some of the situations he studied were brought about by the cops themselves, who insisted on working second jobs or engaged in other pursuits when they should have been sleeping.

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Officials: New policing laws lack clarity

Law enforcement officials on the Palouse have made it clear police reform laws that took effect in Washington this week will not stop staff from responding to emergency calls.

The legislation will, however, affect their actions when they arrive at the scene.

What police are allowed and not allowed to do is not always clear.

David Makin.

Washington State University associate professor David Makin said he advised police to clarify that the new law does not lock police out from assisting those people, it just limits their ability to use force. Makin works in the Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology, serves on the Pullman Police Advisory Committee and has worked with Jenkins on police-related research projects for years.

“While both HB 1310 and HB 1054 have created unnecessary confusion regarding the rule of law, I would urge (the Pullman Police Department) to clarify the process and reassure the community that PPD is committed to assisting those most vulnerable in our community in their time of need,” Makin said “My understanding is that PPD has good working relationships and protocol for handling these situations and has handled these scenes with compassion.

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The Lewiston Tribune

WSU faculty receive $1.4 million grant for assessment addressing truancy in schools

Several Washington State University faculty are the recipients of a $1.4 million grant from the Institute of Education Sciences to refine and expand an assessment that helps address truancy in K-12 schools.

Nicholas Lovrich.
Paul Strand.

Paul Strand, WSU Tri-Cities professor of psychology, Brian French, Berry Family Distinguished professor and director of WSU’s Learning and Performance Research Center and Psychometric Laboratory, Nick Lovrich, WSU Regents professor emeritus, and Bruce Austin, research associate in educational psychology and the LPRC, have worked since 2014 to evaluate and refine WARNS. With the grant, the group is also adding the following members to their team to help refine the tool: Chad Gotch and Marcus Poppen, both WSU assistant professors in education, and Mary Roduta Roberts, an associate professor of occupational therapy at the University of Alberta.

Strand said the new grant will allow the team to update the instrument in a few ways. He said a variety of new issues have arisen that have impacted school attendance and performance in recent years. Examples, he said, include the prevalence of vaping and social media use.

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WSU Insider

WSU WORD! Fellows inspire faculty to teach writing in their disciplines

Eleven Washington State University faculty members are at work on special plans for the coming year: assigning and evaluating their students’ writing assignments in new ways.

As invited participants in the inaugural WORD! Faculty Fellowship Program—called “Word! Fellows”—the professors spent 12 weeks as learners themselves. In weekly workshop sessions, the experienced educators from several disciplines—most of whom teach large classes—were challenged to think about how to help students write as members in their disciplines.

Paul Buckley.

Now that the workshops have ended, WORD! members like Paul Buckley, associate professor of chemistry, are crafting new student writing assignments for fall.

“Before WORD!, I thought writing lab reports was a pretty straightforward task for students, but now I’m more aware that I can phrase writing assignments to be more understandable to STEM and non-STEM students and encourage them all to experiment a little more with how they express things,” he said. He said it will be important for him to explain the changes to his teaching assistants who help with grading.

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WSU Insider


WSU, Pullman PD research program earns national recognition

A Washington State University research program developed in partnership with the Pullman Police Department has been recognized for its trailblazing approach.

David Makin.

The Research Fellowship Program, a collaboration between David Makin, a professor in the Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology and Pullman Police Chief Gary Jenkins, was among the efforts highlighted by this year’s Smart 50 Awards.

Pullman PD has already seen dividends from this program, including having a comprehensive cost-benefit analysis done for a new municipal building as well as research briefs prepared on evidence-based practices associated with domestic violence. The first six months of the program also allowed for the assessment of a traffic camera system and a grant proposal to the National Institute of Justice to examine the use and effectiveness of de-escalation within police-citizen interactions.

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WSU Insider
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