The Complex Social Interactions Lab has grown tremendously since it first started in Fall 2016 following Dr. Makin receiving a seed grant within the WSU Grand Challenges. Led by Dr. David Makin, the research team includes Dr. Dale Willits within the Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology, Dr. Rachel Baily within the Murrow College of Communication, and Dr. Bryce Dietrich from the University of Iowa, Iowa Informatics Initiative (UI3). Rachael Brooks is the lab manager with Wendy Koslicki (ABD) acting as a senior research assistant. The following are just a few updates on some of the accomplishments and updates taking place over the last year.
Axon Accelerate Conference and Research Partnership with Axon
Dr. Makin attended the Axon Accelerate Conference back in June, on the days of the record setting heatwave, and gave a presentation with Chief Jenkins of the Pullman Police Department on the value of converting body-worn camera footage into actionable data. The presentation was well attended and as a result, the lab is in discussions with several agencies on participating in this important research.
After 9-months of work, Dr. Makin entered into a research partnership with Axon. This partnership provides the CSI lab with 60 body-worn cameras, monitoring hardware, and unlimited storage to improve the development of technology to improve police efficiency and officer health and safety.
At the Axon Conference
Research Collaboration with the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab
The lab recently received a grant from the Applied Physics Lab (APL) at Johns Hopkins University. The first phase of the research is a research gap analysis on the state of body-worn camera research. Wendy Koslicki (ABD) is working with Dr. Makin alongside Dr. Steve Babin of APL to identify gaps in the research specifically within areas of cognitive recall and the influence of camera angles on perceptions. This research is under a subcontract in support of research for the Department of Homeland Security: Science and Technology Directorate. Phase II research will focus on the collection of biometric data in concert with research on object detection and perceptual awareness.
Washington State University’s Police Corps Program
New this year, we will be working with the Washington State University Police Corps Program. Thanks to our partnership with Axon, we have multiple body-worn cameras to generate research data for the development of various classifiers for the detection of use of force, emotionally intense situations, and technologies to improve the evaluation of training effectiveness. Cadets will wear a body-worn camera while they are training as well as when they are engaging in public safety. We are thankful for Police Corporal Kelly Stewart’s collaboration, support from Chief Bill Gardner of the WSU Police Department and Information Systems Director Den Bowker, and all of the trainers and cadets for participation in the project.
Equipment Delivery from Axon for the
WSU Police Cadets
499 Research Internship
Thanks to Sisouvanh and Dr. Makin’s outreach efforts, we have been fortunate to work with a lot of great undergraduates in the lab. We have seven new research coders in the lab this semester and four returning coders from the spring semester. While earning credit for their degree, undergraduates learn how to conduct content analysis and are introduced to the development of classifiers. Additionally, students are exposed to a different perspective on what takes place in police-citizen interactions. Most undergraduates mention at the end of the semester that their perception of the police has positively changed. Indeed, undergraduate research coders watched over 4,600 hours of footage last semester. Without them, the lab would not exist as it does today.
Interviews with KOMO News and PoliceOne
Following the release of the press release on the research partnership with Axon, Dr. Makin participated in several interviews with local, state, and national news agencies. The first of these was with KOMO News and PoliceOne.