Rylan Simpson

Assistant Professor
School of Criminology
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences


Rylan Simpson, PhD, is an assistant professor in the School of Criminology at Simon Fraser University. He received his PhD in Criminology, Law and Society from the University of California, Irvine. His research interests include policing, perceptions of police, police organizations, theories of crime, and social psychology. He approaches his research using a variety of different methodologies, including experimental and quantitative analyses. He has recently published his work in Criminology & Public Policy, PLoS ONE, Journal of Experimental Criminology, Crime Science, Justice Evaluation Journal, and Women & Criminal Justice as well as presented it for scholarly and practitioner audiences worldwide. He has also participated in approximately 1,400 hours of police ride-alongs in Canada, Australia, the United States, and the United Kingdom.


Policing; perceptions of police; police organizations; legitimacy; experimental criminology; theories of crime; social psychology.


  • BA (UBC)
  • MA, PhD (UCI)


Selected Publications

  • Simpson, R. (2022). Police recruitment videos and their relevance for attracting officers. Policing: A Journal of Policy and Practice. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1093/police/paac057
  • Simpson, R., & Bell, N. (2022). Unpacking the police patrol shift: Observations and complications of “electronically” riding along with police. Crime Science, 11, 15. https://doi.org/10.1186/s40163-022-00178-9
  • Simpson, R., Frewing, Q., & Bayer, J. (2022). The effects of saturation enforcement on speed(ing) along a highway corridor: Results from a police-directed field study. Justice Evaluation Journal. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1080/24751979.2022.2106882
  • Simpson, R., & Sandrin, R. (2022). The use of personal protective equipment (PPE) by police during a public health crisis: An experimental test of public perception. Journal of Experimental Criminology, 18(2), 297-319. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11292-020-09451-w
  • Simpson, R., & Sargeant, E. (2022). Exploring the perceptual effects of uniforms and accoutrements among a sample of police officers: The locker room as a site of transformation. Policing: A Journal of Policy and Practice, 16(4), 663-675. https://doi.org/10.1093/police/paac002
  • Simpson, R. (2021). Calling the police: Dispatchers as important interpreters and manufacturers of calls for service data. Policing: A Journal of Policy and Practice, 15(2), 1537-1545. https://doi.org/10.1093/police/paaa040
  • Simpson, R., & Orosco, C. (2021). Re-assessing measurement error in police calls for service: Classifications of events by dispatchers and officers. PLoS ONE, 16(12), e0260365. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0260365
  • Simpson, R. (2020). Officer appearance and perceptions of police: Accoutrements as signals of intent. Policing: A Journal of Policy and Practice, 14(1), 243-257. https://doi.org/10.1093/police/pay015
  • Simpson, R., McCutcheon, M., & Lal, D. (2020). Reducing speeding via inanimate police presence: An evaluation of a police-directed field study regarding motorist behavior. Criminology & Public Policy19(3), 997-1018. https://doi.org/10.1111/1745-9133.12513
  • Simpson, R. (2017). The Police Officer Perception Project (POPP): An experimental evaluation of factors that impact perceptions of the police. Journal of Experimental Criminology, 13(3), 393-415. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11292-017-9292-4

Selected Awards and Grants

  • Award: Cormack Teaching Award
  • Award: Scholarly Impact of the Week
  • Grant: “The Use of Helicopter Units in Frontline Policing”
  • Grant: “An Empirical Exploration of Police Organizations in the United States”
  • Grant: “Contextualising Officer Appearance: Examining Perceptions of Police Uniforms and Accoutrements Among Citizens and Police Officers”

Professional Development

  • Vice Chair: Division of Experimental Criminology, American Society of Criminology
  • Member: Research Advisory Committee, Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police
  • Faculty Mentor: Virtual Scholar Program, Canadian Society of Evidence-Based Policing
  • Research Delegate: Emergency Communications Center Operations and Research Workgroups, Transform 911
  • Expert Witness: Superior Court of Quebec

Recently Taught Courses

  • CRIM 220: Research Methods in Criminology
  • CRIM 251: Introduction to Policing
  • CRIM 418: Experiments in Policing
  • CRIM 458: Community Policing


Future courses may be subject to change.