American Heroes Radio

Micronesian Blues

Home | Upcoming Episodes | Previous Episodes | American Heroes Radio Network | About the Host | FireFighter Books | Military Books | Police Books | Contact Us | Site Map

Episode No. 105: Micronesian Blues

Date: April 1, 2010

Notes:  A conversation with former Marine and deputy sheriff Bryan Vila on his experiences as an international police trainer

Bryan Vila was a member of the United States Marine Corps from 1964 to 1967. His military service included a tour in Vietnam.  In 1969, Bryan Vila joined the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.  By the time he left the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department in 1978, he had attained the rank of sergeant.  He continued this law enforcement career for “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.”  Currently, “Bryan Vila, PhD, is a professor of criminal justice at WSU Spokane. Prior to joining WSU in July of 2005, he directed the Division of Crime Control and Prevention Research at the U.S. Department of Justice’s National Institute of Justice.”

Bryan Vila is the co-author of three books: Capital Punishment in the United States: A Documentary History; The Role of Police in American Society: A Documentary History; and, Micronesian Blues: The Adventures of an American Cop in Paradise. And, the author of Tired Cops: The Importance of Managing Police Fatigue.

According to the book description of Micronesian Blues: The Adventures of an American Cop in Paradise, “Training competent, independent police forces in developing nations is critical to U.S. efforts to promote democracy and stability worldwide. Yet all too often we simply take American cops or military troops, drop them into the middle of a foreign land, and leave them to figure out the enormous challenges of cross-cultural police training on their own. Three decades ago, in the tropical island setting of Micronesia, Bryan Vila was one of these trainers. After serving as a Marine in Vietnam and then working as a street cop in the ghettos and barrios of Los Angeles for nine years, he expected the job to be a paid vacation in paradise. He couldn't have been more wrong."

Micronesian Blues tells the true story of Bryan's six years directing the development of law enforcement in Micronesia during the tumultuous period when this former U.S. Trust Territory was making the transition to independence. Through lively narrative laced with wry humor, it chronicles his adventures and misadventures as he discovers the do's and don'ts of cross-cultural policing through trial and error on Saipan, Ponape, Truk, Palau, Yap, Kosrae, and Kwajalein. An instructive postscript details the ten most important lessons Bryan learned during his time in Micronesia and how they apply to any cross-cultural police training situation, including today's global hot spots. These lessons make Micronesian Blues more than just an entertaining collection of true adventures—it's an eye-opening read for cops, military personnel of all ranks, public policy-makers, academics, and general audiences alike.”

© 2015 - 2018 Hi Tech Criminal Justice