Dr. Christopher Wydra

Associate Professor, Program Coordinator: Master of Arts in Criminal Justice Studies - Applied Criminology and Forensic Linguistics

Department of Criminal Justice and Psychology


Dr. Christopher Wydra is a retired detective with 20 years of professional police experience in law enforcement and investigations with the City of Pittsburgh Police Department and has over 18 years of investigative experience in narcotics, narco-terrorism, vice, homicide, and video and audio electronic surveillance.  He is Pennsylvania State certified in wiretaps, is a certified expert witness for the Allegheny County District Attorney’s office in narcotics, is a certified instructor of Pennsylvania Municipal Police Officers Education and Training Commission and has training in interview and interrogation techniques.  As an investigator, he was involved in numerous undercover operations and was deputized by FBI, DEA, and ATF to work as an operative on multi-jurisdictional cases.  Dr. Wydra continues to work as a part-time law enforcement officer in Washington County, Pa. 


Prior to his law enforcement career, he served in the United States Marine Corps and participated in Operation Desert Storm/Desert Shield and also served in the Pennsylvania Air Force National Guard.  He is a graduate of Point Park University, Duquesne University, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, and Robert Morris University.      


Dr. Wydra is the program coordinator of the M.A. in Applied Criminology program, the coordinator for A.S. Applied Policing and Technology, the coordinator for the PennWest California fulltime PA ACT 120 Police Academy, and is the faculty adviser for the Criminal Justice Honor Society - Alpha Phi Sigma. 

Publications/Research Interests

Dr. Wydra’s research is based on the evolution of criminal procedures with the emphasis on policing and technology.  Dr. Wydra has several published journal articles and has presented at national conferences on the future of policing and the impact of technology and digital evidence in police investigations.  Dr. Wydra has also a published revised preliminary edition textbook “Introduction to Law Enforcement.”  

  • B.S. Criminal Justice, Police Science: Point Park University
  • M.S. Leadership and Ethics: Duquesne University
  • M.A. Criminology: Indiana University of Pennsylvania
  • D.S. Information Systems and Communications, Cybercrime and Criminal Procedure: Robert Morris University

Email: wydra@pennwest.edu

Office: Azorsky Hall Room 118