Wilson Edward Reed was born and raised in Vicksburg, Mississippi on a family farm; was educated in segregated school systems in a close knit rural community. He moved to Seattle to be near family and friends, and graduated from the University of Washington with a BA and a MA in Political Science. Also, he earned a Masters degree in Criminal Justice from the State University of New York-Albany (The Nelson Rockefeller School of Public Affairs and Policy). In 1995 he earned a Ph.D. in Political Science at Northern Arizona University.
Dr. Reed has taught at colleges and universities in the northwest, northeast, and southwest regions of the U.S. His book The Politics of Community Policing: The Case of Seattle, published in 1999, is considered the leading review of the subject in law enforcement. He has used his book for the course “Policing Seattle” which he helped to develop. Dr. Reed recently published an article about women and Black police officers in the Seattle Police department and completed a chapter on Bill Cosby and poor African Americans in the Criminal Justice System for an upcoming anthology. He frequently lectures in the Seattle area on policing youth, diversity issues, poverty in America, and domestic violence and presently teaches in the Global African Studies Program at Seattle University. Dr. Reed is also a Criminal Justice Consultant for the Washington Department of Social Health Services.