Christopher Koper

Christopher Koper

Christopher Koper


Firearms, violence, and public policy; police and crime control; technology and organizational change in policing; policy and program evaluation

Dr. Christopher S. Koper is a Professor in the Department of Criminology, Law and Society at George Mason University and the Principal Fellow of George Mason’s Center for Evidence-Based Crime Policy.  Dr. Koper has more than 30 years of experience studying crime and justice issues at George Mason, the Police Executive Research Forum, the University of Pennsylvania, the Urban Institute, the RAND Corporation, the Police Foundation, and other organizations.  He has written extensively on issues related to policing, firearms, federal crime prevention efforts, research methods, and other topics.  Dr. Koper has served as a lead or senior-level investigator on numerous projects for the U.S. Department of Justice and other funders, and as a consultant to the attorney generals and city attorneys of several states and localities. Some of his most prominent works include: studies of the 1994 federal assault weapons ban; the Evidence-Based Policing Matrix tool for policy translation of research on police crime control strategies (; and the “Koper curve” principle of hot spots patrol, which is used by many police agencies in the United States and abroad. Dr. Koper is a fellow of the Academy of Experimental Criminology, co-editor of Criminology & Public Policy (the policy research journal of the American Society of Criminology), co-author of the award-winning book, Evidence-Based Policing: Translating Research into Practice, and a recipient of the Distinguished Scholar Award from the Division of Policing of the American Society of Criminology. In 2023, he received George Mason University’s Presidential Award for Faculty Excellence in Social Impact. 

Current Research

Current and recently funded projects (selected):

Improving the Investigation, Clearance Rates, and Victim Restoration of Robberies: A Multi-Site Randomized Controlled Experiment. Funded by the National Institute of Justice (U.S. Department of Justice).

Research & Evaluation Partnership with the U.S. Attorney’s Office (Eastern District of Virginia) for Project Safe Neighborhoods. Funded by the Bureau of Justice Assistance (U.S. Department of Justice). 

Institutionalizing and Sustaining an Evidence-Based and Problem-Oriented Approach in the Suffolk County Police Department. Funded by the Bureau of Justice Assistance (U.S. Department of Justice).

A Study of COVID-19's Impacts with the Fairfax County (VA) Police Department. Funded by the Bureau of Justice Assistance.

Evidence-Based Strategies for Policing Innovations to Reduce Serious Vehicle Crashes on State and Rural Roadways. Funded by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (U.S. Department of Transportation). 

A Randomized Controlled Trial on Community Infused Problem-Oriented Policing in Crime Hot Spots (CPOP-HS): Looking Beyond Crime Reduction (in collaboration with NORC). Funded by the National Institute of Justice (U.S. Department of Justice).

Selected Publications

Koper, Christopher S., Bruce G. Taylor, Weiwei Liu, and Xiaoyun Wu. 2022. “Police Activities and Community Views of Police in Crime Hot Spots.” Justice Quarterly 39 (7): 1400-1427.  

Koper, Christopher S., Cynthia Lum, Xiaoyun Wu, William Johnson, and Megan Stoltz. 2022. “Do License Plate Readers Enhance the Initial and Residual Deterrent Effects of Police Patrol? A Quasi-Randomized Test.” Journal of Experimental Criminology 18: 725-746. 

Lum, Cynthia, Christopher S. Koper, and Xiaoyun Wu. 2021. “Can We Really Defund the Police? A Nine-Agency Study of Police Response to Calls for Service.” Police Quarterly 25(3): 255-280. 

Koper, Christopher S., Xiaoyun Wu, and Cynthia Lum. 2021. “Calibrating Police Activity across Hot Spot and Non-Hot Spot Areas.” Police Quarterly 24(3): 382-406. 

Koper, Christopher S., Cynthia Lum, Xiaoyun Wu, and Tim Hegarty. 2021. "The Long-Term and System-Level Impacts of Institutionalizing Hot Spot Policing in a Small City." Policing: A Journal of Policy and Practice 15(2): 1110-1128. 

Koper, Christopher S. 2020. "Assessing the Potential to Reduce Deaths and Injuries from Mass Shootings through Restrictions on Assault Weapons and Other High-Capacity Semiautomatic Firearms.” Criminology & Public Policy 19(1): 147-170.

Lum, Cynthia, Christopher S. Koper, David B. Wilson, Megan Stoltz, Michael Goodier, Elizabeth Eggins, Angela Higginson, and Lorraine Mazerolle. 2020. “Body-Worn Cameras’ Effects on Police Officers and Citizens’ Behavior: A Systematic Review.” Campbell Systematic Reviews 16(3): e1112. DOI:  10.1002/cl2.1112.

Koper, Christopher S. William D. Johnson, Jordan L. Nichols, Ambrozine Ayers, and Natalie Mullins. 2018. “Criminal Use of Assault Weapons and High Capacity Semiautomatic Firearms: An Updated Examination of Local and National Sources.” Journal of Urban Health 95(3): 313-321. 

Lum, Cynthia and Christopher S. Koper. 2017. Evidence-Based Policing: Translating Research into Practice. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.



Courses Taught

CRIM 415 / GOVT 464 Guns and Crime in America

CRIM 516 / 781 Justice Program Evaluation

CPET 0100-D74 Evidence-Based Policing for Practitioners (continuing education course)

CRIM 491 / 492 CLS Honors Seminar


Dissertations Supervised

William D. Johnson, Optimizing Written Hate Crime Policy: An Analysis of the Impact Content Variation Has on Hate Crime Policy Effectiveness (2022)

Jennifer B. Embrey, Police Innovators, Thought Leaders, and Role Models: An Examination of the Impacts of Organizational Characteristics and Environmental Factors on Early Body-worn Camera Adoption (2022)

Matthew D'Anna, Black Swan Shootings: A Model for Predicting the Worst of the Worst Mass Shootings (2020)

Xiaoyun Wu, Understanding Everyday Police Proactivity and its Relationship with Crime (2019)