Cynthia Lum

Cynthia Lum

Cynthia Lum


Policing, technology, evidence-based crime policy, translational criminology, crime prevention, evaluation research

Dr. Cynthia Lum is professor of Criminology, Law and Society and director of George Mason University’s Center for Evidence-Based Crime Policy. She is a leading authority on evidence-based policing, an approach that advocates that research, evaluation, and scientific processes should have “a seat at the table” in law enforcement policymaking and practice. She has studied and written extensively about patrol operations and police crime prevention activities, police technology, investigations and detective work, and evidence-based crime policy. Additionally, she has developed numerous tools and strategies to translate and institutionalize research into everyday law enforcement operations. For her efforts, she received the 2020 Virginia State Council for Higher Education Outstanding Faculty Award.

Professor Lum is an appointed member of the Committee on Law and Justice (CLAJ) for the National Academies of Sciences (NAS), and has also served on the NAS’s Committee on Proactive Policing as well as its Standing Committee on Traffic Law Enforcement. She is an appointed member of the Council on Criminal Justice's Policing Task Force, a Board Director for the National Police Foundation, a member of the Research Advisory Committee of the International Association of Chiefs of Police, and has served numerous elected and appointed positions within the American Society of Criminology. She is the founding editor of Translational Criminology Magazine and the Springer Series on Translational Criminology, and was the first North American Editor for the Oxford Journal Policing: A Journal of Policy and Practice. Dr. Lum is a Fulbright Specialist in policing and criminology and is the co-Director of the International Summer School for Policing Scholarship, developed with colleagues at the Scottish Institute for Policing Research and Arizona State University. 

Her recent book with Christopher Koper, Evidence-Based Policing: Translating Research Into Practice (Oxford University Press), received the American Society of Criminology Division of Policing 2020 Outstanding Book Award. Professors Lum and Koper are the Editors-In-Chief of Criminology and Public Policy, the flagship policy journal of the American Society of Criminology.  

Selected Publications

Only select publications from 2020-2021 are listed. For full publication list, see Cynthia Lum's C.V.

Lum, C. Perspectives on Policing. (2021). Annual Review of Criminology, 4, 19-25.

Koper, C.S., Lum, C., Wu, X., & Hegarty, T. (2021). The Long-Term and System-Level Impacts of Institutionalizing Hot Spot Policing in a Small City. Policing: A Journal of Policy and Practice, DOI: 10.1093/police/paaa096.

Koper, C.S., Wu, X., & Lum, C. (2021). Calibrating police activity across hot spot and non-hot spot areas. Police Quarterly. DOI: 10.1177/1098611121995809.

Wu, X., Koper, C.S., & Lum, C. (2021). Measuring the impacts of everyday police proactive activities: Tackling the endogeneity problem. Journal of Quantitative Criminology.

Lum, C., Koper, C.S., Stoltz, M., Goodier, M., Johnson, W., Prince, H., & Wu, X. (2020). Constrained Gatekeepers of the Criminal Justice Footprint: A Systematic Social Observation Study of 9-1-1 Calltakers and Dispatchers. Justice Quarterly, DOI: 10.1080/07418825.2020.1834604.

Lum, C., Maupin, C., & Stoltz, M. (2020). The Impact of COVID-19 on Law Enforcement Agencies (Wave 2). A joint report between the International Association of Chiefs of Police and the Center for Evidence-Based Crime Policy, George Mason University.

Lum, C., Maupin, C., & Stoltz, M. (2020). The Impact of COVID-19 on Law Enforcement Agencies (Wave 1). A joint report between the International Association of Chiefs of Police and the Center for Evidence-Based Crime Policy, George Mason University.

Koper, C.S., Lum, C., Wu, X., & Fritz, N. (2020). Proactive policing in the United States: A National Survey. Policing and International Journal (of Strategies and Management). DOI: 10.1108/PIJPSM-06-2020-0086.

Lum, C., Koper, C.S., Wilson, D.B., Stoltz, M., Goodier, M., et al. (2020). Body-worn cameras’ effects on police officers and citizen behavior: A systematic review. Campbell Systematic Reviews, DOI: 10.1002/cl2.1112.

Lum, C., Koper, C.S., Wu, X., Johnson, W., & Stoltz, M. (2020). Examining the Empirical Realities of Proactive Policing through Systematic Observations and Computer Aided Dispatch Data. Police Quarterly, DOI: 10.1177/1098611119896081.

Nagin, D., Koper, C.S., & Lum, C. (2020). Policy Recommendations for Countering Mass Shootings in the United States. Criminology & Public Policy, 19(1).

Expanded Publication List

See CV.

Grants and Fellowships

(Active grants only; for full grant list, see CV.)

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR (with Christopher Koper, also PI). Preventing, preparing, & responding to COVID-19: an in-depth case study on the impacts of COVID-19 on Fairfax County Police Department. FCPD/Bureau of Justice Assistance. ($236,663).

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR (with Christopher Koper, also PI). Improving the Investigation, Clearance Rates, and Victim Restoration of Robberies: A Randomized Controlled Experiment. National Institute of Justice Grant# 2019-R2-CX-0024 ($548,246).

CO-PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR (PI: Christopher Koper). Evidence-Based Strategies for Policing Innovations to Reduce Serious Vehicle Crashes on State and Rural Roadways. International Association of Directors of Law Enforcement Standards and Training/National Highway Transportation Safety Administration. ($49,868).

EDITORS IN CHIEF (with Christopher Koper). American Society of Criminology. Criminology and Public Policy ($257,390).

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR (with Christopher Koper, also PI). Translating, Communicating, and Institutionalizing Research into Policing Practice: A Collaboration between the Prince William County Police Department and the Center for Evidence-Based Crime Policy. National Academy of Sciences. ($49,986).

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR (CO-PI: Christopher Koper). An Evidence-Assessment of the Impacts of Criminal Investigations on Crime Clearance. Arnold Ventures. ($66,565).

CO-PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR (PI: Tom Carr, Executive Director, W/B HIDTA). GMU-HIDTA. Office of National Drug Control Policy. (Total funding since 2017: $17,454,224).

Courses Taught

CRIM 100 Introduction to Criminal Justice

CRIM 401 Policing in America

CRIM 405 Law and Justice Around the World

CRIM 491/492 Administration of Justice Honors Seminar

CRIM 595/795 Evidence-Based Policing

CRIM 760 Evidence-Based Crime Policy (formerly Crime and Crime Policy)

CPET 0100-D74 Evidence-Based Policing: A Course for Practitioners (GMU Continuing Education Program)

OLLI Courses on Crime Prevention, Criminological Theory, and Contemporary Criminal Justice Issues

International Summer School for Policing Scholarship


Ph.D., Criminology and Criminal Justice, University of Maryland (2003)
MSc., Criminology, London School of Economics (1996)
B.A., Political Science, University of California Los Angeles (1995)
B.A., Economics, University of California Los Angeles (1995)

Recent Presentations

See CV.

In the Media


Dissertations Supervised

Sang Jun Park, Examining the "Law of Crime Concentrations" Across Multiple Jurisdictions (2019)

Jacqueline Amber Scherer, Identifying Effective Strategies for Robbery Investigations: An Examination of Organizational, Procedural, and Individual Characteristics (2019)

Gregory Jones, Enhancing Patrol Deployment Strategy and Deployment Efficiency of Police Managers by Utilizing Automated Vehicle Locator Technology (2018)

Heather Vovak, Examining the Relationship between Crime Rates and Clearance Rates Using Dual Trajectory Analysis (2016)

Julie Grieco, Attitudinal Dimensions and Openness to Evidence-Based Policing: Perspectives of Academy Recruits (2016)

Ajima Olaghere, The Everyday Activities That Bind for Crime: Investigating the Process of Routine Activities at Specific Places (2015)