Cynthia Lum

Cynthia Lum

Cynthia Lum

Distinguished University Professor

Policing, evidence-based policing, police organizations, patrol and investigations operations, police technologies, evidence-based crime policy and translational criminology

Dr. Cynthia Lum is a Distinguished University 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. Prof. Lum 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. Her and Professor Christopher Koper's book on these topics--Evidence-Based Policing: Translating Research Into Practice (Oxford University Press)--received the American Society of Criminology Division of Policing 2020 Outstanding Book Award. 

Professor Lum is an elected Fellow of the American Society of Criminology (ASC) and the 2023 recipient of ASC's Herbert Bloch Award and the Distinguished Scholar Award for the Division of Policing. She is an appointed member of the Committee on Law and Justice (CLAJ) for the National Academies of Sciences (NAS), and has served on the NAS’s ad hoc committees on Proactive Policing and Evidence to Advance Reform in the Global Security and Justice Sectors. She is a Board Trustee of the Council on Criminal Justice and a Board Director for the National Police Foundation. Prof. Lum is the founding editor of Translational Criminology Magazine and Editor-in Chief (with Professor Christopher Koper) of Criminology & Public Policy, the flagship policy journal of the American Society of Criminology.

Professor Lum is the recipient of the 2017 inaugural Mason Presidential Medal for Excellence in Social Impact and the 2020 Virginia State Council for Higher Education Outstanding Faculty Award.

Selected Publications

Only select publications from 2023-2024 are listed. For full publication list, see Cynthia Lum's C.V.

Lum, C., Koper, C.S., Goodier, M., Johnson, W. and Krause, J. (2024). A multi-method case study of a police agency’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Policing: An International Journal (of Police Strategies and Management), 47(2), 285-305.

Lum, C., Wellford, C., Scott., T., Vovak, H., Scherer, J.A., & Goodier, M. (2024). Differences between high and low performing police agencies in clearing robberies, aggravated assaults, and burglaries: Findings from an eight-agency case study. Police Quarterly, 27(2), 135-157. 

Lum, C., & Koper, C.S. (2024). Operational Guidance for Enhancing Hot Spot “Koper” Patrols. Translational Criminology Magazine, Spring (2024), 4-6.

Park, S., & Lum, C. (2023). Does Weisburd’s Law of Crime Concentration apply to traffic crashes? Implications for policing and traffic law enforcement. Policing: An International Journal (of Police Strategies and Management), 46(5/6), 922-940. 

Kuen, K., Lum, C., & Kim, S. (2023). What Makes Police Officers Resist Research and Evidence-Based Policing? Examining the Role of Organizational and Environmental Factors. Policing: A Journal of Policy and Practice, 17, paad051.

Lum, C., Maupin, C., & Stoltz, M. (2023). The Supply and Demand Shifts in Policing at the Start of the Pandemic: A National Multi-Wave Survey of the Impacts of COVID-19 on American Law Enforcement. Police Quarterly, 26(4), 495-519.

Goodier, M., & Lum, C. (2023). First Point of Contact: Can Procedural Justice be Applied by Emergency Calltakers? Policing: A Journal of Policy and Practice, 17, paac102. 


Expanded Publication List

See CV.

Grants and Fellowships

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

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR (with PI: Burch, J., Co-PIs: Dong, B., Engel, R.). Understanding the Application, Recruitment, Retention, and Careers of Police Officers: A Longitudinal Study. National Policing Institute ($186,401).

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR (Co-PI: Koper, C.S.). Evidence-Based Assessment of Seattle Police Department Investigations. Seattle Police Department ($121,363).

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR (with Koper, C.S., also PI). Institutionalizing and Sustaining an Evidence-Based and Problem-Oriented Approach in Suffolk County Police Department. Bureau of Justice Assistance (via Suffolk County Police Department) Grant # 15PBJA-21-GG-04371-SMTP (GMU portion: $397,846).

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR (with Koper, C.S., also PI). Evidence-Based Policing Course for the State of New York. New York Division of Criminal Justice Services. ($49,932).

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).

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

CO-PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR (PI: Tom Carr). GMU-HIDTA. Office of National Drug Control Policy. (Total funding as of 2021: $25,089,714).

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 510 Policing/Evidence-Based Policing

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

CRIM 795 Research Advancing Fairness and Effectiveness in Policing

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

Michael Goodier, Managing Mental Health Calls For Service: An Evaluability Assessment of Co-Located Behavioral Health Specialists within a Public Safety Call Center (2024)

Heather Prince, Are Those Teenagers Really Up to No Good? Developing a Predictive Model of Juvenile Crime (2022)

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)