Cynthia Lum

Cynthia Lum

Cynthia Lum


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

Dr. Cynthia Lum is Professor of Criminology, Law and Society and Director the Center for Evidence-Based Crime Policy at George Mason University. She researches primarily in the area of policing, technology, evidence-based crime policy, crime prevention, and translational criminology. Her works in this area include evaluating the impacts of patrol and detective activities, interventions, and technologies; understanding the translation and receptivity of research in policing; and assessing security efforts of federal agencies. With Dr. Christopher Koper she has developed the Evidence-Based Policing Matrix (with Cody Telep) and the Matrix Demonstration Projects, translation tools designed to help police practitioners incorporate research into their strategic and tactical portfolios. Dr. Lum has been appointed to the National Academy of Sciences Committee on Proactive Policing, the National Academy of Sciences Standing Committee on Traffic Law Enforcement, is a member of the Research Advisory Committee of the IACP, the International Advisory Committee of the Scottish Institute for Police Research (SIPR), and the Board of Trustees for the Pretrial Justice Institute. She is the founding editor of Translational Criminology Magazine and the Springer Series on Translational Criminology, and served as 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 new book, with Christopher Koper is Evidence-Based Policing: Translating Research Into Practice (2017, Oxford University Press).

Selected Publications

Recent publications are listed. For full publication list, see Cynthia Lum's C.V.

Lum, Cynthia and Heather Vovak. (2018). Variability in the Use of Misdemeanor Arrests by Police Agencies from 1990 to 2013: An Application of Group-Based Trajectory Modeling. Criminal Justice Policy Review.

Olaghere, Ajima and Cynthia Lum. (2018). Classifying “Micro” Routine Activities of Street Level Drug Transactions. Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency, DOI: 10.1177/0022427818760103

Merola, Linda, Cynthia Lum, and Ryan Murphy. (2018). The impact of license plate recognition technology (LPR) on trust in law enforcement: A survey-experiment Journal of Experimental Criminology. Journal of Experimental Criminology, DOI: 10.1007/s11292-018-9332-8.

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

Willis, James, Christopher S. Koper, and Cynthia Lum. (2017). The Adaptation of License-Plate Readers for Investigative Purposes: Police Technology and Innovation Re-Invention. Justice Quarterly. DOI: 10.1080/07418825.2017.1329936

Lum, Cynthia, Christopher S. Koper, William Johnson, Megan Stoltz, Xiaoyun Wu, and James Carr. (2017). Measuring Police Proactivity. The Police Chief (August 2017), 16-17.

Lum, Cynthia, Christopher S. Koper and Daniel S. Nagin. (2017). 9 Ideas from Research on Improving Police Efforts to Control Crime. The Police Chief (July 2017), 22-26.

Lum, Cynthia, Breanne Cave and Jordan Nichols. (2017). Are Federal Security Efforts Evidence-Based? Security Journal. DOI: 10.1057/s41284-017-0092-3.

Lum, Cynthia and Daniel Nagin. (2017). Reinventing American Policing: A Seven-Point Blueprint for the 21st Century. Crime and Justice 46, 339-393.

Lum, Cynthia, Christopher Koper and James Willis. (2017). Understanding the Limits of Technology’s Impact on Police Effectiveness. Police Quarterly, 20(2), 135-163.


Expanded Publication List

See CV.

Grants and Fellowships


CO-PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR (with Tom Carr, PI). GMU-HIDTA. Office of National Drug Control Policy. (approximately $3 million/year)

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR (with Christopher Koper, also PI). A Study of Patrol Officer Time: A comprehensive analysis of computer aided dispatch data and dispatcher decision making. Laure and John Arnold Foundation. ($193,971).

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR (with Ted Gest, also PI). Analyzing the Progress and Prospects of the 1967 Crime Commission in Today’s Criminal Justice Environment. The Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation ($47,000).

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR (with Christopher Koper, also PI). The Proactivity Lab. Laura and John Arnold Foundation ($348,411).

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR (with Charles Wellford, also PI), Identifying effective investigative practices: A National Study Using Trajectory Analysis. Laura and John Arnold Foundation ($579,207).

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR (with Christopher Koper, also PI), Evaluating the Crime Control and Cost-Benefit Effectiveness of License Plate Recognition (LPR) Technology in Patrol and Investigations. National Institute of Justice Grant 2013-IJ-CX-0017 ($553,713).

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR (with Christopher Koper, also PI), The Evidence-Based Policing Matrix Demonstration Project. Bureau of Justice Assistance Grant #2011-DB-BX-K012 ($1,249,236).

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 760 Crime and Crime Policy

OLLI Courses on Crime Prevention, Criminology, 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)

Dissertations Supervised

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)