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 the Center for Evidence-Based Crime Policy at George Mason University. She researches primarily in the areas of policing, evidence-based crime policy, crime prevention, technology, and translational criminology. Her works in these areas include evaluating the impacts of patrol and detective activities, interventions, and technologies; understanding the translation and receptivity of research in policing; and measuring police proactivity. 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.

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 a member of the National Police Foundation Board of Directors, the Research Advisory Committee of the International Association of Chiefs of Police, the Misdemeanor Justice Project at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, and an Executive Counselor for the American Society of Criminology. 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). Professors Lum and Koper are the next editors in chief of Criminology and Public Policy, the flagship policy journal of the American Society of Criminology.

Selected Publications

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

Lum, Cynthia, Megan Stoltz, and Christopher S. Koper. (2019). The Research on Body-Worn Cameras: What We Know, What We Need to Know. Criminology and Public Policy, 18(1), 93-118.

Wellford, Charles, Cynthia Lum, Thomas Scott, Heather Vovak, and Amber Scherer. (2019). Clearing Homicides: The Role of Organizational, Case, and Investigative Dimensions. Criminology and Public Policy.

Koper, Christopher S., and Cynthia Lum. (2019). The Impacts of Large-Scale License Plate Reader Deployment on Criminal Investigations. Police Quarterly, 22(3), 305-329.

Scott, Thomas, Charles Wellford, Cynthia Lum and Heather Vovak. (2018). Variability of Crime Clearance among Police Agencies. Police Quarterly, DOI: 10.1177/1098611118796597.

Lum, Cynthia, Christopher S. Koper, James Willis, Stephen Happeny, Heather Vovak, and Jordan Nichols. (2018). The rapid diffusion of license plate readers in US law enforcement agencies. Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies and Management, DOI: 10.1108/PIJPSM-04-2018-0054.

Lum, Cynthia and Gest, Ted. (Special Issue Editors). (2018). Progress and Prospects: The Fiftieth Anniversary of the 1967 President’s Crime Commission Report in Today’s Criminal Justice Environment. Criminology and Public Policy, 17(2), 1-5.

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, 29(6-7), 536–560.

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

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 (PI: Tom Carr). GMU-HIDTA. Office of National Drug Control Policy. (Total funding sincce 2017: $10,597,339).

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).

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).

CO-PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR (PIs: Christopher Koper and Daniel Nagin). NSF Workshop funding: An Evidence-Based Approach to Understanding and Countering Mass Violence in America. National Science Foundation. ($49,895).

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR (with Christopher Koper, also PI). Systematic Review of Body-Worn Cameras. Campbell Collaboration (from the Laura and John Arnold Foundation). ($86,053).

EDITORS IN CHIEF (with Christopher Koper). American Society of Criminology. Criminology and Public Policy ($174,087).

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. Laura and John Arnold Foundation. ($193,971).

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, 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

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)