Evidence-Based Policing Matrix © Demonstration Project
Cynthia Lum, Christopher Koper, Cody Telep, Julie Hibdon, and Julie Grieco
The Evidence-Based Policing Matrix © is a research-to-practice translation tool that categories and visualizes all experimental and quasi-experimental research on police and crime reduction according to three common dimensions of crime prevention – the nature of the target, the extent to which the strategy is proactive or reactive, and the specificity or generality of the strategy. This categorization and visualization of policing evaluation studies reveals three-dimensional clusters of effective studies, which we refer to as "realms of effectiveness." These realms of effectiveness provide insights into the nature and commonalities of effective police strategies and can be used by police agencies to guide various aspects of their operations.
Learn more about the Matrix Demonstration Project here.
Implementing and evaluating community policing strategies in juvenile crime hot spots
David Weisburd (PI), Charlotte Gill (co-PI), and Zoe Vitter
Office of Community-Oriented Policing Services, $250,000
While there is a growing body of research indicating that crime concentrates at small geographic units or 'hot spots,' little research has examined the unique characteristics of juvenile offending at places. This project seeks to develop, implement, and rigorously evaluate a community-oriented policing approach to juvenile crime hot spots in Seattle. CEBCP will work with the police and community to develop community policing and problem-solving responses targeted at the specific risk factors for juvenile crime in each hot spot. These strategies, while police-led, will focus on crime prevention rather than traditional arrest-based law enforcement approaches.
Sacramento Police Department Partnership
Renee Mitchell, Sacramento PD (PI), David Weisburd, Cynthia Lum, Christopher Koper and Cody Telep
Sgt. Renee Mitchell in collaboration with the CEBCP has recently completed a hot spots policing experiment in Sacramento. Sgt. Mitchell undertook this project without any additional funding. The Sacramento Police Department released a press release announcing the significant crime declines that resulted from the experiment: "'Hot Spots' Policing Reduces Crime" and the COPS Office also summarized the results from the experiment.
City of Seattle Project
David Weisburd, Cynthia Lum, and Charlotte Gill
On May 2 and 3, 2011, the City of Seattle and the CEBCP collaborated on a series of discussions about evidence-based approaches to crime reduction. Click here to see the presentations, notes, and related links from the discussions. Seattle’s Office of City Auditor also issued a report "Addressing Crime and Disorder in Seattle’s “Hot Spots”: What Works?" based in part on research by David Weisburd and colleagues on crime at place in Seattle.
In September 2012 The Seattle Office of City Auditor published the Review of Research Literature done by CEBCP as part of the Evidence-Based Assessment of the City of Seattle's Crime Prevention Programs.
Research In Policing – Technology. National Institute of Justice Office of Research and Evaluation.
Christopher Koper (PI ), Cynthia Lum (PI), and James Willis (co-PI)
This project will examine the social, organizational, and behavioral implications of new technological tools for policing. While technological advances hold great promise for enhancing the effectiveness, fairness, and legitimacy of policing, there has been little research on the implementation and impacts of policing technology, and that which does exist suggests that technology does not always bring expected benefits. There is thus a need to better understand both how technology affects police agencies and how, in turn, various aspects of police agencies and their environments shape the uses and effectiveness of policing technology. This project will examine these issues through in-depth cases studies and experiments in four police agencies. The goal of the project will be to illuminate the organizational practices and changes needed to fully realize the potential of technology for enhancing the fairness and effectiveness of policing
iPhone Applications for Policing
David Weisburd (PI), Charlotte Gill, and Julie Grieco
Advances in technology, such as smartphones and other mobile devices, provide new opportunities for data-driven law enforcement. CEBCP is collaborating with the Redlands, CA Police Department (RPD) and the Omega Group to develop and test an iPhone application that allows police officers to access and record data on hot spots, crime incidents, and people while out on patrol. The research team is also surveying officers and civilians to understand their technological capabilities and needs, and will evaluate the prototype app in a randomized controlled field experiment. This project is funded by the National Institute of Justice.
Evaluation of the Transportation Security Administration’s Comprehensive Strategy to Security at Airports
David Weisburd (PI), Cynthia Lum (PI), Charlotte Gill, Devon Johnson, Linda Merola, Julie Willis Hibdon, and Breanne Cave
The security of transportation facilities is of national concern and carries significant costs. Yet, very little evidence exists on what types or processes, programs, and interagency strategies yield the most effective cost-beneficial security structures. Through funding from the Department of Homeland Security, this project examines crime prevention and security in our nation's airports in a multi-stage evaluation.
Evaluation of License Plate Recognition Systems
Cynthia Lum (PI) and Linda Merola (co-PI) with Julie Willis Hibdon and Breanne Cave
Objectives: This randomized controlled experiment tests whether license plate readers (LPR) deter crime generally, and automobile crime more specifically in crime hot spots. The limited intervention tested here reflects one current likely use of LPR at the time of this publication.
Methods: We use a place-based block randomized experiment. Our subjects were 30 hot spots across two jurisdictions, 15 which were assigned to experimental conditions. The treatment involved targeted police patrols using a "sweep and sit" approach with license plate readers in these hot spots, also applying the Koper Curve timing principle. We examine effects of the intervention during and in a 30-day period post-intervention, controlling for pre-intervention levels of crime, seasonal factors, and jurisdiction.
Results: Our findings indicate that, when small numbers of LPR patrols are used in crime hot spots in the way we have tested them here, they do not seem to generate either a general or offense-specific deterrent effect.
Conclusions: While we did not find significant findings of this intervention, a number of limitations and caveats to this study must be considered in conjunction with these findings. The authors suggest how already acquired LPRs might be used in ways that might increase their effectiveness in crime hot spots.
View the full final report to NIJ here.
CEBCP-University of Cambridge Partnership
Cynthia Lum (PI)
Building an evidence-based policing infrastructure requires that police researchers understand, develop, and participate in activities that facilitate the translation of research to practice. One core component of this participation is finding methods to meaningfully interact with police practitioners in ways that convey research findings and provide opportunities to apply research in practice. The CEBCP-University of Cambridge Partnership pairs the Evidence-Based Research Program with the University of Cambridge, Institute of Criminology, Police Executive Programme (Dr. Lawrence Sherman, Director). Specifically, this grant serves to build the capacity for law enforcement agents in the United Kingdom to become more evidence-based in their daily practices, to improve their education in this area, and to apply their knowledge acquisition in the field. This venture is spearheaded by Dr. Cynthia Lum, co-Director of the Evidence-Based Research Program and fellow collaborators of the Evidence-Based Policing Matrix, Dr. Christopher Koper and Mr. Cody Telep.
CEBCP-Association of Prosecuting Attorneys Partnership
The field of prosecution needs a stronger evidence-base. Researchers within the CEBCP explore this need through a collaboration with the Association of Prosecuting Attorneys. The first project focuses on a research contract on animal abuse. But more generally, the CEBCP and APA hope to begin a relationship in which the area of evidence-based prosecution might be advanced. Drs. Cynthia Lum and Christopher Koper are developing another Matrix - the "Evidence-Based Prosecution Matrix" in this area.
Bernardino Valley Broken Windows Policing Experiment
David Weisburd (PI), Josh Hinkle, Christine
Famega, and Justin Ready
Over the last two
decades, “Broken Windows Policing” has become a central component of
police strategies to combat crime and disorder. But surprisingly,
Broken Windows Policing itself has not been subject to sustained
empirical examination. In this project, we address this knowledge
gap by conducting a randomized, experimental evaluation of Broken
Windows Policing in three cities in the San Bernardino Valley area
of California. Questions addressed in this study will be whether
broken windows policing reduced fear, made residents feel safer, and
increased collective community efficacy. This project is being
funded by the National Institute of Justice and is conducted in
conjunction with researchers at the University of Maryland and
California State University, San Bernardino.
The Effects of
Problem-Oriented Policing on Crime and Disorder: A Systematic Review
David Weisburd (PI), Cody
Telep, Josh Hinkle, and John Eck
policing has diffused quickly since Herman Goldstein’s original
conception in 1979. Today, more than two-thirds
of large police departments utilize POP. In this
project, we conducted a Campbell Collaboration systematic
review of POP programs to synthesize the extant literature on
problem-oriented policing to determine whether this widely adopted
innovation is effective in reducing crime and disorder. Eligible studies for this review had to meet rigorous
methodological criteria set forth by
. After an exhaustive literature review, only 10 eligible
studies were discovered, which indicate that in general, POP does
help reduce crime, but our ability to contextualize this finding was
limited by the small number of methodologically rigorous studies. An examination of pre/post evaluations of
problem-oriented policing indicate this program has much promise. Final report available here.
The Influence of Places on Policing (NIJ DuBois Fellowship)
Cynthia Lum (PI)
Do characteristics of places, in particular their racial, ethnic, immigrant, or language composition, influence police decision making?
As the 2007-2008 National Institute of Justice W.E.B. DuBois Fellow, Dr. Lum examines whether police officers “upgrade” or “downgrade” either the seriousness of a call for service or their decision to take further actions (reports, arrests) may be influenced by the characteristics of people who reside at those places. Over 250,000 “decision making pathways” for all crime and across all small spaces in an entire city are analyzed in this study.
Article in Justice Quarterly
NIJ Full Report
American Policing Lecture at the Police Foundation
(November 17, 2008)
In 1998 Lawrence Sherman, in his Ideas in American Policing lecture, advocated that “police practices should be based on
scientific evidence about what works best.” Like many other policing
experts at the time, Sherman believed that police decision-making
should be driven by scientific evidence, rather than by
organizational culture, tradition, crises, ideology, hunches, or
political pressures. Ten years have passed, and while important
strides have been made, American police agencies and their research
partners continue to struggle with systematically implementing and
institutionalizing evidence-based strategies. In her lecture, Dr.
Cynthia Lum organized the most rigorous police evaluation
research into a usable framework designed to both inform practice
and generate new research and funding agendas. A specific discussion
of this tool is forthcoming by Lum, Koper and Telep.
Cynthia Lum (PI)
Project TIPLINE was developed by Dr. Cynthia Lum at George Mason University, in collaboration with the Departments of Justice (NIJ) and Defense (SPAWAR), to provide law enforcement with free tools to develop tip line systems for building their capacity to respond to critical incidents as well as investigative and community-based problem solving projects using large amounts of publically-garnered information. Inspired by lessons learned from the Washington DC tri-state area sniper incident, Project TIPLINE is an automated tip collection, management, andanalytic tool which is adaptable, operationally relevant, practitioner friendly, and technologically efficient. Included with the free software is also an operational handbook designed in consultation with police partners to guide agencies through the process of setting up the automated TIPLINE system and also in developing standard operating procedures, strategies, and tactics for preparing and responding to critical events using large amounts of tips gathered from the public.