Associate Professor of Criminology, Law and Society, George Mason University
- The best policing strategy to reduce crime is based on research that is area-specific, proactive, and focused.
In the article, “The Evidence-Based Policing Matrix,” Lum and her co-authors present a way to translate evidence-based policing research into the field by using the Evidence-Based Policing Matrix (the Matrix). The Matrix is an evolving research-to-practice tool that helps officers in three dimensions of crime prevention: its nature, active a strategy is, and how general or specific the strategy should be. To create the Matrix, researchers mapped 97 police evaluation studies along the three dimensions of crime prevention. The data showed that the studies that created the Matrix largely had positive results, but when a methodology check for quality was added, there was a significant cutoff. Results showed that the best policing strategy to reduce crime is based on research that is area-specific, proactive, and focused. The researchers concluded that similar matrix process that analyze and implement strategy may be useful in other policing outcomes such as police legitimacy and use of force.