Rob Davis

Robert C. Davis

Chief Social Scientist

Research Division


Robert C. Davis is the Police Foundation’s Chief Social Scientist. He has 40 years of experience in criminal justice research and evaluation, and he was the Foundation’s research director from 2003-2006. Davis returned to the Foundation after working as a senior research associate at the Rand Corporation and as research director for the Police Executive Research Forum.  Davis has directed more than 40 projects on victimization, domestic violence, policing, crime prevention, immigration, courts, prosecution, and parolee reentry for federal and state governments and private foundations, and he has worked with several of the nation’s leading law enforcement agencies.

Davis spent twenty years as research director of New York’s Victim Services Agency (now Safe Horizon), by far the nation’s largest organization providing assistance to victims of crime. In this capacity, and as a consultant to the American Bar Association, he produced some of the seminal research on victims and crime, including studies of the role of victims in criminal prosecutions and the significance of informal support networks in victim recovery from crime.  At the same time, he led the effort to develop the first management information system for the Brooklyn, Bronx, and Queens district attorneys’ offices.

As a senior research associate at the Vera Institute of Justice in New York from 1998-2003, he became involved with research on policing.  He led a project for the New York Police Department that surveyed more than 5,000 citizens each month in order to develop measures of citizen satisfaction with police interactions that could be used to hold precinct commanders accountable for service to the public. He continued his interest in policing as a senior research associate at Rand Corporation and as research director at the Police Executive Research Forum. His projects included assessing factors that affect the solvability of cold case homicides, development of a suite of performance measures for police agencies, and creation of a $10 million leadership training institute for the Dallas Police Department.

Davis’ work at NPF has blended his interest in policing and victims. His studies have included an evaluation of a new Texas law mandating testing of all sexual assault kits, an evaluation of New York City’s Ceasefire program, and development of software to automate review of body camera recordings.

He is the editor of three editions of the widely used book Victims of Crime. He has authored two books on crime prevention, is the editor of six books on crime prevention and victimization, and is the author of more than 100 journal articles and book chapters. Among his publications are several Campbell Collaboration meta-analysis papers.

Davis received a Bachelor’s Degree and a Master’s Degree in experimental psychology from the University of Wisconsin.

Areas of Focus

  • Victimization
  • Crime prevention

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