L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs

L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs



William Pelfrey Jr.

William Pelfrey Jr.


Scherer Hall, Room 205 Phone: (804) 828-8467 Email: wvpelfrey@vcu.edu


  • Policing
  • Terrorism prevention
  • Spatial analysis of crime


B.S., Psychology, Western Carolina University
M.S., Clinical Psychology, Radford University
Ph.D., Criminal Justice, Temple University


Graduate research methods, forensic psychology, terrorism, police administration, problems in policing and homeland security

Research interests

Policing, terrorism prevention, the spatial analysis of crime, police use of force, crime patterns, the psychology of the offender and program evaluation


Dr. William Pelfrey’s work addresses issues of programmatic effectiveness within the context of public safety, particularly revolving around law enforcement agencies. He has written numerous articles, book chapters and manuscripts as well as applied research reports for local, state and federal agencies. Pelfrey’s research has been published in the nation’s leading scholastic journals, including Justice Quarterly, Criminal Justice Studies, Homeland Security Review and the Journal of Criminal Justice. He also serves as an expert commentator on crime patterns, law enforcement and the psychology of crime for numerous media outlets.

Applied work plays an important role in Pelfrey’s research agenda. His research projects include efficacy evaluations of drug treatment courts, juvenile crime reduction programs, law enforcement and community policing efforts, cyberbullying, safety in schools and homeland security. Pelfrey has served as principal or co-principal investigator on grants from a variety of federal, state and local funding sources.


ChairHomeland Security/Emergency Preparedness, 2011-2021. Currently Professor in both Criminal Justice and HSEP.

Criminal Justice Research Alliance—Board Member. Invited to serve on national level board which guides research policy and national lobbying activity, representing the two largest criminal justice associations. Term is 2020-2022.

Chair—Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences Public Policy Committee: Led a twelve-person committee to address the intersection of criminal justice and policy issues, with special focus on informing government decision-makers and members of the media. Term is 2020-2022.

Faculty Development Fellowship—Virginia Commonwealth University, 2018. Awarded competitive fellowship to study terrorism and radicalization in Lebanon, June/July 2018.

Residential Fellowship—Max Planck Institute, 2016, Awarded residential, paid fellowship to study terrorism learning at the Max Planck Institute in Germany. Residential period was Summer 2016, I continue work with the Institute as a Fellow.

Authored Research Book:

Weber, N.L. and Pelfrey, W.V. (2014). Cyberbullying: Causes, Consequences, and Coping Strategies. El Paso, TX: LFB Scholarly Publishing.

Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles:

Pelfrey, W.V. (2020). Emergency Manager Perceptions of the Effectiveness and Limitations of Mass Notification Systems:  A Mixed Method Study.  Journal of Homeland Security and Emergency Management.  Published Online First: https://doi.org/10.1515/jhsem-2019-0070

Pelfrey, William and Young, Anna. (2020) Police Crisis Intervention Teams: Understanding Implementation Variations and Officer Level Impacts.  Journal of Police and Criminal Psychology, 35, 1, 1-12.

Brady, Caitlin; Baker, Thomas, and William Pelfrey. (2019). Comparing the Impact of Bullying Victimization on Drug Use and Weapon Carrying among Male and Female Middle and High School Students:  A Partial Test of General Strain Theory. Deviant Behavior:  Online First: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/01639625.2019.1637405

Pelfrey, William and Steven Keener. (2018). Body Worn Cameras and Officer Perceptions: A Mixed Method Pretest Posttest of Patrol Officers and Supervisors. Published Online First: Journal of Crime and Justice.

Pelfrey, William, Steven Keener and Michael Perkins*.  (2018). Examining the Role of Demographics in Campus Crime Alerts—Implications and Recommendations.  Race and Justice, 8, 3, 244-269.

Pelfrey, William and Steven Keener. (2016).  Police Body Worn Cameras:  A Mixed Method Approach Assessing Perceptions of Efficacy.  Policing:  An International Journal of Police Strategies and Management, 39, 3, 491-506.

Baker, Thomas and William Pelfrey.  (2016). Bullying Victimization, Social Network Usage, and Delinquent Coping in a Sample of Urban Youth:  Examining the Predictions of General Strain Theory.  Violence and Victims, 31, 6, 1021-1043.

Baker, T. and Pelfrey, W.V. (2016) Exploring the Effects of Traditional and Cyberbullying Victimization on the Delinquent Coping of Frequent and Infrequent Users of Social Networking Sites: An Examination of Experienced and Anticipated Strains among a Sample of Urban Youth. Violence and Victims.

Pelfrey, W.V.  (2015). Cigarette Trafficking, Smurfing and Volume Buying: Policy, Investigation, and Methodology Recommendations from a Case Study.  Criminal Justice Policy Review, 26, 7, 713-726.

Pelfrey, W.V. and Weber, N.L. (2015). Active and Passive Strategies to Combat Cyberbullying in an Urban Student Population. Preventing School Failure, 59, 4, 227-236.

Pelfrey, W.V. (2014). Policing Heterogeneity through Omniculturalism: An Assessment of County Level Correlates of Terrorist Attacks in the United States. Criminology and Public Policy, 13, 3, 483-491.

Pelfrey, W.V. and Weber, N.L. (2014). Talking Smack and the Telephone Game: Conceptualizing Cyberbullying with Middle and High School Youth. Journal of Youth Studies, 17, 3, 397-414. Impact Factor—1.38.

Baker, T, Pelfrey,W.V., Bedard, L., Dhungana,L, Gertz, M., and K. Golden. (2014). Female inmates’ procedural justice perceptions of the police and courts: Is there a spill-over of police effects? Criminal Justice and Behavior, 41, 2, 144-162.

Pelfrey, W.V. and Bubolz, B.F. (2014). Hybridizing Socrates: A Hybrid Approach to Teaching Graduate Research Methods. Journal of Criminal Justice Education, 25, 1, 34-53.

Pelfrey, Jr., W.V. & Weber, N.L. (2013). Keyboard gangsters: An analysis of incidence and correlates of cyberbullying in a large urban student population. Deviant Behavior.34, 1, 68-84.