C. Daniel Wagner

Inducted June 2022

Nominated by Anthony Braga and Brandon Turchan (University of Pennsylvania), Heather Vovak (National Policing Institute), and David Weisburd (George Mason University)


Daniel Wagner has served the City of Cambridge (MA) Police Department since 1996, where he holds the rank of Deputy Superintendent. Wagner currently leads the Procedural Justice Section (which includes the Office of Rights and Liberties and the Crime Analysis Unit) and has served in several units and commands across the agency throughout his career. Deputy Superintendent Wagner regularly advises various national criminal justice organizations and is a policing fellow at the National Policing Institute, a National Institute of Justice LEADS scholar, and was the founding vice-president of the American Society of Evidence-Based Policing. Wagner holds a Masters in Public Administration from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

Evidence-Based Research and Practice:

In their nomination of Wagner, Anthony Braga, Brandon Turchan, David Weisburd, and Heather Vovak highlight work on two randomized controlled trials in the Cambridge Police Department. First, in close collaboration with Northeastern University researchers, he played a vital leadership role in implementing a randomized evaluation of a program emphasizing procedural justice in police-citizen encounters in crime hot spots. This project was part of a larger multi-site randomized controlled trial implemented in collaboration with the National Police Foundation, George Mason University, Hebrew University, and Arizona State University (see Weisburd et al., below). Deputy Superintendent Wagner provided crime data to identify hot spot locations, reviewed prospective treatment and control hot spots, recruited officers to participate in the research, helped to provide training in procedural justice, monitored the integrity of treatment and control conditions, and ensured that the randomized controlled trial was implemented as design. As Braga and colleagues assert, “put simply, this experiment would not have happened without [Wagner’s] guidance and close involvement.”

Second, Deputy Superintendent Wagner collaborated with Justice and Security Strategies, Inc. to conduct a randomized controlled experiment to test the Project Regional Analytics for the Safety of Our Residents, a program targeting high-risk offenders that operated across three neighboring jurisdictions in Massachusetts. The program involved 150 chronic offenders who were randomized in statistical blocks to treatment and control conditions. Deputy Superintendent Wagner worked closely with three police agencies to implement and evaluate the program. This study was published in Police Quarterly.

Throughout his career, Deputy Superintendent Wagner has also worked tirelessly to implement reforms and activities to improve policing through an evidence-based policing lens. He currently leads the new Procedural Justice Section, which proactively monitors data on police-citizen interactions for indications of possible racial profiling, racially-biased policing, use of force incidents, and policy and legal compliance to build accountability in the agency. As the commanding officer of the Crime Analysis Unit, Wagner implemented several successful crime prevention strategies based on his keen interest in predictive analytics and data-driven, evidence-based approaches to reducing harm and improving policing outcomes. As the neighborhood community policing lieutenant, he created partnerships to develop successful crime prevention and youth engagement programs. He played a pivotal role in founding the American Society of Evidence-Based Policing and helping to make it a success.

Statement from Inductee:


Contributions to Grants, Publications, and Projects: