Jonas H. Baughman

Inducted June 2024

Nominated by Joel Caplan, Rutgers University-Newark


Jonas Baughman is a highly decorated 21-year veteran of the Kansas City, Missouri, Police Department (KCPD). He is currently a Captain and assigned to the Office of the Chief of Police where he provides strategic analysis and other metrics for executive staff and completes other data-driven projects. He has held assignments in patrol, investigations, administration, and crime/intelligence analysis during his tenure. Captain Baughman holds a B.A. in psychology from Creighton University (Omaha, NE) and is currently working on a Masters of Science in Data Analytics at Rockhurst University in Kansas City (MO). He is a member of the NIJ’s LEADS Scholars program and has been awarded the IACP Excellence in Law Enforcement Research Award.

Evidence-Based Research and Practice:

For over a decade, Captain Baughman has been actively engaged in evidence-based policing in his and other agencies, both in the U.S. and globally. In his nomination, Prof. Joel Caplan praises three specific achievements of Baughman’s that especially epitomize his efforts. The first was Baughman’s proactive interest in, and then the use of, Caplan’s Risk Terrain Modeling (RTM) approach to develop Kansas City’s Violent Crime Initiative (VCI). Whereas previous VCIs used little more than lists of active warrants to determine target locations, Captain Baughman utilized RTM analyses to drive resources more proactively to balance crime response and prevention, which ultimately contributed to a 15% reduction in aggravated assaults and other violent crimes. His experience with RTM led him to partner with Caplan and spearhead KCPD’s participation in a national program to test RTM with a grant from the National Institute of Justice. Captain Baughman created and used RTM analyses to inform patrol commanders’ and municipal departments’ preventive responses to neighborhoods challenged by violent crime. His recommendations also influenced change in dispatch protocols in high-risk areas identified in the RTM analysis to enhance officer safety. Captain Baughman’s work on the NIJ project yielded double-digit crime reductions in the treatment area.

More recently, Captain Baughman has led a groundbreaking and self-initiated research project using RTM to implement a citywide approach known as Risk-Based Policing (RBP). The project resulted in a 22 percent reduction in violent gun crime in the treatment areas. Another interesting finding was that patrol officers’ self-initiated activity resulting in any enforcement action (e.g., traffic ticket or custodial arrest) declined by nearly 60% in the same treatment areas. Captain Baughman’s study demonstrated that police can effectively reduce and prevent crime without an increase in arrests or other law enforcement actions directed at people located in high-risk places. These efforts were recognized by both the Center for Problem-Oriented Policing and the International Association of Chiefs of Police. Currently, he is transitioning KCPD’s RBP efforts to become a city-led Data-Informed Community Engagement (DICE) program. This initiative, supported by the Mayor, was then institutionalized through official legislation passed by the Kansas City Council. This legislation codified the city’s plan to use data-driven strategies, including RTM specifically, to create and sustain the efforts of a newly created multi-disciplinary task force designed to reduce and prevent crime across the city. Baughman’s work has also extended to Dallas (TX), Sweden, and the United Kingdom.

Prof. Joel Caplan highly praised Baughman’s efforts over the years, stating: “Captain Baughman is innovative and impactful. Practitioners and policymakers respect his work, and academics have very high regard for his scholarship. He is a true broker of research-to-practice and practice-to-research and is an exceptional ambassador for the field of policing and criminal justice through his career accomplishments. Captain Baughman routinely demonstrates the power of scholarship for the public good, which makes him especially deserving of entry into the CEBCP’s Evidence-Based Policing Hall of Fame.”

Statement from Inductee:

I wish to begin my statement here by first thanking Dr. Joel Caplan, of Rutgers University, for deeming me worthy to be nominated for the Center for Evidence-Based Crime Policy’s Evidence-Based Policing Hall of Fame. I have come to cherish our working relationship conducting policing research as well as the friendship we have cultivated over nearly 15 years.

I would also like to quickly but sincerely acknowledge my wife, Ashleigh, for her never-ending patience and support as I continually undertake a variety of endeavors in my career. Many of these are related directly to my assignments with the Kansas City, Missouri Police Department but several extracurricular efforts have emerged over time, including partnering with academics to conduct research and joining the NIJ’s LEADS program, among others. Knowing Ashleigh has walked with me on this path over the years simply means I would not have accomplished what I have without her in my life.

Shifting to the importance of evidence-based policing, I feel confident in saying it is quickly becoming the “new normal” in policing, at least in part. The term “evidence-based policing” has been around for several years but I sense we are rapidly approaching a tipping point in modern police organizations (or perhaps better said, police culture) where using available data and evidence to drive decision-making is becoming more of the norm as opposed to the notable exception. I feel honored to know I am playing my own small role in helping this tipping point reach us faster. I am further humbled to join those in the Evidence-Based Policing Hall of Fame who have set admirable examples of using evidence-based practices for others, including myself, to follow.

Along those lines, I am fortunate to know several of the existing and new Hall of Fame inductees, virtually all of whom have shared the sentiment they often felt rather unique in their respective organizations due to the fact they thought differently about how to use data, analysis, or evidence to guide their individual work or, ideally, their organizations in a larger, more strategic sense. They remained steadfast in their vision for what policing can and should become; I commend them for maintaining that passion and bringing that vision to fruition!

Thankfully, the number of policing professionals who want and expect to use evidence to guide their work and service to their communities in such ways continues to grow. These professionals and their academic partners will unquestionably lead policing into a new era, particularly as expectations from local communities and governments continue to increase and evolve. Moreover, those same communities and governments have come to expect policing to become more evidence-based and data-driven. We therefore owe it to them to fully embrace the challenge thrust upon us.

Last, I wish to conclude my statement by emphasizing my appreciation for this award, not just for personal reasons but for those that transcend any individual recipient. Receiving recognition and awards for one’s work is undeniably exciting and gratifying, but I think it is important to remember the bigger picture of what the Evidence-Based Policing Hall of Fame represents: acknowledgement of the growing trend where police officials and academics continue to partner and work together to evaluate or, in increasing numbers, generate new research to guide and improve the policing profession.

Although I may be designated as the award recipient, it recognizes far more than the culmination of my individual efforts. The stark reality is I would not have been able to achieve it without the combined efforts of dedicated research partners, supportive Chiefs of Police, and perhaps most importantly, the police officers that put in the work to bring various research efforts to light.

This Evidence-Based Policing Hall of Fame award is therefore our award, not my award. Thank you all!

Contributions to Grants, Publications, and Projects:

  • Baughman, J.H. (2022). “An Introduction to GIS” and “Commanders – A Crime Analyst’s Best Companion?” In The Crime Analyst’s Companion, edited by Bland, M., Barak A., and Ridgeon, N., pp. 105 – 124. Springer.
  • Baughman, J.H. (2020). The Case for Crime Analysis: A Necessity in Modern Policing. Police Chief, 87, 12-39.
  • Baughman, J.H. & Caplan, J.M. (2010). Applying Risk Terrain Modeling to a Violent Crimes Initiative in Kansas City, Missouri. RTM Insights, 1.
  • Baughman, J.H. & Caplan, J.M. (2020). Risk-Based Policing in the Kansas City, Missouri Police Department. Research in Brief. Police Chief Online.
  • Caplan, J.M., Kennedy, L.W., & Baughman, J. (2012). Kansas City’s Violent Crime Initiative: A Place-Based Evaluation of Location-Specific Intervention Activities during a Fixed Time Period. Crime Mapping, 4(2), 9-37.
  • Caplan, J.M., Kennedy, L.W., Drawve, G., & Baughman, J.H. (2021). Data-Informed and Place-Based Violent Crime Prevention: The Kansas City, Missouri Risk-Based Policing Initiative. Police Quarterly24(4), 438-464.
  • Piza, E.L. & Baughman, J.H. (2021). Modern Policing Using ArcGIS Pro. Esri Press.
  • Piza, E.L., Hatten, D.N., Carter, J.G., Baughman, J.H., & Mohler, G.O. (2023). Gunshot Detection Technology Time Savings and Spatial Precision: An Exploratory Analysis in Kansas City. Policing: A Journal of Policy and Practice, 17, paac097.
  • Piza, E., Arietti, R., Carter, J. and Mohler, G. (Forthcoming). The Effect of Gunshot Detection Technology on Evidence Collection and Case Clearance in Kansas City, Missouri. Journal of Experimental Criminology. DOI: 10.1007/s11292-023-09594-6.
  • Piza, E., Hatten, D., Mohler, G., Carter, J., and Cho, J. (Forthcoming). Gunshot Detection Technology Effect on Gun Violence in Kansas City, Missouri: A Microsynthetic Control Evaluation. Criminology & Public Policy. DOI: 10.1111/1745-9133.12648.