Kevin Thomas

Inducted June 2024

Nominated by Jerry Ratcliffe, Temple University


Kevin Thomas is the Executive Director for Data, Analytics and Technology for the Philadelphia Police Department. He has served at PPD for 11 years, most recently as the Director of the Research & Analysis Unit. Prior to his tenure with the PPD, Kevin had 15 years of experience in technology, analytics, and planning, having served at the City of Philadelphia Office of Emergency Management (OEM) and several private-sector consulting firms. He holds a Master’s degree in City and Regional Planning from the University of Pennsylvania and a Bachelor of Science in Physics from the Virginia Military Institute.

Evidence-Based Research and Practice:

In his nomination, Jerry Ratcliffe praises Thomas as being “instrumental in working behind the scenes to test and implement research and science,” noting that “numerous projects would not have been possible without Kevin being in a position to negotiate the research, provide the data, contribute to the ideas, the planning and execution. Such efforts included the Philadelphia Predictive Policing Experiment (funded by the National Institute of Justice), in which Ratcliffe, Thomas, and others, using a randomized controlled trial, found that dedicated marked patrol cars with uniformed officers at predicted crime locations could significantly reduce property crime. Over the years, Thomas has consistently supported the work of several scholars and students at Temple University in pursuing research in the Philadelphia Police Department, providing one-of-a-kind opportunities for field research.

In addition to facilitating and conducting research in the Philadelphia Police Department, Thomas has also been instrumental in institutionalizing a data-centered and evidence-based approach in the agency. He is the Founder and Director of the Research and Analysis Unit, co-located at the Delaware Valley Intelligence Center, a regional fusion center sponsored by the Department of Homeland Security and the Philadelphia Police Department. Thomas transformed the Research & Analysis Unit from 12 staff members into a Department-wide intelligence and crime analysis program consisting of 10 technology staff and over 50 civilian and sworn civil-service analysts. He has also worked to expand the PPD analytic capabilities, including bringing enhanced mapping, link analysis, real-time computer-aided dispatch and GPS information to the agency, and mobile phone support for the entire department. He negotiated with city officials and the police union to develop and support civil service job specifications, implementing civilian career paths for analysts from entry-level to senior management.

Thomas’s unit also plays a key role in the agency’s evidence-based strategy development and performance management. For example, Thomas took the lead in designing the city’s current “Pinpoint” operational strategy. The Pinpoint strategy translates and incorporates research on offender-focused tactics and is now the core crime-fighting strategy of the agency (described in the Crime Prevention and Violence Reduction Action Plan that he co-authored).

Statement from Inductee:


Contributions to Grants, Publications, and Projects:

  • Goldstein, N. E. S., Kreimer, R., Guo, S., Le, T., Cole, L. M., NeMoyer, A., Burke, S., Kikuchi, G., Thomas, K., & Zhang, F. (2021). Preventing school-based arrest and recidivism through prearrest diversion: Outcomes of the Philadelphia police school diversion program. Law and Human Behavior, 45(2), 165–178.
  • Philadelphia Police Department. (2020). Crime Prevention & Violence Reduction Action Plan. City of Philadelphia.
  • Ratcliffe, J.H., Taylor, R.B., Askey, A.P., Thomas, K., Grasso, J., Bethel, K., Fisher, R., & Koehnlein, J. (2021). The Philadelphia Predictive Policing Experiment. Journal of Experimental Criminology, 17(1), 15-41.
  • Ratcliffe, J.H., Lattanzio, M., Kikuchi, G., & Thomas, K. (2019). A partially randomized field experiment on the effect of an acoustic gunshot detection system on police incident reports, Journal of Experimental Criminology, 15(1), 67-76.