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William Pelfrey Jr.

William Pelfrey Jr.

Associate Professor

Program Chair
Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness

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


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


Graduate and undergraduate criminal justice research methods, forensic psychology, white collar crime, 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. Pelfrey’s work addresses issues of programmatic effectiveness within the context of officer-level activities as well as links between community policing practices and terrorism prevention. 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. Pelfrey’s observations have been cited by the Washington Post, the New York Post, the Charlotte Sun Herald and National Public Radio.

Applied work plays an important role in Dr. Pelfrey’s research agenda. His research projects include efficacy evaluations of drug treatment courts, juvenile crime reduction programs, law enforcement and community policing efforts. He also serves as a member of the curriculum evaluation team for the Center for Homeland Defense and Security at the Naval Postgraduate School, the nation’s premier provider of homeland security graduate and executive level education. Pelfrey’s most recent work investigates the incidence, causes and correlates of cyber-bullying in large student populations. He is a member of the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences, the American Society of Criminology and the Southern Criminal Justice Association.

Selected publications

Pelfrey, Sr.,W.V. and W.V. Pelfrey, Jr. (2011). Sense-making in a Nascent Field: A Conceptual Framework for Understanding the The Emerging Discipline of Homeland Security. Homeland Security Review, accepted for publication, expected in Fall, 2011 Issue.

Pelfrey, W.V. (2009). An Exploratory Study of Local Homeland Security Preparedness: Findings and Implications for Future Assessments. Criminal Justice Policy Review, 20, 261-273.

Pelfrey, Sr.,W.V. and W.V. Pelfrey, Jr. (2009). Curriculum Evaluation and Revision in a Nascent Field: The Utility of the Retrospective Pretest Posttest Model in a Homeland Security Program of Study. Evaluation Review, 34, 52-84.

Pelfrey, W.V. (2007). Style of Policing Adopted by Rural Police and Deputies: An Analysis of Job Satisfaction and Community Policing. Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies and Management, 30, 4, 620-636.

Pelfrey, W.V. (2007). Local Law Enforcement Terrorism Prevention Efforts: A State Level Case Study. Journal of Criminal Justice, 35, 3, 313-321.

Pelfrey, W.V. and Michele White Covington. (2007). Deaths in Custody: The Utility of Data Collected from County Coroners. Criminal Justice Studies, 20, 1, 65-78.

Pelfrey, W.V. (2004). The Inchoate Nature of Community Policing: Examining the Differences between Community and Traditional Police Officers. Justice Quarterly, 21, 3, 579-601.