Each month, the Office of Sponsored Programs will spotlight a different PI and their research. If you are interested in being featured in our next spotlight, please email Please be sure to provide us with an abstract (3-5 paragraphs) about your research, explanation of your recent project, the amount your project (s) were funded for, special events that you are hosting or coordinating, obstacles or challenges you faced during the application process, if applicable, and a photo of yourself.   

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Chelsea Binns, PhD, CFE, LPI
Professor, Department of Security, Fire and Emergency Management

John Jay College of  Criminal Justice

Dr. Chelsea Binns is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Security, Fire and Emergency Management at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. She is a security expert, with a PhD in Criminal Justice from the CUNY Graduate Center/John Jay College. She is also a licensed Private Investigator and a Certified Fraud Examiner. Her current research agenda was informed by the work that she performed in both the public (NYC Dept. of Investigation, NYS Office of the Attorney General) and private sectors (Citibank, Morgan Stanley). Her areas of expertise include back-ground checks, corporate crime, cybercrime, investigations, and organizational fraud. She is the author of “Fraud Hotlines: Design, Performance and Assess-ment” (2017) and the lead editor of “The Art of Investigation” (2019) which were both published by CRC Press. Both books were the first of their kind in their re-spective fields.

Dr. Binns has completed one externally-funded study and is currently working on her second.

1. The first project (total award $25,000) is a security study funded by Our Neighborhoods, a security coali-tion, which will culminate in a book for Springer’s SpringerBriefs in Criminology series tentatively titled “Crime Control in Hotel and Home Shares” with an anticipated publication date in late 2020. The goal of this study was to comparatively review the security and safety features of hotels and home sharing ser-vices. This study included an analysis of applicable theories, laws and crime data to determine responsibil-ity for crime control and prevention in hotels and home shares. This study identified the key policy ques-tions about the role of the guest in ensuring their own safety in these settings, which should be considered by policy makers and citizens/guests alike.

2. The second project is a security study which has received funding totaling $49,480 (including an external award from ASIS ($42,000) and several internal awards (including an OAR Emergency Funds Award $4000; 2. A PSC-CUNY Research Award $3130; and a Stewart Travel Award $350.) This study is primarily funded by the American Society of Industrial Security (ASIS), a leading global secu-rity industry organization is tentatively titled “Using Social Media to Gather Security Intelligence.”

The main purpose of this research project is to conduct case studies that demonstrate how social media data can be analyzed using artificial intelligence (AI) to collect security-relevant intelligence. This research study will ask: Can social media data, analyzed using AI, provide the security practitioner with unique, actionable information that can improve safety and security from both physical and logical threats? To achieve this goal, the following sub-questions will be explored: 1. Does social media data contain valuable security-related data? 2. Can AI technologies enhance the analytical process? 3. Can the information gleaned from social media data using AI improve security practices? This study is expected to provide valuable information to security practi-tioners about new data sources and methods of information analysis that maybe helpful in ascertaining secu-rity risks.

Dr. Binns is the past president of the New York Chapter of the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners. She is also the recipient of several teaching and employee recognition awards. Before joining John Jay College, she was a Senior Vice President in Citibank's Fraud Surveillance Unit in New York City.