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Increasing Analytic Capacity of State and Local Law Enforcement Agencies

Analysis has been a part of American policing for more than a century. Evolving from pin mapping to comparative data tables; from simple patterns analysis and batch processing on mainframe computers to user interface with real-time analysis; and eventually to more flexible and sophisticated analysis, such as the Geographic Information System (GIS), law enforcement has used a variety of analytics to respond to crime. After the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the need for more robust intelligence capabilities and analytic capacity at the state and local law enforcement levels became more apparent than ever before. Considering the anticipated exponential growth in information and the consequential technology expansion, increased analytic capacity could become the single most-important resource for criminal justice agencies in America. Moving into the next century, agencies should invest in increased analytic capacity to move beyond a world of data analysis of past and current crime trends, and they should incorporate additional factors to efficiently and effectively create a more comprehensive policing strategy. This report provides an in-depth look at the successful integration of analytics within law enforcement agencies. It examines the application and impact of several initiatives, some of which are based on intelligence-led policing, to include: • Bureau of Justice Assistance, Targeting Violent Crime Initiative • Office of Justice Programs, Strategic Approach to Community Safety Initiative • National Institute for Justice, Study of Law Enforcement Intelligence • Michigan State University, Intelligence Toolbox Training Program— Intelligence-Led Policing Self-Assessment • Community-Oriented Policing Services, Integrating Crime Analysis with Patrol Operations Through the examination of these successful analytic initiatives and in anticipation of the future explosion of the data availability, this report emphasizes the following findings regarding fundamental steps to increase analytic capacity: • Every law enforcement agency can benefit from developing an analytic capacity. • Analysts need to have a broad training program to facilitate their ability to fulfill a range of analytic roles within medium-sized and smaller agencies. • Law enforcement agencies need to develop a professional career track for analysts. • Medium-sized and smaller agencies need to develop an integrated analytic model to service diverse functions (intelligence analysis, crime analysis, real-time crime, etc.). • The culture of law enforcement administrators, officers, and elected officials must embrace the value provided by an analyst as a professional member of a law enforcement agency’s crime control team.

Published: 2012