- Crime Analyst
The responsibilities of the Crime and Intelligence Analyst are wide-ranging and cover various aspects of the Police Department. The Analyst’s responsibilities can be broken down in to four basic categories:
- Crime Analysis
- Intelligence Analysis
- Investigative Analysis
- Administrative Analysis
Many of these fields will overlap or parallel one another during the course of an investigation or project. The Analyst also performs many administrative functions. Above all else, the first priority of the Analyst is the safety of the Officers they support.
There are two types of crime analysis, tactical and strategic; the Analyst is responsible for both.
- Tactical crime analysis is defined as the study of recent criminal activity. Typically the Analyst will include only crime that has occurred in the last three months. The specific goal of tactical crime analysis is to identify series of crimes through the analysis of patterns, investigative leads, suspect information, and previous case closures. Tactical crime analysis is used on a daily basis by the Analyst; from reading incident reports to preparing for the bi-weekly departmental CompStat meeting. The Analyst is also constantly tracking certain types of crimes, like burglaries and robberies, which can occur in patterns. Mapping software is often used in support of tactical crime analysis. If the proper conditions exist within a pattern, the Analyst may be able to statistically predict a future related crime.
- Strategic crime analysis is defined as the study of long-term criminal activity. For projects involving strategic analysis, the analyst will use data from periods ranging from many months to many years. Analysts use strategic analysis to determine, study, and attempt to rectify long-term problems. Strategic Crime Analysis is used on a less frequent, but still regular basis. The Jonathan Street revitalization could be considered an example of strategic crime analysis. When examining the problem, the department scoured years of data and strove to affect long-term change to the area. Other examples can be found in our CompStat and DDACTS initiatives. Once a month, the analyst prepares a report comparing CompStat crimes to an average of three years prior. The Analyst is also responsible for preparing quarterly reports detailing crime and Officer activity in DDACTS areas. For more information on CompStat and DDACTS please see the corresponding pages on this site.
Using intelligence analysis, the Analyst will identify networks of offenders and criminal activity using information gathered through field interviews, incident reports, police information reports, and other covert methods. The goal of intelligence analysis is to validate and prioritize information, establish relationships, and distinguish areas for further investigation by the Analyst or Detectives.
Intelligence analysis is done on a fairly regular basis. It usually dovetails into other types of analysis, specifically crime and investigative analysis. Examples of intelligence analysis are corroborating anonymous tips with known occurrences or using various information sources to map out the hierarchy of a criminal organization.
Investigative Analysis Investigative analysis involves working integrally with Detectives to conduct comprehensive reviews of cases in order to ensure all tangible leads have been followed and investigated. The Analyst will also generate various tools for visualization. These products will often reveal connections or other aspects of a particular case or series of cases that previously went unnoticed. Investigative analysis should be considered a supplement to traditional criminal investigations, not a replacement.
The analyst performs Investigative Analysis on a daily basis, often multiple times a day. This type of analysis usually has its roots in either crime or intelligence analysis, or a combination thereof. These tasks can range from small scale, like finding a phone number, to large scale, like creating a timeline detailing the events of a homicide investigation. Large scale investigative analysis projects are usually displayed in the form of organizational charts, spreadsheets, maps, etc.
When an Analyst conducts a study into a Police Department’s own operations, procedures, and policies, it is known as administrative analysis. This kind of analysis is imperative to the operation of a department because it ensures that the department is operating efficiently and effectively. Administrative analysis often includes the presentation of findings to Police Administration and Public Officials.
Administrative analysis is a frequent task. Police Administration and Public officials often ask for statistics or data to be sure they are leading the Department and City in the right direction. Much like investigative analysis, administrative analysis tasks can range from small scale, like determining if burglaries reduced during a prevention initiative, to large scale, like conducting a workload analysis to determine if staffing is adequate and if departmental resources are being efficiently deployed.
- Providing data to be used in multiple grant applications and status reports. Specifically, the Analyst is responsible for generating and tracking statistics for the Safe Streets initiative, tracking the arrests and releases of known gang members in the City of Hagerstown, among other things.
- Tracking nuisance calls for service in accordance with the Abuse of Police Services City Ordinance.
- Generating press releases and other public information materials concerning crime patterns and crime prevention.
- Serving as Departmental liaison to the Western Maryland Information Center (WMIC) and serving on staff there intermittently.
- Research new technologies and services available to police.