Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Crime Analyst News Roundup

My first thoughts for today's blog post was something related to the demise of Usama bin Laden. However, this topic seems to be a bit overdone so I'll skip it other than to offer a big Bravo Zulu to the Navy SEALs and others involved in Sunday's events. It makes me proud to be a Navy veteran.

I did have some interesting stories of crime analysts in my RSS feed reader yesterday. The first one from MyFox9.com is how Brooklyn Park, MN Police's crime analyst is using crime analysis software to help predict where serial criminals will strike next and when.
Brooklyn Park police are using computer software to pinpoint exactly when and where the criminals could strike next. Police are even giving the technology credit for helping them cut down on crime.
Brooklyn Park Crime Analyst Connie Sjulstad said the technology has been around for a while, but recent updates make it even more reliable. The software measures the probability and gives officers an idea of when criminals will offend again.
Then we have this one from the Tracy Press looking at how Tracy, CA Police's crime analyst Janice Cree is helping her department fight crime.
When detectives and police officers in Tracy hit the streets during an investigation, crime analyst Janice Cree helps them by getting on her computer and gathering data for the investigation.
“She is a tremendous asset that allows us to do more intelligent policing,” Tracy Police Department spokesman Sgt. Tony Sheneman said, allowing police to plot crime trends and identify where and when they happen.
The last one at JCOnline.com looks at how Lafayette, IN Police's new crime analyst is helping their department move to a Problem Oriented Policing / Community Oriented Policing strategy. Their crime analyst Steve Hawthorne describes his job this way:
Primarily, it's tactical, which is looking and identifying crime series and patterns and then trying to address and maybe forecast when and will they will occur next.
The next part is administrative. It seems like everybody wants data -- from patrol officers to shift supervisors to neighborhood watch groups to the city council. I'm here to provide a service to those customers.
The last part is strategical. Part of my analyses would be redistricting police beats, just like they are doing for politicians and redistricting the voting area. You have to do that with police beats because crime shifts from areas of high and low. Another part is looking at what types of shifts are best to deploy your officers most efficiently and effectively
Crime analysts are important because they help to "connect the dots" that make their agencies more efficient at solving crime problems in their communities. In fact, I can't imagine a modern police agency not having some sort of crime analysis function to help them sharpen their focus. If your agency does not have a crime analyst or crime analysis function, the International Association of Crime Analysts can help you with starting a crime analysis unit.

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