There was an interesting story this weekend over at TheStarPress.com that looked at how Ball State University is helping fiscally strapped Muncie, IN Police with crime analysis. From the story:
MPD's collaboration with BSU hopefully will boost "the capability of being more proactive rather than reactive," Chief Deborah Davis said. "They provide an assessment of the capacity of the department to perform crime analysis and mapping and to make recommendations for enhancing that capacity. In other words, to give us ideas on how to improve what we are currently capable of doing now."
This is a very interesting concept. Even though Muncie PD is a medium sized department they have no full time crime analyst on staff. Given that their sworn staffing has plummeted from 120 officers to 103, it sounds like their priorities are just to keep their heads above the water. Ball State's contribution will likely give Muncie PD the analysis they need to be as efficient as possible in these lean times.
It's also probably going to be a win for BSU as well. Their students will get real life experience in crime analysis that will help them in their education and may even start them on a career path in crime analysis or another criminal justice profession.
Do you have a college or university in your community? If so, have you thought about developing a mutually beneficial relationship with them such as what BSU and Muncie PD have done?