The Crime Analysis Unit functions within the Investigative Division designed to disseminate data relating to crime trends, identify suspects, and prepare reports for COMPSTAT meetings. Data is primarily generated from records and reports within the department. Additional data may be obtained from outside sources such as other law enforcement agencies, government agencies, and private organizations. The Crime Analysis Unit also supplies department staff with additional specialized information and reports related to Crime Analysis.
What is Crime Analysis?
Crime analysis is both a profession and a set of techniques. The professionals who perform crime analysis, and the techniques they use, are dedicated to helping a police department become more effective through better information management and use of new and ever-changing technology. The information that analysts provide can help:
- Solve crimes
- Develop effective strategies and tactics to prevent future crimes
- Find and apprehend offenders
- Prosecute and convict offenders
- Improve safety and quality of life
- Optimize internal operations
- Prioritize patrol and investigation
- Detect and solve community problems
- Plan for future resource needs
- Enact effective policies
- Educate the public
Although the profession has long been called crime analysis, in truth many analysts spend most of their time looking at non-criminal incidents, including disorder calls, noise, domestic disputes, and traffic accidents. Some departments use the terms "public safety analysis" or "police information analysis" instead.
Providing Information on Demand
How often have you been frustrated getting the information you need from your records management or CAD system? Crime analysts know how to extract data from records systems, ask questions of it, and turn it into useful information. They know how to get data from other sources, and how to work with it. They know how to create charts, maps, graphs, tables, and other visual products.
Whether you need a list of all the incidents of youth violence over five years, a chart showing trends in OUI arrests, some statistics on motor vehicle citations, a map showing an upcoming parade route, or an estimate of how many officers you’ll need in five years if current population trends continue, a trained crime analyst can put it together quickly and clearly.