You are on page 1of 8

TO: Chief

FROM: Sgt. James Kidd


DATE: August 22, 2016
SUBJECT: Intelligence Led Police: Measuring Success of Current and Future Strategies

Intelligence-led policing has proven to be a valuable practice and is a critical function in

the operations of the Brownwood Police Department. The department receives an enormous

amount of information and is involved in a constant process of collecting, verifying, and

analyzing intelligence to gain an understanding and insight into criminal behavior. The collection

of information is provided through a variety of sources, including the FBIs Uniform Crime

Report (UCR), victimization surveys, media surveys, and the child advocacy centers self-

reporting survey. Along with the data collection methods that these surveys provide, the

department must also put in place intelligence-led policing initiatives that prove the departments

dedicated intelligence capacity. The current intelligence-led policing initiatives include attending

monthly intelligence meetings, and collaborative efforts of information dissemination between

patrol officers and investigators. Understanding that data and analytics play a significant role in

critical decision making the department must constantly evaluate and measure the success of

intelligence-led policing capabilities and strategies.

Intelligence-Led Policing is a proactive application of analysis, borrowing from the

established processes of the intelligence, analytic function and using the best practices from

existing policing models.1 Knowing the benefits, and limitations that UCR reports, surveys, and

studies provide is crucial in understanding the full impact of crime in our society. Intelligence

must be incorporated into the planning process to reflect community crime issues. Interpreting

the criminal environment usually begins with the collation of information sources.2 The
Brownwood Police Department relies heavily on the use of UCR statistics as its primary source

of information in the area of sexual assault crimes. The department reviews the FBIs UCR

publication which shows the previous two years and the trends associated with rape crimes. The

department also takes into account our own UCR submissions and statistics on the arrest and

reports in our jurisdiction. The department will be transitioning to the National Incident Based

Reporting System NIBRS. Last months report on sexual assault offenses using the current

UCR system, showed 9 cases. Under the NIBRS system, which will allow for a more

comprehensive and detailed crime statistics, the number of reported cases in the same month was

27. City officials and the media will need to be informed of the changes and how to best interpret

the sharp increase in reported sex offenses. Measures of central tendency will examine where the

central value is in the distribution of the most typical sexual assault reporting values. Inevitably a

new baseline will be established in the measurement of central tendency showing a substantially

higher number of reported sexual assaults under NIBRS. NIBRS can furnish information on

nearly every major criminal justice issue facing the department, including terrorism, weapons

offenses, missing children where criminality is involved, child pornography, and many more.
After analyzing the previous two year UCR stats for the department, the rape offenses

nearly doubled from 14 in 2014, to 27 in 2015, with the number cleared averaging at 47.5%. The

median cases for 2016 was 2.25 reported rapes a month with the range of reported cases showing

to be a low in March 2015 of 1 to the high in September of 6.

There is a strong demand for reliable, statistical data, which must be analyzed in order to

achieve intelligence. A primary objective of the UCR is to generate reliable information for use

in law enforcement administration, operation, and management; however, its data over the years

have become one of the countrys leading social indicators.3 UCR has proven successful when

analyzing the departments monthly UCR reports, analyst found that in March 2016 there was an

increase in sexual assault cases, the investigator audited the records management system and

upon reviewing cases submitted he noticed that two of the cases had not been assigned for follow

up investigation. This analysis prevented a victim of a crime from, falling through the cracks

of investigations. The Brownwood Police Department must understand the limitation of the UCR

report and take caution when utilizing the report to measure the performance of the department.

The UCR in of itself should not be used as a lone indicator to measure our police department

performance. Current data on policing are insufficient for either measuring performance or

doing good comparative research on police organizations because they fail to capture the full

range of work that police do.4

Victimization and self-reporting surveys are currently being utilized by the department,

and are one of the most innovative and important criminology research methods used to today.

These types of surveys are particularly important in measuring rape and sexual assaults, as the

survey allows the community members a voice in the definition of, and addressing crime

problems. Compared to traditional governmental reporting methods these types of surveys assist
in addressing under and inaccurate reporting. There are several factors to consider when

analyzing rape data. Under reporting is a major obstacle for this type of criminal incident.

Crimes like rape go under reported due to social pressures placed on the victim. Self-blame and

frequent insensitive handling of these cases by law enforcement are other factors to consider for

under reporting. Victimization surveys have the limitation that the department must be aware of.

There are common misunderstandings concerning crime statistics that can impede the

departments ability to view victimization surveys. One misunderstanding includes that

researchers can assume there is an objective definition of the crime and statistics that can assess

this problem without distorting the issue. The nature of the crime can be defined in numerous

ways without an accepted, objective, definition. The survey design can in itself alter and distort

the very nature of the crime. Crime surveys take alternative approaches and promote a different

perspective in relation to crimes. Our local child advocacy center, (CAC), performs anonymous

victimization surveys that the department should collect and analyze in order to gain an

understanding in sexual assault crimes that are occurring in our community. The surveys provide

an alternative, more adaptable source of data on suspects and victims. This survey identifies both

the rape victims role in the criminal event and what he/she could have done to prevent the act or

future acts. This information is vital in an effort to be proactive in preventing this type of

criminal activity. Measuring crime through these methods promotes an understanding in future

crime trends and may identify crimes before they happen. These Child Advocacy Center self-

report surveys may educate officers in understanding the contributing factors causing the crime.

Interpreting the criminal environment usually begins with the collation of information

sources.5 These surveys identify criminal events and possible contributing factors that can be

identified to prevent future crime. Similarly, these types of surveys are important in measuring
rapes and other crimes, as the surveys allow the community members a voice in the definition of

and addressing crime problems. Engaging the community to work with the law enforcement

agency produces a greater sense of community trust in the agencys operations and raises

community awareness regarding how citizens can positively contribute. Success will be

measured by the positive community relations that these surveys provide.

Another one of the departments intelligence-led policing strategies has been the

implementation of monthly intelligence meetings. The meetings are usually attended by the

agency heads, and investigative supervisors of area law enforcement. The purpose of these

meetings are to gather and disseminate information in order to make informed decisions in crime

prevention. Attendees often provide information on criminal offenses and patterns of crime in

their area. It is important to remember that Information is not intelligence.6 The information

provided at these meetings must be analyzed in order to be used as intelligence. The

departments involvements in the monthly intelligence meetings with local agencies have proven

successful in identifying and providing information on crime trends. In last months meeting a

runaway juvenile case was discussed. During the conversation, other agency investigators

provided information that they had received a tip that there was unusual activity in an apartment

complex in Killeen, Tx. After receiving and analyzing the information, the intelligence was

utilized and recognized that the runaway was involved in a human trafficking operation that was

occurring in the apartment complex. (The runaway) admitted to authorities that Cole had driven

the two hours northwest to Brownwood and brought her back to Killeen, where she said she

lived with him and worked for him as a prostitute.7 Suspects were identified and arrested. The

gathering and dissemination of that vital information were crucial in the investigation of that

case. The model of monthly intelligence meetings determined to prove effective in the
investigation of several cases, including narcotics and other sex offenses. Intelligence meetings

provide networking opportunities and a venue to exchange important information. Dissemination

is productive when the intelligence gets to those that need it, and can use it appropriately.

Intelligence reports kept within the intelligence unit fail to fulfill their mission.8 In these

meetings a general rule should be to share information and only withhold it as an exception.

Success is dependent upon the active collaboration and level of cooperation among partner

agencies.

Timely and accurate intelligence is essential for crime reduction. The Brownwood Police

Department must improve in the area of communicating information and intelligence between

the patrol officers and detectives. Currently this model is only partially effective as information

is not efficiently supplied from patrol officers to detectives and vice-versa. If detectives take

information, but never divulge; uniformed officers, in return, will stop supplying information.9

Intelligence-led policing is an agency wide approach, with the implementation requiring the

understanding and adoption of the overall goal, crime prevention. Patrol officers are the eyes

and ears of the police effort,10 and must be trained to seek out and identify information. This can

be accomplished through interaction with businesses, completing field interview cards, and

conducting traffic stops, information obtained should be forwarded to detectives who can

analyze the information and send intelligence back to the patrol officers. This method of

intelligence gathering and dissemination is only partially effective due to the lack of active

collaboration among patrol officers and detectives. All officers must network and cooperate not

only with other officers, but work with the community as a whole. The department must actively

collaborate with the community to collect information, and gain problem clarity. Clearly defined

goals and objectives will measure successful intelligence gathering efforts at the same time
holding officers and the department accountable in reaching the objectives. The department must

be intentional in how it gathers and disseminates information and must continuously assess the

departments strategic initiatives.

The Brownwood Police Department must understand the methodological strengths and

weaknesses of all sources when collecting data. Crime data is imperfect,11 but that will not

detour the department from constantly striving for valuable and reliable data. Intelligence is

critical for decision making, planning, strategic targeting, and crime prevention. Adopting

Intelligence-led policing philosophy and strategies, will improve the effectiveness and efficiency

of the Brownwood Police Department. The goal of intelligence-led policing is to enhance

proactive policing efforts and further the positive outcomes12 as the officers collaborate and

communicate information. As a law enforcement agency, the Brownwood Police Department

must track things that matter13 as data and analytics helps make the most critical decision

making in public safety. The department must consistently evaluate and measure the success of

our intelligence-led policing capabilities and strategies. This effort will show positive effects

toward reducing crime and enhancing community trust.

.
References

1 Department of Justice. (2009, April). Navigating Your Agency's Path to Intelligence-Led


Policing. Retrieved August 13, 2016.

2 Ratcliffe, J. (2011). Intelligence-led policing. London: Routledge

3 FBI UCR (2010).Crime in the United State Retrieved from: https://ucr.fbi.gov/crime-in-the-


u.s/2010/crime-in-the-u.s.-2010/aboutucrmain

4 CALEA Update Magazine. (n.d.). Retrieved August 12, 2016, from


http://www.calea.org/calea- update-magazine/issue-83/measuring-performance-law-
enforcement-agencies-part-1of-2-oart-article

5 Ratcliffe, J. (2011). Intelligence-led policing. London: Routledge

6 Seals, D. (2015). Intelligence-led policing. Retrieved from:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FiEFWLb8PZM

7 Christine McCarthy: News Channel 25. Local man charged with sex trafficking of children
Retrieved from: http://www.kxxv.com/story/19308325/local-man-charged-with-sex-
trafficking-of-children

8 Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA). (2005). Intelligence-led policing: The new intelligence
architecture. Retrieved from: https://ole.sandiego.edu/bbcswebdav/pid-782922-dt-
content-rid-3028112_1/courses/LEPS-550-MASTER/Reducing_Crime.pdf

9 Baker, T. E. (2009). Intelligence-led policing: Leadership, strategies, and tactics. Flushing,


NY: Looseleaf Law Publications

10 Department of Justice. (2009, April). Navigating Your Agency's Path to Intelligence-Led


Policing. Retrieved August 13, 2016.

11 Fritsvold, E. (2016). Lecture 4.1: Self-report studies. Retrieved from: https://ole.sandiego.edu

12 Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA). (2005). Intelligence-led policing: The new intelligence
architecture. Retrieved from: https://ole.sandiego.edu/bbcswebdav/pid-782922-dt-
content-rid-3028112_1/courses/LEPS-550-MASTER/Reducing_Crime.pdf

13 Anne Milgram: Why smart statistics are the key to fighting crime. (2013). Retrieved August
18, 2016, from
http://www.ted.com/talks/anne_milgram_why_smart_statistics_are_the_key_to_fighting_