Rise of the crime analyst

Given the proper support, crime analysts can serve as an indispensable asset within the department and the city


By taking advantage of Big Data, crime analysts identify trends and make recommendations based on their observations. Through analysis and computer mapping, crime analysts play a crucial role in helping law enforcement agencies quantify, evaluate, and respond to the changing landscape of criminal activity in their jurisdictions. 

For example, the Durham (N.C.) police department’s analytical services group used IBM analytics technology to help reduce the amount of violent crime in a two-square-mile region of the city by more than 50 percent during a four-year span (2007-2011).

Based on historical data, analysts created an intelligent database where they could access and visualize data that established relationships among people, places, and other entities. Armed with that information, Durham PD could be smarter in how they allocated their resources.

In another example, the Vancouver Police Department's analytical team used IBM technology to develop and deploy a sophisticated crime and intelligence analysis system branded the Consolidated Records Intelligence Mining Environment (CRIME). 

CRIME created the capacity to view and analyze crime-related data, to uncover trends, and to accurately predict when and where crimes were likely to occur.

Since deploying this new crime analysis technology, from 2007 to 2011 property crime rates have dropped by 24 percent and violent crime rates have decreased by nine percent. 

Given the proper support, crime analysts can serve as an indispensable asset within the department and the city.

They not only see the impact of crime from a historical perspective, they now have the means to better forecast the impact it will likely have on the community.

About the author

Doug Wyllie is Editor at Large for PoliceOne, responsible for providing police training content and expert analysis on a wide range of topics and trends that affect the law enforcement community. An award-winning columnist — he is the 2014 Western Publishing Association "Maggie Award" winner in the category of Best Regularly Featured Digital Edition Column — Doug has authored more than 900 feature articles and tactical tips. Doug is also responsible for planning and recording the PoliceOne Podcast, Policing Matters, as well as being the on-air host for PoliceOne Video interviews. Doug also works closely with the PoliceOne Academy to develop training designed to prepare cops for the fight they face every day on the street.

Doug regularly represents PoliceOne as a public speaker in a variety of forums and is available for media interviews — he as appeared on numerous local and national radio and television news programs, and has been quoted in a host of print publications. 

Doug is a member of International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers Association (ILEETA), an Associate Member of the California Peace Officers' Association (CPOA), and a member of the Public Safety Writers Association (PSWA).

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