Revere Police Department
Crime & Intelligence Analysis Unit
400 Revere Beach Pkwy
Revere, MA 02151
Lt. John Goodwin
Civ. Jeff Rude
Law enforcement is increasingly recognizing that they are no longer in an information-poor world. Data from crimes, criminals, and the public is becoming increasingly incorporated into investigations. As the Revere Police Department becomes more involved with social media, more and more information is becoming accessible from tips, comments, and questions. The challenge is to corral this wealth of data into knowledge and information that can be utilized by patrol units, detective units, and specialized units. Criminal intelligence allows for enhanced decision making, improved strategies to combat crime, and an increase in crime prevention benefits.
For much of the history of law enforcement, criminal intelligence - information that relates to the activities of criminal individuals or groups of offenders - was retained by specialized units or by individual detectives. The Intelligence Unit strive sto bring all of the information into one place that is accessible and easily understood by everyone in the department. This is accomplished by meeting with City Officials, Residents, and Federal, State, and Local Law Enforcement. Being in contact with the Boston Regional Intelligence Center and various other departments, the unit is able to provide information about crimes occurring outside of the Revere jurisdiction, while also providing updates and further insight on crime happening within Revere.
What is Intelligence Analysis?
A public misconception about intelligence is that the tactics used to gather covert information constitute intelligence. These often portray the intelligence function as a secretive and sometimes subversive activity that is morally ambiguous or takes police close to legal and ethical boundaries. There is significant distinction between gathering information and using intelligence to influence the decision making of senior law enforcement personnel.
Criminal Intelligence is the creation of an intelligence knowledge product that supports decision making in the areas of law enforcement, crime reduction, and crime prevention. It is the result of a criminal intelligence analysis and could be a written bulletin, a presentation, a verbal report, or some combination of these in a briefing. The Revere Police Department utilizes all of the preceeding efforts to effectively distribute intelligence to its officers.
Types of Intelligence Analysis
The most common level of criminal intelligence in operation around the world is tactical intelligence. This level
of analysis supports front-line enforcement officers and investigators in taking case-specific action in order to
achieve enforcement objectives such as tactical plans. In this case, the criminal environment that is under
examination is a micro-level one, where the decision makers are individual investigators or small teams
targeting local criminals.
Operational intelligence is the creation of an intelligence product that supports area commanders and regional
operational managers in planning crime reduction activity and deploying resources to achieve operational
objectives. In short, it helps decision makers decide which crime groups are most vulnerable to enforcement
or which areas of the city require the most resources. It allows commanders with limited resources to determine
the main priorities and provides a big-picture understanding of longer-term problems that cannot be alleviated
by making a few arrests.
Strategic Intelligence aims to provide insight and understanding into patterns of criminal behavior and the
functioning of the criminal environment, and aims to be future-oriented and proactive. The strategic intelligence
product seeks to influence long-term organizational objectives and to contribute to discussions of policy,
resource allocation, and strategy.
What is Crime Analysis
Crime analysis is essentially the systematic study of crime and disorder problems as well as other police-related issues - including sociodemographic, spatial, and temporal factors - to assist the police in criminal apprehension, crime and disorder reduction, crime prevention, and evaluation.
Like criminal intelligence work, crime analysis has a tatical, operational, and a strategic component. The tactical aspect focuses on immediate issues that are of significance to a police department; operational issues identify priority areas and potential problems; and the strategic component looks at longer-term prolems that might be solved by either a police department or by agencies such as a city council or planning department. If these external groups are to be provided with crime-related information, the analytical task is termed administrative crime analysis. This is an area of crime analysis that is note directly involved with crime reduction activities but provides support to grant applications, community relations, and feasibility sutdies.
The above is adapted from a publication from COPS (Community Oriented Policing Services) and the Police Foundation. The publication, written by Jerry H Ratcliffe, PhD, can be found here.