Questions for Discussion

  • 1. What do you see as fundamental characteristics of a criminal investigator?
  • 2. What should be the mindset of the intelligence analyst when assisting in a criminal investigation?

Important Terms

Data: Information, especially facts or numbers, collected to be examined and considered as useful for the investigation of a crime or for analyzing crime trends.

Database: Set of data grouped together in one location in a computer. A computerized database is much like an electronic filing cabinet of information arranged for easy access or for a specific purpose.

Intelligence: Data available to, collected by, or disseminated through the intelligence analyst or the tactical crime analyst for use by a police agency.

Intelligence analysis: Continually evaluating and analyzing data in order to provide the most useful possible information to police officers.

Study Guide Questions

For questions 1-3, indicate whether the statement is true or false.

  • 1. _The intelligence analyst’s raw material is data.
  • 2. _Crime analysts provide information to police investigators about crime, suspects, or other persons of interest in a criminal investigation.
  • 3. _The intelligence analyst’s data only come from one


4. For an investigation to make any progress, the intelligence that comes to the investigator must be

a. Able to name the criminal offender

b. Absolutely accurate

c. Reliable and accurate

d. Obtained with a search warrant

5. There should be an interplay between the criminal investigator and the intelligence analyst so that data are

a. Kept secret by the analyst

b. Only relayed when the investigator is stumped

c. Shared back and forth

d. Obtained based on databases that the investigator is familiar with

6. Some of the databases potentially offering valuable information to move an investigation forward may come from

a. The Department of Motor Vehicles

b. The Department of Corrections

c. Stolen property databases

d. All of the above


Bruce, C.W. (2008). Fundamentals of crime analysis. In S.L. Gwinn, C.W. Bruce, J.P. Cooper, and S. Hicks (eds.), Exploring Crime Analysis: Readings on Essential Skills. Overland Park, KS: International Association of Crime Analysts, pp. 7-32.

Swanson, C.R., Chamelin, N.C., Territo, L., and Taylor, R.W. (2012). Criminal Investigation. 11th ed. New York: McGraw-Hill.

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