Tactical Analyst Training Is Crucial

Crime analysts are primarily civilians who, unlike their law enforcement partners, have not been trained to multitask during a real-time crisis. If the decision is made to utilize tactical analysts during a crisis management situation, training should be made part of the protocol.

Devising a training curriculum that introduces and incorporates the skills of the tactical analyst and the negotiator into the crisis management process helps to build the level of trust between the two that is needed for a fluid exchange of intelligence during an actual crisis situation. Most crisis teams (often called either SWAT teams or hostage teams) have monthly training sessions during which they go over scenarios, train on equipment, and discuss the latest techniques and technology. Incorporating the analyst into the training can help build the level of trust and respect needed to establish a strong cohesive relationship.

Training also helps when comparing the roles and responsibilities of the tactical analyst to those of the crisis manager or negotiator. In comparing the two roles, both analyst and crisis manager/negotiator can find common ground in what each expects to achieve during a crisis.

Hostage/Crisis Negotiator

The negotiators first priority, at the beginning of a negotiation, is to gather information.The negotiator must find out

  • • Who the subject is
  • • What the possible motive is
  • • The identity of any other persons associated with the situation that could help shed light on the subjects motives and intentions

Most importantly, the negotiator needs to pay close attention to the hostagetaker’s responses, mannerisms, and general attitude, in order to form a psychological profile of the subject.

Tactical Analyst in a Crisis Situation

The tactical analyst gathers information through data mining and uses critical thinking based on

  • • Information
  • • Research
  • • Theory

This helps the tactical analyst in creating a profile of the subjects criminal behavior.

But both the analyst and the negotiator/crisis manager need to gather information to help them create a profile of the subject—whether that profile is a psychological profile or a profile based on past criminal behavior.

If successfully cross-trained, the tactical analyst, engaged in a crisis management situation, can effectively data mine for critical pieces of intelligence that can be crucial to identifying:

  • • The mindset of the subject
  • • The motive of the subject
  • • Ways to effect a resolution

Training of the Tactical Crime Analyst

With any type of cross-training for crime analysts who are assigned to work in tactical, real-time situations, the goal is to create a hybrid form of crime analysis— that is, crime analysis that merges the traditional skills of the crime analyst with the investigative skill set of a sworn investigator. One way to do this is for crime analysts to work with their law enforcement partners to create a training course that mirrors the curriculum of an established investigators course.

Using this curriculum as a guide, specific topic instruction (incorporating such areas as interviewing and interrogation, rules of evidence, etc.) can be taught to the analyst by a seasoned investigator, with the emphasis on how each specific block of instruction would directly relate to the tactical analyst’s role.

In New York, for example, most law enforcement agencies follow a Department of Criminal Justice Services Basic Investigator School Curriculum, which, over the course of two weeks, is composed of several different blocks of instruction designed to teach a newly promoted police investigator the tools needed to conduct a proper criminal investigation.

Here is a sampling of topics and class hours as taught in the Basic Investigator School Curriculum:

  • • Case Management/Basic Investigative Techniques and Canvassing: 3 h
  • • Interview and Interrogation: 12.5 h

When looking to combine the curriculum for the investigator’s course with a newly developed training curriculum for the tactical analyst, a certified instructor can see the value of incorporating certain relevant subject matter. When this is done correctly, the subject matter, combined with case studies specifically related to situations that would utilize a tactical analyst, becomes an effective learning tool.

The following is an example of how the aforementioned listed topics relate to the role of the tactical analyst:

  • • Case Management/Basic Investigative Techniques
  • • Tactical analysis calls for managing and collecting relevant information and transitioning that into actionable intelligence for the use of investigators in the field.
  • • Interview and Interrogation
  • • Tactical analysis calls for close interaction with investigators in the field, and as such, there needs to be a cohesive exchange of information between the analyst and the investigator. Knowing how to extract viable information, as the investigation progresses, is crucial to the data mining process, particularly when sorting through several databases looking for specific information and intelligence that can be sent to officers in the field in an expedient manner.

The goal of this type of training is to help analysts gain insight into the investigative process and develop a better understanding of their role as they support a criminal investigation.

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