Police Operations Analysis

Police operations analysis describes the study of a police departments policies and practices.This could include studying a departments allocation of personnel, money, equipment, and other resources. The operations analyst might try to decide the best way to divide a city into beats, the optimal allocation of officers per shift, or whether the agency can justify a request for more police officers.

However, many operations decisions are based on long-term crime trends within a departments jurisdiction. For instance, a police department might wish to identify the appropriate staffing of the agency given its workload and the community demographics and crime levels. Or a police department, recognizing that the city has had a number of new liquor licenses granted to bars and restaurants, might desire to deploy more officers later in the evening if there are more drunk and disorderly complaints or other public nuisance problems that have become more frequent.

Four Types of Crime Analysis

With a better understanding of the four types of crime analysis—tactical crime analysis, strategic crime analysis, administrative crime analysis, and police operations analysis—we can now move on in the next chapters to discuss in more detail the types of tasks, duties, and specific analysis required in each of the four categories of crime analysis.

Questions for Discussion

  • 1 What would you consider some crime analysis techniques that were likely used hundreds of years ago?
  • 2 Which type of crime analysis seems most interesting to you? Why?

Important Terms

Administrative crime analysis: Presentation of interesting findings related to crime research and analysis based on legal, political, and practical concerns to inform audiences from within the law enforcement administration, and city government, as well as citizens.

CompStat: Performance management system that is used to reduce crime and achieve other police department goals. It emphasizes information sharing, responsibility and accountability, and improving effectiveness.

Hot spot: Certain problem area in a city where there have been repeated calls to the police.

Police operations analysis: Study of a police departments policies and practices. Often, it concerns itself with studying a departments allocation of personnel, money, equipment, and other resources.

Problem-oriented policing: Policing strategy that involves the identification and analysis of specific crime and disorder problems, in order to develop effective response strategies.

Strategic crime analysis: Analysis that has to do with developing data to better understand long-term increases or decreases in crime.

Tactical crime analysis: Daily identification and analysis of emerging or existing crime patterns. It is the study of recent criminal incidents and activity by examining characteristics such as the who, what, how, when, and where of crime in order to reveal patterns, trends, and potential suspects.

Study Guide Questions

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

  • 1 The police operations analyst might try to find the best way to divide the city into beats.
  • 2 One of the first uses of the term crime analysis occurred in a 1963 book by August Vollmer.
  • 3 CompStat can help focus attention and resources on crime and the causes of crime.
  • 4 Crime analysis functions are generally assigned to all but which one of these classifications

a Tactical crime analysis

b Strategic crime analysis

c Administrative crime analysis

d Arson crime analysis

5 The IACA was founded in

a 1840

b 1890

c 1940

d 1990

6 The most widely recognized element of CompStat is its

a Regularly occurring meetings

b Yearly board meetings

c Conferences in Hawaii

d Smoke-filled backroom get-togethers

7 Crime declines in New York City may be attributed to

a Aggressive stop and frisk policies

b Concerts in Central Park

c Introduction of CompStat

d Mass incarceration

8 The NLECTC’s Crime Mapping and Analysis Program was started in 1998, and it provides for

a Scientific and technical support to rural police departments

b Support for the transfer and adoption of technology into practice by law enforcement and corrections agencies, courts, and crime laboratories

c Distributing military equipment to small police departments

d Recruiting crime analysts from Russia

9 The tactical analyst needs to have

a A basic understanding of financial laws

b An understanding of managerial principles

c Experience in crisis management protocol

d A grasp of the economic forces that drive crime


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Chapter I I

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