What Reports Do Administrative Crime Analysts Present?
Although the administrative crime analyst will prepare reports and products based on the requests and needs of the police administration, the type of report is basically determined by the audience for which the report or presentation is intended.
It might be said that the primary purpose of administrative crime analysis is to inform audiences.These audiences may vary from one situation to the next, which is why the type and quantity of information will vary as well. The audiences for whom administrative crime analysts may be preparing a presentation can be police executives, city council members, media, citizens, and neighborhood groups, or a combination of these audiences. The type of information prepared and presented should be appropriate for the intended audience. However, in all instances, the information should be simple, clear, and concise and should not disclose sensitive information (Boba, 2001).
Since there is an eclectic selection of administrative and statistical reports, research, and other projects not focused on the immediate or long-term reduction or elimination of a pattern or trend, reports and presentations can be diverse. Table 15.1 shows more examples of the type of product that the administrative crime analyst might expect to be asked to produce, along with the audience for which the product is intended.
As can be seen in Table 15.1, administrative crime analysis is often conducted to educate and assist law enforcement administration and city government officials about the extent of crime and the effect that crime and disorder have on the city and the citizens. At times, the police administration and city' council will request long-range comparisons (quarterly, semiannually', or annually) of various categories of crime in the city.
Table 15.1 Examples of products and intended audiences for administrative crime analysis
Report on demographic changes in the jurisdiction
Historical research project on crime during the Prohibition period
Miscellaneous crime statistics to support grant applications
Preparation of Uniform Crime Reports or National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS) reports
Creation of charts and graphs to support the chief’s year-end summary of police activities presented to the city council
Creation of patrol deployment maps for a special event
List of individuals with warrants by police beat and seriousness of offense
Charts and maps showing trends in business robberies during the past six months
Statistics on a series of residential break-ins and rapes
Homicides and burglaries during the past two years in the city
Presentation on police-community relations
Police administration/city council
College lecture/city council
Police agency/city grant writers
Chief of police/city council
Police administration/mayor/city council
Police command/business association/ mayor/city council
Police command/city council/ neighborhood association
Police administration/mayor/city council/ citizen groups
City council/citizen groups
Administrative Crime Analysis: Low-Priority Analysis?
Administrative crime analysis has, according to some experts in the field (Bruce, 2008), received a bad rap over the years. It has been suggested that it is a low-priority category (Bruce, 2008). On the other hand, this is a type of crime analysis that may, in fact, keep many analysts employed. As Christopher Bruce (2008) points out, having an individual in the police department who can answer virtually any question, provide information on demand, and arrange data in an appealing format is of tremendous value. Also, when the products of an administrative crime analyst might substantially affect public safety' or lower crime rates, both the product and the analyst become valuable assets.
How Administrative Crime Analysts Gather Data
While a great deal of the data that administrative crime analysts use in preparing reports and presentations may come from the data contained in police files, because of the nature of many' of the products of the administrative crime analyst, qualitative information is often useful.
For example, if the analyst was asked to put together a presentation on police—community relationships over the past three years, there may be just a few traditional police reports related to this assignment. If there were reports about incidents in which the police were the target of violent protests, or if there were formal complaints to the department about police brutality', the analyst may be able to find those reports and use them as data. However, in order to put together a more comprehensive report, the analyst may need to use qualitative methods, such as interviews, focus groups, researching archived newspaper stories, or reading public email forums or blogs by' local residents.
The analyst may interview patrol officers or officers who might work in the community' policing unit. Asking them questions and getting their candid views of the state of police—community relations and how it has changed over the past three years may yield valuable insights. Similarly, putting together focus groups of police officers or community leaders may also produce important observations and recommendations. However, newspapers usually have their fingers on the pulse of the community' and exploring newspaper stories and editorials over the past three years may give the analyst a broad perspective on how the police are viewed by' the community.
Newspapers and news broadcasts, as well as Internet forums and blogs, are likely to show with much more insight what is important to the citizens in the local community'.Then, after gathering such information, the analyst can compare this with the messages, mission statements, and stated goals of the police administration to provide an accurate picture of what the true state of police—community relations is at present, what it’s been over the past three years, and what still needs to be done to improve it.
In regard to the qualitative research method to gather the kinds of data we have used in this example, the analyst should have access to LexisNexis as a comprehensive database. If there are certain Internet blogs that would provide a steady stream of possible useful information, the analyst might best follow them.To find those blogs in the first place, there are Google directions for doing so at https://support.google.com/blogger/answer/104226?hl=en. In addition, an analyst can figure out what topics are trending by using Twitter or other tools: http://blog.hootsuite.com/5-ways-find-trending-topics/. Finally, there is a database called iPoll that can be searched by topic to find opinion polls on all kinds of subjects from many different sources (https://ropercenter.cornell.edu/CFIDE/cf/action/ipoll/index.cfm).