For agencies seeking accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA), crime analysis is a vital function for three reasons:
- CALEA currently requires agencies with more than 24 officers to meet minimum standards of crime analysis. For agencies smaller than this size, crime analysis is an “optional” standard, but even these agencies must meet 80 percent of the optional standards to achieve accreditation. The specific requirements of this standard are below.
- Other CALEA standards essentially require a crime analysis capability to generate the types of reports necessary to meet the standard. For instance, Chapter 16 requires that “the agency allocates personnel to, and distributes them within, all organizational components in accordance with documented workload assessments.” Such workload assessments are usually done by crime analysts as part of the “operations analysis” category. Chapter 61 (“Traffic”) requires that agencies allocate selective enforcement operations on the basis of analyzed traffic accident data.
- To satisfy any of the standards of CALEA accreditation, police agencies must supply a series of “proofs”—documents that show their actions are in line with their policies and procedures. Crime analysts are often called upon to conduct the necessary data queries to find individual cases that meet certain proofs. For instance, to prove that correct procedures have been followed on Chapter 72.6 (medical and health care services for detainees), the agency might ask the analyst to scour the records management system for an example of an arrestee who later required medical attention.
Aside from Chapter 15 [the specific crime analysis standard] itself, our accreditation process would be twice as difficult without a crime analyst. We need someone who can readily seek out the data we need to show our compliance with various standards.
Lt. Dana Milne,
Danvers (MA) Police Department
CALEA’s Crime Analysis Standards
Crime analysis falls under CALEA’s Chapter 15: “Planning and Research, Goals and Objectives, and Crime Analysis.” The standard requires that agencies establish directives for crime analysis, including: 1) source documents; 2) methods of dissemination; and 3) briefings of the agency’s executive staff on current patterns and trends. The standard notes, in part:
Crime analysis should provide currently useful information to aid operational personnel in meeting their tactical crime control and prevention objectives by identifying and analyzing methods of operation of individual criminals, providing crime pattern recognition, and providing analyses of data from field interrogations and arrests. Also, crime analysis can be useful to the agency’s long-range planning efforts by providing estimates of future crime trends and assisting in the identification of enforcement priorities.
Resources for Crime Analysis and CALEA Accreditation
For more information on crime analysis and CALEA accreditation, please read CALEA’s Chapter 15, which includes the standards specific to crime analysis. For examples of approved policies already in use, review the crime analysis standards from the following agencies: