National Resource and Technical Assistance Center for Improving Law Enforcement Investigations (NRTAC)

Project Summary 

Over the past two decades, the United States has faced remarkably low clearance rates (22.3%) for Part One offenses, which negatively impact communities and police alike. To improve the quality and equity of investigative outcomes, the National Police Foundation, in collaboration with the National Criminal Justice Training Center at Fox Valley Technical College (NCJTC/FVTC), the Prosecutors’ Center for Excellence (PCE), and other partners, provides training and technical assistance (TTA) to the departments of hard-hit neighborhoods under the National Resource and Technical Assistance Center for Improving Law Enforcement Investigations (NRTAC) initiative. The NRTAC additionally provides onsite assessments and ongoing technical assistance to multiple Crime Gun Intelligence Center (CGIC) sites participating in the Bureau of Justice Assistance’s (BJA) Local Law Enforcement Crime Gun Intelligence Center Integration Initiative. This initiative supports local jurisdictions in working with their ATF partners to utilize intelligence, technology, and community engagement to swiftly identify the unlawful use of firearms and effectively prosecute perpetrators engaged in violent crime.

 

Methodology 

The NRTAC is a TTA center established to improve law enforcement investigations at the local level by developing resources on new tools and methodologies, consistent with the evidence-based emphasis of BJA. Throughout the initiative, eligible departments can request TTA via online request form, email, or phone. With BJA approval, the NRTAC will provide site-specific assistance from some of the nation’s most accomplished investigators, prosecutors, researchers, and policy experts directly relevant to the investigative process and criminal justice system. All efforts will incorporate crime science findings to focus on the small number of serious, high-risk offenders in neighborhoods (hotspots) suffering precipitous crime increases. TTA will be customized and may involve one or more subject matter experts based upon the nature of the request.

For CGIC grantees, the NRTAC team evaluates each site according to the seven-step CGIC workflow to identify potential gaps in implementation while making recommendations for process improvement. The NRTAC team provides ongoing TTA throughout the course of grant funding to aid the department in implementing the guidance effectively. Lessons learned and best practices from other departments are shared to enhance techniques. The CGIC grantees are also integrated into a community of practice to learn from peers working toward similar goals.

 

Implications

With the rise in violent crime across the country, now more than ever, it is critical to engage a variety of stakeholders in gun crime reduction measures. The NRTAC supports the Local Law Enforcement CGIC Integration Initiative by focusing on the immediate collection, management, and analysis of crime gun evidence in real-time, in an effort to identify shooters, disrupt criminal activity, and prevent future violence. CGICs rely on an ongoing collaboration between the ATF, the local police department, the local crime laboratory, probation and parole, local police enforcement groups, prosecuting attorneys, U.S. Attorney’s Office, crime analysts, community groups, and academic organizations. Through these collaborative efforts, a greater focus and execution is placed on gun crime reduction strategies in cities facing a precipitous increase in violent crime.

 

Project Websites

https://crimegunintelcenters.org

https://centerforimprovinginvestigations.org

 

Funding & Collaboration 

The NRTAC is funded through the U.S. Department of Justice Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Assistance under cooperative agreement numbers 2016-MU-BX-K005 and 2020-DG-BX-K001.

 

Points of Contact

Kerry Yerico
Senior Program Manager
National Police Foundation
kyerico@policefoundation.org
(202) 384-1537

Julia Kessler
Senior Project Associate
National Police Foundation
jbillings@policefoundation.org
(202) 463-7790

Brett Cowell
Senior Project Associate
National Police Foundation
bcowell@policefoundation.org
(202) 833-1471

 

Keywords

NRTAC, investigations, Crime Gun Intelligence Center, CGIC, training and technical assistance, TTA, clearance rates, nonfatal shooting, homicide, gunshot detection, forensics, ballistics, crime scene, cold case, intelligence analysis, violent crime, prosecutor, NIBIN, eTrace, ATF, BJA