Police Foundation Symposium on Crime Analysis Presented to Law Enforcement Executives

photo (1)More than 40 law enforcement executives attended the first in a series of symposiums presented by the Police Foundation and International Association of Crime Analysts (IACA) designed to help police departments integrate the use of crime analysis to increase effectiveness and reduce crime.

The symposium, presented July 16 in Cambridge, Massachusetts, drew police chiefs and other executives from throughout the Northeastern United States and beyond. The other regional locations and dates for the series will be announced later this year.

The free day-long symposium is one of a series that is supported by the Bureau of Justice Assistance. The series is entitled “Advancing Policing Through Innovation and Science: A Crime Analysis Symposium for Law Enforcement Leaders.” It was developed based on the best practices of crime analysis and draws on the expertise of the Police Foundation, the IACA, policing and crime analysis researchers and experts.

Bureau of Justice Assistance Director Denise O’Donnell kicked off the symposium, speaking to the importance of integrating evidence-based practices into policing, and using crime analysis as an important component of that integration.

Presenters at the first session included Dr. Rachel Santos, an Associate Professor at Florida Atlantic University, Dr. Roberto Santos, a Commander with the Point Saint Lucie, Florida Police Department, Dr. Laura Wyckoff, a Bureau of Justice Crime Analysis Fellow, and Dawn Clausius, IACA Secretary and a Police Intelligence Analyst with the Olathe, Kansas Police Department.

The presenters explored how agencies of all sizes can integrate approaches such as problem-oriented policing, hot-spots policing, community policing, predictive policing and intelligence-led policing. They discussed “what works,” and made recommendations based on nationally recognized best practices.

“There is a significant amount of research that indicates what works in reducing crime and that crime analysis plays an important role,” said Commander Roberto Santos.  “However, if the evidence-based findings cannot be translated into police practice effectively, there is no true benefit of the research and crime analysis to our communities. When evidence-based practices and crime analysis are integrated to everyday police practice, it ultimately improves police service, and the end result is trust, legitimacy, and long-lasting partnerships between the community and the police.”

Police executives who attended said they appreciated learning how to use crime analysis on an agency-wide basis.

“It is my firm belief that how executives use data and analysis is one of chief ways that policing will have a systematic and meaningful influence on the overall quality of life within the communities in which they serve,” said Commissioner Robert Haas of the Cambridge (MA) Police Department. “Although we have used crime analysis in varying ways over the last few decades, it seems there is a much more focused approach that is yielding tangible results in how best identify potential problems and issues, and develop strategies and tactics that addressing the underlying causative factors rather than simply reacting to symptomatic outcomes.”

“I found tremendous value in the symposium,” said Chief John Fisher of the Carlisle (MA) Police Department. “Our field, like many professions, is changing at a frantic pace. The Police Foundation continues to identify subject matter experts in our field and facilitate access to police executives.”