So what if I told you that I had a new pistol for your officers to use? This is no ordinary pistol, oh no, this pistol will improve your officers’ range scores by 20% across the board, the ammo will cost 50% less than what you are paying now, and each pistol comes with its own level 9 holster! What is level 9 you say? Well it’s a new safety level that we have invented that will improve your officers’ weapon retention ability! Does the new holster require training to use you ask? Well sure….or you can just hand them out and see what happens.
Of course none of you would send your officers out onto the road without the proper training, especially with something as eternally important as their weapon. Now, I have not invented a great new weapon or a “level 9″ holster for it. Sorry. The point I want to make is that training is at the heart of all good departments. When we receive new equipment, before we hand it out and send our troops on their way, we train them in the proper use of that new equipment. Without proper training, we cannot expect our officers to perform to their best ability. The same is absolutely true for Intelligence Led Policing.
Don’t Be Too Cool For School
In this blog series, we have covered a massive amount of information about Intelligence Led Policing. If any of you who have followed my blog series so far have not at some point thought, “I bet this takes some training to implement,” then I’d say you’ve hit the nail on the head. Please understand, starting with an Intelligence Led Policing
methodology is no small change. It is a major shift that must be embraced and trained upon by the entire department. And although it is tempting to place “someone” into the role of Intel Analyst role, please do not make the mistake of only expecting them to be trained in the proper implementation and use of Intelligence Led Policing. This ultimately places your brand new Intel Analyst into the unenviable position of having to complete Intel reports and then explain to those for whom he prepared the reports for as to why he did it this way and the methodology behind it. You will soon find that your new analyst will be spending more time explaining reports then analyzing reports. Now, I understand that you may have budgetary or time concerns when it comes to training to this scale; as a matter of fact, an Assistant Chief of Police from Michigan and I were discussing this very issue recently. But what we both agreed upon is that if we fully believe that something will greatly enhance the crime fighting abilities of our officers and thus improve the safety of our citizens, we can generally find the funding for it.
So, what does this training look like?
Here are some guidelines to go by when looking for a training program.
Make sure the program:
-Facilitates skills of all rank levels. While not every officer is an analyst, every officer should understand the goal of the analysis. It’s what I like to call, from the Chief to the Street. Your patrol officers – or street cops – should understand basic reporting without the need for long meetings or extended multi-day training courses to explain them. Likewise, in time, they may even learn to pull basic reports themselves.
-Teaches training methods to key members of the department in order to enable them to do entry level training for their officers.
-Uses visual aids in order to demonstrate the true visual efficacy of Intelligence Led Policing
-Monitors and evaluates each student throughout the training in order to accurately gauge their individual performance
-Has a practicum at the end of the training, to ensure success.
-All students should receive post training feedback and continuing education goals.
Now the big question, where do you obtain such training? Well, I obtained my training from The Alpha Group Center for Crime & Intelligence Analysis Training. Although they are based in California, I did not have to travel to them. They taught their training program at my state training facility.
Now, there are other organizations that have intelligence training programs. I encourage you to contact your state training facility, local colleges or universities, or perhaps a software vendor that you use to see what they have to offer. But I will also say that it has been my experience that many of these organizations teach Crime & Intelligence Analysis to the individual analyst — but not exactly how to implement Intelligence Led Policing within your department for everyone. Ask a lot of questions to better understand what core student profiles their material targets. It is of the utmost importance that any training on the subject includes a holistic and inclusive effort to educate all force members. As Chief William Bratton once said in 2007, speaking about Intelligence Led Policing, ” … Currently, without a national strategy, or a place where police executives can learn how to implement ILP, it is sitting on the shelf unused.”
Intelligence Led Policing isn’t another fad. And it isn’t a wave of the future. It’s here. It’s among us. And for the few agencies that are fully embracing it, it is paying dividends in the form of more accurate intel that leads to more effective policing decisions that ultimately lower crime.