Crime Analysis in the United States: Findings From a National Survey

Timothy O'Shea, University of South Alabama

The quality of police service is a function of the organization's capacity to effectively collect, collate, analyze and disseminate relevant data. Our understanding about the general state of police crime analysis in the United States is limited. We have some data from the LEMAS survey and a good deal of anecdotal information about crime analysis operations. To date, researchers have not engaged in systematic, rigorous efforts to develop a comprehensive sense of various administrative, technological, and operational aspects of the police crime analysis function. In this study, a census of police departments with over 100 sworn personnel and a stratified random sample of all police departments with less than 100 sworn personnel was administered in the Summer of 2000. Preliminary findings of that survey are reported here. Results from this study will assist police departments in the development of "state-of-the-art" crime analysis units.

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Updated 05/20/2006