Intelligence Cycle


Post a thread of 500 words or more. Two additional sources beyond the course material (i.e. textbook, readings, and presentations), and one Biblical reference are required for your initial thread. Then, you must reply to at least 2 peers’ threads in 200 words or more. One additional source beyond the course material, and one Biblical reference are required for each reply.

Topic: Crime Analysis Method

There have been a variety of models that have been applied to crime analysis over the years. Please review the information presented in this week’s readings and discuss the various models presented in the textbook. Which of the models do you feel is the most useful/efficient for a modern law enforcement agency? Please explain and ensure that you utilize scholarly research to support your position. Finally, apply a Biblical worldview or perspective to the model that you feel is the most appropriate.

Reply to 

Considering that any management style is different, and, in many cases, personality driven, the process involved in making decisions has a number of variables. The fields pertaining to criminal analysis are not any different. There have been a number of models tied to the professions and fields of analysis. A number of these models are centric to the data collected an imputed by investigators through police work. The ability to study of criminal activity, and police related concerns within a community is the foundation behind crime analysis (Ratcliffe, 2016). The purpose is to take the knowledge and properly relate into intelligence led policing.

Ratcliffe discussed four different models pertaining to criminal analysis models, they are “intelligence cycle, the SARA model, the NIM business model, and the 3-i model” (2016, p. 78). Briefly the intelligence cycle works for both military and law enforcement, simply put it is the collection of data, evaluation of said data, and the dissemination of that data to better equip though in need of data to properly execute their duties. The SARA model is more of an attempt to collect (scan) and disseminate data based on repetition and patterns. The NIM business model is an English program used to analyze data at the ground level of policing (Although I am English, this is an effective model, just not the one I feel work best for intelligence led policing). The 3-i model is a simple module that interprets the criminal activity within a designated area (Ratcliffe, 2016).

The use of Fusion Centers and the concept behind them is addressed and commonly tied to Homeland Security more than at the state, and city level of law enforcement (Carter, 2009). The ability to effectively use Fusion Centers has the capabilities to share information across multi agency lines, this is my preferred model for the simple point of information sharing and having the ability to connect the dots. Although they are heavily tied to the Department of Homeland Security, they are state owned. These centers provide the links between state and federal intelligence (, 2019). What make the fusion centers best utilized in my opinion is the number of topics that are embedded into the guidelines, plus with an understanding of how they were created in a post 9/11 environment to better address and tackle terrorism at the local level, it also allows for better communication between public and private sectors (Carter, 2019 and, 2019). This communication and ability to bull data and information allows for a better-informed law enforcement community prepared to use information to prevent and deter crime.

While I cannot seem to associate scripture with criminal analysis, I can associate the ability and willingness to share knowledge with the topic of criminal analysis, 2 Timothy 3:16-17 reads “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works” (King James Bible, 1769/2017). The scripture is equal to the information provided, and thus allowing the individual officer to do good for the community.

Peer Response #2

There are various options for how to go about the crime analysis function of intelligence-led policing. Four of these methods discussed in the textbook are the intelligence cycle, the SARA model, the NIM business model and the 3-I model. One of the major differences throughout these processes is the degree of direct involvement of analysts working with decision-makers and practitioners. The success of an intelligence program can be directly tied to how well the intelligence product is communicated and transformed into an actionable plan to reduce crime. One problem discussed by Belur and Johnson (2018) is that, “Findings also indicated that analysts lack the resourcestime, and sometimes, motivation to undertake sophisticated analysis, and often feel frustrated when officers’ opinions override analytical wisdom”.

According to Ratcliffe (2016) the intelligence cycle is a linear system of analysis that follows the rigid steps of planning, information and data collection, collation and evaluation, analysis, production of a knowledge product, dissemination and sometimes feedback. There are several problems with this model, including its tendency to separate the analysts from the decision-makers. It is also somewhat idealistic to think that crime analysis can follow such an orderly and rigid process. As Ratcliffe (2016) points out, “In reality, analysts have to bounce from point to point in the intelligence cycle, simultaneously collating data, analyzing information, speaking to clients, and revising taskings”.

The SARA model is used in all sorts of analysis from crime data to tactical operations. SARA stands for scan, analyze, respond and assess. Critics of this method argue that it over-simplifies a more complex process. Proponents argue that this model tends to better integrate the analyst with the crime reduction team and encourages communication through the assess step.

The NIM business model tends to concern itself more with the process of analysis and the assets and structures involved in dealing with raw information. Unlike other models, a knowledge product is not the primary goal or function. NIM tends to focus more on resource allocation in the process of data analysis and tactical and strategic outcomes. NIM also struggles to foster communication and cooperation. According to Kleiven (2007), “Several reports have highlighted that the NIM implementation has struggled to involve the community, both public and partner agencies”.

The 3-i model is named from the 3 “i”s, interpret, influence and impact. According to Ratcliffe (2016) the analyst interprets the criminal environment, the analyst then influences decision-makers, and finally those decision makers impact the criminal environment. The fourth “i” that could be incorporated is intent, where the decision-maker expresses their intent to the analyst so that the analyst can interpret the criminal environment with the decision-makers goals in mind. This can encourage communication and cooperation between the decision-makers and the analysts. Communication and involvement of the analysts in the policy and actionable plan processes will increase the effectiveness of the overall strategic plan. When this communication breaks down, Marrin (2009) says, “The result is that a lack of proximity between analysts and decision-makers limits the ability of intelligence products to integrate into policy.” When implemented correctly, the 3-i model is the most useful or efficient for a modern law enforcement agency. The integration of analysts and decision-makers and the back and forth communication between the two in the intent and influence steps can produce an overall strategic plan that successfully takes the knowledge product of analysts and uses it to create an actionable plan to achieve crime reduction goals.

As the old saying goes, proper planning prevents poor performance. In the overall intelligence-led policing program, the success of the planning will be incumbent on the quality of the intelligence gathered and analyzed. Seeking as much relevant data as possible and properly analyzing it is the hallmark of a successful program. As Proverbs 25:2 (English Standard Version Bible, 2001) says, “It is the glory of God to conceal things, but the glory of kings is to search things out”. This is scripture telling us that as men, we are to search out data and knowledge. As criminal justice practitioners and decision-makers, we should use the data and intelligence available to us to make informed decisions consistent with our Christian worldview and in the best interest of our communities.

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