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Improving policing through better analysis: an empirical assessment of a crime analysis training and enhancement project within an urban police department

NCJ Number
Police Practice and Research Volume: 22 Issue: 4 Dated: December 2021 Pages: 1425-1442
Date Published
December 2021
18 pages

This study was one of the first outcome assessments of an effort to improve crime analysis functions within an urban police department.


The ability to conduct sound crime analysis has become a necessity in contemporary policing. This is due to the central role that analysis plays in modern police practices, as well as improved technological capabilities. Yet, many police departments struggle with the development of their inhouse analytical abilities; and existing evaluation literature offers little guidance given the void of scholarly attention on this topic. In the current study, pre- and post-analyst knowledge tests surrounding training sessions indicated a 25 to 53 percent improvement. Further, an approximated before-after assessment of police administrator behavior found that use of analytical work products significantly increased to being used about one to two times per week on average. This signified a demonstrable improvement in the integral use of data-derived information in the performance of policing operations. (publisher abstract modified)

Date Published: December 1, 2021