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Intelligence

Analysts Column By Michael Chesbro

So you want to be a criminal


intelligence specialist?

C
riminal intelligence specialists are ties. When a dedicated intelligence staff is 6. Membership and participation in
intelligence professionals provid- hired by a law enforcement agency, certain intelligence-related organizations and
ing dedicated support to a law minimum standards for these personnel associations.
enforcement agency or activity. must be applied. The U.S. Department of 7. Attributes and skills, which include:
About one-quarter of all law enforcement Justice (2004) lists seven standards for crimi- Subject-matter expertise
agencies in the United States have some nal intelligence personnel: Analytic methodologies
sort of dedicated intelligence capability, 1. A four-year college degree, or five Customer-service ethics
and with the growing trend toward intel- years intelligence-related experience Information handling and process-
ligence-led policing, this capability within and a two-year degree, or 10 years of ing skills
law enforcement agencies will almost cer- intelligence-related experience with Communication skills
tainly increase. Criminal intelligence less than a two-year degree. Critical-thinking skills
specialists may be either sworn police offi- 2. Completion of a minimum of 40 hours Computer literacy
cers who have received additional training of specialized intelligence training. Objectivity and intellectual honesty
in intelligence or non-sworn intelligence 3. Completion of a minimum of eight
professionals assigned to a law enforcement hours continuing education per year. Academic Studies
agency. When an agency can afford it, a 4. Active involvement in an ongoing A college degree is important for criminal
cadre of civilian intelligence professionals is professional development program. intelligence personnel in order to develop
preferred. In cases where budgets do not al- 5. Certification through government a broad foundational knowledge in their
low for a dedicated intelligence staff, sworn agencies, professional associations, or field. Dr. Colleen McCue (2007) calls this
officers may be assigned to intelligence du- academic bodies. knowledge domain expertise: under-

38 Inside Homeland Security Winter 2010 www.abchs.com 877.219.2519


standing where information comes from, Assistance Center (http://www. Certification programs show that the
how developed intelligence may be used, nhac.org/) offers two CD ROM intelligence professional who has earned
and what value it will have in the real courses for intelligence personnel a certification has demonstrated a certain
world. Criminal intelligence specialists supporting a HIDTA mission: In- level of knowledge, skill, experience, and
should seek degrees that require signifi- troduction to HIDTA Analytical professionalism, as well as a dedication to
cant course work in intelligence, analysis, Techniques and So Whats Next? the craft of intelligence.
research, geographic information systems Analysis & Critical Thinking.
and mapping, and other related subjects. These online courses, and others like The Craft of Criminal
them, can be used to build a foundation Intelligence
Specialized Intelligence in criminal intelligence, or as part of a The craft of criminal intelligence requires a
Training continuing education program to review specialized set of attributes and skills that
Specialized training in intelli- and maintain basic intelligence and ana- must be continually refined to meet the
gence is available from a number of lytical skills. needs of the constantly evolving world of
reputable organizations. One such course law enforcement. The criminal intelligence
is the Foundations of Intelligence Analy- Professional Memberships specialist must be able to see patterns in an
sis Training (FIAT) course offered by the The Department of Defense (2007) warns: ever-changing array of data and develop new
National White Collar Crime Center By its nature intelligence is imperfect knowledge from existing information. This
(NW3C) (http://www.nw3c.org/). (i.e., everything cannot be known, analysis new knowledge must then be presented in
The Alpha Group Center (http://www. is vulnerable to deception, and informa- a form that is understandable and applica-
alphagroupcenter.com/) offers a series of tion is open to alternative interpretations). ble to the needs of both decision makers in
courses in crime, intelligence, and investi- The best way to avoid these obstacles and command and officers in the field. This in
gative analysis. The Alpha Group Center achieve a higher degree of fidelity is to turn produces new data and develops new
courses form the foundation for certifica- consult with, and solicit the opinions of, information to be turned into new knowl-
tion as a Certified Crime and Intelligence other analysts and experts, particularly in edge to be used in the war on crime.
Analyst (CCIA) through the California external organizations.
State Universities and the California De- For the criminal intelligence specialist, References
partment of Justice. Anacapa Sciences, these other analysts and experts can be McCue, C. (2007). Data mining and predictive
Inc. (http://www.anacapatraining.com) found in the International Association analysis: Intelligence gathering and crime analy-
sis. Burlington, MA. Butterworth-Heinemann.
offers an excellent two-week course in in- of Crime Analysts (IACA, www.iaca. U.S. Department of Defense. (2007). Joint
telligence analysis, along with a free 8-hour net/) and the International Associa- intelligence. Retrieved from http://www.dtic.mil/
online introduction course. tion of Law Enforcement Intelligence doctrine/jel/new_pubs/jp2_0.pdf
Analysts (IALEIA, www.ialeia.org/). U.S. Department of Justice. (2004). Law
enforcement analytic standards. Global Justice In-
Free Online Training Criminal intelligence personnel should
formation Sharing Initiative (Global). November
In addition to the online training offered join one of these organizations and 2004. Retrieved from http://www.it.ojp.gov/docu-
by Anacapa Sciences, there are sev- preferably both. ments/law_enforcement_analytic_standards.pdf
eral other free, online, computer-based
training programs providing criminal in- Certification A u t h or B io
telligence training. The American Board for Certi- Michael Chesbro
Criminal Intelligence Systems Op- fication in Homeland Security, is the senior criminal
erating Policies (28 CFR Part 23) ABCHS offers professional creden- intelligence specialist
Online Training Program (https:// tials for the Intelligence Analyst in the Joint Base Lewis-
www.ncirc.gov/) Certified (IAC) (http://www.abchs. McChord Directorate
Information Sharing Environment com/programs/iac/). of Emergency Services,
Core Awareness Training (http:// Both IACA and IALEIA offer where he is respon-
www.ise.gov/pages/awareness- professional certification programs. sible for analyzing and
training.aspx) IACA offers the Certified Law En- evaluating criminal in-
The Multijurisdictional Counter- forcement Analyst (CLEA) (http:// formation and developing law enforcement
drug Task Force Training (MCTFT) www.iaca.net/Certification.asp), intelligence products. Mr. Chesbro holds a
(http://www.mctft.com/) offers and IALEIA offers the Criminal In- bachelors degree in administration of crimi-
a variety of courses, including telligence Certified Analyst (CICA) nal justice from Columbia Southern University,
Analytical Investigative Tools (CD http://www.ialeia.org/scca). a masters degree in security management
ROM), and the Police Intelligence Certified Crime and Intelligence from the American Military University, and
Course (16 hours online) which Analyst (CCIA) certification is is currently enrolled in Northcentral Univer-
is of particular value to criminal available through Alpha Group sity where he is pursuing a PhD in business
intelligence personnel. Center (http://www.alphagroup- administration with a homeland security con-
Finally, the National HIDTA center.com/Certification/). centration.

877.219.2519 www.abchs.com Winter 2010 Inside Homeland Security 39