New Police Playbook Revealed
New tactics already yielded great returns
New York, N.Y. - Some of the most important thinkers
on law enforcement strategies today unveiled the new playbook
for policing at a forum held in New York City. As the name
implies, the Practical Guide to Intelligence-Led Policing
is a primer for law enforcement officials on effective police
work as it is driven by accurate intelligence. These concepts,
although standard in the military, are new to police agencies,
which are primarily reactive in their response to crime.
Through the support of the Center for Policing Terrorism at the Manhattan Institute, the New Jersey State Police were able to work with author and researcher of intelligence-led policing on three continents, Dr. Jerry Ratcliffe of Temple University, to institutionalize his theories about intelligence-led policing.
"Theories are great, but until you put them into practice, they're only words. The intelligence-based policing principles are being put into practice by the New Jersey State Police, and we are starting to see results," said Dr. Ratcliffe.
"The concepts in this manual represent a true paradigm shift
for the way law enforcement approaches the work of public
safety," said Colonel Rick Fuentes, Superintendent of the
New Jersey State Police. "Intelligence-led policing has helped
transform troopers investigating crimes from first responders
to first preventers," Fuentes said, echoing a point
from the booklet's conclusion.
"Robust intelligence capabilities are needed to protect our communities from the continuous threat of terrorism. In the post-9/11 world, this new set of critical skills has emerged for law enforcement agencies: understanding the dangers, training officers to recognize threats, and knowing in real-time the location of your assets. This manual establishes the fundamental principles by which the New Jersey State Police conduct these crucial activities and opens the door for other agencies to embrace them as well," said Tim Connors, Director of the Center for Policing Terrorism at the Manhattan Institute.
Working with international experts, the New Jersey State Police have become the first agency to fully institutionalize the theory of intelligence-led policing. Lt. Colonel Frank Rodgers, Deputy Superintendent of the Investigations led the evolutionary process with the complete reorganization of his branch in October of 2005. He removed the architectural barriers between the section doing investigations and the one gathering intelligence. They were combined into regional crime bureaus in which the detectives gather intelligence on all crimes in their geographic area. Analysts digest that information to interpret the regional criminal environment and that information is used to direct operational priorities from the regional level through the top level of the agency.
Key to the New Jersey State Police intelligence gathering process is the Statewide Intelligence Management System, (SIMS) a database usable by any qualified law enforcement agency in New Jersey. It interfaces with external databases to provide a comprehensive search for information linked to crimes.
The SIMS system is an important tool used by the new Regional Operations Intelligence Center (ROIC), the hub through which each State Police intelligence and operational spoke passes. Known as "the Rock," it now occupies the new, state of the art building that also houses the state's emergency operations center. The ROIC serves as a 24/7 resource for law enforcement interests and will be staffed by representatives of every major stakeholder in New Jersey's security picture including the FBI.
Partnerships are the only way to ensure a unified and efficient response to crime. New Jersey troopers are now embedded in many of the state's larger cities' police departments. There they both gather and disperse intelligence as they work side by side with local officers to provide a higher level picture of the criminal influences in these areas. Through the State Police's CeaseFire Initiative, previous shootings that went uninvestigated are now solved more than 40-percent of the time. These arrests provide additional intelligence to link and solve crimes that extend beyond New Jersey borders.
Because of the placement of a State Police detective in the Atlantic City Police Department, the murder of a former federal police officer was recently solved. The trooper knew that the Atlantic City Police had arrested three suspected gang members with a handgun immediately following a Pleasantville shooting. That same day, after looking into the background of the men arrested with the gun, the trooper found that there was an unsolved Washington, D.C. area murder in which these men were considered suspects. He convinced the Maryland authorities to bring their shell casing to the New Jersey State Police lab to compare with the Atlantic City gun. The casings matched and the investigation was quickly solved by the sharing of information between agencies.
As the communications pipelines are opened wide between all law enforcement partners, it becomes increasingly clear what criminal groups are responsible for the greatest threat to public safety. When State Police analysts interpreted the larger crime picture in 2005, they determined
that the most violent organized criminal enterprise in our state was the Nine-Tre set of the Bloods street gang. The subsequent investigation resulted in charges of first-degree racketeering and conspiracy for the gang's leadership and the arrests in August of more than 60 people, many of who remain in prison.
"Numbers of arrests are not nearly as meaningful arresting the right people," said Col. Fuentes. "You can arrest 100 drug buyers and not have the same impact as arresting one high level dealer. That's the beauty of intelligence-led policing. It leads us to focus our resources on the most critical areas that will yield the highest results."
Everyone involved in this project believes that intelligence-led policing is the only way to organize police agencies in the post-9/11 era. It is hoped that the format of the practical guide will encourage agencies across the country to take a deeper look into the benefits of ILP.
"Some agencies may resist this level of change because it raises the bar and demands accountability for how personnel and resources are deployed," said Lt. Col. Rodgers. "But I predict that ten years from now, this will be the way that policing will be done throughout the entire country."
"There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil
to one who is striking at the root…"
-- Henry David Thoreau, Walden, 1854
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