In short, nobody can see the whole crime picture. But if you became the local crime expert it would help make your department more informed, efficient, and capable of using its resources to reduce crime. It would provide more opportunity to warn citizens, to detect offenders, and to initiate prevention efforts. In short, you could help a lot of people by gathering the right information. Source: Crime Analysis For Problem Solvers
The authors talk about a number of ways you can become "The Local Crime Expert". Many of these ways are sound advice such as:
- Talk with Officers & Dispatchers, even the midnight crew
- Ride with Officers on Patrol when you can
- Visit crime scenes occasionally
- Communicate with your peers in other agencies
In my opinion the most effective way is to review those offense reports coming in. I try and make it a habit to review the arrests and reports from the previous day every morning. The suggestions above are all good, but some of them can be very time consuming and time is something few analysts have an excess of. There are always more demands on us than we can possibly fulfill. Block off time in your day to skim the reports from the previous day. You'll be surprised what you can discover that way.