"We're going to be looking at crime on a much bigger level," Shannon said. "There's a real science behind it all."
He and three crime analysts recently attended a one-week training course learning the intricacies of the business software system Crystal Reports.
A Crystal Solutions instructor was flown from Utah to lead the session, which cost the city about $10,000, mostly paid for with seized drug money.Regardless of the tools your agency chooses to use for crime analysis, I can't stress the importance of becoming proficient in using them. Most times, that means obtaining training. Part of what makes crime analysis a profession is that we keep developing our skill sets and improving ourselves as analysts.
Of course, we don't always have the money in our budgets to pay $10,000 to fly an instructor it. But there are other ways to obtain training. The International Association of Crime Analysts offers training from conferences to budget friendly webinars. Local colleges and school districts often offer continuing education courses in software such as Microsoft Excel or PowerPoint. I recently purchased a couple of computer software books from O'Reilly Media to improve my skill set with a piece of software.
It doesn't really matter what you do as long as you are seeking out training opportunities and growing professionally. What are you doing to improve your analytical abilities and increase your value to your agency?