Typically, law enforcement professionals focus on familiar training topics. And while trying to ace them successfully, other skills (ones that can help in fighting and controlling crime) can get somewhat overlooked. These skills are of a wide variety and often include areas such as data sciences. The good news is that these can be acquired through various certifications.
Let’s stop and discuss the difference between law enforcement training and law enforcement certifications first.
Law Enforcement Trainings vs. Law Enforcement Certifications
Law enforcement training is an educational program that enhances law enforcement professionals' skills, abilities, and knowledge. Typically, this training program is compulsory for all law enforcement professionals to complete successfully before they can start working.
On the other hand, law enforcement certifications recognize an individual’s mastery of a certain skill level and deem them qualified to perform the corresponding duties. These certifications are of different natures, requiring one to pass written or practical exams, demonstrate hands-on proficiency, and/ or meet requirements like a certain number of hours of training.
What Is The Relation Between Crime and Data?
Crime and data are strongly related to one another as data can be used to analyze crime and respond to it. Law enforcement professionals can collect and analyze an array of different types to gain insightful knowledge and make informed decisions that will help control and reduce crime in our society.
Another area that data serves is the ability to evaluate the effectiveness of crime control interventions. It can help in improving law enforcement policing strategies and proactively close cases in a timely manner. For example, you can compare the before and after crime statistics of an area when you apply a strategy. This data will help you understand if the strategy that you are using is effective or needs improvement.
How Can Data-Based Law Enforcement Certifications Help Solve And Prevent Crime?
Data-based crime analysis certifications are meant to equip law enforcement professionals with data-savvy skills. With these skills, they can leverage available databases and technologies to make their work more efficient. Many online data-based law enforcement courses are available for professionals. Some of the most valued courses are the ones that teach the use of Excel and Google Locations for crime control and prevention.
Let’s consider Google Locations to understand how its certification can help investigate crime. Suppose you are investigating a robbery whose suspect has fled the scene, and you cannot find any definitive evidence with traditional methods for the case. This could be the time to get a geofence warrant to access Google location data. Using a geofence warrant, you can receive information on cell phones present at the place and time a crime occurred. Then, you can analyze and map the data you received to narrow down the cell phones and identify the suspect. So, getting a certification in Using Google Location Data for Investigations is highly beneficial.
How can the Use of Data Sciences Help Law Enforcement in Crime Analysis & Control?
1. Saves Time through Manual Work Reduction
Incorporating data sciences into your law enforcement tasks and fieldwork can save a lot of your time. Let’s understand this with one example. Suppose you collect a database of crime rates in areas to identify the hotspots. Imagine how bothersome it will be if you manually calculate the crime rate changes.
But if you are proficient in Excel, you can quickly create instant charts and identify patterns. Moreover, Excel can help you understand the crime environment, enhance investigations, analyze cell phone data, and keep communities safe. Join our Microsoft Excel for Law Enforcement (MS-E for LE) - Masterclass now to make data your ally.
2. Proactive Gauging of Future Crimes and Resource Allocation Accordingly
Another valuable change data has caused in our criminal justice system is gauging future crime proactively. It is also known as intelligence-led policing. In it, a collaborative law enforcement approach is established by combining problem-solving policing, information sharing, and police accountability with enhanced intelligence operations (U.S. Department of Justice).
This way, you can proactively prepare for future crimes and allocate resources in the priority order. You can allocate more resources to the area with the highest expected crime rate. And few resources to the area with the lowest predicted crime rate. This is another efficient way data sciences assist law enforcement in making our communities safer.
3. Enhanced Communication With Law Enforcement Professionals
If you have a proficient knowledge of data and how to analyze it, you can communicate better. How? Because you can only communicate properly about something if you yourself understand it. Data skills can help you present complex data analysis results in simple terms.
So you can effectively communicate with your team members, higher-ups, other departments, and the public. In this way, more efficient law enforcement collaborations are formed. Excel is a perfect tool to convert complex data into easy-to-understand forms for everyone.
4. Identification Of Patterns And Trends In Crime
Data can help you identify patterns and trends in the crime you are investigating. This data includes statistics, location, social media, cell phone data, and more. Let’s take social media as an example to understand this. People post a lot of personal information on their social media accounts.
The data from social media platforms can help you find people's contacts, their personal information, and their social networks. You and your colleagues can use Microsoft Excel to collect, store, and analyze data from multiple sites and data sources. Join our MS-Excel for LE Part 2: Obtaining Data From Other Sources course to investigate crime more effectively.
BlueForce Learning Academy | The Hub Of Data Based Law Enforcement Certifications
BlueForce Learning is an online learning platform for law enforcement professionals. We offer online intelligence courses and data-based certifications to all our students. We aim to make this world a better place for everyone. To ensure this, we assist law enforcement officers with data skills.
The best part of our courses is that you get ongoing access to any course you purchase from us. This way, you can go back to the course and revise at any point required. So, start your learning journey today without waiting and make data your ally to fight crime effectively.