ANALYTICAL INTELLIGENCE TRAINING
Marilyn B. Peterson
New Jersey Division of Criminal Justice
Trenton, New Jersey
R. Glen Ridgeway
Director of Training
New York Organized Crime Task Force
White Plains, New York
The ability to analyze is very important in law
enforcement. Every investigator uses analytical ability on the
the most complex fraud and money laundering schemes. Analytical
ability is what makes a good investigator.
This article provides a look at the philosophy, environment,
and pitfalls of teaching intelligence analysis within law
enforcement. It explores curricula now available and the need to
nstitution of professional standards for intelligence analysts,
ncluding specific training topics.
THE FIELD OF INTELLIGENCE ANALYSIS
Investigators have always used analysis while performing
their jobs, but not with the disciplined procedures that
characterize a professional analyst. In most investigations,
basis. Yet, a systematic analytical approach requires adherence
to accepted, fundamental principles and techniques, most of which
are learned or assimilated over time. The ability to develop a
The field of intelligence analysis has grown enormously in
crimes, particularly in the area of drug enforcement, strategy
a decade ago, a handful of law enforcement agencies employed
trained analysts; now, analysts can be found in even small
enforcement profession that it is taught to every recruit at the
various training settings.
The Federal law enforcement community has influenced the
Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Drug Enforcement
Administration (DEA), and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and
Firearms (ATF) have even created a series of job titles and
career paths for analysts.
The FBI National Academy Program offers instruction in
ntelligence analysis to participants during their training at
the FBI Academy in Quantico, Virginia. ATF encouraged and
analysts, the International Association of Law Enforcement
conferences enabling the various projects to exchange experiences
and build on each agency's success. Other Federal agencies
employ analysts, as do State agencies such as the Florida
Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) and the Illinois State
Federally funded Regional Information Sharing System (RISS)
nationwide, also played a significant role in promoting
ntelligence analysis. RISS projects created computerized
analytical software for specific types of analysis (1) and offered
these services to its members. Under this system, agencies could
forward data to the appropriate project. The data was then
entered, analyzed, and compiled into a finished report.
Additionally, some RISS projects taught analysis to member agency
techniques to others.
Several agencies also developed analytical training in the
Federal Government or the RISS projects. While most of the
analytical classes cover basic information, a few advanced
courses address such areas as computer-aided analysis, complex
financial case analysis, and strategic analysis.
The success of intelligence analysis courses suggests that
there is a market for analytical intelligence training. However,
the courses offered are basic and reflect little initiative in
opted to modify the basic training wheel, rather than redesign
t, mainly because of lack of time and expertise. This means
that analytical training capabilities remain rudimentary and do
not advance the science of intelligence analysis in law
ANALYSIS IN ACADEMIA
All colleges and universities offer analytical courses, such
as statistical, financial and market analysis, and most mandate
a minimum number of analytical course credits within the degree
analysis, and even fewer have courses in law enforcement
analysis. Even so, the law enforcement analytical courses that
on how to analyze. As a result, when law enforcement agencies
look for analytical candidates, they generally look for people
ANALYTICAL COURSE DEVELOPMENT
Developing any course curriculum is a time-consuming
as a basis for course formation. As a result, most instructors
must begin from ground zero. Therefore, the first step in
Within the intelligence field, definitions have long been a
of analysis, there is rampant disagreement, (2) as can be expected.
When formulating an analysis course, step-by-step
nstruction should be provided. This reduces the procedure to
ts most basic components, increases the likelihood of
comprehension, and provides a basis for future reference.
Actual samples of analytical products are not only
mpressive but are also informative. Ideally, an intelligence
analysis course should include fictitious or sanitized examples
of every method/product taught.
People learn best by doing. Considering that analytical
concepts are hard to teach and difficult to learn,
authentic-appearing case material should be used during course
nstruction. Many practical exercises can translate the concept
of analysis into the investigator's stock-in-trade solving
There are four general pitfalls in teaching intelligence
analysis. They are:
* Using someone else's material,
* Being too technical,
* Not being able to respond to questions, and
* Creating training programs that are too specialized.
Each needs to be considered when teaching an analytical
Using Someone Else's Material
This pitfall is perhaps the most dangerous, since there are
borrowing another's material has become a common practice.
Yet, using another's course curriculum keeps individual
experiences from being incorporated into the training, which
nstructor from truthfully answering the question most often
asked in the analytical classroom, ``Why did (or didn't) you do
t that way?'' If the ``it'' referenced is an example or answer
an instructor did not create, the instructor can either make up
an answer or admit ignorance. But, too many ``I don't know''
answers may have negative consequences.
Being Too Technical
Because intelligence analysis is a very technical field, it
s important to explain the subject matter in the simplest terms
not direct the lecture to one or two technically oriented
to cover certain concepts and techniques more than once. What is
mportant is that everyone thoroughly understands and comprehends
the topics covered.
The presentation should be designed for the audience at
tendency to use details and speak abstractly. However, all
nstruction should be as simple as possible. The goal is to have
the students learn intelligence analysis.
Responding to Questions
The nightmare of all instructors is not being able to
to decrease the likelihood that this nightmare will occur.
However, an instructor who teaches a course only a few times a
year can forget to cover certain details. To prevent this,
materials should be thoroughly reviewed a few days before the
At present, a limited number of advanced analytical courses
are offered in the United States because there is a limited
audience for such training, making it not cost effective. For
the most part, those who take analytical courses are not
analysts; they are more interested in an overview of the concepts
and techniques, not in details. In addition, structured courses
for experienced analysts may only be offered a few times a year.
Therefore, time spent in course development may never be recouped
n terms of the number of persons taught, particularly on the
local or State level.
The answer might be in forming advanced classes through the
cooperation of Federal agencies, programs such as RISS, or a
national consortium of analytical experts. This would allow more
advanced classes to be available over a wider area and to a
It is clear that analysis will continue as a necessary
component of criminal investigation in the future. It is also
clear that computerization will not take the place of the
analyst, but instead will create a greater demand for more
complex analysis. However, if analytical intelligence
nstruction is to reach its potential, there are several areas
that must be addressed. These include developmental support, the
training of analytical instructors, the development of new models
and curricula in computerized analysis, and emerging analytical
There is little support to rely on in the area of analytical
training development. Articles, chapters, books, or monographs
exchange training manuals informally or permit one another to
borrow teaching modules. Unfortunately, there is no formal
through a professional organization or agency.
Training Analytical Instructors
Outside of one private company that trains its own faculty,
there is no organization that educates analysts on how to become
analytical instructors. As a result, there are very few
qualified analysis instructors in the United States generally
available for teaching in multiagency settings. One solution
may be to form an intelligence analysis faculty in order to teach
others to become analytical instructors.
Developing New Models
New models for providing analytical training should be
encouraged. One particular model--definition, how-to steps,
not at the more advanced level. The case-long practex model,
Training,'' (3) could be used in various scenarios, such as drugs
and the infiltration of legitimate businesses. However, other
models also should be designed.
The field of computerized analysis has opened new areas of
expertise and potential courses. Currently, classes are limited
to database applications for toll records, event flow, or network
analysis. Artificial intelligence in which computerized data are
flagged based on certain elements is a solid tool for targeting
criminals and helping to predict criminal activity. Agencies
The International Association of Law Enforcement
Accreditation Committee, first formed in Florida, was able to
myriad of position classifications used for analysts. Some
analysts are sworn police personnel, others are civilian. Some
management-oriented strategic planners.
Some analysts view their jobs merely as stepping stones to
nvestigative work; others look at it as a step toward computer
than 3 or 4 years, and few receive advanced training, develop
training, or write in the field. In short, not all analysts are
committed to analysis as a profession for the long term. This
lack of commitment helps explain the lack of advanced analysis
and standards. It also does little to foster the goal of IALEIA
to promote high standards of professionalism in analysis.
This article has detailed the support, or the lack of
nstruction. As a result, hundreds of law enforcement agencies
Adequate support for the use of analysis within law
enforcement will only come through the education of managers,
nvestigators, prosecutors, and analysts. Unfortunately, a vast
majority of agencies in the United States still do not realize
Analysis is a subject worth exploring, but law enforcement
teaching curricula and standard operating procedures. To achieve
this, each analyst must help to persuade the law enforcement
community that professional analysis is necessary and vital to
law enforcement's mission. Only through standardization and the
cultivation of dedicated analysts will analysis as a profession
(1) There are six RISS projects--the Rocky Mountain
Mid-States Organized Crime Information Center, the Regional
Organized Crime Information Center, and the Middle
Atlantic-Great Lakes Organized Crime Law Enforcement Network.
(2) Marilyn Peterson Sommers, ``Law Enforcement Intelligence:
A New Look,'' International Journal of Intelligence and
Counterintelligence, vol. 1, No. 1, Fall, 1986.
(3) ``Advanced Analytical Training'' includes complex cases
for which teams of analysts were required to do analytical