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Become a warrior of justice with a qualification in crime analysis! Use our practical guide to explore the data-focused work of a crime analyst in law enforcement. Learn more about crime analysis coursework & concentrations. Browse through annotated lists of day-to-day responsibilities, job titles, and salary numbers. Or dive into our listings of regionally accredited crime & intelligence analysis programs throughout the USA.
What is Crime Analysis?
Crime analysts turn data into actionable law enforcement strategies. They are specialists who use analytics tools & techniques to identify current crime patterns & trends, predict criminal activities, deploy crime reduction measures, pinpoint perpetrators, and prevent future offenses. Although crime analysts often draw on their training in criminal justice and statistics, they also have expertise in mapping, sociology, criminal law, ethics, and more.
Crime analysis can be broken down into a range of disciplines. On any given day, you may be involved with:
- Tactical Analysis: This is usually focused on short-term and definable goals. For instance, you may use tactical analysis to help your colleagues catch a single offender—condensing information about the crime scene, establishing plausible scenarios, learning more about the victim’s life, and identifying suspects. Your data sources could include police reports, interview transcripts, crime photos, maps, criminal databases, social media, and the like.
- Strategic Analysis: This often refers to analyzing long-term patterns and trends in order to address a wider problem. For example, you could be challenged to assess patterns in police behavior or serious criminal offenses over a period of months or even years. To do so, you might need to tap into a vast range of data sources & databases from all over the country. This is where strong Machine Learning (ML) and data science skills often come into play.
- Administrative Analysis: This is the paperwork side of the job. You’ll frequently be creating reports, presentations, law enforcement bulletins, and data visualizations for your colleagues and government officials (e.g. city councils). You might be tasked with providing citizens with economic, geographic, and urban data. Or you could be making policy recommendations on where to allocate budgets and departmental resources.
Depending on the employer and job title, crime analysis can also involve intelligence analysis. We talk more about the difference between these two roles in our Crime Analysis FAQ section.
What Does a Degree in Crime Analysis Look Like?
Crime Analysis Degree Pathways
The two most popular degree choices for a career in crime analysis are criminal justice with a concentration in crime analysis or simply a degree in crime analysis. Have a look at our listings to get a sense of all your options!
- Employers are often willing to consider related undergraduate majors if you have some coursework or experience in analytics, law enforcement & criminal justice.
- If you’re lacking in those areas, master’s degrees and graduate certificates in crime analysis are now widely available.
Before you land on an undergraduate degree that focuses solely on crime analysis, talk to folks about your decision. LinkedIn is one place to find crime analysts. Regional IACA groups & associations may also be able to direct you to mentors. Focusing on a niche field is going to narrow your employment options after graduation. Experts can help you think through your choices.
- Criminal Justice: Crime Analysis Concentration
- Crime Analysis
- Crime & Intelligence Analysis
- Law Enforcement Intelligence & Analysis
- Social Science
- Behaviorial Science
- Business Analytics
- Data Analytics
- Data Science
- Computer Science
- Public Administration
- Related Fields
How to Choose a School
Programs in crime & intelligence analysis can usually be found lurking within a School or Department of Criminal Justice. But you’ll also find degrees & certificates in our listings that come from Schools of Public Safety, Public Affairs, Public Service, and Social Welfare.
Whichever school you choose, you’re looking for practical & technical coursework, useful career connections, and opportunities for on-the-job training. Many crime analyst jobs are only open to candidates with 2+ years of experience in a law enforcement setting.
Pay particular attention to schools or departments that:
- Use their research centers to work on real-world projects with law enforcement partners
- Hire criminal justice professors who are active in the IACA and/or IALEIA
- Maintain strong criminal justice rankings & good student reviews
- Develop their curricula in consultation with regional chapters of IACA (e.g. Tarleton’s Online Graduate Certificate in Crime Analysis)
- Can draw on support from well-respected data analytics or data science departments
- Arrange recruitment visits from local police departments and sheriff’s offices
- Have received funding for NIJ projects – see the section on Mapping & Analysis
- Organize unique training & field research programs (e.g. UNC Charlotte’s Research Experience for Undergraduates Program: Data Science and Crime Analytics)
- Support credit-eligible internships (e.g. ASU’s School of Criminology and Criminal Justice Internship)
- Prepare you for crime analysis certifications
Crime Analysis Coursework & Requirements
Admissions Requirements for Crime Analysis Majors
To speed your search, we’ve provided shortcuts to admissions links in our listings. Generally speaking, admissions committees will be looking for candidates with strengths in statistics & research, good communication & presentation skills, and a demonstrable interest in criminal justice.
You’ll need a high school diploma or a GED to apply to an associate’s degree or a bachelor’s degree in crime analysis. SAT or ACT test scores are not always required. But we’ve seen at least one school that expects applicants to have a baseline average (e.g. 75 / C grade). In your first year of university, you may also be expected to take Composition and Intermediate Algebra.
Candidates for a graduate certificate or master’s degree in crime analysis are usually expected to have an undergraduate degree in criminal justice, criminology, social science, or a related discipline from a regionally accredited institution. Schools may also ask for undergraduate coursework in research methods and statistics, a baseline GPA (e.g. 3.0), 1-2 letters of recommendation, and your résumé.
GRE or GMAT scores may not be necessary—check the admissions links in our listings. TOEFL scores (or the equivalent) will be required for candidates who need to provide proof of English proficiency.
Coursework for Crime Analysis Majors
Coursework for your program will depend on whether you choose a degree in criminal justice with a concentration in crime analysis or a degree/certificate that focuses 100% on crime analysis. We’ve provided examples of coursework for both pathways below. You won’t have the time to take all of these courses, but we wanted to give you a sense of their scope. Check the curriculum links in our listings for specifics on each school.
Let’s say you’re interested in majoring in criminal justice, but you’d like to explore the field of crime analysis as a concentration. In a traditional 4-year, 120-credit bachelor’s degree, you could be looking at a curriculum that incorporates coursework such as:
- General Education (GE) Requirements: Math & Statistics, Speaking & Writing, Arts & Humanities, Natural Sciences, Social Sciences, Foreign Language
- Criminal Justice Foundation Courses: Criminal Justice, Criminal Law, Ethics in Criminal Justice, Law Enforcement Operations, Criminal Procedure, Corrections, Homeland Security, Criminology, Government & Politics, Police Studies, Sociology, Social Research Methods in Criminology & Criminal Justice
- Crime Analysis Requirements: Data Analysis, Crime Analysis Applications, Intelligence Analysis, Policing Theory & Strategy, Spatial Analysis, Cybercrime Investigation, Law Enforcement Intelligence Systems, Digital Forensic Analysis, Research Methods
- Computer Science & Technical Courses: Information Technology, Logic/Programming, Database Management, Geographic & Land Information Systems, Geodatabases, GIS Applications, GIS Database Design
- Examples of Electives: Crime Mapping, Mobile Device Forensics, Fraud Examination, Cold Case Investigation, Rules of Evidence, White Collar Crime, Externship (Field Experiences)
- Culminating Experience or Capstone Project: Integrates classroom work & practical experiences with criminal justice agencies
Alternatively, you could choose a specialist program such as CSUSB’s BS in Intelligence & Crime Analysis. It still contains foundational coursework in criminal justice and crime analysis techniques, but it leans more heavily on technical credits in later years (e.g. Social Network Analysis, Crime Pattern Detection, etc.). In addition, you’ll be expected to choose a concentration from:
- Geographic Information Sciences (GIS): Seven courses offered through the Department of Geography and Environmental Studies.
- Cyber Security: Seven courses provided through the Department of Information and Decision Sciences.
- Homeland Security: Seven courses selected from the Criminal Justice and Political Science programs.
You can see how a BS in Crime Analysis might lead more quickly to an area of specialization.
You’ll be faced with the same choice at the master’s level—criminal justice + crime analysis or simply crime analysis. Your decision may depend on your background. If you have little experience with criminal justice issues, you might prefer the first option. If you have on-the-job experience in law enforcement and prior undergraduate coursework in criminal justice, you could opt for the second path.
Here’s how a 30-credit MS in Criminal Justice: Crime Analysis Concentration might be structured:
- Criminal Justice Core: Criminology & Crime Policy, Criminal Justice Administration & Ethics, Research & Evaluation Methods, Applied Analytical Methods
- Crime Analysis Concentration: Crime & Intelligence Analysis, GIS & Spatial Analysis, Data Science with Python, Data Mining, Measuring & Analyzing Crime Data
- Applied Project or Capstone
In contrast, here’s what a 30-credit MS in Crime Analysis might look like:
- Crime Analysis Core: Crime & Intelligence Analysis, Comparative Criminal Justice Systems, Social Network Analysis, Data Management, Applied Data Analysis in Criminal Justice, Crime Mapping (ArcGIS), Crime Analysis Fieldwork, Criminal Justice Research
- Examples of Electives: Cyber Crime, White Collar Crime, Criminal Justice Statistics, Modern Criminal Investigations
- Applied Project or Capstone
Bear in mind that some MS in Crime Analysis programs will have lots of electives and some may have none at all. When in doubt, visit the curriculum links in our listings.
Graduate certificates in crime analysis will be completely devoted to the field. They can be tackled in one year or less. They’re typically offered in an online or hybrid form. And they often cover at least 15 credits (1/2 of a master’s degree). If you’d like to explore the possibility of a career in crime analysis, they’re an excellent way to start your journey.
Here are some of the courses that you could be encountering in a Graduate Certificate in Crime Analysis. Not all graduate certificates will contain electives—some like to stick to a prescribed curriculum.
- Crime Analysis Core: Applied Statistics & Analytical Methods, Applications in Crime Analysis, Crime Mapping (ArcGIS), Criminal Justice Research Design & Methods, Seminar in Policing
- Examples of Electives: Applied Crime Prevention, Public Safety Law, Environmental Criminology, Terrorism & Homeland Security, Data Mining, Foundations of Machine Learning
Thinking of earning a master’s degree in crime analysis or criminal justice in the future? Chat to the program coordinator and make sure that your certificate credits will be transferable.
Can You Earn a Crime Analysis Degree Online?
Yes. Many of the crime analysis programs in our listings can be earned from home—look for the “Offered Online” tag. Graduate certificates tend to be 100% online, but master’s degrees and bachelor’s degrees may contain on-campus components (e.g. orientation). You should also ask if the program is offered in an asynchronous, “learn on your own time” format or if it contains synchronous, “real-time” elements (e.g. live online classes).
- Undergraduate Advice: Talk to current students to get a sense of how they’re handling coursework in technical skills. Associate and bachelor’s degrees in crime analysis often involve training in areas like data analysis, database management, GIS, and CAD/RMS systems. Are you comfortable learning these skills on your own? How much guidance & tutoring will you need from instructors? Since field experience is usually required for crime analyst jobs, you should also ask the program coordinator for details on internship or externship opportunities.
- Graduate Advice: Online master’s degrees & graduate certificates in crime analysis are designed for working professionals, which is good news for anyone looking to shift careers or move up from entry-level law enforcement positions. If you are working in a law enforcement role, make a shortlist of online programs and go over the curricula with your supervisor. They may have ideas on how you can apply your learning to workplace projects. Or reach out to crime analysts in your local area and ask them for their take on coursework offerings. They’ll know what’s being used as “filler” credits.
What Can You Do with a Crime Analysis Degree?
What Does a Job in Crime Analysis Look Like?
The scope of your job in crime analysis will depend on your employer. If you’re working in a police department or law enforcement agency, you may have different day-to-day responsibilities than a crime analyst working as a consultant for a bank. Have a look at recent job postings to learn about the differences—we’ve listed crime analyst job boards in our resources section.
To give you a feel for the job, we’ve also dug a little deeper into law enforcement openings, IACA’s recommendations, and Reddit discussions with current crime analysts. Here’s what they’re saying the job entails:
- Harvesting Data: Solving crimes requires a huge amount of information. You could be collecting criminal intelligence data from sources such as agency databases, financial records, telecommunications, community crime maps, police reports, the Internet, and more. Or you could be processing NIBIN leads or phone downloads. Or you could be fulfilling specific data requests for your supervisor.
- Analyzing Data: Finding patterns & trends in criminal activity helps your colleagues narrow their fields of inquiry. As one crime analyst pointed out, “we use a variety of databases to link crimes together by ballistics, locations, MOs, suspects, etc.” You’ll often work closely with police officers & detectives during this process.
- Wrangling Databases: There’s not a lot of consistency in law enforcement & government databases. That means crime analysts have to be able to create their own relational databases that can handle a wide range of data formats & sources. If you’re tackling large-scale studies, you might be doing quite a lot of work in programming and/or AI. Take a look at our Q&A on technical skills for more info.
- Crime Mapping: Crime analysts use of variety of mapping tools & software, including Geographical Information Systems (GIS), to get a better understanding of what’s happening on the ground. For instance, crime maps can be used to flag up hot spots for assaults, identify neighborhood crimes that might form part of a linked series, monitor the effect of public safety initiatives, and more.
- Creating Regular Reports: Crime analysts in law enforcement settings are often called upon to create CompStat reports—weekly summaries of criminal activity & trends. But you could also be working on citizen surveys of crime victimization & police services, departmental performance reports, budget forecasts, and any other managerial & administrative studies that your supervisor requires. Graphs, tables, charts & data visualizations are key aspects of these reports.
- Explaining Your Research & Findings: A big part of your job will involve communication. Crime analysts have to turn all of their research & data work into actionable strategies. So you’ll often be explaining your findings to non-technical colleagues like police officers, detectives, and supervisors. You may also be presenting your ideas to communities & organizations with a role in public safety and police interactions.
Industries Hiring Crime Analysis Graduates
The traditional job route for a crime analyst is law enforcement agencies at the city, county, state, or federal level. But there will also be opportunities in legal settings and public safety organizations—they need experts in human behavior and social patterns. You’ll now find crime analysts working in:
- Police Departments
- Sheriff’s Departments
- Departments of Public Safety
- Department of Corrections
- Adult & Juvenile Probation
- District Attorneys’ Offices
- Emergency Medical Services
- Fire Investigation
- Public Safety Non-Profits
- University Research Institutes
- Policy & Planning Agencies (e.g. ICJIA)
- Department of Homeland Security
- Department of Justice
- Internal Revenue Service
- U.S. Coast Guard
Your choices aren’t limited to the public & non-profit sectors. A number of industries & contractors in the private sector are on the look-out for analysts with experience in criminal activity, including white collar crimes, fraud, and graft. Think of:
- Financial Institutions
- Industrial Security
- Private Security
There are also firms that act as crime analysis consultants for government agencies (e.g. Booz Allen Hamilton). And companies that provide software solutions to law enforcement agencies (e.g. KeyCrime, Accurint Crime Analysis from LexisNexis, Beyond 20/20 Crime Insight, etc.).
5 Key Career Tips from the Pros
For this section, we went hunting for real-world advice from working crime analysts. Because competition can be fierce for jobs, take as many extra steps as you can to improve your credentials. Schools with strong crime analysis programs can help you achieve some of these goals.
- Join IACA or IALEIA: The International Association of Crime Analysts (IACA) is one of the most respected and well-known networking organizations in the business. It runs a number of crime analysis conferences & events, offers certification & training programs, provides free webinars, and more. You can join the national organization or get involved with your state/regional association. Another organization to consider is the International Association of Law Enforcement Intelligence Analysts (IALEIA). Like IACA, IALEIA offers training & mentoring programs, networking events, and career development services. And it publishes the Journal of Intelligence and Analysis.
- Seek Out Mentors: Once you’ve signed up for IACA, you’ll have access to their Member Directory and the IACA Analyst Mentoring Program (AMP). Better yet, IALEIA also runs its own IALEIA Mentoring Program. If you’re striking out with these avenues, reach out to crime analysts via LinkedIn. In some cases, you may even be able to job shadow.
- Earn a Crime Analyst Certification: Unlike graduate certificates, crime analyst certifications are granted by independent organizations. IACA’s CLEA and IALEIA’s CICA are two of the most common qualifications in the field, but there are beginner’s level certifications. See our Certification section for details on how to earn one.
- Complete Internships or Volunteer Work: A number of police departments, sheriff’s departments, law enforcement agencies, and private corporations offer internships to crime analysis students (e.g. Financial Crimes Summer Intern). Some of these are offered through a university program (e.g. UAPD Internship); some are open to any applicants. Another option is simply to volunteer.
- Apply for Ancillary Positions: Most employers are looking for crime analysts who have two years of prior law enforcement & criminal justice experience. You can earn that by working in a department such as dispatch, police records, or police administration. This will give you a sense of how the ecosystem works. When you’re in, you can start helping with data projects and asking to go on department ride-alongs. You may also hear about hiring opportunities much earlier than the general public.
Bonus Tip: IACA has published its own extensive guide to Hiring An Analyst. Since it contains details on everything from typical crime analyst job duties to standard interview questions, you can use it as a “cheat sheet” when you’re preparing for job applications. You could even practice the test questions & projects ahead of time.
Crime Analysis Job Titles & Salary Numbers
Sample Job Titles for Crime Analysis Majors
We’ve listed a range of job titles for crime analysts—use them to explore postings on crime analyst job boards. If you plow through the descriptions, you’ll start to notice the same language being used again and again. Employers in law enforcement agencies are almost always looking for:
- Work: 2 years of experience working in a criminal justice environment performing research, statistical, or crime analysis
- Education: An undergraduate degree in criminal justice, crime analysis, math, statistics, behavioral science, business analytics, intelligence/homeland security, data science, or a related field
To fulfill the work requirement, aspiring crime analysts have done their years in dispatch, military intelligence, police department administration, or the like. Others have successfully applied for crime analyst trainee positions and completed a number of internships. If you’re just starting out, we recommend a chat with your mentor. They’ll have ideas on how to accrue experience and connect with potential employers.
Before you apply for any particular job, think about career progression. Does the agency or company have a pathway to senior-level & managerial positions for crime analysts? Will you be able to move from a state position to a regional job? Do you want to explore opportunities in consultancy, intelligence, academia, or the private sector? Your first job is a stepping stone to these paths.
Crime Analysis Job Titles
- Crime Analyst
- Crime Research Analyst
- Investigative Analyst
- Criminal Intelligence Analyst
- Criminal Investigator
- Police Crime Analyst
- Senior Crime Analyst
- Head of Crime Analysis
Specialist Job Titles
- Anti-Money Laundering Analyst
- Public Safety Data Scientist
- Community Operations Analyst
- Digital Forensics Analyst
- GIS Analyst
- Financial Crime Analyst
Intelligence Analysis Job Titles
- Intelligence Analyst
- Intelligence Specialist
- Intelligence Operations Specialist
- Military Intelligence Analyst
- FBI Analyst
- CIA Analyst
- NSA Analyst
- Homeland Security Agent
- Anti-Terrorist Analyst
- Fusion Center Intelligence Analyst
- Counter-Terrorism Intelligence Analyst
- Critical Infrastructure Protection Intelligence Analyst
Note: Private sector jobs may not be labeled as “crime analyst” jobs. Instead, you may need to expand your keyword search to look for analyst jobs in your choice of sector (e.g. fraud analyst).
Salary Numbers for Crime & Intelligence Analysis Professionals
Unfortunately, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) is not yet tracking wage & employment data for crime analysts. You can find figures for police officers, detectives, and private investigators, but none of these jobs are in the same technical category as crime analysis.
You’ll have better luck with employment sites such as PayScale, Glassdoor, and Salary. These will give you broad estimates for crime analyst salaries.
But your best bet may be looking at descriptions on crime analyst job boards. Government employers almost always quote the low end and high end of annual salaries. We’ve highlighted a few 2023 examples to show you how numbers can vary from place to place.
Crime Analyst Trainee: 6 Months of Experience
- San Bernardino County Sheriff (California): $51,542 – $69,118
- Santa Rosa Police Department (California): $55,066 – $74,919
Crime Analyst: 2+ Years of Experience
- Colton Police Department (California): $78,715 – $95,680
- Pasadena Police Department (California): $83,489 – $104,361
- Naperville Police Department (Illinois): $68,149 – $86,083
- King’s County Sheriff’s Office (Washington): $85,883 – $108,867
Senior Crime Analyst: 3-5 Years of Experience
- Metro Transit Police (Seattle): $87,641 – $111,090
- North Vancouver Police Department (Canada): $93,142 – $110,053
- Maryland State Police – Criminal Investigation Bureau: $41,053 – $65,138
- Southern Nevada Counter Terrorism Center: $85,960 – $122,424
- Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI): $59,319 – $77,112 (GS-11 Category)
- National Security Agency (NSA): $69,107 – $183,500
Crime Analysis FAQ
Is a Degree in Crime Analysis Worth It?
Yes—if you have a clear career path in mind. Because crime analysis is a niche field, coursework is going to cover specific issues like GIS & crime mapping, crime analysis applications, criminal procedure, digital forensics, and lots of other places where analytics intersects with criminal justice. These skills can work really well in law enforcement settings, but they may be next to useless for other employers.
That’s why we keep yammering on about talking to mentors and current crime analysts before you start filling in application forms:
- If you’re 100% sure of your decision to work in the fields of data & criminal justice, then a crime analysis program in our listings will get you where you want to be.
- If you’re hesitating, you may want to explore alternative majors or training paths (e.g. military) and leave yourself the option to earn a graduate degree or certificate later down the line.
What’s the Difference Between Crime Analysis and Intelligence Analysis?
Crime Analysis: IACA defines crime analysts as professionals who deploy their skills to help law enforcement agencies (especially police departments) become more effective through better information. Crime analysis can be used to solve & reduce crimes, but it can also be employed to improve public safety & monitor community initiatives.
Intelligence Analysis: Intelligence analysts have many of the same baseline skills as crime analysts, but they can often be found working at the national & federal level or within the private sector. In the FBI, they’re dealing with challenges such as counterterrorism and organized crime. In the DIA, they’re working on counterintelligence and the threat of foreign militaries. See the guide to U.S. Intelligence Community Careers for more info.
The line between the two roles can be blurry—especially when employers start throwing around titles like “criminal intelligence”—so we recommend you choose a few dream careers and then look at job postings to see what kind of educational qualifications are preferred.
- Dedicated programs in intelligence are available (e.g. BS in Intelligence Analysis, BS in Information Science: Intelligence Analysis, Certificate of Intelligence Analysis, etc.).
- However, you also have the option to pursue a crime & intelligence degree that includes coursework in areas like cyber intelligence, national security, military intelligence, and the like.
What Technical Skills Should I Be Acquiring?
Start with IACA’s guidelines on hiring an analyst. IACA recommends baseline skills in:
- Word Processing (MS Word)
- Spreadsheets (MS Excel)
- Databases (MS Access)
- Presentation Software (MS PowerPoint)
- Publishing Software (MS Publisher)
- Email (MS Outlook)
- i2 (Link Analysis Software for Military Intelligence & Law Enforcement)
- GIS Software & Applications (ArcGIS)
- Internet Search Experience
- Records Management Systems (RMS)
- Computer Aided Dispatch Systems (CAD)
- Automation Techniques
- Specialized Software for Analysis
We’ve also seen employers asking for crime analysis candidates who have experience working with:
- SQL & Relational Databases
- STATA and SPSS Statistical Packages
- Power BI
- SAP Crystal Reports
- CompStat Reporting
Why Should I Study Ethics in My Crime Analysis Program?
Anyone going into the field of crime & law enforcement should have training in ethics, especially when it comes to the use of data. It’s very easy to imagine a dystopian society in which civilians are monitored 24/7, flagged for suspicious behavior, and incarcerated even before they have committed a crime. Some countries have already reached this point (think of one that rhymes with “Mina”).
You should also be aware that you are working with fallible systems and data sources. Many crimes are simply not reported to the police. CompStat reports are open to manipulation. AI & Machine Learning systems have been found to be riddled with racial bias. Inequities can be compounded by systemic policies. You are responsible for understanding the weaknesses of your profession.
What Crime Analyst Certifications Are Available?
Unlike undergraduate or graduate certificates in crime analysis, which can be earned at an academic institution, certifications are industry-focused qualifications that are granted by an independent organization.
In the world of crime & intelligence analysis, the most recognized qualifications come from IACA and IALEIA. If you’re just starting out, you can begin by earning:
- IACA Law Enforcement Analyst (LEAF): Open to current IACA members who are prepared to take the LEAF Certification Exam. The exam consists of 100 multiple choice, true/false, fill‐in‐the‐blank, and short answer questions. To pass, you must earn an overall score of 80%. This is a certification.
- IALEIA Basic Analyst Qualification: Open to IALEIA members who are employed full-time in a criminal intelligence or analysis position in the government, criminal justice agency, military, or private sector and have completed a recognized 40-hour minimum basic intelligence course within 5 years of application. This is not a certification—it’s an entry point for the CICA pathway.
However, you’ll eventually need to take the next step and earn the CLEA and/or CICA. You’ll notice that many crime analyst job descriptions ask for proof of CLEA certification or its equivalent.
- IACA Certified Law Enforcement Analyst (CLEA): Open to IACA members with at least 3 years of full-time experience as an analyst in the field of law enforcement, intelligence, corrections, or related fields. Candidates must have a minimum of 100 points in combined work and educational experience before they sit for the CLEA exam. The exam consists of 190 multiple choice, true/false, fill‐in‐the‐blank, and short answer questions. To pass, you must earn an overall score of 70% on each of the 19 skill sets tested.
- IALEIA Criminal Intelligence Certified Analyst (CICA): Open to IALEIA members who are employed full-time in a criminal intelligence or analysis position in the government, criminal justice agency, military, or private sector. Bachelor’s degree holders need at least 3 years of work experience. Those with an associate degree need 5 years. Anyone without a degree (e.g. military) needs 7 years of work experience. Applicants must also provide a certificate of completion for the qualifying intelligence course OR have a Basic Analyst Classification before they can take the CICA exam.
We also want to highlight that some states have their own certification & training programs for crime analysts. Examples of this include:
- NYS Division of Criminal Justice Services’s Criminal Analysis Certification Exam
- California Department of Justice’s Certified Crime & Intelligence Analysis (CCIA) programs
- Florida Department of Law Enforcement’s Florida Law Enforcement Analyst Academy Programs
Before you apply for a crime analyst degree or certificate in our listings, ask if it prepares you for any required state or regional qualifications. Coursework should also cover anything that’s going to be tested in IACA exams.
What Does CompStat Stand For?
CompStat is short for Computer Statistics. It’s a performance management and reporting program that’s frequently used by U.S. police departments & law enforcement agencies for weekly crime control strategy meetings. Within a police department, CompStat reports often address two key aspects of operations:
- Crime & Community: Summarizing and mapping crimes, complaints, summonses & arrests; identifying criminal patterns, trends & hotspots; flagging unusual & significant cases; and formulating strategies to tackle problems.
- Police Performance: Monitoring personnel data such as the use of sick time, use of force, pursuits & police complaints; identifying key issues; creating best-practice strategies to address those issues; and holding police managers & employees accountable for their performance.
CompStat was born in New York City in the 1990s, when the NYPD was beginning to harness the power of data analytics & computers to address crimes on a city-wide level. You can explore elements of its most recent iteration, CompStat 2.0, via the NYPD website.
But CompStat, like any other measure that relies on data, is not infallible. CompStat reports are open to the manipulation of data (e.g. downgrading assaults from “aggravated” to “simple”). Because of bias, they can lead to unfair targeting of communities and police harassment. And they may put police officers under pressure to “get the numbers up” by creating more traffic stops, issuing more summonses, and making more arrests.
Since CompStat reports are a standard job responsibility for crime analysts, you should be aware of all the ethical issues at play.
Crime Analysis Resources & Organizations
- IACA Certified Law Enforcement Analyst (CLEA)
- IACA Law Enforcement Analyst – Foundational (LEAF)
- IALEIA Basic Analyst Classification
- IALEIA Criminal Intelligence Certified Analyst (CICA)
- IALEIA Lifetime Criminal Intelligence Certified Analyst (Lifetime CICA)
Conferences & Networking Events
- Crime Analyst Associations: Regional & State Job Postings
- Government Jobs: Crime Analyst
- IALEIA Job Opportunities
- International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) Career Center
- U.S. Intelligence Community Careers
- USAJobs.gov: Federal Government Jobs
Journals & Publications
Organizations & Associations
- Crime Analyst Associations: Regional & State
- High Technology Crime Investigation Association (HTCIA)
- International Association of Crime Analysts (IACA)
- International Association of Law Enforcement Intelligence Analysts (IALEIA)
- National Institute of Justice (NIJ)
Training & Mentoring
- ArcGIS Tutorials: Crime Analysis
- ESRI Academy Courses
- IACA Analyst Mentoring Program (AMP)
- IACA Training & Webinars
- IALEIA Mentoring Program
- MS Access Support & Training
Tools & Resources
- Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) Analysis Toolkit
- FBI Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Stats
- National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS)
- NIJ-Funded Software, Tools, Apps & Databases
- Risk Terrain Modeling (RTM)