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27 Jan 2002OVERVIEW OF LAW ENFORCEMENT INTELLIGENCEIntelligence collecting and analyzing have been around since even Biblical times and is often referred to as the second oldest profession. Since the early 1900s, law enforcement officials have begun to utilize the value of the intelligence collection methods. One of the first well-known uses of intelligence by law enforcement was during the "Black Hand" investigations, which lasted from 1905 to 1909. The investigations resulted in the deportation of 500 people and arrest of thousands of others. In the 1920s and 1930s, intelligence was used to collect information on citizens thought to be anarchists and mobsters, and by the 1940s and 1950s; law enforcement agencies began to utilize intelligence methods in the fight against organized crime. By 1967, the President's Commission on Organized Crime helped to develop the Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organization (RICO).
In 1986, the heads of five Mafia families were convicted of violating the RICO. Other types of activities that intelligence is used against are outlaw motorcycle gangs, Russian and Asian organized crime, and street gangs.Some of the duties that fall under the intelligence process for law enforcement are collection, evaluation, integration, and dissemination. Intelligence analysts can assist in investigation or prosecution as well. One of the main problems that analysts seem to be having in the law enforcement field is first getting into the job and then, once they are working, making it up to the higher-level management positions.Many have confused information with intelligence. Information is only raw data, while intelligence is a process of changing this raw data into useable information in order to draw conclusions about unknown events in the past, present, or future.
The different types of intelligence collection and analyzing methods are termed "disciplines". There are five different types of disciplines: Imagery Intelligence (IMINT), Signals Intelligence (SIGINT), Measures and Signals Intelligence (MASINT), Human Intelligence (HUMINT), and Open Source Intelligence (OSINT). These five disciplines are what compiles the raw information data that intelligence analysts use to draw conclusions. IMINT is the method of using pictures to draw information. The pictures can be taken as electro-optical, infrared, radar, or multi-spectral. The greatest advantage is that a picture can speak a thousand words.
A disadvantage is that a picture is a moment frozen in time, and the information may change after the snapshot is taken. SIGINT is the method of taking information from transmissions. Within SIGINT there are three categories as well: Communications Intelligence (COMINT), Telemetry Intelligence (TELINT), and Electronic Intelligence (ELINT). COMINT draws intelligence from "listening in" on a conversation between two people. TELINT is the collection of data drawn from weapons testing, while ELINT is the study of electronic emissions during weapons firing.
MASINT is the method that combines the information gathered from TELINT and ELINT to determine further information about the activity. MASINT has not been fully accepted or recognized and is still in the building phase within the intelligence community. HUMINT is the bread and butter of the intelligence community, and is often referred to as the second oldest profession. This type of collection involves people actually doing the collecting themselves through espionage, paying for information, etc. The fictional character, James Bond, was a HUMINT collection asset for the United Kingdom. OSINT is the method of drawing information from readily unclassified resources.
Lots of times things are available right on the street through the media, public data, and professional sources. This method of collection is sometimes thought to be cheap and easy, but the contrary is often true. Now that the disciplines have been defined, the intelligence cycle can be appreciated. The intelligence cycle is a process that is utilized in developing products and analysis. The first part is the planning and directing or the need for information.
The next step is the collection process, which is simply picking up the different pieces of raw information from various sources (i.e. IMINT, SIGINT, MASINT, HUMINT, and OSINT). Once the data is collected it must go through the processing and collation phase where it is filed or stored. The most important part of the cycle is the analysis and production cycle. This is where all the information that is found to be of use is processed into meaningful information and products. Once the information has been analyzed, the dissemination phase decides who and where the information is sent.
During this phase the questions of "right to know" and "need to know" come into play. Once the information is received, it is evaluated and used. During this phase, feedback should be provided to the analyst. Feedback is often neglected due to two reasons. The first is the lack of time by the planner and the second is that it is looked at as not being necessary. The main information request may be overlooked in the intelligence collection and analysis phases and never reported. In order for the problem to be fixed, the problem must be identified.One role, as the consumer, that is normally not adhered to is to provide feedback to the analyst that has provided the information to the management.
The management also has responsibilities to "the boss" of his organization to provide precise and timely intelligence in order for decisions to be made. Another role of Senior Management in Law Enforcement Intelligence is to identify, interview, and select potential recruits. A manager must have very strong leadership and communication skills along with the highest level of integrity. The use of intelligence as a tool within the law enforcement community is today becoming a necessity. The final frontier of cyber-space has made criminal matters a global issue instead of a local issue.
The new business of crime fighting will require a level of tolerance from the "Get Smart" street cops of yesterday, because there is more to the eye than "Just the facts ma'am". One of the main things that I noticed during my readings was that law enforcement is trying to shift from the approach of only using human intelligence collection methods, to using all of the collection methods. This will be a slow transition, but a very effective one when complete. It has also been a little difficult for me while reading about the law enforcement intelligence process to be unbiased. I found myself often being partial to the analyst point of view and somewhat prejudice against the regular street cops, senior management, and prosecutor issues.SOURCES USEDLowenthall, M.M. INTELLIGENCE: FROM SECRETS TO POLICY.Washington, DC: CQ Press, 2000.
(Chap 1, 4, & pg 61-70)Peterson, M.B. APPLICATIONS IN CRIMINAL ANALYSIS. Westport,CT: Praeger Publishers, 1998. (Chap 1 and Appx 1)Peterson, M.B. INTELLIGENCE 2000: REVISING THE BASICELEMENTS. Sacramento, CA: LEIU, 2000.
(Chap 1, 2, & 3)Sulc, L.B. LAW ENFORCEMENT: COUNTER INTELLIGENCE. ShawneeMission, KS: Varro Press, 1996. (pg XIII-XIX & Sec 16).
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