One of the major duties of the Crime Analysis unit is to examine and report on overall crime trends and patterns. Some basic questions that Crime Analysis answers are:
• Is crime trending up or down?
• What crimes are most problematic for the city?
• Where and when are crimes happening?
• Where are the most concentrated crime areas and locations?
Some tools that help answer these questions include crime databases, GIS mapping, and statistical analysis.
In addition, the information that Crime Analysis gathers helps solve individual crimes. For example, the unit has helped investigators identify scores of suspects in crimes raging from car breaks to homicide.
In short, the work that Crime Analysis does supports the goals of:
• Developing methods to reduce crime
• Detecting and solving community problems
• Identifying, finding, and apprehending offenders
• Identifying short-term and long term crime patterns and trends
• Improving quality of life
• Improving public and officer safety
• Measuring effectiveness and optimizing internal operations
Furthermore, the Crime Analysis unit in Lawrence has a wide range of responsibilities, including maintaining and reporting official crime data, supporting the work of the Chief’s Office, summarizing and reporting intelligence to other law enforcement agencies, supporting grant applications and reporting, and gathering information and creating reports for ad hoc crime inquires.