I gave a brief presentation on Friday to a group of law enforcement personnel and in the audience was a visiting member of the Victoria Police. We briefly spoke about the role of analysts in Australia and he told me that the Victoria PD, with approximately 13,000 sworn officials has about 300 analysts. I have to admit, I was pretty blown away by those numbers. That’s slightly more than 2%.
I have no hard data but my impression is that most agencies here in the U.S. have far, far fewer analysts per agency. And that, I’d argue, is a real indicator of how serious agencies are about incorporating intelligence into their planning and operations. It’s not the only one certainly but where agencies put their hiring emphasis and resource allocation is one way to cut through the rhetorical bullshit and see what they really think.
And this is yet another data point that intelligence and ideas like intelligence led policing are having difficulty actually gaining a foothold in the U.S. It’s far easier to adopt the rhetoric without actually changing anything.