Exploring crime analysis readings on essential skills

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exploring crime analysis readings on essential skills

Exploring Crime Analysis: Readings on Essential Skills by Samantha Gwinn

It is or was the study text for the International Association of Crime Analysis (IACA) certification exam to become a Certified Law Enforcement Analyst (CLEA). This edition text is in the early stages of a major rewrite. The new edition was to be published publication by the end of 2014. I have seen nothign to confirms that this has happened. If you are looking to take the test there may be some changes in how the test is written.

Exploring Crime Analysis is a collection of 20 readings, each authored by one or more selected editors. Editors were selected as area experts. Topics attempt cover every special skill a working crime analyst may need to employ. Every chapter has a corresponding section on the test. Chapters such as creating crime analysis documents and making presentations may feel lightweight even if the style can be academic. In the chapters on qualitative, quantitative, and inferential statistics, the reader will traverse from basic concepts to advanced and demanding methods of applied mathematics. This contributes to an uneven feel to the book. Parenthetically, crime analysts working in sheriffs offices and police departments may find an aggressive disinterest in internally created documents that include advanced statistics.

People come into the field of crime analysis with varied educational backgrounds. Those who have been in the field for more than a few years may have no college experience. It is now possible to get advanced degrees before your first day on the job. Most of this book reads like a graduate school text. There is a tendency among many of the contributors to begin their topics by explaining and giving examples and failing to be as clear when introducing more advanced topics where there is a greater need of longer explanations and specific examples. Some items are repeated (there are at least three or four definitions given for inductive and deductive reasoning) while other items are presented without any clarification. There are some specific instructions on the use of so-called em dashes, en dashes and hyphens; however only the keyboard location of the hyphen is given (its the minus key).

The IACA purpose in producing Exploring Crime Analysis appear to be: to ensure that all crime analysts have a single place to seek out instructions on what can be a sprawling demand for skills; next, to ensure that CLEA is aawarded on merit and a meaningful statement about the skill sets the holder can be expected to exhibit.

In summation Exploring Crime Analysis second edition is an excellent resource book for the practicing or student crime analyst. I hesitate to recommend it as your first crime analysis book and sincerely hope it is not your last. If you are not sure about becoming a crime analyst your openness to, if not enthusiasm about learning the skills in this book speaks definitively to your future as an analyst. If you are working as a crime analyst this book is a resource that can remind you of the breath of tools that should be in use in your department.
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Samantha Gwinn

Exploring Crime Analysis

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