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Moving the Work of Criminal Investigators Towards Crime Control

NCJ Number
Date Published
March 2011
38 pages

This article examines the idea that criminal investigators need to be more involved in crime control efforts used by law enforcement.


Since the 1960s and 1970s, the fundamental mindset of the policing has shifted from one of professionalism to one of community policing. This shift emphasizes the use of uniformed patrol officers for crime control, rather than criminal investigators. This shift has left criminal investigation efforts isolated from broader police efforts to respond to crime in more effective and efficient ways. This paper investigates the importance that criminal investigators, by the very nature of their job, could bring to solving crime problems and improving the efficiency and responsiveness of police departments. The authors note that through investigation of cases, criminal investigators have knowledge of repeat victims, high-rate offenders, and locations that are hot spots for criminal incidents. This knowledge could play a central role in enabling police departments to develop creative responses to stopping the next crime rather than just responding to it after the fact. This paper presents research showing the effectiveness of criminal investigators in crime control efforts and discusses ways to develop crime control efforts to include the investigators. Efforts by police departments in the United State, Australia, and the United Kingdom to involve criminal investigators in crime control operations are discussed. Figures, endnotes, and references

Date Published: March 1, 2011