U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

ILP Abbreviations for the ISE and NCISP Can Spell Trouble

NCJ Number
Police Chief Volume: 76 Issue: 10 Dated: October 2009 Pages: 138,140,141
Thomas J. Martinelli; Lawrence E. Shaw
Date Published
October 2009
3 pages
This article notes the expanding lexicon of abbreviations (including acronyms and "initialisms") in the nomenclature of intelligence-led policing (ILP), the intelligence-sharing environment (ISE), and the National Criminal Intelligence Sharing Plan (NCISP), which makes the world of ILP that much more challenging and frustrating for the many newcomers; this article proposes a "comfort zone template" of a few abbreviations.
From a historical and legal perspective, ILP is still in its embryonic stages, so traditional law enforcement procedures must apply a reasonably familiar template to intelligence gathering, retention, and dissemination. The key abbreviations that go to the core of ILP are SARs (suspicious activity reports) and CAP (common sense, audits, and purges). The ILP function begins with tips, leads, raw information, and officer intuitions. These are all documented in SARs, which consist of filed interview reports, street-level officers' observations, instincts, and experiences that focus on suspicious behaviors. The focus of SARs is behavior, so ILP training must clearly define what constitutes suspicious behavior and why. Once each SAR is critiqued and determined to have a potential terrorism nexus, it becomes an ISE-SAR (information-sharing environment suspicious activity report). For local police developing terrorist intelligence, the key acronym is CAP. This refers to the practice of using common sense and accountability that attempts to ensure that ILP does not stray beyond the constitutional parameters for the rights of individuals. It is critical that intelligence investigation be audited to ensure that national minimal standards of accountability are followed in protecting the privacy rights of those targeted for intelligence collection. Annual internal and external audits of the organizations' criminal intelligence system should be conducted. Common sense implies the application of a reasonable-officer standard for intelligence collection. Unsubstantiated and unreliable tips and leads should be purged from official intelligence files. 6 notes