Law Enforcement Intelligence

Today, as a little bit of a change of pace, I’ve got an interesting publication from the Department of Justice that seems to have previously escaped much notice in the usual internet circles. Entitled “Law Enforcement Intelligence” (and who wouldn’t be attracted to such a title?), it’s an all-in-one handbook, textbook, and reference volume to most things intelligence- and information-related for law enforcement in this country.

Revised at the end of September, the 320-page book (1.87MB Adobe PDF file) makes for some interesting reading. An all-too-uncommon look into the closed world of modern law enforcement tools and tactics, it clarifies in layman’s terms a lot of oft-confusing subjects – like the quite important distinction between information and intelligence – or between “raw” and “finished” intelligence products, for example:

Perhaps of more interest to some people will be the very interesting discussion in chapter 10 of the book of the many and varied federal law-enforcement intelligence products – the various briefs, reports, summaries, and other analysis of information and intelligence produced by various acronym- and abbreviation-laden organizations. It also explains concisely the practical differences between Secret and Top Secret classifications, the purpose and use of FOUO, SBU, and LES markings, and quite a bit more.

In the end, it’s mainly about how to analyze information and intelligence, and how and when to disseminate it, rather than how to acquire it, but there are occasional tidbits here and there that deserve a look. One, for example, is this illustration from the first chapter; note both the broad mix of old- and new-school sources and collection techniques – but also consider the sheer number of options potentially available, and the highly disparate types of both information and intelligence they would produce. Sometimes, in information and intelligence analysis, knowing what to look for is as important as knowing where to look.

Published in: Geekiness, General, Security | on October 15th, 2007| Comments Off on Law Enforcement Intelligence

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