The primary mission of the Crime Analysis Unit is to identify and analyze crime patterns and trends and to develop tactical and strategic information for investigators and patrol officers.
As part of the Investigations Division, OPD’s Crime Analysis Unit (CAU) focuses on the study of criminal incidents for the purpose of identifying emerging patterns and active crime series. This is often referred to as “tactical crime analysis,” and is aimed at helping the agency identify and apprehend offenders, sometimes by generating a forecast about where and when the offender is likely to strike next.
OPD’s analysts also engage in “strategic crime analysis,” which involves the study of long-term trends and chronic problems. This type of analysis is oriented toward helping the agency identify root causes of crime problems and to develop creative problem-solving strategies to reduce crime.
The CAU also provides the Department with crime mapping, data querying and statistical reporting capabilities.
Currently, the CAU is comprised of three analysts, each assigned to a specific target area that is organized by crime type. These target areas include: Crimes of Violence (homicide, robbery, gang-related crime), Property Crimes (burglary, auto theft, financial crimes), and Sex Crimes (sexual assault, crimes against children). The CAU also works closely with analysis units from surrounding law enforcement agencies to identify and analyze regional crime trends.