Effect of intelligence collection training on suspicious activity recognition by front line police officers
This study examines the impact of InCOP1 – Information Collection on Patrol, a training course that adopts a behavior-based approach to the identification of suspicious activities and behaviors, on information collection by front-line police officers. For this research, we developed a web-based instrument situational awareness assessment instrument to evaluate empirically the individual judgments of police officers drawn came from a cross-section of American state, county, and municipal law enforcement agencies who previously completed InCOP1 training compared with those of officers who did not participate in that training. Study participants employed an 11-point Likert type scale to assess a series of subject matter expert-generated scenarios that emulated a mix of non-suspicious behaviors, generic suspicious behaviors, traditional criminal behaviors and terrorism-centric activities. The results based on 3036 individual judgments indicate trainees had enhanced ability to recognize suspicious activity (more true positives) when compared with officers who did not participate in InCOP1 training. This finding is consistent with criminology studies that suggest training affects police decision making generally and situational awareness specifically.
Keywordsintelligence collection intelligence-led policing suspicious activity recognition police training counterterrorism
This research was supported by the Defense Intelligence Agency (PI: Regens) and the US Department of Homeland Security, Science and Technology Directorate (PI: Regens). The views and conclusions contained herein are those of the authors and should not be interpreted as necessarily representing the official policies or endorsements, either expressed or implied, of DIA, DHS or the US government. We are unaware of any personal or institutional conflicts of interest with respect to financial interests or benefits in this research.
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