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Fighting Crime in the 21st Century (continued)

Crime in the 21st century has become a global enterprise, with networks of criminal organizations and terrorists using technology to increase the stealth and efficiency of their planning and operations. As public safety and national security priorities converge, law enforcement agencies increasingly will be called upon to make connections between local events and activities that occur outside their jurisdictions.

The Office of Justice Programs (OJP) is helping law enforcement adjust to this new reality by promoting intelligence-led policing, which relies on identifying patterns of behavior through the analysis of disparate information. It is preventive in orientation and represents a strategic way of addressing crime. It also depends on the ability of law enforcement officers to share their information.

OJP has been a key participant in the Global Justice Information Sharing Initiative, which produced the National Criminal Intelligence Sharing Plan, as well as the National Information Exchange Model, a mechanism that allows information to be shared across law enforcement, intelligence, homeland security, and emergency management databases. A supplement to the guidelines for state and major urban area fusion centers, which establishes baseline capabilities, was recently published.

The Post-9/11 Policing Project, administered by OJP’s Bureau of Justice Assistance in partnership with the International Association of Chiefs of Police, the National Sheriffs’ Association, the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives, the Major Cities Chiefs Association, and the Police Foundation, published a promising practices monograph on intelligence-led policing that spells out how law enforcement agencies can work toward a realistic intelligence capability.

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More information about the resources discussed in this article, and others, is available on OJP’s Web site.

In addition, the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) recently published Policing Terrorism: An Executive’s Guide to help police executives, sheriffs, and other senior executives adapt to these new realities.