CCSO re­ceives county fund­ing for crime an­a­lyst po­si­tion

Cecil Whig - - & - By CARL HAMIL­TON

ca­hamil­ton@ce­cil­whig.com

Ce­cil County Sher­iff’s Of­fice of­fi­cials know the value of keep­ing up-to-date statis­tics and charts when it comes to fight­ing crime, and that’s why the agency has pushed for the crime an­a­lyst po­si­tion to be funded by the county in­stead of through state grants, as in the past.

Ju­lianna Lo­gan had served as the depart­ment’s full-time crime an­a­lyst since 2013 through an an­nual grant of ap­prox­i­mately $46,000, which cov­ered mostly salary and some sup­plies, CCSO Chief Deputy Ger­ald Wid­does said. A highly val­ued em­ployee, Lo­gan left CCSO last month af­ter ac­cept­ing a sim­i­lar job with the fed­eral gov­ern­ment, he added.

As it turns out, Sher­iff Scott Adams and other agency of­fi­cials had started push­ing to make crime an­a­lyst a county-funded po­si­tion sev­eral months ago, be­fore this year’s an­nual bud­get process started, Wid­does re­ported. Their lob­by­ing proved suc­cess­ful, re­sult­ing in the county sup­ply­ing $45,440 this fis­cal year for CCSO’s full-time crime an­a­lyst po­si­tion, ac­cord­ing to Wid­does.

CCSO’s crime an­a­lyst po­si­tion will be posted Mon­day, and peo­ple in­ter­ested in the job can visit Ce­cil County Gov­ern­ment’s web­site at cc­gov.org, Wid­does said.

As for the crime an­a­lyst grant al­ready re­ceived for the cur­rent fis­cal year, which started July 1 and runs through June 30, 2017, that money now will be used for “war­rant sweeps” and other Safe Streets oper­a­tions in spec­i­fied “high-crime ar­eas” in Ce­cil County, he ex­plained.

“We won’t lose the money,” Wid­does said.

Not­ing that there can be in­her­ent draw­backs when fill­ing a po­si­tion funded ex­clu­sively by an­nual grants, Wid­does em­pha­sized that CCSO was for­tu­nate to ac­quire and then re­tain Lo­gan, whom he and oth­ers in the agency re­garded as an ex­cep­tional em­ployee.

CCSO hired Lo­gan in Oc­to­ber 2013, some five months af­ter the Childs res­i­dent grad­u­ated with a crim­i­nal jus­tice de­gree from Mount St. Mary’s Univer­sity in Em­mits­burg, where her stud­ies placed an em­pha­sis on in­tel­li­gence anal­y­sis.

Now that the crime an­a­lyst is a county-funded po­si­tion, how­ever, Wid­does and other agency of­fi­cials be­lieve their chances of finding an­other well-cre­den­tialed can­di­date for the job are good.

“Any time you have a grant-funded po­si­tion, there is un­cer­tainty about job se­cu­rity and ben­e­fits. Be­cause it’s an an­nual grant, a per­son in that po­si­tion will ask, ‘Will I still be here next year?’ Job sta­bil­ity comes into ques­tion,” Wid­does ex­plained. “We be­lieve this (a coun­ty­funded po­si­tion) will at­tract qual­i­fied ap­pli­cants. It’s hard to take a job when it is yearto-year.”

A crime an­a­lyst takes an an­a­lytic ap­proach to solv­ing crimes, by por­ing over daily in­ci­dent re­ports and calls for ser­vice and then record­ing the types of of­fenses com­mit­ted and the calls re­ceived, as well as where and when. A crime an­a­lyst also may in­clude de­tails about the crimes, such as the method used by a bur­glar to gain en­try into a house, for ex­am­ple.

The crime an­a­lyst com­piles the in­for­ma­tion in var­i­ous forms, in­clud­ing spread­sheets, charts and maps, and it al­lows deputies and in­ves­ti­ga­tors to spot trends much eas­ier. In con­junc­tion with in­for­ma­tion al­ready de­vel­oped through in­ves­ti­ga­tion, the an­a­lyt­ics also can yield clues. In ad­di­tion, the in­for­ma­tion some­times helps in de­ter­min­ing where to em­pha­size pa­trols.

CCSO of­fi­cials ex­plained that deputies and in­ves­ti­ga­tors do not have the time to per­form such de­tailed, time­con­sum­ing record-keep­ing be­cause of their daily du­ties.

Be­cause deputies typ­i­cally work in­de­pen­dently of each other – mean­ing one deputy might be un­aware that some­thing he or she just han­dled may re­late to some­thing a fel­low deputy had han­dled — a crime an­a­lyst syn­the­sizes all of the in­for­ma­tion con­tained in that hodge­podge of re­ports and cen­tral­izes it, ac­cord­ing to Lt. Michael Holmes, a CCSO spokesman.

The an­a­lyt­i­cal ap­proach also helps with crime-solv­ing out­side of CCSO.

Holmes re­ported that, while em­ployed as crime an­a­lyst, Lo­gan at­tended weekly in­tel­li­gence meet­ings, which in­cluded rep­re­sen­ta­tives from ev­ery po­lice agency in Ce­cil County and, on some oc­ca­sions, ones from Delaware and Penn­syl­va­nia.

“We have in­tel meet­ings here ev­ery Thurs­day. It al­lows us to get to­gether with other agen­cies. It puts us all on the same page and al­lows us to com­pare notes,” Holmes said. “You may have the same crim­i­nal with the same method of op­er­a­tion, and he’s crossing boundary lines.”

The crime an­a­lyst han­dles only CCSO cases but also has ac­cess to re­ports gen­er­ated by other po­lice agen­cies in Ce­cil County, ac­cord­ing to Holmes.

The recorded and charted CCSO in­for­ma­tion par­tic­u­larly can ben­e­fit other po­lice agen­cies when there is a crime spree in­volv­ing the same per­son or peo­ple, Holmes said. Due to ju­ris­dic­tion, he added, it’s com­mon for CCSO, Mary­land State Po­lice and even mu­nic­i­pal forces within the county to in­ves­ti­gate armed rob­beries, for ex­am­ple, that are part of the same se­ries.

In De­cem­ber 2013, some seven months af­ter start­ing as CCSO’s crime an­a­lyst, Lo­gan ex­plained her job to the Ce­cil Whig by say­ing, “I take all of the data and look for trends and pat­terns. It’s like putting to­gether a gi­ant puz­zle . . . They’re (deputies and de­tec­tives) busy do­ing their job; I’m a re­source for them.”

CCSO of­fi­cials are pleased that its crime anal­y­sis po­si­tion is now funded by the county.

“Hav­ing a crime an­a­lyst is a great as­set,” Holmes said.

CE­CIL WHIG FILE PHOTO BY CARL HAMIL­TON

This file photo shows then-CCSO crime an­a­lyst Ju­lianne Lo­gan in De­cem­ber 2013. Lo­gan re­cently moved to a sim­i­lar job with the fed­eral gov­ern­ment, and the CCSO crime an­a­lyst po­si­tion, which re­lied solely on state grant money, is now funded by the county.

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