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Introduction to Strategic Intelligence Analysis

(For Law Enforcement and Public Safety Officials)

This course is available for On-Site Training only. We will bring this course to your agency or company.
Contact Don Dickson, On-Site Training Manager at (301) 455-5633 or

Course Description

"Strategic Intelligence" defined in the context of law enforcement and homeland security: Intelligence that is developed to assist senior agency decision-makers, executives in their decision-making, e.g. related to strategy, agency priorities, resource deployment, etc. and can related to developing trends, emerging threat issues, etc.

The contemporary risk environment in which homeland security and law enforcement agencies operate is characterized by a variety of constantly evolving criminal, terrorist and other security threats, and by technological, social and commercial environments that are both complex and variable. How are we to do intelligence in this complex and challenging environment?

The capacity to develop timely, well-formulated strategic intelligence is vital! Strategic intelligence is a much-touted yet under-utilized tool in law enforcement circles. It provides vital intelligence insights for both senior agency decision-makers as well as a valuable context for decisions made by operational commanders responsible for investigative success.

Strategic intelligence is a crucial tool to answer fundamental questions which arise in confronting trans-border and domestic law enforcement threats and threats to homeland security. These include:

- How can agency decision-makers use intelligence to inform crucial decisions concerning targeting priorities or the deployment of enforcement resources where they will have the most impact?
- Before we throw resources at problems such as cross-border smuggling threats or gang and drug crimes – do we understand these crime problem phenomena adequately?
- How can intelligence unit managers develop a strategic intelligence capability to identify emerging and long-term threats?
- How can crime analysis and intelligence personnel working in these mission areas develop and effectively communicate tailored, strategic-level intelligence products?

The purpose of this 3-day training workshop is to provide participants with a practical understanding of the key features and processes of strategic intelligence analysis. The event is designed to show law enforcement and other intelligence and security practitioners how to conduct strategic intelligence analysis activities in the spheres of homeland security, organized and gang crime, and public safety. The workshop will set out the theoretical basis, practical methodologies and practical challenges which strategic intelligence analysis practitioners and their managers need to understand. The training program includes ample opportunities for “hands-on” application of the principles and methods discussed, with practical case scenarios to reinforce learning.

What Attendees Will Learn

  • A proven seven-step process to the creation of strategic intelligence analysis products – moving from street level reporting through to polished, client-specific reporting outcomes
  • Recognize and address the five greatest obstacles to effective strategic intelligence activity
  • How to develop and maintain an effective strategic intelligence capability in your agency
  • Proven tools and techniques to expedite credible analysis of strategic crime issues
  • Recognize the three most prevalent myths which undermine the productive utilization of strategic intelligence in law enforcement and public safety agencies

Upon completion of the workshop, participants will

  • Be able to articulate the nature of strategic intelligence and the processes utilized to develop strategic intelligence products
  • Appreciate the foundational knowledge, skills and attitudes vital to sound strategic intelligence practice
  • Understand the importance of adequate problem conceptualization and project planning activities essential to strategically-focused information gathering and assessment activities
  • Know how to apply strategic intelligence assessment principles and methods within the wider framework of intelligence support for law enforcement and homeland security missions and related public safety assignments

Who Should Attend

  • Government, law enforcement agency and fusion center analysts concerned to develop strategic-level intelligence assessments
  • Intelligence unit managers who want to develop or enhance their agency’s strategic analysis capabilities
  • Other intelligence practitioners and security specialists who need to enhance their capacity to assess and address threats in the homeland security, border protection and public safety arenas.

Course Agenda

Over a 3-day period workshop participants will explore the following topics via a combination of lecture, discussion, case studies and hands-on learning exercises:
  • Introduction to Strategic Intelligence Analysis: what is it and why is it important?
  • Thinking Skills and Conceptual Approaches for Strategic Intelligence: what are the challenges "to quality" thinking in developing strategic assessments?
  • Tasking and Direction-Setting: how do I keep on track with my customers needs?
  • Planning and Implementation of Strategic Intelligence Assessment Projects: how can I plan and manage my work? how do I determine and maintain a proper analytical focus?
  • Formulation of Hypotheses and Utilization of Strategic Indicators: how to make wise decisions regarding data collection choices and openness to alternative explanations
  • Data Collection, Evaluation and Management: maintaining effectiveness and efficiency
  • Integration, Interpretation and Analysis of Data: moving from raw data to key insights
  • Development and Reporting of Strategic Insights: effectively communicating findings
  • Evaluation of Strategic Analysis Projects and Products: process review
  • Practitioner Challenges in Strategic Intelligence Analysis: what are the key obstacles to effectiveness in strategic analysis? how can we deal with these?

Comments from recent students about this course and instructor

  • Very well spoken and kept my attention.
  • Instructor presented information in a clear and understandable manner
  • Truly a subject matter expert
  • Handouts very useful; thumb drive great tool to use to eliminate paper waste.
  • I appreciate that there was not a lot of hard copy material to carry back on the plane. thumb drives was a great idea.
  • I found the mind mapping and brainstorming about analytical products of high value
  • Great examples and case studies to illustrate the topic
  • Instructor is very knowledgeable and has extensive experience that was shared with relevant and interesting scenarios
  • The instructor (Clarke) was very knowledgeable and provided a pragmatic approach to development of strategic products
  • Howard Clarke clearly demonstrates an in-depth knowledge and experience related to this topic (strategic intelligence)
  • And here is a comment from a student attending the 18 – 20 October Strategic Intelligence Training Course:
    • Howard, thank you! A true eye opener to how [strategic intelligence] business should be conducted. I will be taking so much of this home and will try my hardest to implement so much of it….I look forward to training with you again. It would be great if I could gather a large enough group so we can have you down in Texas one day.
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