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Vancouver, British Columbia

V5Z 1K6 Canada

Telephone: (604) 264-2955

Detective Sergeant Brad J. Moore

Geographic Profiling Unit

Behavioural Sciences Section

Ontario Provincial Police

General Headquarters

Lincoln M. Alexander Building

777 Memorial Avenue

Orillia, Ontario

L3V 7V3 Canada

Telephone: (705) 329-6487

Detective Sergeant Neil Trainor

Serious Crime Analysis Section

National Crime Faculty

Foxley Hall, Bramshill

Nr. Hook, Hampshire

RG27 0JW

England, United Kingdom

Telephone: (01256) 602660

10.4.3 Understudy Training Program

The Geographic Profiling Understudy Program is designed to provide comprehensive training to members of those agencies wishing to establish their own geographic profiling capability. Modeled after the FBI Police Fellowship training, the program commenced in September 1997 at the Vancouver Police Department Geographic Profiling Section, and the first successful graduates completed their studies in the fall of 1998.

The following criteria were established as a general guide to assist police agencies in the selection of suitable understudy candidates. Applicants should:

Have extensive service involving patrol duties and at least 3 years recent experience in the investigation of crimes of interpersonal violence, including homicide or sexual assault, and have a documented and superior level of investigative skill in this area;

Have demonstrated an ability to work effectively with outside police and other law enforcement agencies;

© 2000 by CRC Press LLC

Have demonstrated above average oral and written communication skills;

Have a documented high level of interpersonal skills;

Agree to remain in geographic profiling duties, on a full-time basis, for at least 5 years following a 2-year understudy program;

Be willing to travel on short notice (as both an understudy candidate and a geographic profiler);

Have the ability to dedicate long hours to academic pursuits as required (both as an understudy candidate and as a geographic profiler);

Be mathematically competent with an ability to master basics of probability and statistics;

Be computer literate and have the ability to accurately read maps;

Have a documented high level of self-motivation and the ability to work without supervision;

Have the ability to learn psychological and geographical concepts and techniques;

Have a demonstrated ability to grasp abstract concepts and complex scenarios;

Have a documented aptitude for thoroughness in conducting complex investigations;

Have demonstrated a balance of tenacity and open-mindedness in his or her duties;

Have demonstrated a proficiency in public speaking and presenting lectures to both small and large groups; and

Have a high level of credibility in the police community, particularly with investigative units both within and outside their own agency.

Suitable candidates embark upon a year of study under the tutelage of a mentor who must be a fully qualified geographic profiler. The training program is divided into four blocks:

1.Probability, statistics, and computer systems;

2.Violent and sexual crime, and offence linkage;

3.Violent sexual offenders and criminal profiling; and

4.Quantitative spatial techniques and geographic profiling.

The first three blocks are done through distance education, under the supervision of the understudy’s mentor. The fourth block (four months) is a residency at the mentor’s agency, involving both reviews of previous files and casework in active investigations. The sequence of the training blocks is

© 2000 by CRC Press LLC

Figure 10.7 Understudy training program.

shown in Figure 10.7. To successfully conclude the program, the understudy must pass a qualifying examination at the end of the training period.

The graduate then returns to his or her home agency with the status of associate geographic profiler. At this stage, he or she is operational and works active cases, preparing geographic profiles and assessments as appropriate. The associate is on probation for one year and remains linked to the mentor for support and guidance. He or she is not allowed to train new candidates or testify as an expert in court. The associate is also required to conduct a research project that adds to the body of knowledge in the area of geography of crime. Upon the successful completion of this component of the program, the associate becomes a fully qualified geographic profiler. The candidate’s agency is responsible for all expenses and the mentor’s agency has right of refusal for unsuitable individuals; a memorandum of understanding is signed between the two agencies outlining details of the training arrangement. The qualification process and the candidate’s continuing education are important for the development of professional skills and expertise (see U.S. Department of Justice, 1995).

10.4.4 The Rigel Computer System

Rigel68 is a computerized geographic profiling workstation based on the patented CGT algorithm. It incorporates an analytic engine, GIS capability,

68 Rigel is pronounced “RI-jul.”

© 2000 by CRC Press LLC

database management, and powerful visualization tools. Crime locations, which are broken down by type (e.g., victim encounter, murder, and body dump sites for a homicide), provide the input and are entered by the optional means of street address, latitude/longitude, or digitization. This reflects the realities of policing in which crimes can happen anywhere — houses, parking lots, back alleys, highways, parks, rivers, mountain ravines, and so on. Latitude and longitude coordinates can be determined from a handheld global positioning system (GPS) that reads the user’s position from a satellite fix.

Scenarios, wherein crime locations are weighted based upon certain theoretical and methodological principles, are next created and examined.69 Output is a map of the most likely area of offender residence. Suspect addresses can be evaluated according to their hit score percentage on a z-score histogram, allowing the prioritization of known criminals, registered sex offenders, task force tips, and other information. Examples of Rigel output for a GIS map are shown in Figure 10.2 and Chapter 10 Colour Figures 1 and 2, and examples for an image map are shown in Figure 11.1, and Chapter 11 Colour Figures 1 and 2.

Rigel was developed by Environmental Criminology Research Inc. (ECRI) of Vancouver, British Columbia, and the system currently runs on a high-end Sun UltraSPARC workstation (a Java-based version was scheduled for completion in late 1999). This provides the computing power for the 1,000,000 or so calculations of the CGT algorithm a typical analysis requires. Geoprofiles and jeopardy surfaces can be rotated and visually manipulated in a variety of ways, facilitating their interpretation. Orthodigital photographs may be overlaid on the peak geoprofile area, assisting the user in viewing land use within the region of interest. Large databases can be searched and their entries prioritized by address. These include sex offender registries, major case management programs, and crime linkage systems, such as ViCLAS. Rigel is designed to enable law enforcement agencies to make the best use of their limited resources. It is the main tool used in geographic profiling.

Its namesake Rigel (β Orionis) is a supergiant forming part of the winter constellation Orion (Menzel & Pasachoff, 1983). It is a hot blue star, 50,000 times as bright as our Sun, and 1400 light years away. Rigel, meaning “foot” in Arabic, constitutes the heel of Orion. In Greek mythology, Orion was a mighty giant hunter who was loved by Artemis, the goddess of the moon and hunt; but she was tricked by her twin brother, Apollo, into shooting him with an arrow. In her sorrow Artemis placed Orion in the night sky with his hunting dogs, facing Taurus, the bull. Legend holds that her grief is why the Moon looks so sad and cold (Levy, 1994). The symbolism in the name Rigel70

69Expert system support to structure this process and guide the profiler is planned for the near future.

70Orion was the name of the software prototype.

©2000 by CRC Press LLC

for the CGT-based geographic profiling software originates from the idea that the system is designed to support the hunter — the police detective — in his or her efforts to apprehend criminal offenders, just as Rigel the star supports Orion, the constellation hunter.

© 2000 by CRC Press LLC