Surprisingly, there are many different responses to the question “What is a crime analyst?” The answers provided by law enforcement members will vary based on the different levels of need within the organization. Even within the organization itself, the knowledge and skill set and the level of needs of a crime analyst would be answered differently based on the many needs of the organization. If you asked, “What is the role of the crime analyst?” you would also hear a variety of tasks and needs, based on the office of the request. Responses may be based on the needs of the unit and department—specific to the actual location of the crime analyst within the organization.
The role of the crime analyst, by definition, has evolved over the decades, as have the duties and expectations of a crime analyst. The role of crime analysts today is that of chameleons, adapting to the many needs of the organizational mission they serve.