By Jason A. Smith
The Henry County Police Department is seeking input from the public, regarding potential grant funds for the creation of a new unit in the department.
The agency is applying for a grant of $32,448, to form a Criminal Intelligence Unit (CIU). The concept is being proposed under the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Formula Program, said Kimberly Monast, the police department's research-and-development analyst.
The grant would enable police to identify crime trends in the county and surrounding areas, in order to provide information about those trends to other law-enforcement agencies, she said.
"The unit will use data-driven approaches, such as data-quality management, that maximize resources to reduce and prevent crime," Monast said. "By compiling in-house data and supplementing it with broader, established data, the unit can develop a meaningful and credible database for analysis."
Monast described the processing of reliable intelligence as the "cornerstone" of law-enforcement endeavors. Effective analysis of data, she said, "enhances its value and the possibility of its success in combating ... crime. Analysis identifies and predicts trends, patterns or problem areas requiring action," Monast added.
The CIU would focus on analysis of crime and intelligence, as well as data-collection management and dissemination, said Rich Lemmon, crime and intelligence analyst for the police department.
"An intelligence unit is a collaborative effort of two or more activities that provide resources, expertise and information to the department, with the goal of maximizing its ability to detect, prevent, investigate, and respond to criminal and terrorist activity," Lemmon said.
The public-comment portion of the grant-application process, Monast continued, is required under the Justice Assistance Grant program, a division of the Bureau of Justice Assistance at the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ).
"I have to include those [comments] in the submission, so the DOJ is aware the citizenry had an active comment period," Monast said. "People can comment by June 30, and have their comments included in the initial submission."
Comments can be made to Monast by phone, at (770) 288-8133, or by e-mail at email@example.com. She said residents, after July 1, can view a complete copy of the proposed application by scheduling an appointment with her during regular business hours.