The benefit of intelligence officers

A. Johannes Bottema (School of Criminology and Criminal Justice, Arizona State University, Phoenix, Arizona, USA)
Cody W. Telep (School of Criminology and Criminal Justice, Arizona State University, Phoenix, Arizona, USA)

Policing: An International Journal

ISSN: 1363-951X

Publication date: 11 February 2019



The purpose of this paper is to explore the extent to which intelligence officers integrated at the patrol level contribute to successful case outcomes through information sharing.


This study utilizes multinomial logistic regression to analyze the outcomes of three years of Intelligence Officer Reports (IORs) submitted by officers trained in the Phoenix Police Department’s Intelligence Officer Program.


The majority of IORs are either tangible case successes or intelligence successes that have the capacity to become these, as opposed to non-successes. The type of success is impacted by a number of predictors. These include case categorization, nature of crime, information-gathering methods and perceived validity of information. Perceived reliability of information was the only non-significant predictor.

Research limitations/implications

The study suggests the benefits of looking at multiple predictors of success in understanding the value of information gathered by intelligence officers in the field. Limitations include a fair amount of missing data and potential lack of generalizability to other agencies. Future research will also consider alternative ways of measuring success and the nesting of reports within officers.

Practical implications

The study provides insight into key factors for optimizing tangible case outcomes when institutionalizing intelligence-led policing at the patrol level.


This is the first study to consider how intelligence-led policing at the patrol level may influence case outcomes, and, in turn, what factors may contribute to this. Findings provide some initial considerations for optimizing desirable case outcomes.



Bottema, A. and Telep, C. (2019), "The benefit of intelligence officers", Policing: An International Journal, Vol. 42 No. 1, pp. 2-15.

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