Teaching Intelligence Analysis: Field vs. Academia

  • Sandy Wilson Royal Canadian Mounted Police
  • Vanessa Chopyk Royal Canadian Mounted Police
  • Angela Whyte


In response to growth in organized crime, transnational crime, and national security offences, policing strategies have evolved. The field of criminal intelligence has emerged to combat these increasingly sophisticated criminal activities. Criminal intelligence analysis is the foundation of intelligence in policing and the authors have 23 collective years of experience in the field. The authors have developed and delivered numerous courses and lectures in criminal intelligence analysis to analysts, investigators, and managers in law enforcement. They have also created and conducted a "Criminal Intelligence Analysis" course in the Criminal Justice Department at the University of Winnipeg. This paper examines the similarities, differences, and challenges associated with teaching intelligence analysis in law enforcement and in academia. The relationship between the academic and practical world in terms of creating teaching material and best practices is also explored. Lastly, the benefits and challenges of team teaching in both environments are addressed.