Integrating criminal itelligence operations in the heartland

Integrating criminal itelligence operations in the heartland

Mike French

The terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, on the World Trade Center towers and the Pentagon confronted our nation and Army with a chilling reality of warfare in the twenty-first century–the modern battlefield now extends to America’s heartland and our own backyards. Clear distinctions between acts of crime and acts of war have now been blurred by the ruthless assaults of transnational terrorists. As we in the MP and criminal investigation (CID) communities respond to these clearly demonstrated and very real domestic threats, we are now being called on, domestically, to perform many of our wartime missions, including intelligence operations–police intelligence operations for MP and criminal intelligence operations for CID.


Doctrinal Issues

Despite this increased emphasis, general weakness remains in widely accepted and Army-approved doctrine relating to police and criminal intelligence operations, especially as it relates to formalized processes for collection, integration, analysis, and dissemination. Given that the Army only recently (within the last 5 years or so) assigned these wartime tasks formally to MP and CID elements, this weakness in our doctrine is understandable. Doctrine often captures the lessons of the last “war.” Much of the current MP and CID doctrine reflects thinking developed and lessons learned over the course of the Cold War. Warfare in the twenty-first century is obviously very different and requires new doctrinal approaches to virtually every aspect of Army operations–MP and CID intelligence operations are no different.

This is not to suggest there is no doctrine relating to police and criminal intelligence operations. We have been performing these missions (and doing them well) since our inception. Instead, the evolution of modern warfare has forced the Army to recognize the battlefield relevance of police and criminal intelligence operations in modern military undertakings and not simply their combat support relevance. This recognition is now evident across the operational spectrum, whether in peace enforcement operations (as in the Balkans), in domestic force protection operations, (as we are now fully engaged in), or on the physical battlefield (as in Afghanistan). The Army’s recognition of this critical MP/CID intelligence role alone, however, is not sufficient. There is still the need for coherent police and criminal intelligence doctrine that adds analytic rigor to our familiar processes, generates useful intelligence products, and communicates in terms that supported commanders are accustomed to hearing.

The Fort Riley, Kansas, CID Battalion, is attempting to address these doctrinal issues through the use of a test-bed initiative–the Criminal Intelligence Management and Integration Center (CIMIC). Following September 11th, we established an effort to respond to current operational needs and address the “seams” in police and criminal intelligence techniques, tactics, procedures, and policy within the MP Corps family and among key force protection functionaries–including military intelligence and federal, state, and local law enforcement authorities.

Battalion CIMIC

The principal purpose of CIMIC is to support local commanders by organizing and integrating national, regional, and local police and criminal intelligence information. It seeks enough information to provide a coherent, full-spectrum response to threats posed by terrorism, criminal hatred, extremism, gang activity, and related indiscipline, including illicit drug and firearms trafficking and use.

The objectives of CIMIC are to–

* Improve criminal and police intelligence support to installation-level commanders and help them tailor their force protection activities.

* Provide all the battalion CID elements with a common operational picture across the 13-state Fort Riley CID Battalion’s area of responsibility (AOR) (see Figure 1, page 32).


* Foster closer cooperation among law enforcement agencies.

* Develop better intelligence relationships with the military intelligence community at each supported installation and their higher headquarters while trying to help make each installation safer and more secure.

Figure 2 depicts criminal intelligence relationships at the local, regional, and national levels. At the installation level, MP and CID operations are fairly well-defined and -practiced. Criminal intelligence operations at the national level are reasonably well-established and -integrated. However, the same may not be said of regional police and criminal intelligence operations that the MP and CID perform. CIMIC was formed, equipped, and staffed to fill this regional intelligence gap.


After polling senior installation leaders across the AOR, some common themes emerged. Among them was the view that although the CID provided excellent investigative support and was well connected to the local communities (provost marshal’s office, staff judge advocate, and local commanders), more work needed to be done in the police and criminal intelligence gathering and crime analysis areas. Commanders said that they received plenty of data but not enough useful information and analysis to support policy formulation and decision-making. CIMIC strives to provide the missing information and analysis.

Essentially, CIMIC is an operations center for collecting, integrating, analyzing, and disseminating regionally tailored police and criminal intelligence information. By leveraging off-the-shelf technologies–such as personal computers and facsimile (fax) machines–local installation support (Fort Riley provides full-time secret internet protocol router network access [SIPRNET] and intelligence-sourced manpower), CIMIC acts as a regional criminal intelligence clearing-house for the Midwestern United States.

CIMIC serves to enhance police and criminal intelligence support to installation-level commanders by helping them tailor their force protection activities. This service is provided partly by publishing a two-part criminal intelligence digest three times a week–the result of the analysis of unclassified and classified reports. Figure 3 outlines the information flow.


The regional update section captures data relevant to the battalion’s AOR based on a commander’s critical information requirements (CCIRs)/priority intelligence requirements-driven analysis. The national update draws from such diverse sources as the–

* Joint staff/commander-in-chief updates.

* 902d Military Intelligence products.

* 24th Infantry Division (Mechanized) G-2 summary products (Forces Command and III Corps input).

* CID secure Internet (CIDNET).


The district update draws from reports from resident agency (RA) criminal intelligence submissions and installation force protection fusion-cell feedback, blotter reviews, local and regional Federal Bureau of Investigation input, local 902d input, and other raw-data analyses. Sources are cited for each intelligence entry, and the product–a criminal intelligence summary (CRIM INSUM)–is generated and disseminated each Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

The CRIM INSUM is transmitted to CID offices and group headquarters via SIPRNET and/or secure telephone (STU-III) fax. CID offices use CRIM INSUMs to “feed” installation force protection fusion cells at their regularly scheduled meetings. At the same time, local CID representatives draw fresh intelligence information from local sources and forward it to CIMIC to initiate its next collection, analysis, and integration cycle.

Figure 4 depicts CIMIC’s configuration and capabilities including access to the SIPRNET, commercial Internet, and the installation’s military network (MILNET). MILNET provides access to a usual host of capabilities, plus many key Army information management systems–which the CID has obtained read-only access–such as the Enlisted Distribution and Allowance System, Defense Finance and Accounting Service, and Defense Eligibility Enrollment Reporting System. Access to other Web-based systems is also available to include the civilian Regional Information Sharing System (RISS) that provides a regional view of civilian criminal intelligence information. CIMIC is currently connected to the Midwest Organized Crime Information System permitting access to, and information sharing with, the other five regions of the RISS network. Future capabilities may include National Crime Information Center access.



CIMIC is by no means a panacea for the doctrinal shortfalls in criminal intelligence operations; however, it does serve to create conditions suitable for addressing some key challenges facing MP and CID elements as they respond to the modern battlefield. Using CIMIC, the Fort Riley CID Batallion will continue to improve its criminal intelligence support to local commanders and examine new directions for further improvement.


Lieutenant Colonel Mike French is the commander of the Fort Riley CID Battalion. He holds a bachelor’s in criminology from the University of Maryland and a master’s in business administration and finance from Boston and Jacksonville State Universities.

Major Jim Klotz is the S3 of the Fort Riley CID Battalion. He holds a bachelor’s in physical geography from the U.S. Military Academy. He’s served in a variety of military intelligence assignments to include the 513th Military Intelligence Brigade during Desert Shield/Storm.

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