Fundamentals of Criminal Intelligence Course Goes Virtual


In today’s environment of ever-increasing security concerns, the need for highly specialized training continues to drive LSU NCBRT/ACE’s commitment to deliver advanced national standards of training to state, local, tribal and territorial jurisdictions. Global events require changes in traditional delivery methods. The agency has been able to meet those challenges by adapting numerous courses to virtual delivery methods while engaging and preparing emergency and first responder personnel in new and innovative ways. The Fundamentals of Criminal Intelligence course (AWR-315), now available via Zoom, is an excellent example of this successful transition.

This awareness-level course presents participants with the core capabilities required for intelligence personnel from an all-crimes, all-hazards perspective. It encompasses traditional crimes, domestic and international acts of terrorism, and other potential crises. This course introduces entry-level intelligence personnel to intelligence and distinguishes between intelligence and information. Among the topics covered are the Intelligence Community, responsibilities of intelligence personnel, and goals and uses of criminal intelligence products.

Recently, LSU NCBRT/ACE introduced new scenarios and updates that address various possible criminal intelligence situations that practitioners might face. This course incorporates the five-step intelligence process and the importance of critical and creative thinking as it pertains to analysis of information and the intelligence process. Participants will become familiar with the Information Sharing Environment, suspicious activity reporting, and legal authorities and guidance associated with criminal intelligence collection and use, including privacy, civil rights, and civil liberties laws.

Finally, this course addresses the benefits of forming strategic partnerships and collaborative networks which help prevent potential criminal activity. The goal of this course is to ensure intelligence personnel leave equipped with the knowledge and tools necessary to manage, staff, and operate a successful criminal intelligence entity within their agencies to improve their protective and prevention efforts against potential threats to their communities and the homeland.

Michael J. Fagel, PhD, has been an LSU NCBRT/ACE Instructor for 19 years. He noted that getting the correct information to the Criminal Intelligence course participants is critical.

“During this course, I feel that our participants will gain a better understanding of elimination bias in their work,” Fagel said. “We all have them and they creep into our work operations and products without us really knowing they are there. We allow them to see things with different degrees of interactions, and to learn more of what the participant may need in their work. We also show them that no detail is insignificant.”

Fagel has conducted the class over Zoom and found that the new format is a valuable tool for delivering this kind of training, as well as for numerous other LSU NCBRT/ACE courses. Those who have taken the course recognize the benefits of this access to training that is crucial to their everyday work.

Autumn Jenks, an investigative analyst with the New York National Guard Counter Drug Northeast Task Force, is currently assigned to the North Country Crime Analysis Center (NCCAC). Jenks recently attended the Fundamentals of Criminal Intelligence course via Zoom.

“I found this class to be extremely helpful for me in order to help me better understand the criminal analyst portion of my job,” Jenks said. “The instructors were knowledgeable and understanding. This allowed me to understand the material in the course better. The time that they spent engaging with the students in the course assisted me in feeling more comfortable with the research and analysis portion of my job. This course will help me meet the standard and requirement in order to provide adequate and clear reports to the law enforcement agencies I work with throughout five counties.”

The course is led by expert instructors who bring subject matter expertise to the training as well as years of experience in the criminal intelligence field. They work with participants to provide them with the knowledge and tools necessary to produce and use criminal intelligence to protect the public from the risk of criminal activity by countering threats, strengthening vulnerabilities, and mitigating consequences.

Eric P. Vandenburg is a retired NYPD Counter Terrorism Detective. He has been an LSU NCBRT/ACE instructor for 16 years and is considered a Subject Matter Expert (SME) in this field.

“My favorite thing about this course is watching the interaction with the participants and how they are able to work together to produce a final intelligence product,” Vandenburg said. “My biggest takeaway is that I always learn something new whenever I teach a class with my co-instructors and the participants, and this course did not disappoint.”

For more information on this course and others offered by LSU NCBRT/ACE please visit


LSU NCBRT/ACE is a nationally recognized center for emergency preparedness and response training located at Louisiana State University’s flagship campus in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. We provide mobile training to both the national and international emergency response community. LSU NCBRT/ACE has expertise in research, development and delivery of training in the areas of specialized law enforcement operations; biological incident response; food and agriculture safety and security; school safety; and instructional design and technique. For more information on LSU NCBRT/ACE’s courses and resources, please visit