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Policies for and Methods of Intelligence Gathering Among Small/Rural Agencies

ProQuest Dissertations and Theses, 2011
Dissertation
Author: Kelli M Frakes
Abstract:
Intelligence-led policing (ILP) has been successfully employed in large, urban departments, but less is known about how ILP may be beneficial to smaller and rural agencies This research explored the policies for and methods of intelligence collecting among state and local agencies by using William James' pragmatic theory as the conceptual framework. The central research question for this study investigated how intelligence gathering is conducted in small and rural law enforcement agencies relative to large agencies. A qualitative survey instrument was administered to all state police and bureaus of investigation ( n = 27 returned), the top 200 largest agencies ( n = 58), a stratified random sample of municipal and county agencies serving a population under 50,000 (n = 94), and a stratified random sample of municipal and mid-sized agencies ( n = 106). Grounded theory was used as the methodological framework. Coding and analysis of data followed Strauss and Corbin's three layered approach for grounded theory. The findings indicate that small and rural agencies gather intelligence but fail to successfully analyze and disseminate the information despite the informal networks they develop with other small agencies. This suggests that small agencies process intelligence information differently than large agencies in a way that is not policy driven. Recommendations derived from the study indicate small and rural law enforcement administrators should create information gathering policies and create ways to analyze data in their agency. These agencies should also capitalize on their relationships with surrounding agencies for dissemination. Results of the study contribute to positive social change by increasing the knowledge of ILP in small and rural areas as a means for assisting in crime reduction.

i Table of Contents List of Figures ......................................................................................................................v

Chapter 1: Introduction to the Study ....................................................................................1 Background of the Study ...............................................................................................1 Problem Statement .........................................................................................................2 Purpose of the Study ......................................................................................................4 Nature of the Study ........................................................................................................4 Research Questions ........................................................................................................5 Conceptual Framework ..................................................................................................6 Definitions of Terms ......................................................................................................7 Assumptions ...................................................................................................................8 Limitations .....................................................................................................................8 Delimitations ..................................................................................................................8 Significance of the Study ...............................................................................................8 Expected Social Change ................................................................................................9 Summary and Transition ................................................................................................9 Chapter 2: Literature Review .............................................................................................11 Introduction ..................................................................................................................11 Changes in Intelligence Post 9/11 ................................................................................12 History of Intelligence-Led Policing ...........................................................................12 Community Policing ............................................................................................. 13 Problem Solving.................................................................................................... 15

ii Levels of Intelligence Gained from Intelligence-Led Policing....................................21 Pragmatic Theory .........................................................................................................23 Putting Intelligence-Led Policing into Practice ...........................................................25 Literature Review Related to the Methodology ...........................................................31 Summary ......................................................................................................................31 Chapter 3: Research Method ..............................................................................................33 Introduction ..................................................................................................................33 Research Design and Approach ...................................................................................33 Data Collection and Analysis.......................................................................................38 Instrumentation and Materials .....................................................................................38 Protection of Human Participants ................................................................................39 Summary ......................................................................................................................40 Chapter 4: Results ..............................................................................................................41 Introduction ..................................................................................................................41 Data Collection Process ...............................................................................................41 Participants ...................................................................................................................43 Data Analysis ...............................................................................................................48 Findings........................................................................................................................50 ILP Defined by Agencies ...................................................................................... 51 Intelligence-Led Policing Policy........................................................................... 53 Street Level Officers and Information Gathering ................................................. 55 Analyzing Information .......................................................................................... 59

iii

Resources Available.............................................................................................. 60 ILP Training Received .......................................................................................... 62 Obstacle to Information Collection and Analysis Support ................................... 63 Helpful Resources Needed .................................................................................... 64 Additional Comments ........................................................................................... 65 Composite Description of Findings .............................................................................67 Discrepant Cases and Nonconforming Data ................................................................69 Evidence of Quality .....................................................................................................69 Summary ......................................................................................................................70 Chapter 5: Discussion, Conclusions, and Recommendations ............................................71 Overview of the Study .................................................................................................71 Interpretation of Findings ............................................................................................75 Answer to Central Research Question .................................................................. 75 Answer to Research Question 1 ............................................................................ 76 Answer to Research Question 2 ............................................................................ 77 Answer to Research Question 3 ............................................................................ 78 Discussion ....................................................................................................................79 Implications for Social Change ....................................................................................80 Recommendations for Action ......................................................................................81 Recommendation 1: Small Agencies Should Develop Information Gathering Policies ..................................................................................... 81

Recommendation 2: Create Ways to Analyze Data .............................................. 81

iv Recommendations for Further Study ...........................................................................82 Reflection on the Researcher’s Experience .................................................................82 Conclusion .........................................................................................................................83 References ..........................................................................................................................84 Appendix A: Intelligence-Led Policing Cover Letter ........................................................92 Appendix B: Intelligence-Led Policing Survey .................................................................93 Appendix C: Response Rates .............................................................................................98 Curriculum Vitae .............................................................................................................101

v List of Figures Figure 1. Intelligence Sharing Continuum. ........................................................................27 Figure 2. Current rank of individual completing the survey. .............................................44 Figure 3. Description of jurisdiction the agency serves. ....................................................46 Figure 4. Agency with ILP policy and their size. . ............................................................54 Figure 5. Intelligence-led policing activities model. . .......................................................74

1 Chapter 1: Introduction to the Study Background of the Study Intelligence practices have been shaped and changed over the years due to national policy and more recent attempted and accomplished terrorist attacks. Movie portrayals of the “spy” in the field are less likely to occur as much of the changes in intelligence collection today center around the use of open source information and data mining (O’Connell, 2004, pp. 190-191). The use of technology has increased and is often a significant means for gathering information. As Pillar (2006) explained, “The intelligence community collects information, evaluates its credibility, and combines it with other information to help make sense of situations abroad that could affect U.S. interests” (p. 16). However, technology can be costly and is not readily available to all agencies, particularly small and rural. Since 9/11, there has been a significant reorganization at the federal level in an effort to bridge the gap in less than effective communication efforts. The Department of Homeland Security was created and agencies such as the Secret Service, Coast Guard, Immigration, and Customs, to name a few, have all been realigned. Despite these changes, traditional intelligence agencies such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) have remained unchanged. As so many federal agencies collect intelligence, the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 created the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) to spearhead the intelligence community. Although intelligence gathering agencies still report within their own agencies, the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) is

2 responsible for ensuring that intelligence is communicated across all agencies while also reporting on intelligence matters to the President (Lowenthal, 2009, p. 29). Although reform is evident at the federal level, state and local agencies continue to be left out of the intelligence loop. Typically the view has been that state and local law enforcement agencies do not have the clearance or “need to know” related to pertinent issues of national security. However, post 9/11 the federal government began to require new responsibilities of state and local law enforcement agencies (Brown, 2007, p. 241). With this change, new challenges in collecting, analyzing, and sharing information at the state and local levels is being felt and is detailed more in chapter 2. Local agencies must shift their mindset from reactive to proactive information gathering (Buerger, Gardner, Levin, & Jackson, 2008, p. 5).

Problem Statement September 11, 2001 has been viewed as the biggest intelligence failure in the United States. Information following the attacks indicated intelligence agencies were aware an attack was imminent, but not all agencies were privy to the same information. Turf battles between federal agencies and security clearances were partly the issue (Fessenden, 2005, Learning to Share, para. 1). Others blame the lack of experience of intelligence analysts (Fessenden, 2005, Learning to Share, para. 5) and lack of training of officers in intelligence collection matters. Policymakers who misinterpreted the data played a role in failures, too (Betts, 2004, p. 97). Issues such as failing to “connect the dots” were apparent with the more recent thwarted attack on Christmas Day 2009. While the attack was prevented, information has

3 surfaced indicating that federal agencies had intelligence that an attack was possible but the intelligence gathered was dismissed and not passed on to other agencies. Information sharing is critical so that pieces can be analyzed and formed into actionable intelligence. As previously mentioned, issues at the federal level are being addressed with the creation of the ODNI, but the state and local agencies continue to be left out. Of all the law enforcement officers in the country, half are currently employed at the local level and assigned to rural areas (Justice & Safety Center, 2004, p. 1). Resource allocation has changed post 9/11 and these agencies are putting more manpower and funding into terrorism-related activities. This is in part due to the overlap described by the 9/11 Commission report (2004), “Counterterrorism investigations often overlap or are cued by other criminal investigations, such as money laundering or the smuggling of contraband” (p. 424). Local law enforcement officers are not just needed to assist in areas of overlap but they are the ones tasked with protecting the public from domestic and foreign terrorists ( Grabosky, 2008, p. 3). These officers are in need of a way to gain valuable intelligence and determine ways to effectively disseminate this information. This research explored the policies for and methods of intelligence collection in relation to pragmatic theory in state and local agencies, as the use of intelligence-led policing (ILP) is likely dependent on a number of factors such as each agency's perception of usefulness of the philosophy, funding and resources (Carter & Carter, 2009, p. 313).

Although varying size agencies were examined in this study to gain a greater understanding of ILP practices in general, the ultimate goal was to determine a working

4 ILP model for a small or rural law enforcement agency because they often have different needs and scarcer resources than their larger counterparts. Purpose of the Study The purpose of this study was to describe what resources are available and what intelligence gathering methods are being utilized in small and rural agencies. Large police agencies were also examined in order to determine which methods used by large agencies would benefit and be employable in small and rural agencies. Much of the current research focuses on models and policies used in larger urban agencies such as New York City with very little focus on the smaller agencies. Nature of the Study Intelligence gathering methods

are needed at the local level to bridge intelligence collection and dissemination gaps that exist. Although larger agencies have developed many models and policies, it is unclear if they can implemented in small/rural agencies due to their different needs and resources. A primarily qualitative survey instrument, detailed more in chapter 3, was administered to the selected sample with an attached cover letter outlining objectives of the study with a guarantee of anonymity and adherence to the Institutional Review Board's Human Subjects Guidelines. A self- addressed stamped envelope was included for returning the completed questionnaire. In order to improve the response rate, a preliminary notification letter was administered prior to the survey mailing and a second mailing was sent to participants after 4 weeks. Finally, a third mailing was sent an additional 2 weeks later.

5 In addition to demographic data, formal and informal protocols that exist within agencies pertaining to intelligence gathering was collected. Law enforcement agencies were asked to describe their current intelligence collection activites and ways in which the information is disseminated. In addition, questions were asked about what technological resources are available to officers within the agency. Data pertaining to dissemination focused specifically on the level of involvement the agency has with other local, state and federal agencies. Although information sharing was not the true focus of this study, understanding agency resources and capabilities was. Research Questions This study specifically examined the formal and informal intelligence-led policing policies of law enforcement agencies of varying sizes in the United States. The central research question for this study was: How is intelligence gathering conducted in small and rural law enforcement agencies? Specific subquestions for this study included: R1: What intelligence gathering resources available to the top 200 largest police agencies would be effective for use in small and rural agencies? R2: What intelligence gathering resources are available to small and rural agencies at the national level? R3: Why is pragmatic theory integral in the implementation of public policy requiring a bottom-up intelligence gathering and dissemination model within state and local police agencies?

6 Conceptual Framework The conceptual framework for this qualitative study rested in pragmatic theory. Although it is a theory, it is used instead as a conceptual framework because grounded theory was used in the data analysis and the data drove the results. Pragmatic theory must be explored to link the connection between size and resources of the department and the lack of formal intelligence-led policing policy. Likely the need is for a national policy and grant funding for those agencies to fully develop these capabilities; however, the needs of each organization are very different and need to be taken into consideration. Law enforcement administrators are often required to make quick decisions with “incomplete, inaccurate, or misdirected” information (Peterson, 2005, p. 4). As Peterson (2005) stated, “The move from information gathering to informed decision making depends on the intelligence/analytic process, and results in a best estimate of what has happened or will happen” (p. 4). Frequently, issues needing to be addressed are brought forth by people in the community. ILP is a way to solve community problems through working in the community and thus pragmatic theory lends itself to the examination of ILP. An ILP philosophy is also one that must allude to flexible actions (Clark, 2006, p. 4). Pragmatism is based in the understanding that decision makers are faced with problems daily and although one solution is feasible for one problem, it might not work for another (Shields, 2008, p. 206). This flexibility in thought and creative inquiry is similar to the ILP philosophy. Although pragmatic theory was used in conjunction with this study to explain administrators’ decision making motives, it was not intended to overshadow

7 grounded theory, which was used in data analysis. In fact, due to the flexibility associated with pragmatic theory, the two were complementary. Definitions of Terms Counterterrorism: practices and tactics employed to prevent terrorism (Kelling & Bratton, 2006, p. 2). Fusion centers: facilities created to gather information pertaining to terrorism from federal, state and local law enforcement. At times, the private sector provides information (Connors, 2009, p. 25). Intelligence: information that has been analyzed and used to inform action (Lowenthal, 2009, p. 1). Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF): partnerships involving federal, state, and local agencies designed to respond and investigate terrorist threats (Buerger, et al., 2008, p. 44). Quality of life issues: issues surrounding neighborhood, community, health, and education (Chappell, 2009, p. 6). Resource allocation: manpower and funding designated for a given activity (Justice & Safety Center, 2004, p. 2). Small and rural police agency: “agencies that employ fewer than 50 officers or have service populations of fewer than 50,000” (Romesburg 2005, p. 4). Terrorism: “Any premeditated, unlawful act dangerous to human life or public welfare that is intended to intimidate or coerce civilian populations or governments” (White House, 2002, p. 2).

8 Traditional police methods: methods such as random patrol, answering calls for service, and reactive approaches to crime (Chappell, 2009, p. 10). Assumptions This study assumed that the individual responding to the survey instrument was a decision maker in the selected law enforcement agency. As a decision maker, it was assumed that the individual was able to respond to questions related to policy and procedures of the organization. Additionally, it was assumed that the individual had knowledge of budgetary and resource allocation for the agency. Limitations The limitation of this study was that a sample was used as it was financially impractical to survey the entire state and local law enforcement population in the United States. Delimitations This study used a stratified random sample of police agencies to respond to questions pertaining to their use and knowledge of ILP. The data collection and analysis was bound by a survey instrument and the number of respondents that returned the survey. Significance of the Study The International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) continues to try to address multiagency investigations through model policy development. A model policy for criminal intelligence exists; however, it has not been revised since 2002 (International Association of Chiefs of Police, 2002). Information cultured post 9/11 indicates a need to

9 reexamine model policies. Although the International Association of Law Enforcement Intelligence Analysts (IALEIA) updated their Intelligence Led Policing: Getting Started guide in 2005, recommendations were general so as to apply to agencies of varying size. Very little is known about how these recommendations affect the small and rural agency. This study contributes significantly to the ILP literature and in practice due to the minimal focus placed on small or rural agencies in previous examinations. Expected Social Change It is expected that this research contributes to positive social change by increasing the knowledge of ILP in small and rural areas as a means for assisting in the fight on terrorism. Understanding ways that small and rural agencies currently collect intelligence and learning what capabilities they have can aid in the development of a model policy. Often these particularly agencies are not included in model policy development. As at least half of law enforcement agencies fall into the small or rural category, a model policy can only add to the current arsenal law enforcement has in the United States in deterring, detecting, and preventing terrorism. Summary and Transition Chapter 1 described the background and purpose of the study, problem statement, research questions, conceptual framework, assumptions, limitations, and significance of the study. Chapter 2 reviews the literature surrounding ILP. Chapter 3 details the research method for this intended study. A description of the research questions, selected sample, the survey instrument, data collection and analysis procedures, means for ensuring protection of human subjects, and the role of the researcher is included. Chapter

10 4 details the results of the study. Chapter 5 provides the interpretation of the data, conclusions, and recommendations.

11 Chapter 2: Literature Review Introduction The literature review provided a conceptual framework for understanding the current changes in intelligence collection and how the concept of ILP has evolved over time. Although the purpose of this study was to describe what resources are available and what intelligence gathering methods are currently being utilized in small and rural law enforcement agencies, large police agencies were also included to determine which methods they use that would benefit and be employable in smaller agencies. Much of the current research focuses on models and policies used in larger agencies such as New York City with very little focus on the smaller agencies. The literature review was organized into sections on changes in intelligence, history of ILP, and levels of intelligence gained from ILP. After reviewing the use of pragmatic theory in ILP, a discussion on the practical applications and current models of ILP is presented. In an effort to gather the latest research on ILP, several databases were used and included: Academic Search Premier, Proquest, and the Educational Resource Information Center (ERIC). In addition, a Google Scholar search was also performed. Lastly, additional sources were found using a snowball technique. When an article was located and was applicable to the topic, a review of the reference list was conducted for original literature. This process continued until no new literature pertaining to the topic was found.

12 The initial search in the literature was done using keys words such as ILP, intelligence, and intelligence-led policing. A secondary search resulted in key words used such as: problem solving, community policing, threat analysis, intelligence analysis, counterterrorism, partnerships, intelligence planning, policing philosophies, problem oriented policing, and homeland security intelligence. Assistance was also received from experts in the field who have written articles on intelligence in locating literature on ILP. Changes in Intelligence Post 9/11 Just as the origins of ILP have shaped the process of intelligence collection, so have the events of September 11, 2001. The United States endured a horrific attack, which has now become one of the worst intelligence failures our country has seen. Reorganization at the federal level continues to occur and states have begun creating fusion centers as a means to process and disseminate intelligence. In some jurisidictions, local agencies particpate in state or regional fusion centers and Joint Terrorism Task Forces (JTTFs). However, due to the sheer volume of local police agencies, it is impossible to accommodate that many participants. Therefore local agencies, particularly of a smaller size, are often excluded from fusion centers and JTTFs. These agencies, specifically small and rural, must find a way to collect their own intelligence as they are the “eyes and ears” on the streets of America. History of Intelligence-Led Policing It is important to understand the origins of ILP as many changes have occurred in recent years. ILP did not originate in the United States and was actually first used in the

13 United Kingdom to reduce burglary and motor vehicle theft with great success (McGarrell, Freilich, & Chermak, 2007, p. 144). Although American law enforcement is a bit more fragmented than in the United Kingdom, the philosophy can easily be and has been implemented in the States (Cordner & Scarborough, 2010, p. 2). ILP is often seen as conflicting with community policing (COP); however, there are many similarities and ILP has evolved from the COP philosophy. In order to understand the nuances associated with ILP today, a discussion on the history of community policing and problem solving is presented. Community Policing Prior to the 1970s, traditional policing methods were used by law enforcement agencies. It is hard to say which change occurred first and forced the other, but police agencies were noted to have changed due to diversity in the department, outcry of citizens wanting tighter control of the police, and the implementation of COP (Sklansky, 2006, p. 1210). According to Marks and Sun (2007): Community policing is typically characterized by an emphasis on bridging the divide that had previously alienated police from their communities. Unlike the strictly hierarchical traditional form of policing, community policing is more decentralized. This decentralization gives line officers the flexibility and autonomy necessary to develop more intimate ties with their community. (p. 162) Officers quickly realized that developing relationships with the community could contribute significantly to crime reduction if they addressed quality of life issues (Chappell, 2009, p. 7; Brown, 2007, p. 240).

14 Relationships with the community quickly evolved into partnerships. Partnerships are nurtured in several ways by allowing the community access to the police via permanent officer assignments, substations, and nontraditional patrol such as bikes (Chappell, 2009, p. 7). These partnerships developed into trusting relationships with the public in order to promote positive changes (Williams, 2008, p. 137). Officers take ownership in their communities in order to help clean up neighborhoods in an effort to reduce the vulnerability of crime. Through these initiatives, criminals would be less likely to find the area as appealing and would be forced to leave (Chappell, 2009, p. 7). Local law enforcement agencies were not alone in the shift to COP. The federal government realized the need for the philosophical change and during the 1990s the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) was created. The COPS office provided funding for local agencies and helped place another 100,000 police officers on the street (Chappell, 2009, p. 5). For agencies to be eligible for the COPS grants, at least 8 hours of the officers work week must be spent on COP initiatives. Despite the influx of agencies buying into the community policing philosophy, many saw its faults. Some felt that it was old policing techniques disguised as a way to assist police/community relations (Liederbach, Fritsch, Carter, & Bannister, 2008, p. 272). Others viewed the role of a police officer as a social worker negatively (Liederbach et al., 2008, p. 272) and the implications that it might have on policing in general. Still yet, others felt that it presented a difficult dichotomy for administrators and officers to balance the need for enforcing the law and determining ways to build and maintain relationships with the community (Williams, 2008, p. 138).

15 Other criticisms as noted by Huges and Rowe (2007) highlight the false sense of reassurance given to the community (p. 320). As COP became popular in England, citizens began to feel as if they were the ones making the changes and in some cases took on too much ownership in the process. If the community feels that they are the ones that actually reduced crime, relationships with the police could deteriorate and less positive results will be found. Often, perception of the police is critical in how they do their job (Williams, 2008, p. 141). Balancing the needs of the community and the need for police agencies to actively reduce crime, a new prospective for addressing community problems was needed. The evolution of COP eventually led to Problem Orientated Policing or simply put, problem solving. Problem Solving Problem Orientated Policing (POP), developed by Herman Goldstein, required a slight shift in COP practices that began in the 1990s (McGarrell et al., p. 145). POP is based on the idea that crime could be “analyzed according to the crime triangle with the idea that interventions be designed to minimize the likely confluence of motivated offenders, suitable victims, or targets in the absence of effective guardianship” (McGarrell et al., 2007, p. 145). Simply put, if police took away a variable in the triangle, they could possibly prevent and ultimately reduce crime. Problem solving based on the SARA model of scanning, analysis, response, and assessment, allows officers to build on the guardianship premise in order to reduce crime in their community. According to Bilcher and Gaines (2005), studies have shown that

16 lower level officers are able to identify problems to be addressed but actually implementing a means to address the issues is still lacking (p. 56). One way to reduce crime is through the process of focusing on lower level offenses that often were considered precursors to major crimes (Wilson & Kelling, 1982, p. 35). New York City adopted this approach when they began to focus on misdemeanor offenses that occurred in the subway. By stopping those that jumped turnstiles, police were able to identify individuals with outstanding warrants. A drastic reduction in crime occurred and New York citizens quickly learned that minor offenses would not be tolerated. James Q. Wilson’s idea of “fixing broken windows” later was coined as a major crime prevention idea (Braga & Bond, 2008, p. 579). Police agencies quickly developed additional problem solving programs in order to help reduce crime. The New York Police Department developed a well-recognized program known as Compstat, meetings in which ranking officials examined crime statistics for patterns, which was later implemented in police departments across the country (McGarrell et al., 2007, p. 145). Just as dissenting opinions on COPS existed, issues were also prevalent with Problem Solving. According to Braga and Bond (2008), it is unclear if the results in New York City were really the result of problem solving activities as research yielded varying results on the impact of crime (p. 580). However, one such study in New Jersey may have led to a positive outcome for POP. The study involving a randomized control experiment resulted in a substantial drop in calls for service. Most importantly, results did not indicate issues with crime displacement as a result of targeted enforcement in

17 selected areas, often noted as a negative in targeted enforcement (Braga & Bond, 2008, p. 581). As with any program, there are limitations. The philosophy is not a panacea for crime (Bichler & Gaines, 2005, p. 55). One specific limitation identified is that officers do not focus on multifaceted issues but focus on easier to solve problems. They also do not take displacement of crime into consideration and often believe additional patrol is the answer for all issues (Bichler & Gaines, 2005, p. 55). It is also important to note that POP must be accepted at all levels of the organization and even despite a supportive organizational structure; lower level officers have not always bought into the concept. Worse yet, at times community members were able to use it as a tool for blame when public situations were not rectified (Bichler & Gaines, 2005, p. 55). Notwithstanding those issues, police discretion is viewed as the chief concern with POP (Engel & Worden, 2003, p. 132). Many scholars have examined the abuse of discretion and how it can lead to ethical dilemmas and ultimately corruption. Complementing COP, POP focuses on the lower level street officer and allows the officer the ability to pick an issue in the community and provides the tools to help the officer address the problem. COP and problem solving practices still exist today but many agencies are faced with the dilemma of how to shift priorities in order to combat new threats such as terrorism. Responding and fighting terrorism typically requires a strong crime control centered model, not a community focused response (Liederbach et al., 2008, p. 272). According to Marks and Sun (2007), police and community relationships have changed

Full document contains 122 pages
Abstract: Intelligence-led policing (ILP) has been successfully employed in large, urban departments, but less is known about how ILP may be beneficial to smaller and rural agencies This research explored the policies for and methods of intelligence collecting among state and local agencies by using William James' pragmatic theory as the conceptual framework. The central research question for this study investigated how intelligence gathering is conducted in small and rural law enforcement agencies relative to large agencies. A qualitative survey instrument was administered to all state police and bureaus of investigation ( n = 27 returned), the top 200 largest agencies ( n = 58), a stratified random sample of municipal and county agencies serving a population under 50,000 (n = 94), and a stratified random sample of municipal and mid-sized agencies ( n = 106). Grounded theory was used as the methodological framework. Coding and analysis of data followed Strauss and Corbin's three layered approach for grounded theory. The findings indicate that small and rural agencies gather intelligence but fail to successfully analyze and disseminate the information despite the informal networks they develop with other small agencies. This suggests that small agencies process intelligence information differently than large agencies in a way that is not policy driven. Recommendations derived from the study indicate small and rural law enforcement administrators should create information gathering policies and create ways to analyze data in their agency. These agencies should also capitalize on their relationships with surrounding agencies for dissemination. Results of the study contribute to positive social change by increasing the knowledge of ILP in small and rural areas as a means for assisting in crime reduction.