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Crime Analysis at USC Upstate

Crime Analysis is a powerful set of tools and strategies for collecting and using data to identify crime patterns and inform policing decisions. There are many ways that crime analysts support public safety and help to enhance the effectiveness of their agencies.

For example, crime analysts can use data to identify a potential serial offender in an area or an increase in certain types of crime around particular locations or targets. This knowledge allows a policing agency to use the right resources in the right ways to eliminate opportunities for potential offenders to cause crimes. We have seen many times in many different areas that crime analysts offer critical support for any agency employing evidence-based policing strategies.

Employing a crime analyst is a particularly cost-effective measure for police agencies since the majority of crime tends to be committed by a small percentage of offenders and/or in a small percentage of locations within the jurisdiction. Crime analysts use statistics, mapping, and data science to figure out which factors are coming together to create crime problems. Then police agencies can work together with communities and other organizations, like city planning, code enforcement, or social service agencies to focus on those areas proactively and come up with strategies to disrupt crime.

Photo portrait of Dr. Michele CovingtonUSC Upstate is committed to expanding the availability of crime analysts and crime analysis skills and services throughout the Upstate region. Crime Analysis activities at USC Upstate are directed by Dr. Michele Covington, Associate Professor of Criminal Justice. Dr. Covington is a former law enforcement officer who has been teaching and researching policing, violence, firearms, crime analysis, and community crime issues since 2003. Find out more about Dr. Covington.
To learn more about Crime Analysis at USC Upstate or the Carolinas Crime Analysis Association, Dr. Covington may be contacted at or (864)503-5719.

Our Online Programs

  • Pursue a B.S. in Criminal Justice with a concentration in Crime Analysis.
  • Complete the Professional (Non-Credit) Crime Analysis Certificate for Working Law Enforcement Officers and Other Community Leaders. Go from no crime analysis knowledge or experience to being prepared to function at an entry-level within a single year. Courses begin Fall 2022. 

About our Courses

All courses are delivered in a 7.5-week, fully online format, with access to in-person and online support from faculty instructors, library support staff, and other services both in Spartanburg and in Greenville at the University Center of Greenville (UCG). Courses are taken in order and the full course sequence may be completed in one academic year.

  • Foundations of Crime Analysis (CRJU U272)
  • Tactical Crime Analysis (CRJU U365)
  • Strategic Crime Analysis (CRJU U366)
  • Advanced Topics in Crime Analysis (CRJU U468)
  • Practical Crime Analysis (CRJU U498)
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South Carolina Business Review

Developing more effective policing strategies

Guns, crime, questionable police tactics…are all issues on the forefront of criminal law these days. One institution of higher learning in our state has decided to provide a new resource for these topics. Mike Switzer interviews Dr. Michele Covington, director of the new Crime Analysis Center in Greenville, SC, part of the University of South Carolina Upstate in Spartanburg, SC. She is also the author of the new book: Guns in America: An introduction and Overview.

South Carolina Business Review | South Carolina Public Radio