The University of South Carolina Upstate has a powerful new resource that will help law enforcement agencies across the region use data to develop more effective policing strategies. USC Upstate has opened its University Crime Analysis Center (UCAC) at its University Center of Greenville.
UCAC, a first-of-its-kind center in South Carolina, will serve as the hub for USC Upstate’s Crime Analysis program. It will provide students and professionals with state-of-the-art technology and space to train, collaborate, collect and analyze crime data, problem solve, and develop evidence-based crime intervention techniques.
“I am thrilled to see this project reach fruition,” said Michele Covington, Ph.D., executive director of USC Upstate’s Greenville programs and an associate professor of criminal justice. “We have recognized the need for a center like this in our region for quite some time. The analysts that are employed in Upstate agencies are an amazing, highly talented group, and I am so grateful to work with them and others in the criminal justice field to advance just, fair, data-driven policing and corrections in our region.”
“UCAC will extend our coursework on crime analysis and criminal justice by allowing our students to learn hands-on skills, make connections in the field, work through actual crime data, and be involved in internships and service-learning projects with a direct effect on local law enforcement and our community,” Covington added.
USC Upstate currently offers students two paths to pursue a career in crime analysis:
- Earn a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice with a concentration in Crime Analysis.
- Complete the Professional Crime Analysis Certificate for Working Law Enforcement Officers and Other Community Leaders.
“A public university serves its community,” said USC Upstate Chancellor, Bennie L. Harris, Ph.D. “Lives are transformed when we leverage our institutional assets and relationships to connect classroom learning with innovative, meaningful experiences that have real-world impact. I am so proud of Dr. Covington and her team, and our partners for breathing life into this vision.”
UCAC will be closely aligned with The Carolinas Crime Analysis Association, a regional association of crime analysis professionals from North and South Carolina formed in 2020 with the intent to promote professionalism, training, and interagency cooperation within the field of crime analysis, and to advocate for and raise awareness of crime analysis as a valuable part of effective policing strategy.
“Crime analysis continues to play an important role in law enforcement operations,” said USC Upstate Police Chief Klay Peterson. “Data enables agencies to develop plans and apply their resources precisely when and where they are needed.”
USC Upstate hosted a grand opening for the center on Friday, Sept. 8. UCAC is located in room 118 of the University Center of Greenville at 227 S. Pleasantburg Dr., Suite A-7. For additional information about UCAC, please visit: https://www.upstatecrimeanalysiscenter.org.