Alicia O’Brien
Crime and Intelligence Analysis Certificate Program

Student Success Story

Ever since high school, Alicia O’Brien wanted a career in law enforcement. She worked as a police assistant when she returned to college in her 30s and earned a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice. When her job search got underway, though, police departments were cutting budgets and jobs that caught her eye required training above and beyond a college degree. “I found it difficult to get hired on anywhere, So I decided to expand my education.”

Through the Crime and Intelligence Analysis Certificate Program at the College of Continuing Education, Alicia sharpened her analytical skills, gained job experience, boosted her qualifications, and became more competitive in a challenging job market.

Alicia spent a year and a half completing the class work, in addition to several internships encompassing 400 hours of field experience. “The curriculum was spot on. I found that what I learned in the classes was what I was going to be doing on the job.”

“The program will literally take you from the very basics of intelligence to the techniques that you need to perform your job.” – Alicia O’Brien

Soon after she finished the program in 2012, the Western States Information Network, which provides intelligence and information to five western states, hired Alicia. “I might be handling a homicide case one day and narcotics the next,“ says Alicia. In her intelligence role, she analyzes numerous documents to assist investigations and prosecutions. This may include investigation reports, suspect and witness statements, and information returned from search warrants and subpoenas (i.e. phone records, financial records).

Alicia joined the College of Continuing Education in 2015 as an instructor in the Crime and Intelligence Analysis Certificate Program and co-teaches two classes with Tracy Williams, who served as a mentor when Alicia went through the program.

“The program is a perfect way to learn about the field, to establish connections, to network with people who are currently working in the field or looking to get into the field. It absolutely gives you a great foundation to start your career.”

To learn more, visit the Crime and Intelligence Analysis Certificate Program web page or contact program analyst Tiffany Vrattos at (916) 278-4822.