CROWN POINT | There’s a good chance Sgt. Jamie Harris could track down any criminal suspect in Lake County.

While officers and detectives are on the street investigating crimes, a detail such as a suspect’s nickname can be used by Harris to help detectives zero in on the suspect and his or her connections.

“One piece of information spiderwebs into days of work,” Harris said.

He has led the one-person intelligence unit for the Lake County sheriff’s department since December 2013.His office is located down a gritty hallway housing the Lake County/Gary Metro Homicide Unit, Indiana State Excise Police and the sheriff’s department gang and narcotics units.

Harris’ work in gathering intelligence dates back to his time in the U.S. Army.

He first moved to Lake County in the late 1990s after being assigned by the federal government to coordinate a counter drug program, which tore down drug houses in North Lake County.

He intended to return to his native Anderson, Ind., to become a police officer, but he was persuaded by Sheriff John Buncich to instead work for the sheriff’s department.

The intelligence unit is part of a shift toward intelligence-led policing that uses data to curb crime.

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