Tag Archives: case management

Managing Major Cases: Part One

This is Part 1 of a series dedicated to the science (and art) of  managing Major Criminal Cases in law enforcement. In order to begin a discussion on this subject, though, it’s important to define what makes an investigation a Major Case Investigation in the first place.

My friend, Chief Dan McDevitt, defines a Major Case in his popular book ‘Major Case Management: A Guide for Law Enforcement Managers‘ as follows:

“A Major Case is a real or suspected crime of such severity that it creates an intense public demand for identification, apprehension, and prosecution of the offender(s).”

– Chief Daniel McDevitt

Irrespective of how your own definition may vary from Chief Dan’s, this much is simple; Major Cases are serious criminal matters. The degree of ‘seriousness’, however, is almost entirely relative. A stabbing in Chicago may not, by itself, be ‘serious’ as viewed by the public at large. Conversely, a sexual assault on a small University Campus may be extremely ‘serious’.

Make no mistake… neither are good or acceptable, and both are, of course, unthinkable violations. The point here is that cases may be Major Cases (or not) by virtue of the relative socio-economic environment in which they are being investigated.

Attributes of a Major Case. You probably have a Major Case when..

All of that said, there are several attributes which are common in major case investigations:

  1. Resource Requirements – The amount of resources that an investigation unit must devote to a Major Case is substantial… far more than the average investigative case. This would include additional officers, overtime, forensics work, and the like. If your budget is shot in one fell swoop… you probably have a Major Case on your hands.
  2. Big Brother is Watching – Maybe the Mayor is involved. Maybe the ACLU. Black Lives Matter? The NRA, even. Major Cases are often associated with major non-law enforcement interest from groups claiming to be stakeholders. If Al Sharpton, Wayne LaPierre, or AG Jeff Sessions have chimed in… you probably have a Major Case on your hands.
  3. All Hands on Deck – Major Cases tend to redefine titles and organizational roles. Many of the Chiefs and Sheriffs I have interviewed on this topic describe pulling all types of duty assignments. Patrol officers become Detectives, who become Media Relations, and so on. If the chief cook is washing bottles… you probably have a Major Case on your hands.
  4. Media Attention – Many Major Cases capture the attention of the public and, subsequently, the media. In many cases, a local case can turn viral and suddenly there’s a CNN mobile satellite truck parked outside. What makes an investigation viral isn’t always clear, but it’s discussed HERE in some detail. If Wolf Blitzer calls your investigation ‘Breaking News’… you probably have a Major Case on your hands.
  5. There are Multiple Jurisdictions Involved – Because of the possible complexities of Major Cases, they quite often involve multiple agencies. Task Forces are regularly utilized in Major Cases, and are comprised of any number of people from across different law enforcement agencies, making the problem of staying organized even harder. Perhaps the City PD is working to support the local Sheriff’s Office – or vice versa. Maybe the State Bureau of Investigation is involved. Maybe the FBI. If you need ‘Hello My Name Is…” stickers during your case review… you probably have a Major Case on your hands.

Having placed some parameters around what defines a Major Case, we will look deeper into the unique problems associated with these types of investigations. Stay tuned for Part Two of this series.

Douglas Wood is CEO of Crime Technology Solutions | Case Closed Software, a leading provider of serious investigation software to law enforcement, state bureaus, DA offices, and other investigative units. Doug can be reached directly HERE.

 

Investigation Software: Sunshine through the Cloud

As we have noted in previous posts, “The Cloud” is one of those terms that seem intimidating to the uninitiated. You hear about it all the time, yet many people aren’t quite sure what it is, exactly. This misunderstanding of technology is seen in all sorts of environments, from business to law enforcement.
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This is especially unfortunate in the world of law enforcement because using cloud-based solutions can enhance productivity, foster better communication between agencies, and reduce operating costs. Simply put, law enforcement must adapt to this internet-based technology or be left in the 20th century.
Traditionally, police data has been kept in separate hubs referred to as “siloes”. Each type of task a law enforcement officer performs may require accessing data from a different silo. For example, a detective may need to access arrest records and phone records from two different places. With cloud-based solutions, police can access or submit data from any device that is linked to a single central hub. This cuts out a ton of unnecessary clerical work and leaves law enforcement with more time and resources to actually enforce the law.
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Accessing crucial data from mobile devices allows officers to be more situationally aware as well, which increases officer safety. Additionally, rather than hosting their own servers and maintaining physical records of data, agencies can spend just a fraction of the cost for access to servers hosted off-site, in the cloud, without forfeiting any ease of access.
The cloud is also becoming less cost prohibitive. Cloud services are not only becoming less expensive, but the ability to pay for only the data that is used is an advantage for agencies that previously had to guess how much bandwidth or server space they would need. Additionally, ease of access to security updates keeps vital information secure from malicious hackers who would access the data for nefarious purposes.
The cloud is the obvious solution for data storage in the 21st century. From business to law enforcement, organizations that utilize the cloud can be sure there are clear skies ahead.
Douglas Wood is CEO of Crime Technology Solutions, LLC and Case Closed Software, a provider of on-premise and cloud-based investigation software for law enforcement and other investigative agencies.

Multi-Jurisdiction Drug Task Force in TN Implements Case Closed Cloud™

tennessee(April 10, 2018) Austin, TX – A large, multi-jurisdictional drug and violent crimes task force in Tennessee is battling the opioid epidemic with the help of Case Closed Cloud™ Software. The CJIS-Compliant investigation case management software includes a fully-featured Gang Database and functionality for managing Confidential Informants.
Of special interest to the Judicial Drug and Violent Crimes Task Force is the functionality for task force members – irrespective of Agency – to access the software on any device and from any location.
surveillance“Task force members can easily add gang members for review, gang events, scars/marks/tattoos, and a host of other important information for the purpose of battling drugs and gangs”, said a Case Closed Software spokesperson.
The software helps ensure individual gang members’ civil liberties are not violated through a rigid ‘member approval’ process, and an automated purging process.
“Case Closed Cloud helps the task force organize their efforts, collect vital intelligence, and investigate crimes across jurisdictions”, said the spokesperson.
For more information on Case Closed Cloud, please click HERE.

Big Data Policing – Pieces of Needles across Many Haystacks

A new solution for big data policing is answering the question “Can my agency afford big data policing?“. Strategic partners Visallo™ and Case Closed Software™ have built an affordable alternative to the types of solutions sold by Palantir Technologies™, IBM, and other massive tech companies.
The Visallo | Case Closed offering is the only affordable alternative for law enforcement agencies who know that the practice of crime analysis and criminal investigations management can be much worse than looking for a needle in a haystack. It’s actually pieces of needles hidden across many haystacks.
Finding those pieces and putting them together requires a metal detector and soldering gun. Visallo is the metal detector. Case Closed Software is the soldering iron.
Download our Pieces of Needles and Many Haystacks synopsis now, and contact us through the form below for more information:


 

Case Management: Changing 'Overwhelm' to 'Overperform'

Posted by Audrey Rodgers, Customer Success Manager at Case Closed Software
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Law Enforcement Agencies today have to deal with a vast amount of information, both in physical and digital formats. Five new cases just fell into your hands today…. Those cases go with the other twenty you have already been assigned. BAM!
It’s clear that you have more than your share of work to do. Many detectives might find this a bit overwhelming and stressful, but with a bit of planning, and a great tool, you will be well on your way to keeping track of all twenty-five cases.
imageedit_12_9184783838Case Closed Software has all the functionality to assist you in that process:

  • Tracking your Cases
  • Approval Process
  • Master Name and Address database with address verification
  • Tips and Informants
  • Internal Communications via chat and email
  • Web-based Remote Case Reviews

In serving the public safety software industry for over a decade, Case Closed has heard a number of request from different departments across the country. Primary among those is the fact that Investigators do not want to be records managers, or state reporting clerks. They merely want to solve crimes.
The Case Closed application provides exactly what any law enforcement detective division needs. While other vendors focus on Records Management Systems (RMS) and Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) software with some ‘case management’ thrown in as an afterthought, Case Closed is focused SOLELY on case management and comprehensive investigative analytics.
No other system offers more at such an attractive price point. For more information on Case Closed Software, please visit us HERE.

North Carolina county selects Case Closed Software for investigation management

(November 1, 2017)  Austin, TX – Case Closed Software™, a leading provider of investigation case management software to law enforcement agencies, today announced that a large North Carolina Sheriff’s Office has signed a multi-year contract for their best-in-class software.
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The Tar Hill State county, serving several hundred thousand residents, selected Case Closed Software after a nearly year-long search for sophisticated software that can help them work investigations more efficiently with a goal to close criminal cases more quickly.
According to Douglas Wood, President of Case Closed Software, the county selected his company’s offering due to the flexibility and overall feature set it offers.
“We’re thrilled to add this Sheriff’s Office to our delighted customer base”, said Mr. Wood. “One of the reasons we won the business is the fantastic references provided by our existing clientele, which include Police Departments, Sheriff’s Offices, State Investigation Bureaus, District Attorneys and more.”
Case Closed Software has begun implementation of the software and expects the County to be fully installed and trained by November 30, 2017.
Case Closed Software, who recently announced a strategic relationship with analytics software provider Visallo, develops and markets investigation management software, sophisticated investigation analytics, and advanced criminal intelligence software for law enforcement.

The benefits of investigation case management software

You needn’t be a criminal investigator for particularly long before beginning to feel overwhelmed. Even the most seasoned detectives can be torn between competing priorities such as internal briefings, public scrutiny, phone calls, emails, and the general business that police officers experience every day.
Causing even more grief – and consuming additional time and resources – are the routine tasks of managing investigation case files, documents, interviews, supplemental reports, as well as preparing for DA meetings, court dates, and so on. The manual effort of attempting to locate specific pieces of evidence or paper documents, and then trying to determine how they fit together and disseminating the conclusions is massive.
Managing a criminal investigation becomes more and more difficult each day, given the sheer amount of information generated. Evidence and clues must be garnered from things such as call detail records, body cam video, crime scene photos, arrest records, calls for service data, search warrant results, physical evidence management, and so on… and they all combine to make management of individual cases nearly impossible without the appropriate resources
In an era where senior law enforcement officials are being asked to do ‘more’ with ‘less’, however, those resources can rarely come by way of additional staff. Instead, there are technology solutions, thankfully, that ease the pain that lies in the process of managing criminal investigations.
Investigation Case Management Software (ICMS) such as Case Closed Software provides investigation units with a solution that reduces the paper chase, keeps everything in order, and helps investigators close more cases, more quickly. Case Closed is also available via the cloud with Case Closed Cloud.
From a resource utilization perspective, effective ICMS automates the time-consuming tasks of:

  • Storing and retrieving documents such as witness statements, complaints, and supplemental reports
  • Locating and managing important audio and video files
  • Tracking physical evidence
  • Effectively communicating with counterparts
  • Keeping up with assigned tasks
  • Managing incoming tips and leads
  • Developing and understanding connections across incidents and cases
  • And much, much more.

From a productivity perspective, the benefits are also wide and varied:

  • ICMS saves everything in real time. Detectives never have to worry about losing important documents.
  • Allows case data to be entered anywhere – in the office, in the field, or at home.
  • Makes everything searchable. People. Places. Things… everything is cross-indexed and easily ‘findable’.
  • Provides real-time alerts to notify agents when and if information matches something already in the system.
  • Generates standard reports with a few keystrokes based on information in the system.
  • Easy preparation for internal status update meetings.
  • Allows investigators to share case files internally – or externally to the DA.
  • Etcetera, etcetera, etcetera!

Many agencies are still operating investigations on paper files or antiquated, unfriendly systems because they believe the cost of implementing ICMS is prohibitive. Nothing could be further from the truth. The cost of effective software is now well within reach of the vast majority of law enforcement agencies. More importantly, the benefits far outweigh these costs.
Spend less. Solve more cases. Case Closed Software. Download a free brochure.

Tennessee county turns to Case Closed for investigation management

(March 27, 2017) Case Closed™ Software, a division of crime fighting software leader Crime Tech Solutions, LLC, announced today that they have signed contract with a large well-known and historic county in Tennessee.
tennesseeThe mid-sized Sheriff’s Department in the Volunteer State chose Case Closed Software after a long, thorough search for a solution provider capable of delivering “a feature-rich, affordable solution for managing investigations and the investigative unit”. The core modules of the software include Investigative Case Management, Link Analysis, Confidential Informants Management, Property & Evidence, Gang Tracking, and Departmental Reporting. According to a company spokesperson, the software also includes a mobile application for investigators in the field, and real-time alerting designed to help agencies solve crimes faster.
Case Closed Software said that the solution is being installed immediately, and that the agency will be fully implemented by April 30, 2017.
For more information on Case Closed, visit www.caseclosedsoftware.com
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The Case for Investigative Case Management

Lost in the news of the recent demise of New Zealand based crime-fighting software developer Wynyard Group, is an interesting report published just weeks before the company ceased operations.

55According to the study, just 55% of U.S. law enforcement agencies currently utilize investigative case management software (CMS), and the majority of users are unhappy with their current systems.

Thirty-seven percent of the study respondents are not currently using any type of automated system, and rely mainly on paper files and spreadsheets to manage their investigations.

Investigative case management software has long been the domain of larger agencies and departments, and is only now truly affordable for smaller departments. The software allows investigators to manage the investigation process from start to finish. The more robust software allows agencies to assign cases and tasks, manage deadlines, store and maintain physical and multimedia evidence, and to search for relevant information across disparate databases.

According to a press release issued at the time, the survey queried users on how likely they would be to recommend their current system to another agency. While most users were unhappy with their current investigative case management system, there was a clear difference between agencies using commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) software and those using home grown, legacy systems. The latter fared very poorly in the survey results.

The survey also measured the use of smart devices by front-line officers. Forty three percent indicated that they currently utilize smart phones and tablet computers, and 23% indicated they had neither device.

The most-desired features in investigative management software include:

  • Management Dashboards
  • Reports – Standard and ad hoc
  • Case Assignment and Reminders
  • Actions and Incident Management
  • Mobile and Front-Line Case Access
  • Evidence Management and Chain-of-Custody
  • Multimedia Handling
  • Audit Logs
  • Collaboration
  • Gangs and Organized Crime Management
  • Data Visualization and Link Analysis
  • Case Closure / Evidence Brief

An investigative case management system for law enforcement and commercial investigation agencies is rapidly becoming a ‘must-have’. In an era of shrinking budgets and competing resources, a high value is placed on getting the biggest ‘bang for the buck’. The study indicates that agencies are looking to maximize the value of their investigative case management software by incorporating a robust feature set with an affordable price.

Case Closed Software, a division of Crime Tech Solutions, is a powerful and affordable investigative case management solution for law enforcement agencies. Case Closed is also available via the cloud with the innovative Case Closed Cloud. Created by former law enforcement investigators, the COTS software is designed with ease-of-use in mind. The software is deployed in agencies – large and small – across the country.

Wynyard Group's slow, painful death arrives. Now, what about the customers?

October 28, 2016 – Crime Tech Solutions, a fast-growing and vibrant investigation software company based in Austin, TX, today announced a migration path for software users affected by the recent failure of New Zealand based Wynyard Group. Wynyard had positioned itself as a ‘leader in crime fighting software’, but never did find traction in the markets they coveted.

wynyardfailPer Wynyard Group officials, the company has placed itself in voluntary administration as it battles crippling losses and missed revenue forecasts, leaving customers in the dark as to the future of their investment in the crime fighting technology.

For users of the Wynyard Group case management software, Crime Tech Solutions has introduced a comprehensive ‘path forward’ that includes, in some cases, a license-cost-free replacement of the Wynyard Group system with the popular and robust Case Closed™ investigative case management solution for law enforcement and commercial investigation agencies.

Case Closed Software was developed by investigation professionals and for investigation professionals, and is widely used by investigative agencies across North America.

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“The objective”, said Crime Tech Solutions’ CTO Keith Weigand, “is to provide Case Closed software licenses to interested customers in exchange for the monies they already pay in annual maintenance and support.”

Tyler Wood, Operations Manager at Crime Tech Solutions, added “In essence, it’s a way to put what we think is better case management software into customers’ hands without the need to pay for expensive new software licenses.” While Wood acknowledges that there are internal costs associated with converting to any new solution, he feels that the intuitive and flexible nature of Case Closed is designed to mitigate those costs as much as possible.

About Crime Tech Solutions

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Case Closed Software is developed and supported by fast-growing Crime Tech Solutions

 

Crime Tech Solutions  is a low price / high performance innovator in crime analytics and law enforcement crime-fighting software. The clear price/performance leader for crime fighting software, the company’s offerings include Case Closed™ investigative case management and major case management, GangBuster™ gang intelligence software, powerful Sentinel Visualizer link analysis software, evidence managementmobile applications for law enforcement, comprehensive crime analytics with mapping and predictive policing, and 28 CFR Part 23 compliant criminal intelligence database management systems.