Tag Archives: LEIU

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.

 

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:


 

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.

Investigative Link Analysis: Consider the Source

Posted by Tyler Wood, Operations Manager at Case Closed Software and Crime Tech Solutions
Investigative link analysis and visualization software is a powerful tool for both law enforcement agencies and the private sector investigators alike. It allows investigators to visualize the hidden, non-obvious connections that would likely otherwise go undetected. After all, we know that the human brain is much more easily able to make connections when information is presented via images rather than text.

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An example of sophisticated investigative link analysis software, courtesy of Visallo

The software does, however, need a human to tell it what to look for, and where to look for it. Information is visualized in link analysis software by importing or querying a set of data, and then organizing that data according to parameters set by an investigator. The investigator is responsible for telling the software how to organize the data, and where to gather it from.
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There are many sources of data for an investigator. Considering the source is key.

A smart investigator will utilize multiple sources when visualizing software. The majority of the time, not all the information needed for an investigation will come from the same source.
Law Enforcement investigators may need to pull RMS data, cell phone records, case management records, and even third party data, etc, to fully understand the big picture in a scenario. By using link analysis to cross-reference these data clusters against each other, the investigator is able to see even more connections, and find even more relevant data that may be crucial in solving a case.
It is important for investigators to exhaust all their resources so they can paint the clearest picture possible. This marriage of intuition and technology ensures that no connections stay hidden from investigation.
The key, as in all of life, is considering the source.
Contact us for more information about how powerful investigation big data link analysis can help your agency today.


 

Must Read: The Rise of Big Data Policing

_KOK1002_RTCC+(3)Here’s an excellent, must-read article from Andrew Guthrie Ferguson, a Professor of Law at the UDC David A. Clarke School of Law and author of the book The Rise of Big Data Policing: Surveillance, Race, and the Future of Law Enforcement (NYU Press 2017).

“The big data policing revolution has arrived. The singular insight of this innovation is that data-driven predictive technologies can identify and forecast risk for the future. Risk identification is also the goal of this book — to forecast the potential problems of big data policing as it reshapes law enforcement.”

Read the full article HERE.

In the meantime, imageedit_12_9184783838Case Closed Software™ reminds you that, as the only true alternative to Palantir®, we specialize in big data investigation analytics combined with the industry’s most robust investigative case management solution.

We are “Palantir® without the price tag and data-lock”.

 

Contact us for more information below:

Data Analytics Transforms Policing

Visallo_CTSGreat article from our friends at Visallo!

As police find new methods of tracking and solving crime, their needs and priorities in a data analytics strategy are bound to continuously evolve.

Be sure to read the article at the popular Visallo Blog, and for more information on how Visallo and Crime Tech Solutions are changing the investigation analytics world, contact us with the form below.


 
 
 

Visallo and Crime Tech Solutions: Partners in Crime-Fighting Software

Sterling, VA (August 24, 2017)Visallo, the Sterling, VA based provider of investigation analytics software, and only true competitor to Silicon Valley giant Palantir, today announced a strategic partnership with Crime Tech Solutions out of Leander, TX.

Visallo_CTSAccording to Jeff Kunkle, President of Visallo, the partnership enhances his company’s suite of easy-to-use, web-based data visualization tools for investigative link analysis, data discovery, crime analytics and geospatial analysis with Crime Tech Solutions’ powerful and flexible Case Closed investigation case management software.

“Visallo is designed for intelligence analysts, law enforcement investigators, and fraud analysts who need easy to use tools to help them discover and visualize complex relationships within vast amounts of data without resorting to time-consuming, ad-hoc, and error-prone manual processes,” said Mr. Kunkle. “These are analysts that want to make sure they don’t miss important non-obvious insights during their investigations, want to produce more accurate, thorough, and defensible conclusions, and ultimately seek to be more accomplished investigators able to tackle the toughest cases.”

Tyler Wood, VP of Operations at Crime Tech Solutions added, “Where Visallo does much of the big data analytics, the Case Closed software is specifically designed for investigative process and major case management. The software manages the entire investigation workflow from start to finish and includes functionality such as task management, alerting, communications, evidence management, and a great deal more.”

Until now, investigative agencies had to turn to multi-million dollar solutions from behemoth multinational companies for this combined functionality. The partnership is designed to give customers more investigation functionality at a price point that can scale down to smaller groups. “For years, only the largest law enforcement and federal agencies could afford to purchase these types of advanced tools,” added Mr. Kunkle. “The partnership between Visallo and Crime Tech Solutions changes that reality.”

The companies have indicated that integration efforts are already underway to ensure a seamless and user-friendly experience.

About Visallo
Visallo helps investigators of all types produce more accurate, thorough, and timely analysis with a software platform to help them discover, visualize, and understand complex relationships hidden in massive amounts of data. Visallo’s all-in-one suite of easy-to-use, web-based, visualization tools and machine learning data analysis algorithms augment the investigator’s hard-earned experience and intuition with data-driven insights that would be difficult, if not impossible, to discover otherwise.

About Crime Tech Solutions
Crime Tech Solutions develops and markets a robust suite of powerful software solutions designed for intelligence and investigation teams. Their flagship products include the popular Case Closed™ investigation platform and IntelNexus™, an advanced criminal intelligence management software.

Save a tree… Go digital for investigation case management!

 

save-paper-save-tree-be-digital
Time to move past paper files for case management. Case Closed Software: A tree’s best friend

 
paper filesPosted by Tyler Wood, Director of Operations at Case Closed Software.
Investigation Case Management (ICM) and Major Case Management (MCM) for law enforcement have always required a great deal of effort. Keeping track of every lead, every record, every relevant piece of information always takes time and manpower. Especially if the agency is stuck using paper-based files, cluttered file cabinets, and disorganized evidence rooms.
Modern case management technology allows the complex task of filing and organizing to be done in a simple piece of software, allowing the job to be done more quickly and with less risk of error. Unfortunately, many law enforcement agencies today are still using the traditional method of case management, even though a software approach has several distinct advantages:
Simplicity. Managing all the relevant paperwork and information for criminal investigations is labor intensive and susceptible to human error. A person must file all documentation such as witness reports, suspect information, crime scene reports, etc… into a file cabinet to be retrieved manually when needed. This creates a likelihood that something will eventually be placed in the wrong folder and an investigation could be weakened or compromised. A powerful case management software, however, will store all this data electronically on a central database. Data is able to be searched for and retrieved instantaneously by any authorized investigator. This streamlines the investigation process and makes document filing safer and less prone to error.
Cross-referencing. Paper copies of data, obviously, cannot be automatically searched through. If evidence from Investigation A happens to also be relevant to Investigation B, then with a traditional filing system and investigator would have to recall that information from memory then physically search through the files in order to find the relevant data. An electronic system will come with a powerful search function and the ability to cross reference against other investigation files with the click of a button. This allows law enforcement to more quickly gather relevant data.
In addition, law enforcement can also instantly share data between agencies. The sharing of data across agencies makes law enforcement across the nation more effective. Cross-referencing is a very important feature to have, especially when dealing with gangs and other organized crime in which evidence may be spread out among several related suspects.
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Control. Using a secure electronic case management system, a supervisor can know exactly who accessed which data at what time. They can limit access to certain investigators in order to keep prying eyes out of the files. These features let supervisors rest easy knowing that their case files are kept digitally under their control.
Law enforcement agencies in the 21st century cannot afford to live in the past as far as case management goes. The convenience, simplicity, powerful features, and security of an electronic case management system is invaluable to investigators across the globe. In a world where criminals are becoming increasingly reliant on cutting edge technology, law enforcement must also make use of technology to make sure they are combating crime as effectively as possible. The case is closed on that discussion.
For information on our feature-rich and affordable ICM and MCM technologies, please visit Case Closed Software.

Criminal Intelligence Databases: Violations of privacy rights are the exception, not the rule.

privacyThe notion that law enforcement fusion centers regularly violate individuals’ privacy rights as they capture intelligence on gangs, terrorist activities, organized crime, and other threats to public safety is simply not true. That, according to a study published in the Journal of Police and Criminal Psychology.
The paper, “Law Enforcement Fusion Centers: Cultivating an Information Sharing Environment while Safeguarding Privacy,” was authored by Jeremy Carter, an assistant professor of  Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis. His article carefully addresses the privacy-rights issue of criminal intelligence gathering, among others.
fusion_centers_mapThere are approximately 80 fusion centers in the United States. They were created in response to the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The attacks exposed the requirement for greater information sharing and improved intelligence capabilities at all law enforcement levels.  According to the article’s author, the idea was to have the key pieces of data funneled into fusion centers so that highly trained analysts could stay atop of threats and correspond with local law enforcement agencies on these potential threats.
Designed with a view to enhance information-sharing among agencies, fusion centers act as ‘hubs’ of data and intelligence on gang activities, terrorist cells, organized crime, and other public safety threats. Vast amounts have data has been collected, and concerns about individual privacy and civil rights have ensued. The very legitimacy of these fusion centers has been called into question.
bigbrotherThe notion that law enforcement fusion centers represent ‘Big Brother’, and that data is being stored and disseminated about people irrespective of whether they are suspected of criminal activity is simply wrong, according to Professor Carter.
Still, concerns remain about who can access the data, and for what purpose. However, a survey of fusion centers across the country suggests that they take appropriate steps to safeguard individual privacy via something called Federal Regulatory Code CFR 28 Part 23.
28-cfr-part-23“Fusion centers are following the federal regulatory code, 28 CFR Part 23, that is the legal standard for collecting information,” Carter said. “That code says you have to establish a criminal predicate, basically probable cause, to keep information on identifiable individuals.”
Additionally, the majority of the fusion centers have implemented strong controls that provide built-in safeguards that protect the privacy of individuals. The fusion centers are also regularly audited to ensure that only the correct type of data is gathered, and that is stored and disseminated in a need-to-know basis.
black versionCrime Tech Solutions develops and markets a suite of crime fighting software including IntelNexus™, a criminal intelligence database system that complies with the above mentioned code 28 CFR Part 23. The company also provides software for investigation case management, advanced crime analytics, and link/social network analysis.

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.