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Proceedings Paper

Internet for law enforcement: a modern phenomena and a phenomenal tool
Author(s): Ira Wilsker
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Paper Abstract

There is an existing, low cost, and widely used framework in place for both the public distribution of law enforcement information, and the secure and restricted distribution of sensitive data. That is, of course, the Internet. Already, hundreds of law enforcement agencies around the world, at all levels, are utilizing this most cost effective medium for a variety of tasks. In the public mode, now with 21 - 35 million individuals in the U.S. having access, agencies typically make available contact information, Community Oriented Policing (COPS), employment, crime prevention, DARE, police explorer, and other helpful information. Most often this information is available via WWW page, or a local BBS. Other public access is available to thousands of specialized sites, such as forensics, training, narcotics, firearms, terrorism and hate crimes, K9, police supply, traffic related, crime prevention, most wanted, missing persons, etc. Public newsgroups provide a forum for local, national, and international law enforcement issues. In the private mode, there is a wide variety of restricted mail lists providing for the exchange of information on narrowly defined topics including forensics, firearms, COPS, officer survival, and other related areas. Traditional EMail provides another cost effective method for the exchange of information, either to a specific point, or broadcast to an explicit wide audience. As a secure method of quickly exchanging information in a most cost effective way, encrypted data, typically text, files, or images, can be instantly transmitted between individuals or agencies. Commonly available encryption technology (the most commonly used is PGP, a public key encryption utility), is freely or inexpensively available. An additional Internet benefit available to the law enforcement community, is the availability of software. Currently available is a variety of accident investigation, crime scene, dispatch, maintenance, evidence tracking, and other useful software. This software can typically be downloaded and updated for free, or for a nominal cost. It is imperative that more agencies make use of this valuable resource; while hundreds are, thousands are not.

Paper Details

Date Published: 7 February 1997
PDF: 14 pages
Proc. SPIE 2940, National and International Law Enforcement Databases, (7 February 1997); doi: 10.1117/12.266287
Show Author Affiliations
Ira Wilsker, Lamar Univ. Institute of Technology (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 2940:
National and International Law Enforcement Databases
George Works, Editor(s)

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