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CRIMINAL JUSTICE NEWS - September 2005

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September 2005 Hi Tech Criminal Justice Newsletter
Providing online educational resources for criminal justice practitioners
 
In the September issue we continue with the themes of leadership and technology. Don't miss the information in the article on "Who has your Number?"
Morale: Whose Job is it anyway?
Lieutenant Raymond E. Foster, LAPD (ret.), MPA   Small Unit Leadership; Part 3 of 12
Karl Von Clausewitz, a Prussian military general and military theorist, identified morale as a fundamental military principle. Since Clausewitz published On War morale has developed into a concept seen as critical to organizations, including law enforcement.

Unfortunately, morale is difficult to define and in many circles has become somewhat synonymous with motivation. In this article we will look at a very different definition of morale, its potential effects and how the first line supervisor can affect it.

Who has Your Number?
Staff   Information about law enforcement officers readily available Online
The Internet is a double edge sword for law enforcement officials. Public records and commercial information has long been used as an investigatory tool by police officers. But, in the past you had to ferret out the information. Trips to court, county hall of records or to the backwards book would give you access to a suspects personal information. Now, that information is readily available online.

Except, so is information about police officers.

Felons foiled by virtual CSI
Jimmy Lee Shreeve   Police are using sophisticated laser scanning techniques to create virtual reconstructions of crime scenes - helping detectives solve difficult cases and juries make more informed decisions.
The hugely popular U.S. television show CSI: Crime Scene Investigation has often been slammed by real life police investigators for being too far fetched - stretching the facts as well as the science. In truth, investigating crime scenes is far from glamorous and involves a good deal of painstaking "plod" work. But it is getting decidedly hi- tech, especially in more complex cases.

One of the key technologies increasingly being used today by police is laser scanning, a technique that creates highly accurate 3-D reconstructions of crime scenes. These reconstructions can be viewed on large plasma computer monitors and can even be explored from different angles and points-of-view - much as you can in computer games.

Cop Cars: From Buck Boards to Buck Rodgers
Lieutenant Raymond E. Foster, LAPD (ret.), MPA  
Cops are constantly adapting their equipment to the environment. Our kit bags have grown larger and larger as we collected equipment to deal with the job. Our departments gives us the basics and as we face new situations we think about what we could have used as a tool to have made the task easier. Then, we go out and get that tool for next time.

Much of the commercially produced police equipment used by our peers today was developed on the fly by those who walked the beat before us. The concept of the cruiser as a mobile office was developed by those of us who worked long shifts and thought What could be added to this car to make my job easier? Make me more comfortable? Help me to hunt down dangerous offenders?

Technology on the Job
Staff   NIJ videos available online 
The Technology on the Job video provides a look at some of the technologies undergoing research, development, and testing by the National Institute of Justice (NIJ). The technologies presented in this video include video evidence analysis, thermal imaging, geographic information systems, communications interoperability, bullet-resistant vests, and DNA evidence. The video also includes a brief discussion of the NLECTC system. The video is approximately 30 minutes long and is presented here in seven segments. Follow the hyperlink below to view the seven segments on your personal computer, or to request a copy of the video, please contact the National Criminal Justice Reference Service (NCJRS) at 800-851-3420.
 
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