Are Your Search Warrants Ready?

New material added:  Model Search Warrants and Model Affidavit.

Model Warrant

Model Affidavit

On June 25, 2014, the United States Supreme Court issued a ruling requiring a search warrant to search a cell phone.  For some agencies, this will constitute a fundamental shift in dealing with searching mobile devices. In light of the ruling, it is imperative the warrants law enforcement agencies use for searches of mobile devices are as thorough as possible.

Law enforcement agencies utilize search warrant templates or ‘boilerplates’ that have been handed down from one investigator to another.  Unfortunately, these templates, while tried and true, have failed to keep track of technological advances and are missing critical sources of evidence.

The law has changed: Take advantage of the opportunity and improve your agency’s process and policy.

Download the white paper: Supreme Court Cell Phone Ruling

Download: Model Search Warrant

Download: Model Search Affidavit

 

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POLICE TECHNICAL in California

POLICE TECHNICAL is proud to announce our 2014 classes are being hosted in Sacramento, California at the WSIN headquarters.  WSIN has been a supporter of POLICE TECHNICAL and our classes for several years and we are proud to partner with them to bring additional technical training to law enforcement Northern California. The first course scheduled in 2014 is Excel for Public Safety Feb 24-25, 2014.

WSIN is one of six Regional Information Sharing Systems (RISS) projects funded by Congress through the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs. WSIN provides criminal intelligence information, and case and event de-confliction to law enforcement investigations being conducted in Alaska, California, Hawaii, Oregon, and Washington.

To see the full schedule of classes being hosted at WSIN click here.

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PowerPoint and Major Case Organization

By Scott Gammon, Instructor, PowerPoint for Public Safety™

While crime has changed little over history (murder, robbery, assault, theft), the manner and complexity by which the criminals are committing these acts have evolved as much as society itself.  Knives, guns, and burglary tools have been supplemented by cell phones, computers and the internet.   As the criminals have advanced so has law enforcement.  The public has come to expect law enforcement to use advanced technologies to help investigate and solve these complex crimes.  Wiretaps, GPS trackers, forensic computer exams, DNA collection and analysis, and the gathering of audio and video evidence are now the standard for many criminal investigations.

These raised expectations and requirements have created a new challenge for law enforcement, requiring the ability to organize, access and present evidence collected from these investigations. Through the influence of modern media; jurors, judges, prosecutors, civilian review boards and the general public now expect the police to “put on a show” when presenting their cases.  Whether it is the “needle in a haystack”, a “smoking gun”, or a series of small evidentiary facts, the information is of little value if it is not easily retrieved and able to be presented in a clear manner.

In a recent federal drug investigation, the prosecution team used PowerPoint to organize hundreds of pieces of evidence including recorded phone calls, documents and photographs.  The prosecution presented this evidence, at the touch of a key stroke, to the judge and jury, as well as to the defendant and his attorney.  After day one, the defendant asked for a plea bargain, which was denied.  When it was the defense’s turn, the attorney used a “boom box” and a compact disc to attempt to play an audio recording.  After a few minutes of trying to find the “right place” in the recording, the defense gave up and moved on.   The defendant was eventually found guilty and sentenced to a significant period of time in prison. This is a perfect example of the presentation of a professional, well executed case investigation by law enforcement with an appropriate result.

PowerPoint for Law Enforcement is a two day class offered by Police Technical.  This class assists law enforcement officers in organizing and presenting the vast amount of information collected during major case investigations in a logical, time efficient and professional manner.  If you’d like to learn how to better apply this technology to your next case, please register for this course today.

Visit www.policetechnical.com for schedules and course information.

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We Care How Many People ‘Like’ Us

By Doug Nolte, Instructor, Social Media Methods™

A Law Enforcement Guide to Social Media Policy, Planning, and Execution

“Social Media, who cares how many people ‘LIKE’ us, we are in the business of putting bad guys into jail.”  This has been heard throughout the precincts of law enforcement headquarters for the past few years.  The reality is that social media is now framing how law enforcement agencies do business.

How does an officer successfully counter this argument that social media doesn’t matter?  Planning and execution.  Planning is critical to the process so that the plan can then be executed.  But most agencies never get a social media plan together, and therefore their execution is poor.  How do you avoid this problem?  Law enforcement personnel (not just executives and PIOs) should pay attention to five components that make a social media strategy successful.  Understanding that social media is about building a community, that it comes in many unique platforms, that it is social, that it must be managed, and that it is constantly changing.

Doug Nolte, Social Media Methods

Social Media is about Building a Community
An agency that embraces social media should understand that social media is not built overnight, building an online presence takes time.  It is something that is cultivated and cared for.  With proper attention to details being released, giving feedback to those that have questions, the community will continue to grow.

Social Media is Diverse
The community is diverse and changing.  Just as with any group, there will be those that really get involved and are regular contributors, others, the vast majority, will only watch and listen.  Those are your allies and will come to your rescue when they feel you have been unfairly attacked.  These are the people who keep the negative contributors in check.

If you don’t know which platforms your community is using in social media, then you have to find out where they are hanging out.  Social media is not just a once size fits all method.  The days of linking your Facebook profile to your Twitter profile are gone.  Citizens are picky in how they want to get their information.
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High Crime Area: Craigslist

By Mike Tosti, Instructor, Craigslist Investigations™

When I began my career twenty five years ago, little did I know that I would be teaching a national course on Craigslist Investigations.

In fact, the inclusion of the in car mobile digital terminal (MDT) was just being rolled out to law enforcement agencies across the country.  The MDT was hailed for its ability to make our job more efficient and simple.  However, technological change was not exactly embraced with open arms.  In fact, it became more common place to find an MDT with a broken screen, than a bad guy with a broken nose.  We eventually evolved with technology, (actually we got tired of, “taking day’s on the beach” for abuse of government property) and embraced the inevitable love hate relationship that would soon become the norm with computer technology.

Yesterday’s high crime area was an easily identifiable piece of concrete jungle complete with the wild ubiquitous drug dealers, pimps, gang members and burglars.  Today’s high crime area still consists of the same but we also fight on a different front known to us as the World Wide Web.  Craigslist’s is one of many high crime areas that exist in virtual space.  It has replaced traditional media (newspapers and magazines) and many online sources (chat rooms) as a primary online source for classifieds, jobs and sales…and for criminal activity.

Today’s modern crime fighter must become adept in investigating crimes related to Craigslist activities.  Developing skill sets which utilize innovative and cutting edge methods in obtaining evidence, locating and identifying suspects and conducting online undercover operations involving a myriad of crimes is essential.  Craigslist Investigations teaches that skill set.

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Good-bye Wireless Amber Alerts

By Aaron Edens, Instructor, Cell Phone Investigations

If you have tried to find the provider of cell phone number using the wirelessamberalerts.org website recently you have probably found it is no longer in operation.  How can you find the correct provider so you do not waste time sending a search warrant, court order, or subpoena to the wrong company?  What are the alternative tools and techniques you can use to find the provider now that this site is down?

Wirelessamberalerts.org was a popular law enforcement tool for researching cellular service providers.  The site was run by National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) and allowed an investigator to determine which provider serviced a particular cell phone number.  What made the site different was, unlike other sites like fonefinder.net and numberingplans.com, it showed if a phone number had been ported.  Unfortunately, the service was shut down on 12/31/2012 and was incorporated into another nationwide project.

Unlike the bad old days when changing service meant changing your phone number, number portability gives consumers the option of taking their phone number with them when they change cellular service providers.  However, this also creates a problem for law enforcement officers who use public or subscription services to research phone numbers-they do not take into account number portability.  The websites fonefinder.net and numberingplans.com do not have access to the master database maintained by the Number Portability Administration Center (NPAC).

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Tablets for Public Safety™ debuts at Wyoming Administrators Conference

Tablets and Smart Phones for Public Safety™ debuted at the Wyoming Administrators Conference in Douglas, WY in early 2013.  Taught by Cory Christensen of Northern Colorado, it was well received by the more than 160 police chiefs, county sheriffs and staff in attendance.  Topics addressed included:  current statistics for law enforcement use of smart devices, issues revolving around misconduct and security, whether personnel bringing their own devices or are agency provided, device selection and the lack of task specific training.  Also addressed were concerns about how much access personnel are given (when using a smart device) to agency databases and the internet.

Tablets make good sense for law enforcement.  They are lighter than laptops (cheaper too), they have longer battery life, contain solid state technology (no moving parts), and due to their lack of optical drives and ports are usually more rugged than the “hardened laptops” typically deployed in patrol vehicles.  But with numerous models from which to choose an agency looking to deploy tablets or a department looking to ensure their effective use is sure to have some questions.  Which ones? What will we do with them?  How much does it cost?  What can we get for free?

Police Technical’s course Tablets and Smart Phones for Public Safety™ is designed to answer all these questions and more while providing additional insights into how departments can effectively utilize them.  Only 25% of the law enforcement agencies in the United States (Smart Device Usage amongst US Law Enforcement, Police Technical, Fall 2012) provided personnel with a tablet or smartdevice.  Yet, most administrators see the need to follow this trend in the next several years, and as with many new technologies, training lags behind implementation.  Personnel may have the device, but not the training to fully utilize them.

If you are getting a new tablet from your department add Tablets and Smart Phones for Public Safety™ to your training schedule, and if you are responsible for deploying tablets for your department contact us about scheduling this class for your area at info@policetechnical.com or call at 812-232-4200.

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Faster Development with WORD

By Mike Warren, Instructor, Word® & Adobe® for Public Safety™

Many people find the task of preparing training materials and documenting completion of training to be a daunting task.  Developing materials for an 8-hour in-service training day are typical.  The instructor knows they will need at a minimum: a written manual or handouts, PowerPoint presentations and evaluations.  Each of these can take hours to develop from scratch, but with a little instruction these tasks become much easier.

When preparing for a training session, most trainers begin by developing a PowerPoint.  Once the presentation is completed, a handout is produced by printing slides or notes pages with the slide.  Not only is this the least efficient method of creating a presentation but, the handouts are not conducive for the student to use to take notes.  To maximize efficiency and to provide the best possible handout materials it is best to begin with Word and to use a single document to create the additional materials.

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AC on Nolte, “Greatest PIO in the World”

Doug Nolte on AC 360

Click image to see Doug Nolte on AC 360

It’s not every day you get to be on an internationally recognized news program.  And it’s not every day that Anderson Cooper, host of AC 360° on CNN, calls you the “Greatest Public Information Officer in the world” but both of these happened to Police Technical Instructor Doug Nolte (Social Media Methods) recently.

After a spate of episodes involving missing marijuana from the Wichita Police Department’s evidence room, Doug Nolte in his regular briefing to local media, introduced an artist sketch of the likely suspect:  a mouse.  The tongue-in-cheek briefing aired on local broadcast television in Kansas then began a life of its own.

The story was quickly picked up by law enforcement media outlets like policeone.com, and gained further national traction after being picked up by CNN.  Within days, the story made it to Anderson Cooper’s evening news show AC 360°, appearing on the “The RidicuList”, a parting spot piece at the end of the program covering amusing stories and events.

Being a Public Information Officer requires a professional demeanor and ability to communicate effectively with the public.  It doesn’t however, require a somber 24/7 presentation of “the facts” to the world.  Managing social media channels within a law enforcement environment requires a different approach than the historic role of a department PIO.  The ability to effectively communicate messages in this medium, in a way that the public will understand, and perhaps more importantly, appreciate and participate in, is the focus of Doug Nolte’s course Social Media Methods.

It’s not every day a police department is recognized by a major news program in a positive light.  It should be noted that he public’s response to this story, judging from Facebook and twitter, has been overwhelmingly positive as well.  This level of positive “press”, and the subsequently positive reaction from the public, cannot be purchased at any price, but is available for free for personnel and agencies that understand, plan, and leverage their own social media channels.

For more information about Social Media Methods by Doug Nolte contact info@policetechnical.com.

Click here to see Doug Nolte on AC 360

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Police Technical: New Instructors for 2013

Police Technical is growing (again) and we are excited about the developments for 2013.  We’ve added 4 new instructors; giving us a teaching cadre of 12 instructors.  Below are the short instructor bios, please contact us if you are interested in taking one of their courses at info@policetechnical.com.

Jeff Bickford
Police Officer from the Northwest, will be instructing online investigations with an emphasis on “steet level” operations.

Cory Christensen
Police Executive from Colorado, will be assisting departments to efficiently utilize tablets and smartphones.

Ashley Englefield
Officer from North California, will be teaching personnel about cell phone investigations, data generated by cell activity and evidence based policing.

Ron Shelnutt
Officer from the Midwest, will facilitate courses about law enforcement specific “apps” and helping personnel create their own “agency specific” applications.

It is no accident these instructors come from all over the United States; each one was recruited to teach a specific course in the law enforcement environment.  They each come from a different location but each share a similar background.  They are the best in their field, and Police Technical is proud to work with them.

Please take a look at their full bios and pictures at www.policetechnical.com.   If you are interested in one of their courses, please contact us at info@policetechnical.com for scheduling.

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Police Technical: New Courses for 2013

Police Technical is growing (again) and we are excited about the developments for 2013.  We’ve added 4 new courses to the schedule, for a total of 12 courses.  Below are the quick details.  If you are interested in hosting one of these courses, please contact us at info@policetechnical.com.

Applications for Public Safety
A total survey of law enforcement applications (apps), their effectiveness, and directions for personnel to create and deploy apps for their own agencies.  Increasing agency productivity through better apps. 

Google for Public Safety™
Google is one of the largest online entities, more than just a search engine it is also: YouTube, Maps, Gmail, Google Voice, Drive.  The course examines how to leverage Google services for operations and investigations.

Online Investigations™
Investigation of online criminal activity, an emphasis is placed on social media and proactive undercover investigations.  Students create UC online profiles and deploy them using techniques learned in class. 

Tablets and Smartphones for Public Safety
Designed to assist agencies properly select, deploy and utilize tablets and smartphones.  Discussion includes various platforms and devices, best practices, and insight for current and future purchases.

These courses are simply the best in the field, and unlike any training available from any other source.  Please look for these courses at a training site or academy near you.  If you would like to bring one of these courses to your area, please contact us at: info@policetechnical.com.

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Online Investigation: Suspect Identification

by Jeff Bickford

Suspect Identification can often times prove to be a difficult endeavor.  Online resources can be overwhelming if one is not familiar with them.  Once you become familiar with several key online investigative tools, you will be amazed with what you can accomplish with the click of a mouse!

A recent example: An agency in the Pacific Northwest had recently been overwhelmed with thefts, specifically thefts of boat motors.  Within a couple of months, small kicker motors had been stolen from the back of homeowner’s boats.  The estimated value of the stolen motors in one small town neared $20,000.  Investigators combed the traditional paper classifieds, newspapers and online classifieds trying to locate any of the stolen property.  Their efforts were fruitless.

Investigators eventually turned to social media resources to identify a suspect.  By combing through the social media sites, investigators gained insight on the suspect, his criminal network and the outlet for the stolen property distribution.

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New: Word® & Adobe® for Public Safety™

Each month we’ll focus this section on a new course and instructor. This month’s featured course is Word and Adobe for Public Safety™ taught by Michael Warren.

Microsoft Word is one of the most utilized programs of the Microsoft Office Suite.

95% of all department documentation is generated with either Microsoft Word or Adobe Acrobat (the PDF program), yet most personnel (even the office staff) haven’t had specific training to utilize these programs within a law enforcement environment.  The problems are common across the country, in agency of various sizes and responsibility.  Everybody’s work looks different (lack of consistency and lack of branding), time-saving shortcuts aren’t utilized (we all do it the “hard way”), sensitive files aren’t protected, information requests aren’t handle efficiently, and so on. Word and Adobe for Public Safety™ provides the missing pieces to utilize these programs effectively and make real, measurable change in your agency.  After this course your materials will not only look better, your department will work better.

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Social Media: Power at their Fingertips

Every officer in the America is using some form of social media.  This is a fact, not conjecture.  But most personnel aren’t allowed (and certainly not encouraged) to use social media to communicate with the public.  In fact, just the opposite is true; most law enforcement personnel are strongly discouraged from using social media, and “everybody knows” not to use it regarding their jobs or assignments.  But why is this status quo?  Why are personnel with arrest authority and lethal force options not allowed to tweet 140 characters to the public about their jobs?  This is a fundamental question addressed in Police Technical’s Social Media Methods course.

In the Past
Law enforcement agencies have historically controlled their public messages through the Chief’s office, or Public Information Officers.  It would have been impossible, only a few years ago, for individual officers to speak to the media about their activities or cases.  There were simply too many officers, and too few media outlets.  Departments also strongly discouraged this practice, Officers “talking” to the media, both informally and in policy.  But current social media channels provide ample opportunities for individual officers, at all levels of an agency, to create and maintain their own information conduits.  But there are arguments against it.

They aren’t smart enough, they can’t be trusted
Some of the most common complaints about personnel creating their own social media channels and communicating with the public through them are: They (the officers) aren’t smart enough to use them, and they can’t be trusted (to do/say/write the right thing).  But after closer examination, these arguments are really more focused on training and leadership issues then with social media and its use.

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New Course: Cell Phone Investigations™

Verizon Smartphones

Each month we focus this section on a new course and instructor. This month’s featured course is Cell Phone Investigations™ taught by Aaron Edens.

At recent conference, roughly 200 investigators were asked how many of their departments used UFED (Cellebrite’s popular mobile forensics product).  Approximately 70% of the students raised their hands.  They were then asked to keep their hands up if they had received formal training in the use of the device.  All but four lowered their hands.

Law enforcement agencies may have the forensics tools but most personnel have not received adequate training to use the tools, and in some cases personnel haven’t received any training at all.  Because of this training gap, Police Technical has chosen Cell Phone Investigations™ as our latest course to assist personnel to better utilize the tools they already possess, and to extend their skill set and confidence in cell phone investigations.
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Excel®: Not Just for Analysts Anymore

Amy Kupiszewski teaching Excel in Grand Prairie, TX 4-17-12

Officers, Analysts and Federal Agents (FBI, US Marshals, and DEA) from 4 states and 15 agencies came together this week to attend Police Technical’s Excel for Public Safety™ with Amy Kupiszewski.

Students from as far away as Oklahoma City drove 3+ hours (one way) to attend the course held at the Charles V. England Public Safety Training Complex with the Grand Prairie Police Department (TX).

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Craigslist Investigations at Google HQ

Police Technical Instructor, Wayne Nichols and Mountain View Police Department, Pete DeLaOssa (L) at Google HQ

On March 19-20, 2012 Police Technical offered Wayne Nichol’s Craigslist Investigations course at Google’s Headquarters in Silicon Valley (Mountain View, CA).

Wayne did a great job instructing multiple agencies (and Google personnel) from Northern California about investigating criminal activities on Craigslist.

Google was a fantastic host; opening their doors and providing us with a great training room and offering our students and staff lunch at their world class lunch buffet.  The Kobe Cheeseburgers got 5 stars.

And a special thank you to Mountain View Police Department’s (CA) Pete DeLaOssa.  Pete’s work behind the scenes laid the framework for the success of this class.

Police Technical provides hundreds of technical classes each year to law enforcement personnel throughout the US and Canada.  If you would like us to train in your area, please go to the Contact Us section, and let us know how we can assist your department or agency.

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Course Development Survey 2013

POLICE TECHNICAL launched it’s annual survey this afternoon seeking information from law enforcement agencies across the nation about their technical training needs.

The results from this survey help guide the development of
POLICE TECHNICAL courses and services.

Help POLICE TECHNICAL better serve your needs by completing the survey.

The survey has closed.  Thank you for your input.

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