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.