Since its modern incarnation in 1990, society has drastically changed due to the Internet. It’s virtually impossible to escape the cybernetic grasp of this technological advancement. We see it in our smart phones, our computers, even our cars and household appliances. However, society has a few things that are as ubiquitous as the Internet. Among these is criminal deviance. Criminal deviance (I.e, law breaking) continues to plague our society. Since these two aspects of modern life are basically universal, it should come as no surprise that they overlap. Today, police officers use the Internet to help combat crime. In fact, its usage is extremely widespread and comprehensive. Here are the top 10 online tools law enforcement uses to combat crime.
Facebook has exploded in population over the last decade or so. What used to be reserved for college students is now open to soccer moms and drug dealers alike. Knowing this, cops often use the social networking tool to crack down on crime. There are a number of instances where officers create a fake, underage profile to track down pedophiles, or use it to set up drug busts. As society becomes more dependent on it, it’ll continue to become a more useful and viable tool. Facebook can be found here.
2: RAIDS Online
Used by police officers of Colombia, RAIDS is an online tool that maps criminal activity. Using the data, officers are able to notice when and or where crimes are prevalent. The officers can search for specific crime types or query individual events. The RAIDS Online website is here.
3: Online Reporting
Most police agencies have a simple phone number for all emergencies. In addition, many also have a lesser-known non-emergency number. The latter can now also be taken in with online submissions. This way, officers know what sort of crime is occurring in an area. It’s also easy for citizens to find the online prompt compared to the phone number. Most agencies have a site similar to this one from Tallahassee PD.
4: Redlight Porn Scanner
It’s an unfortunate reality that sexually perverse crimes occur regularly in our society. For a long time, officers would have to manually investigate the contents of a suspect’s computer. This can be both time consuming and sickening (depending on the case). Fortunately, the Redlight Scanner uses complex algorithm to investigate the suspect’s computer for pornography instead of the officer. It’s free software that is available online here.
5: Arson Databases
There are a number of variables when it comes to arson. What were the properties of the fuel? Or the accelerant? What are the thermal properties of an object? There are a number of free online databases available to law enforcement. Among the most popular are those provided by The National Institute of Justice here along with some other great tools.
6: SAFE VNC
Safe is a program that uses the internet. It’s extremely popular with those involved with cyber technologies and computer crimes. It allows an officer to remotely access a computer over the Internet– provided that it has already been installed onto the other computer. Thanks to the fourth amendment, the government can’t legally access your computer on a whim. Get SAFE VNC here.
7: Incident Commander
Video games have also increased in their social prevalence lately. As could be expected, this phenomenon also helps law enforcement. This time, however, it’s with training. Incident Commander is downloaded from the internet here, and allows officers train whenever and wherever.
8: Missing Persons Database (National Missing and Unidentified Persons System – NaMUS)
Everyday, thousands of people disappear. Some of these individuals could reappear thousands of miles away. This would make it difficult to identify foreign missing persons. However, the NamUS is an increasingly popular tool making it easier to identify these individuals. Find it here.
9: CedarFox Forensic Document Analysis
It’s difficult and time consuming for officers to read through all of the pages of evidence that can be left behind. The difficulty is exacerbated if the page is handwritten. Fortunately, the CedarFox system reads and analyzes the documents. This way, valuable time and energy is preserved, preserve yours here.
10: 368+ Elder and Dependent Adult Abuse Guide for CA Law Enforcement
Crime has a tendency to affect our most valuable family members. This includes children, the elderly, and dependent adults. There are a number of resources that deal with children. This online application and web resource helps individuals report the abuse of elderly and/or dependent adults. It can be found here.