Category Archives: Major Case Management

The Case for Investigative Case Management

Lost in the news of the recent demise of New Zealand based crime-fighting software developer Wynyard Group, is an interesting report published just weeks before the company ceased operations.

55According to the study, just 55% of U.S. law enforcement agencies currently utilize investigative case management software (CMS), and the majority of users are unhappy with their current systems.

Thirty-seven percent of the study respondents are not currently using any type of automated system, and rely mainly on paper files and spreadsheets to manage their investigations.

Investigative case management software has long been the domain of larger agencies and departments, and is only now truly affordable for smaller departments. The software allows investigators to manage the investigation process from start to finish. The more robust software allows agencies to assign cases and tasks, manage deadlines, store and maintain physical and multimedia evidence, and to search for relevant information across disparate databases.

According to a press release issued at the time, the survey queried users on how likely they would be to recommend their current system to another agency. While most users were unhappy with their current investigative case management system, there was a clear difference between agencies using commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) software and those using home grown, legacy systems. The latter fared very poorly in the survey results.

mobile_homeThe survey also measured the use of smart devices by front-line officers. Forty three percent indicated that they currently utilize smart phones and tablet computers, and 23% indicated they had neither device.

The most-desired features in investigative management software include:

  • Management Dashboards
  • Reports – Standard and ad hoc
  • Case Assignment and Reminders
  • Actions and Incident Management
  • Mobile and Front-Line Case Access
  • Evidence Management and Chain-of-Custody
  • Multimedia Handling
  • Audit Logs
  • Collaboration
  • Gangs and Organized Crime Management
  • Data Visualization and Link Analysis
  • Case Closure / Evidence Brief

An investigative case management system for law enforcement and commercial investigation agencies is rapidly becoming a ‘must-have’. In an era of shrinking budgets and competing resources, a high value is placed on getting the biggest ‘bang for the buck’. The study indicates that agencies are looking to maximize the value of their investigative case management software by incorporating a robust feature set with an affordable price.

caseclosed_50Case Closed Software, a division of Crime Tech Solutions, is a powerful and affordable investigative case management solution for law enforcement agencies. Created by former law enforcement investigators, the COTS software is designed with ease-of-use in mind. The software is deployed in agencies – large and small – across the country.

Wynyard Group’s slow, painful death arrives. Now, what about the customers?

October 28, 2016 – Crime Tech Solutions, a fast-growing and vibrant investigation software company based in Austin, TX, today announced a migration path for software users affected by the recent failure of New Zealand based Wynyard Group. Wynyard had positioned itself as a ‘leader in crime fighting software’, but never did find traction in the markets they coveted.

wynyardfailPer Wynyard Group officials, the company has placed itself in voluntary administration as it battles crippling losses and missed revenue forecasts, leaving customers in the dark as to the future of their investment in the crime fighting technology.

For users of the Wynyard Group case management software, Crime Tech Solutions has introduced a comprehensive ‘path forward’ that includes, in some cases, a license-cost-free replacement of the Wynyard Group system with the popular and robust Case Closed™ investigative case management solution for law enforcement and commercial investigation agencies.

Case Closed Software was developed by investigation professionals and for investigation professionals, and is widely used by investigative agencies across North America.

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“The objective”, said Crime Tech Solutions’ CTO Keith Weigand, “is to provide Case Closed software licenses to interested customers in exchange for the monies they already pay in annual maintenance and support.”

Tyler Wood, Operations Manager at Crime Tech Solutions, added “In essence, it’s a way to put what we think is better case management software into customers’ hands without the need to pay for expensive new software licenses.” While Wood acknowledges that there are internal costs associated with converting to any new solution, he feels that the intuitive and flexible nature of Case Closed is designed to mitigate those costs as much as possible.

About Crime Tech Solutions

black version
Case Closed Software is developed and supported by fast-growing Crime Tech Solutions

 

Crime Tech Solutions  is a low price / high performance innovator in crime analytics and law enforcement crime-fighting software. The clear price/performance leader for crime fighting software, the company’s offerings include Case Closed™ investigative case management and major case management, GangBuster™ gang intelligence software, powerful Sentinel Visualizer link analysis software, evidence managementmobile applications for law enforcement, comprehensive crime analytics with mapping and predictive policing, and 28 CFR Part 23 compliant criminal intelligence database management systems.

Critical Capabilities for Case Management Software? Case Closed!

In a February 2014 report, Critical Capabilities for Case Management, Gartner Group® defined the following 11 critical capabilities for investigative case management solutions. Crime Tech Solutions applies all of these critical capabilities to the powerful CASE CLOSED™ SOFTWARE for deployment at government and commercial investigative groups. 

  1. ccscreenshot1Investigative case management solutions always require a broad range of data types, from highly structured data (such as an individual’s name, address or ID) to highly unstructured data (such as scanned images, blueprints, faxes, email communications, and audio or video files). CASE CLOSED supports this requirement with unique and patented functionality that allows investigators to interact with this content, using capabilities such as view or read, comment, highlight, update or change, and append.
  2. Supports a broad range of collaboration services to facilitate individual and group interactions among all (internal and external) case participants. Collaboration among people (and even potentially with third party software) is incorporated into CASE CLOSED so that all interactions are recorded as part of the audit trail of how a case is handled. CASE CLOSED’s built-in support for e-mail communications, messaging, and alerting further supports collaboration efforts – across the aisle or across departments.
  3. Interoperates well with other external content and process services. Successful investigations and prosecutions often depend on external content and process services from repositories and applications. The attraction of CASE CLOSED’s open, standard specifications is that enterprises will know that integration with content repositories, web portals, and external software will require less custom code or specialized adapters.  ccscreenshot2
  4. Provides vertical – and horizontal – specific data models, nomenclature, hierarchies and case life cycle management. Crime Tech Solutions has substantial experience in specific domains such as financial crimes and law enforcement investigations. We have transferred the lessons learned from consistent use cases and data definitions directly into CASE CLOSED. Because investigative case management solutions are difficult to design and architect, such out-of-the-box configuration patterns tend to accelerate the implementation time.
  5. Provides application adapters to industry and domain-specific environments. Crime Tech Solutions constantly endeavors to integrate with our customers’ critical systems of record. Crime Tech Solutions is well-acquainted with the specialized applications and data sources that dominate certain industries and domains, and thus CASE CLOSED offers accelerated integration with core systems of record.
  6. Provides comprehensive, highly configurable, role-based user experiences. Designed by former law enforcement officials, CASE CLOSED offers role-based user interfaces that tend to focus and simplify case handling – a critical step toward productivity gains. Crime Tech Solutions idealizes the interface between case workers, the content in cases and the managers who make decisions based on the work in progress.
  7. Provides business-role-friendly dashboards, metrics and reporting. Investigative groups want flexible and powerful case management solutions that allow them to manage and modify their own solutions, and to get meaningful information from them. As a result, CASE CLOSED provides access to case execution history, as well as appropriate dashboards, models, visualizations, reports and other tools to monitor, analyze and report on case handling.casestatistics
  8. Supports a broad range of case orchestration, from highly structured to highly unstructured flows. CASE CLOSED provides case orchestration for a spectrum of applications, ranging from very structured (predictable sequences of activities, usually represented in a flow model) to very unstructured (where progression is not easily predictable, and ad hoc activities may be invoked during the execution of the case). CASE CLOSED is also designed to easily adapt to the investigation group’s evolving business processes.
  9. Has been proven in deployments with 100,000 cases or more annually which is especially important for areas such as claims management and fraud investigations. While some investigative case management deployments do not require the volume capabilities of 100,000 cases or more, others do. Crime Tech Solutions’ software has been designed – and has been deployed – with very large scale case handling as a critical capability.
  10. Provides intelligent and versatile on-ramps and off-ramps for incorporating content (such as document capture, mobile phone cameras, fax servers and e-forms). It doesn’t matter how the information exists, whether on paper, in a digital document, as an image, in an email, in a voice mail or on the internet: CASE CLOSED is designed to allow capture and control with as much upfront intelligence as possible. Coupled with the ability to deliver various inbound content objects to a case folder is the ability for CASE CLOSED to generate outbound content (such as e-Brief), and the ability to export case data.
  11. Leverages models for easy adaptability of the solution. CASE CLOSED leverages appropriate data models to enable business and technical roles to easily adjust their solutions as needed. This includes easy adaptation of the design as well as easy adaptation of executable behavior. Importantly, CASE CLOSED provides the ability for dynamic and ad hoc adjustments to in-flight work. This means that the execution path of in-flight cases can be immediately adjusted in an unanticipated (ad hoc) way.

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According to Gartner, investigative cases are the most complex in terms of process (workflow) and content (data). These cases are data-heavy. Often, data is captured as part of the case and relationships between data elements emerge over time. Patterns in the data are discovered, evaluated and acted on. Sequencing of actions on the case is very ad hoc, and event/milestone-driven.

Figure 1 shows examples of case-based processes that fall under each of these four use-case categories, and shows the structured vs. unstructured nature of the processes and data associated with each.

Figure 1. Case-Based Processes

quadrant

Source: Gartner (February 2014)

CASE CLOSED SOFTWARE from Crime Tech Solutions is designed specifically for the Investigative (data-heavy) market and resides in the upper right quadrant of diagram.

About the Author

Tyler Wood is Operations Director of Austin, TX based Crime Tech Solutions (www.crimetechsolutions.com). The company develops and deploys low price / high performance software for law enforcement including Case Closed investigative case management software, sophisticated Sentinel Visualizer link analysis and data visualization software, and CrimeMap Pro advanced crime analytics. The company also develops the popular GangBuster gang database, and IntelNexus criminal intelligence software for 28 CFR Part 23 compliance.

Crime Tech Solutions Acquires Case Closed Software

June 1, 2016 (Austin, TX)   Crime Tech Solutions, LLC, a leading provider of analytics and investigation software for law enforcement and commercial markets, today announced that it has acquired Cleveland, TN based Case Closed Software in a cash transaction. The terms of the deal were not released, but according to Crime Tech Solutions’ founder and president Douglas Wood, the acquisition brings together two dynamic and fast-growing software companies with an unparalleled complement of technologies.
For Crime Tech Solutions, the opportunity to add Case Closed Software into the fold was too good to pass up” said Mr. Wood. “We think that the technology offered by Case Closed helps to further differentiate us in the market as the price performance leader for this type of investigative solution.PNG

Crime Tech Solutions, based in the city of Leander, TX, delivers advanced analytics and investigation software to commercial investigators and law enforcement agencies across the globe. Their solution suite includes criminal intelligence software, sophisticated crime analytics with geospatial mapping, and powerful link analysis and visualization software. The company says that the addition of Case Closed Software expands those offerings even further.

CaseClosed1Case Closed Software develops and markets investigative case management software specifically designed for law enforcement agencies. The suite is built around four primary software products including best-in-class investigative case management software, property and evidence tracking, a gang database tool, and an integrated link analysis and data visualization tool.

Case Closed couldn’t be happier than to be joining Crime Tech Solutions,” said Keith Weigand, the company’s founder. “The blending of our technologies creates a suite that will add tremendous value to our mutual customers, and will be hard for others to duplicate.

According to both Mr. Weigand and Mr. Wood, the name Case Closed will continue on as the product brand, given its widespread popularity and loyal customer base. Crime Tech Solutions is expected to retain all Case Closed employees, with Mr. Weigand joining as the company’s chief technical officer.

Crime Tech Solutions says it expects continued growth via ongoing software sales and strategic acquisitions.

About Crime Tech Solutions

(NOTE: Crime Tech Solutions is an Austin, TX based provider of crime and fraud analytics software for commercial and law enforcement groups. Our offerings include sophisticated Case Closed™ investigative case management and major case management, GangBuster™ gang intelligence software, powerful link analysis software, evidence management, mobile applications for law enforcement, comprehensive crime analytics with mapping and predictive policing, and 28 CFR Part 23 compliant criminal intelligence database management systems.)

Swoop ‘n Squat, Army strong, and major case management: This week’s Crime Technology headlines:

Posted by Douglas Wood, Editor.Newspaper

Swoop and Squat…

http://www.propertycasualty360.com/2015/03/09/swoop-squat-beware-of-these-insurance-fraudsters

Army strong analytics…

http://www.military.com/daily-news/2015/03/27/army-improves-systems-testing-to-deliver-more-capability-to-figh.html

Investigative Case Management…

http://www.mvariety.com/cnmi/cnmi-news/local/75212-commonwealth-bureau-of-investigation-has-a-new-building

WorksafeBC introduces new Major Case Management (MCM) protocols…

http://www.workerscompensation.com/compnewsnetwork/workers-comp-blogwire/20898-worksafe-bc-posts-update-on-safety-review-plan.html

Major Investigation Analytics – No longer M.I.A. (Part One)

Posted by Douglas Wood, Editor.  http://www.linkedin.com/in/dougwood

Long before the terrorist strikes of 9/11 created a massive demand for risk and investigation technologies, there was the case of Paul Bernardo.

Paul Kenneth Bernardo was suspected of more than a dozen brutal sexual assaults in Scarborough, Canada, within the jurisdiction of the Ontario Provincial Police. As his attacks grew in frequency they also grew in brutality, to the point of several murders. Then just as police were closing in the attacks suddenly stopped. That is when the Ontario police knew they had a problem. Because their suspect was not in jail, they knew he had either died or fled to a location outside their jurisdiction to commit his crimes.

The events following Bernardo’s disappearance in Toronto and his eventual capture in St. Catharines, would ultimately lead to an intense 1995 investigation into police practices throughout the Province of Ontario, Canada. The investigation, headed by the late Justice Archie Campbell, showed glaring weaknesses in investigation management and information sharing between police districts.

Campbell studied the court and police documents for four months and then produced a scathing report that documented systemic jurisdictional turf wars among the police forces in Toronto and the surrounding regions investigating a string of nearly 20 brutal rapes in the Scarborough area of Toronto and the murders of two teenaged girls in the St. Catharines area. He concluded that the investigation “was a mess from beginning to end.”

Campbell went on to conclude that there was an “astounding and dangerous lack of co-operation between police forces” and a litany of errors, miscalculations and disputes. Among the Justice’s findings was a key recommendation that an investigative case management system was needed to:

  1. Record, organize, manage, analyze and follow up all investigative data
  2. Ensure all relevant information sources are applied to the investigation
  3. Recognize at an early stage any linked or associated incidents
  4. “Trigger” alerts to users of commonalities between incidents
  5. Embody an investigative methodology incorporating standardized procedures

Hundreds of vendors aligned to provide this newly mandated technology, and eventually a vendor was tasked with making it real with the Ontario Major Case Management (MCM) program. With that, a major leap in the evolution of investigation analytics had begun. Today, the market leaders include IBM i2, Case Closed Software, Palantir Technologies, and Visallo.

Recently, the Ottawa Citizen newspaper published an indepth article on the Ontario MCM system. I recommend reading it.

Investigation analytics and major case management

The components of major investigation analytics include: Threat Triage, Crime & Fraud Analytics, and Intelligence-Lead Investigative Case Management. Ontario’s MCM is an innovative approach to solving crimes and dealing with complex incidents using these components. All of Ontario’s police services use this major investigation analytics tool to investigate serious crimes – homicides, sexual assaults and abductions. It combines specialized police training and investigation techniques with specialized software systems. The software manages the vast amounts of information involved in investigations of serious crimes.

Major investigation analytics helps solve major cases by:

  1. Providing an efficient way to keep track of, sort and analyze huge amounts of information about a crime:  notes, witness statements, door-to-door leads, names, locations, vehicles and phone numbers are examples of the types of information police collect
  2. Streamlining investigations
  3. Making it possible for police to see connections between cases so they can reduce the risk that serial offenders will avoid being caught
  4. Preventing crime and reducing the number of potential victims by catching offenders sooner.

See Part Two of this series here.

Investigating the Investigations.

Posted by Douglas Wood, Editor.

A few years ago, I read a book called Fraud Analytics by Delena Spann.  Ms. Spann is with the U.S. Secret Service, Electronic & Financial Crimes Task Force. The book is an overview of investigation analytics with specific information about some former technology leaders in this area.

The IBM i2 toolset is discussed, along with offerings from Raytheon, Centrifuge, and SAS, and FMS’ Link Analytics, and others. (My friend Chris Westphal, formerly of Raytheon Visual Analytics, by the way, published his book ‘Data Mining for Intelligence, Fraud & Criminal Detection’ a few years ago and is another one I strongly recommend.)

Both books offer advice and use cases on how technology can be applied in the fight against crime. A few months ago, I summarized the types of technology being put to use as tools to prevent, detect, and investigate fraud and other criminal activities. (It’s worth a quick read.) What I’m investigating today, however, is… well, investigations.

“IMA is the most critical connection between technology and investigators.”

In my technology summary, I termed this area Investigation Management & Adjudication (IMA). IMA is the most critical connection between technology and humans within an enterprise fraud management ecosystem. Incorporating key elements of enterprise case management, collaboration, link visualization, information dissemination and knowledge discovery, this layer of functionality is designed to uncover insights which aid in investigating complex incidents. The result ought to be actionable visualization of critical entities, and documented results for potential litigation and regulatory compliance.

IBM i2 has long been considered a thought and market leader in this segment – deservedly or not. Palantir Technologies plays in this area as well. Perhaps no company is more in tune with this market, though, than Visallo with their leading investigation analytics platform. Each platform clearly adds value to investigation case management solutions by providing powerful, emerging functionalities that allow easy and intuitive consumption of data in any form. For investigators, the more data – and the easier that data is to consume – the better.

“Users want actionable intelligence, not endless queries.”

What makes for good IMA? A few things, actually. First among them is the technology’s ability to adapt to the way human beings think and act. Users want actionable intelligence, not endless queries. IMA tools, therefore, ought to interact with the investigator in a consultative way that a fellow investigator would. “Hey, have you thought about this, Mr. Investigator?” and “Maybe you should look at that.”

Second, IMA ought to have context. Technologies that simply point to two entities and say, ‘Hey these things look linked‘ are great but leave all of the thinking up to Mr. Investigator. The IMA tools that I like have contextual values associated to those links. ‘Hey, these things look linked AND here’s why that’s important’. Big difference.

Third, IMA should bring the investigations to closure. There are a lot of data mining tools out there that allow querying with case management. How, though, does the investigator get to the point where an investigation is solved and prosecutable? Once again, the most functional IMA products act the way humans do. They package up the results of the investigation in an easy-to-comprehend document that can be shared internally or with police. No loose ends.

“Every investigation ends with an investigator.”

Predictive analytics, big data, and real-time alert scoring are the current industry buzzwords. They should be. They’re important. At the end of the day, however, every investigation ends with an investigator. Putting the right tools in their hands is often the difference between success and failure in an entire enterprise investigation system.

That’s precisely what Crime Tech Solutions, LLC does. Please take a moment to look us over.

Part Two of this series is now available HERE.