Tag Archives: case management software

Gang Database leads to Arrest

2017-04-17-image-2El Paso, TX – Gang investigators were told a suspect in surveillance footage matched the description of “Flaco”, a known gang member in the area.

A search of a gang database identified “Flaco” as 32 year old Fidel Trevino, a court document states.

See the original story HERE at kvia.com

Crime Tech Solutions develops and markets the industry leading GangBuster™ gang tracking software for law enforcement. The company offers a suite of crime-fighting software including case management, link analysis, criminal intelligence management, and advanced crime analytics.

The Sunny Side of Cloud-Based Solutions

shutterstock-cloud-computingCloud computing for law enforcement, in simple terms, refers to software hosted off-agency and available to the user through their internet connection. This type of software-as-a-service, or “SaaS” offers several advantages over software that is hosted locally on the user’s hardware.

Computer hardware is always being tweaked and improved upon, and state-of-the-art equipment can become obsolete extremely quickly in this environment. Many vital pieces of software that law enforcement rely on can be extremely demanding of hardware resources. With cloud-based software solutions, the software and the hardware required to run it are maintained offsite. The agency users simply access the software through an internet browser on a computer or smart phone, and have access to all the functionality of the software with none of the costs or hassle involved in hosting locally. These costs also include maintenance and security. 

Cloud-based solutions such as Case Closed Cloud also allow for software to be more portable, as the software can be easily and readily accessed by any user with a smart phone. In addition, compatibility across platforms becomes less of an issue, as the software only needs an internet browser to function. This means law enforcement officials can seamlessly move from using a MacBook at work, to their Windows Phone at lunch, to a Linux based PC at home, without having three separate installs with varying functionality. 

cloud-computing-benefitThere are some things to look out for. While having software and hardware off-site offers great advantages, it’s important to note that data is hosted off-site as well. It’s important to carefully navigate the terms of use and make certain that the agency is not signing away the rights to important, classified, or proprietary data. 

Still, the major advantages of cloud-based software make it a powerful and very accessible tool for law enforcement. The simplicity and ease of access are defining characteristics of the cloud-based revolution.

The Case for Software as a Service in Law Enforcement

 

Police officers protesting against budget cuts join public sector workers striking over pensionsState and local law enforcement agencies face a growing number of challenges due to lack of resources and the ever-dwindling public coffers. As a result of  legacy technologies that compound costs – through maintenance fees, implementation expenses, hardware purchases, and software upgrades – agencies are constantly challenged to do more with less.

 

To reduce cost and increase flexibility, more and more law enforcement departments are motivated to try cloud computing- Software as a service (SaaS). The benefits of SaaS to law enforcement agencies are many and varied.

 

Reduced Investment in Software Setup

 

shutterstock-cloud-computingThe majority of the law enforcement organizations already have the needed IT infrastructure to access SaaS applications. The essential requirement is a secure and stable Internet connection with devices that can access the web.

 

Cloud Computing Lessens Technical Effort

 

With SaaS solutions, agencies can easily store data or run applications which are accessible from any web-connected device at anywhere and anytime. Instead of investing in capital expenses such as software and computer servers, departments can effectively rent these on a variable payment plan.

 

Rapid Deployment

 

SaaS is typically ready-baked for its adopters. Through SaaS, agencies eliminate much of the delays of a traditional software deployment. Once subscribed, users can literally begin enjoying the benefit of the platform immediately. Contrast that to standard software deployments which can take weeks or months to spin up.

 

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System Maintenance is Automatic

 

Maintenance costs for SaaS subscribers are almost free. As part of their subscription fee, the SaaS provider manages upgrades, bandwidth adjustment, and bug fixes. It removes many of the headaches that an agency’s IT group experiences with new software versions and updates.

 

Traditional Policies Can Confound Adoption

 

Even though many US agencies are already using – or considering – cloud computing, adoption of SaaS is still a tricky decision for law enforcement. Because of the need to safeguard sensitive and confidential information that is saved offsite, the pace is slower than other market segments. That tide, however, is turning.

Case Closed Software is a leading provider of investigative case management software for law enforcement agencies across the country.

 

Tennessee county turns to Case Closed for investigation management

(March 27, 2017) Case Closed™ Software, a division of crime fighting software leader Crime Tech Solutions, LLC, announced today that they have signed contract with a large well-known and historic county in Tennessee.

tennesseeThe mid-sized Sheriff’s Department in the Volunteer State chose Case Closed Software after a long, thorough search for a solution provider capable of delivering “a feature-rich, affordable solution for managing investigations and the investigative unit”. The core modules of the software include Investigative Case Management, Link Analysis, Confidential Informants Management, Property & Evidence, Gang Tracking, and Departmental Reporting. According to a company spokesperson, the software also includes a mobile application for investigators in the field, and real-time alerting designed to help agencies solve crimes faster.

Case Closed Software said that the solution is being installed immediately, and that the agency will be fully implemented by April 30, 2017.

For more information on Case Closed, visit www.caseclosedsoftware.com

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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.

The 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.

Case Closed Software, a division of Crime Tech Solutions, is a powerful and affordable investigative case management solution for law enforcement agencies. Case Closed is also available via the cloud with the innovative Case Closed Cloud. 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.

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

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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.