Comp Sci Paper - XXXX 1 Computers in Law Enforcement XXXXX...

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XXXX 1 Computers in Law Enforcement XXXXX SCI 350B Professor Garcia 24 February 2008
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Computers in Law Enforcement Computers are a part of everyday activities and especially in the exchange of information. Law Enforcement is no different. Law Enforcement agencies have a wide array of innovative computers and databases available to them. Long are the days of having to watch for a light to go off at a call box and the only weapons you had were your hands, a baton and a gun. Technology has long been a part of law enforcement from the time of the first radio boxes to the newest in thermal imaging, biometrics and even compliance aids. There are numerous information databases available to law enforcement agencies. There are databases to hold criminal records, serial numbers of stolen property, ballistic data, fingerprints or DNA (Dempsey, 102). An agency can post a bulletin on California Law Enforcement Telecommunication System (CLETS) and in a matter of seconds; it can be viewed by hundreds of other agencies (Dempsey, 102). This is very important when an agency to trying to get information to other agencies. CLETS holds information regarding persons and property. Information systems allow a single entity such as “as a prosecutor’s office or a police department —to share information within itself and allows multiple agencies to share information with each other (Morton)”. Collecting and storing DNA has ethical issues, especially when it is held on a computer. A persons DNA profile can be taken without being invasive. It is how DNA information is stored that can be controversial. With it being stored on a computer, computers are susceptible to being “hacked” into and their data can fall into the wrong hands. Having DNA is important because it can cross check DNA from older cases and can exonerate or identify persons of interest (Duster).
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XXXX 3 The National Crime Information Center (NCIC) is another information system that is available to law enforcement. NCIC was incepted in 1967 and “Its current enhanced version, NCIC 2000, came on-line in July 1999 (Dempsey, 102).” NCIC holds information on warrant suspects, stolen property and any other information that an agency may want to share with other agencies (Dempsey, 103). Yoshikawa adds that NCIC also contains information on property such stolen and recovered guns and information on persons including missing persons, people on parole or probation and sex offenders. According to Dempsey, this system provides real time information to anyone using one of its terminals. This makes NCIC a critical database for law enforcement. This system is updated once a person is booked into jail on the warrants, or the property is entered as recovered (Yoshikawa). Yoshikawa says the accuracy of NCIC is only as accurate as the person entering the information. CLETS is a state database that local and state authorities have access to. CLETS holds
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Comp Sci Paper - XXXX 1 Computers in Law Enforcement XXXXX...

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