Comp Sci in Law Enforcement

Computers in Law Enforcement
SCI 350B
Professor Garcia
          24 February 2008

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).
The National Crime Information Center (NCIC) is another information system that is available to law enforcement. NCIC...