The IACP/Thomson Reuters Award for Excellence in Criminal Investigation is given to a law enforcement agency, law enforcement unit, task force or inter-agency task force in recognition of exceptional innovation in criminal investigations. Each year, IACP receives entries from agencies around the globe where technology, traditional police work, and in some examples, inter-agency collaboration, meet to solve crimes ranging from unsolved cases and missing persons, to financial crimes and human trafficking.
From Award Sponsor – Thomson Reuters
“The 2017 recipient, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, exemplifies the true spirit of this award,” said Steve Rubley, managing director of the Government segment for Thomson Reuters. “Thomson Reuters is honored to support law enforcement agencies from around the world to solve the crimes of today, and we also are proud to share the stories and collaborate with these same agencies to develop new tools and solutions to solve the crimes of tomorrow.”
2017 Winner – Florida Department of Law Enforcement
In February 2016, the Miami Regional Operations Center met with U.S. Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) agents to review progress of an ongoing human trafficking case. On July 7, 2016, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) —Miami Regional Operations Center Cyber/High Tech Crime Squad, HSI Fort Lauderdale, the United States Attorney’s Office, and HSI Bogota with the full cooperation and support of the Colombian National Police Directorate of Specialized Investigations Transnational Criminal Investigative Unit, conducted an undercover operation. This case involved a Florida resident who was allegedly operating tours to Medellìn, Colombia in which he was engaging in the international sex trafficking of children, child exploitation, and sex tourism.
For this investigation to be successful, the FDLE special agent had to be cross sworn to work with the Colombian National Police and given a disguised persona that would be posted on the sexual offender registry. This tactic allowed the agent to gain the trust and credibility of additional criminals and sex offenders. FDLE special agents continue to explore the dark web as well as purchase crypto currency in efforts to expose continuously changing criminal networks. Though this tactic is still under development, effects of its establishment would assist in luring suspects who believe they are communicating with other criminals. FDLE special agents are also conducting an initiative once a year in which they reserve high-end hotel rooms along the Florida beach front to recruit prostitutes to get information concerning trafficking networks and the location of any underage girls.
As a result of the investigation, hotels in Colombia are implementing human trafficking training in which the staff is instructed on ways to be more proactive in addressing this issue.
2016 - Homeland Security Investigations of the Phoenix Police Department
2015 - San Bernadino County Sheriff's Office
2014 - Missouri State Highway Patrol of the Rural Crimes Investigative Unit
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