IACP/Thomson Reuters Excellence in Criminal Investigations Award
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.
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."
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Dubai Police General Headquarters, United Arab Emirates
The Dubai Police created Smart Police Stations where individuals can report crimes even if there is not an officer physically present. When a complainant arrives at the station, they enter their personal identity card in the ID reader. A duty officer is immediately able to see their personal details and live video at the Smart Police Station starts on the screens. The investigator can ask questions about the complaint and records the statement, after which the citizen is requested to sign electronically. The complaint is then electronically sent to the appropriate station to complete the process. The Smart Police Stations provide enclosed, private reporting areas, allowing victims to feel comfortable reporting criminal activity. The process has increased efficiency by allowing for quick searches of information. This streamlined approach has also helped both victims and investigators by making it extremely easy to address criminal reports. The process has increased efficiency by allowing for quick searches of information.
Georgia Bureau of Investigation
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation conducted a criminal investigation of sexual exploitation from December 2015 through June 2017. Their efforts resulted in the discovery of over 30 victims, as well as the arrest and indictment of the suspect. Though the case required complex digital forensics, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation demonstrated exceptional achievement in successfully seeking and utilizing the expertise of multiple state, local, and federal agencies, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the United States Department of Justice. Their strategy to search for additional victims using initial victims’ internet provider addresses, social media accounts, and “machine cookies” of e-mails sent by the suspect was innovative and ultimately resulted in the identification of the suspect. The Bureau’s work in this case provides an excellent example of criminal investigators navigating the labyrinth of digital forensics, persisting in the pursuit of a complex investigation, and leveraging the strengths and capabilities of partner agencies.
Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Miami Regional Operations Center & U.S. Homeland Security Investigations
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