June 10, 2020

Today now more than ever, Law Enforcement agencies are tasked with the immense duty of keeping our communities safe.  As the type of threats communities face become more complex, law enforcement personnel need solutions that enable them to keep on top of safety threats and investigations.  New investigative data research analysis, new technology, and data sources can help law enforcement officers carry out successful investigations.

Crime in the United States has declined sharply in recent decades, as measured by traditional reporting systems.  But even as rates of homicide, robbery, burglary, and other crimes have fallen since the 1990s (although with significant upticks in violent crime in 2015 and 2016), new types of crimes – many of them enabled by computer technology—have begun to proliferate.

Internet-enabled crimes and scams show no signs of letting up, according to data released by the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) in its 2019 Internet Crime Report.  The last calendar year saw both the highest number of complaints and the highest dollar losses reported since the center was established in May 2000.

IC3 received 467,361 complaints in 2019—an average of nearly 1,300 every day—and recorded more than $3.5 billion in losses to individual and business victims, says the FBI.  The most frequently reported complaints were phishing and similar ploys, non-payment/non-delivery.

What do we know about the nature and extent of these computer-enabled crimes? Are increases in these types of crimes offsetting the dramatic reduction in “street crimes” that have been recorded and analyzed.

To say that new communication systems, and other computer and application technologies are changing the policing investigator profession is a vast understatement.  For law enforcement agencies to keep up in this new tech environment, their approaches to criminal investigations must change.  Relying on physical evidence and witness statements is no longer sufficient in many cases.  Investigators need to know how to access and secure data from mobile devices, social media, cloud data, and ‘Big Data.’  The reality is that the science of criminal investigations is changing rapidly, and many law enforcement agencies are not prepared for the changes that are taking place.  If law enforcement is to be successful in combating crime and solving cases in the 21st century, agencies must have the training, tools, and skilled personnel to understand the changing Tech environment.

The Work of Criminal Investigators Is Becoming More Complex

Not very long ago, detectives responding to a homicide or other serious crime had a clear focus: quickly get to the scene, collect physical evidence, and interview any witnesses.  But now criminals are using the “dark web” to make themselves anonymous online.  Even when police obtain court orders allowing them to get into a cell phone in order to find out who a victim or suspect was communicating with, they often find that there is no way to get past the user’s passcode.  Smartphone manufacturers argue that they cannot build a special “backdoor” for police to access the data in these devices, because criminals inevitably would hack into the backdoor, making everyone’s phones less safe.

Technology certainly is changing the environment every day, and most police agencies are far behind the curve.  Because policing in the United States in most cases is decentralized, there are thousands of small and medium-size agencies that lack the resources to respond to the changes cited in this blog.

Even large, well-funded agencies have a lot of work to do – finding and hiring technology experts; training officers to understand the basics of crime-related technologies; and rethinking the traditional structure of a police agency.  The old “silos,” such as special units for organized crime, gangs, and narcotics, are becoming less relevant as cybercrime becomes a part of all these traditional departments.

The status quo in law enforcement needs to be reexamined. Today’s crime-fighting challenges are far greater than in the past, but most local police agencies are nowhere near being prepared to meet the challenges.  Only a small fraction of internet-based crimes are even being reported to police, much less investigated.   Even when a crime is reported, often it is not clear which law enforcement agency is responsible for investigating it, because the victim may be located thousands of miles away from the perpetrator, in a different city, state, or even nation.  Additionally, the crime often involves a bank or other institution that may be headquartered in another location as well.

Investigative work will be slowed down when the agency or department does not know whom the job belongs to.  Local police agencies must become significantly more involved because these crimes are far too numerous to be handled solely by the FBI and other federal agencies. But unfortunately, in many of the 18,000+ local police agencies in the US, the policies and procedures are not being written, cyber experts and ‘investigative analysts’ are not being hired, and officers are not receiving the training they need to investigate these crimes.

United States Law Enforcement agencies need a new national commitment to address the growing threat of computer-based crime, like the nation’s response to the terrorist attacks of 9/11.  Existing systems for measuring, preventing, and investigating crime are obsolete.

New Investigative Due Diligence Database Research needs to be integrated into any agency or department investigative units.   Law enforcement agencies need better systems for gathering data about these new types of crime.  It is vital in getting local law enforcement agencies up to speed with new investigative data solutions and resource support, because the FBI and other federal agencies can investigate only a small fraction of these crimes.  Law enforcement agencies at all levels – local, state, and federal, must commit to take on new responsibilities for identifying these crimes and investigating them and applying new data analysis and technologies to solving them.

Changing Community Threats and Increasing Government Mistrust

Protecting your law enforcement officials has never been more difficult as our country struggles with community strains, resource limitations and radicalization.  Law enforcement agencies are experiencing pressures to increase transparency in a society where trust of the government has eroded, and community policing has become a necessity.

When City, State and Federal Law Enforcement resources are overworked and begin to reach their limitations of internal investigation resources, they face two significant problems, the long hiring / training process, and the bureaucratic procurement process.

Modevity Law Enforcement Support can quickly augment City, State and Federal law enforcement resources. We combined enterprise database technology and open source analysis to gather, analyze, and collate publicly and commercially available data on any given case.

Our Law Enforcement Support provides our client organizations with a thorough, search analysis for identifying concealed or unknown assets, social networks, corporate networks, adverse media, biographical information and more.

Harness the Power of Big Data, AI Technology & Investigative Research Analysis

Modevity harnesses the power of Big Data with ‘billions of data points’ in public records and proprietary information and AI technology to meet the challenges of law enforcement agencies.

Our team of experienced investigative research analysts can locate hard-to-find information and quickly identify potential information associated with people and entities that can become critical data to any ongoing investigation

Modevity works with law enforcement agencies and police departments from initial assessment to project case conclusion.  Reports are put together by professionals experienced in navigating international business operations, including layers of offshore-holdings, complex corporate structures, and money laundering activities, etc .

Modevity Investigative Due Diligence Support Capabilities Includes:

  • Increase Investigative Capacity
  • Reduce Officer/Agent Workload
  • Uncover Assets
  • Map Out Commercial Criminal Networks
  • Map Out Social Networks
  • Identify Community and Department Threats
  • Extensive Phone Records Data
  • Navigate Layers of Corporate Networks
  • Identify Adverse Media
  • Identify Global Sanctions and PEP’s
  • Identify Bankruptcies, Lawsuits, Liens
  • Harness the ‘Top Tier’ of Database Technology
  • License Plate Recognition & Tracking
  • Save Critical Time on Investigative Research

Modevity Investigative Due Diligence Law Enforcement research support can help your investigative team as a seamless extension of your department staff to accelerate your criminal Investigations cases. 

Author: Tom J. Canova, Co-Founder, CMO Modevity

Contact Modevity:   office: 610-251-0700

Law Enforcement Support / Investigative Support


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June 10, 2020