July 6, 2020

As the coronavirus pandemic negatively impacts the economy and tax revenues drop across the U.S., many have begun to prepare for the hard times ahead by proposing slashed budgets and reduced public services at a time when so many of their residents need them more than ever.

But the austerity programs will not be rolled out equally across services most likely.  As an example, New York City, where officials are projecting a $7.4 billion drop in tax revenue, the initial proposed budget for next year is $3.4 billion less than last year, with education and youth services facing some of the deepest cuts, and cuts slated for the police department as well.

Varied city constituents and special interest groups have long battled to save funds for public services during yearly budget negotiations, but the current health and economic crisis and civil unrest is making the debate over how cities should spend their reduced funds uniquely urgent.  At the same time, many city administrators and council members are seriously looking to save money for much needed services by cutting Police budgets with crime at historic lows.

Overall 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 technology have expanded nationwide. 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.

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.

In cities across the US, Policing Budgets are being examined and hearings are being scheduled to discuss with all constituents and concerned citizens groups.  In Boston, Los Angeles, and Milwaukee, about one in every 10 dollars of local government spending goes to the police.         In Minneapolis, it is about one in every 20 dollars.  Presently, American society has not settled on what that number should be and how much of a priority the police ought to have, alongside schools and parks and housing and health care.  But the police share of spending has grown over the past 40 years, even as cities have become far safer.

Across large cities, the average share of general expenditures devoted to the police has gradually increased by about 1.2 percentage points since the late 1970s, to 7.8 percent. That change is relatively modest, but it means that residents have watched city police budgets rise by millions of dollars annually – even during lean years for city finances, and through a steep nationwide decline in violent crime that began in the early 1990s.

But these new severe governmental budget constraints and increasing mistrust towards government and law enforcement agencies will cause increased pressure to combat complex criminal activity with less financial budgeted allocated dollars for new innovative tools, technology and expand officer resources. 

Now Law Enforcement agencies are operating in a new heightened environment of ‘cost containment’ across the board not seen in years.  So, for Police Chiefs and departmental management will need to come to the negotiating table with all city administration leadership with sound strategic operational and resource plans.

Many police departments will be forced to make cuts to technology resources and officer headcount.  Also, 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.

But at the same time, new training, procedures, and technology will need to be considered and implemented to impact effective overall crime reduction and positive community engagement.

Police agencies and all levels can also consider outsourcing some key support department functions as cost-effective practice to meet their budgetary constraints. 

One of those key areas of police departmental support that can be effectively ‘outsourced’ is – Investigative Due Diligence Database Research support.

Law enforcement agencies need better systems for gathering data about the increased wave of complex crime and sophisticated criminal organizations.  It is vital in getting 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.

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

Modevity Law Enforcement Support can quickly ‘Augment’ City, State and Federal law enforcement resources.  We merged enterprise database technology and open source analysis to gather, analyze, and collate public records and private data on any given case.

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, entities and networks 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 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:  610-251-0700

Law Enforcement Support / Investigative Support

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July 6, 2020