SEARCH Offers Digital Evidence Instruction and Courtroom Guidance at National Symposium on Child Abuse

Professionals who work in the child maltreatment field require expert training to develop and enhance their skills so they can effectively combat child victimization, exploitation, and abuse.

Such instruction can focus on all aspects of child maltreatment— including physical and sexual abuse, neglect and exposure to violence, poly-victimization, intervention, and prevention—from experts in the medical, legal, law enforcement, and social work fields.

Next week, experts from across the country will offer their expertise at the 30th National Symposium on Child Abuse.

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SEARCH Chair Appoints Justice Technologist Daniel Foro to Membership Group

Dan Foro

Mr. Francis X. Aumand III, Deputy Commissioner of the Vermont Department of Public Safety and SEARCH Chair, has appointed Mr. Daniel M. Foro to the SEARCH Membership Group in an At-Large position. 

His appointment is effective March 7, 2014. 

Mr. Foro is Senior Advisor to the New York State Sheriffs Association Institute, where he helps provide education and training for Sheriffs and their staff. The Institute also serves as a liaison between the general public and the Sheriffs, and it operates the Sheriff’s Victim Notification Service and a summer camp for children. 


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Four SEARCH Members Serving on Security Clearance Task Force

Four governor appointees on the SEARCH Membership Group are serving on the Security Clearance Task Force, which was established in the 2014 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). Congress passed and the president signed the NDAA into law in late December 2013. 

The task force is examining the process for security clearances, in particular analyzing obstacles to background investigators and clearance adjudicators who access needed data stored in state and local records.  The impetus for forming the task force was due, in large part, to discoveries about the security clearance process that came to light following the Edward Snowden and Navy Yard shooter cases. 

The task force’s recommendations are due to Congress in April. 

SEARCH Members serving on the task force are:

Captain Thomas W.
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SEARCH Holds March 11 Congressional Briefing on Criminal History Records

Congressional staff from both the House and Senate attended SEARCH briefings held March 11 on Capitol Hill to learn more about criminal history records and their use for noncriminal justice and civil purposes. 

The briefing held in the House of Representatives was hosted by the House Judiciary Committee and in the Senate, U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont) was the honorary co-host. Three SEARCH governor-appointees to the SEARCH Membership, SEARCH staff, and two FBI officials participated in the panel sessions. 

At the briefings, congressional staff learned how the rap sheet is accessed, shared, and used for decisions regarding employment, volunteer work, and work with vulnerable populations, such as children, the elderly, and the disabled.

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SEARCH Offers Advanced Skills as a Training Partner at Four Internet Crimes Against Children Regional Trainings

As a training partner for the national ICAC Task Force Program, SEARCH staff is presenting at four regional law enforcement training events in 2014, which are geared to law enforcement and social services professionals who work to protect children from online exploitation. 

Each three-day training event consists of lecture tracks and hands-on computer laboratory workshops. SEARCH High-Tech Crime Training Services staff has helped to develop training curriculum for these events and will deliver lectures and workshops at all four locations. 

The first event was held in early February in Garden Grove, California.

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Feds Publish Comprehensive Report on the Status of State Criminal History Record Systems and Repositories

Every two years since 1989, SEARCH has worked with the Bureau of Justice Statistics to survey the state central repositories of criminal history records for an in-depth look into their systems and operations. 

The most recent survey report, Survey of State Criminal History Information Systems, 2012, was recently released. In it, authors Owen Greenspan and Dennis DeBacco of SEARCH offer readers a glimpse into the kinds of information stored in these systems, and how it’s disseminated and used. 

Besides raw numbers that show how many records exist, the report also explores the types of information states collect, how they get it, and the level of automation involved.

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SEARCH Trainers to Address Child Advocates on Technology’s Role in Child Abuse Investigations

When it comes to child abuse response, child advocacy centers (CACs) bring together law enforcement, criminal justice, child protective service, and medical and mental health workers onto one coordinated team. There are over 800 CACs operating in the United States and they are found in more than 10 countries worldwide.

CACs typically employ a highly effective, one-stop approach to investigating child abuse. Through a multidisciplinary, team approach, these centers provide a child-friendly facility at which members of the investigative team interview, medically examine, provide and refer treatment for abused children while pursuing the prosecution of offenders.
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Nevada Governor Appoints DPS Official to SEARCH Membership

Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval has appointed Ms. Julie Butler to serve as the state’s representative on the SEARCH Membership Group, effective February 12, 2014. 

Ms. Butler is Administrator of the General Services Division in the Nevada Department of Public Safety (DPS). The Division is responsible for operating the state’s repository of criminal history records, as well as its Brady point-of-sale firearms background check program, sex offender registry, Uniform Crime Reporting program, and more. The Division is the liaison between the State of Nevada and the Federal Bureau of Investigation for fingerprint submissions required by State or Federal law for employment or licensing. 


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Justice Policy Visionary David Steingraber Selected for SEARCH’s 2014 Cooper Award

David Steingraber

Mr. David Steingraber, considered a visionary and national leader of policy development in justice information sharing initiatives, is this year’s Gary R. Cooper Meritorious Service Award honoree.

The SEARCH Board of Directors selected Mr. Steingraber for the Award, citing his many contributions to the SEARCH Membership Group in particular and to the justice community in general.   

 Mr. Steingraber is an At-Large Member of SEARCH and serves on its Board. The Cooper Award is given annually and is SEARCH’s top Membership honor.

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Biometrics Expert Peter Higgins to Receive SEARCH’s Highest Practitioner Honor

Peter T. Higgins

The SEARCH Board of Directors chose long-time biometrics expert Peter T. Higgins to receive the 2014 O.J. Hawkins Award for Innovative Leadership and Outstanding Contributions in Criminal Justice Information Systems, Policy and Statistics—SEARCH’s highest practitioner honor.

Mr. Higgins is a long-time leader in the biometrics field, and works as a consultant, lecturer and author helping government agencies find and acquire biometric systems that are standards-based and appropriate to their needs. His work takes him all over the globe, and has been used to help national police services in Iraq and Afghanistan.

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