Limits of Warrantless Cell Phone Searches: What Law Enforcement Needs to Know

By Justin Fitzsimmons

Earlier this year, the United States Supreme Court issued clear guidance to law enforcement when it comes to cell phone searches. The Court essentially said that you must get a warrant to search a cell phone, even if you come in contact with that phone during an arrest.

In its decision, the Court helped to bring the Fourth Amendment into the digital age. It’s likely that this is just the beginning for new rules on how law enforcement handles digital evidence in the 21st century.

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Social Media Investigations: Making the Case for Formal Training for Law Enforcement

By Lauren Wagner

In this age of over-booking and budget cuts, many of us find it hard to carve out time for skills enhancement. We convince ourselves that we know what we’re doing and we seem to be getting by, so what’s the problem? 

But delaying or even avoiding critical skills enhancement can be detrimental—especially for law enforcement. 

One thing that teachers love most is seeing that “light bulb moment” in their students. It’s very rewarding to know that you’ve introduced people to a new concept or skill that will help them on a daily basis.

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SEARCH Organizes November 19 Capitol Hill Briefing on Availability of Domestic Violence Protection Orders to the NICS

In response to a bipartisan request from Senate Judiciary Committee staff, SEARCH organized a briefing for congressional staff focusing on domestic violence protective orders (DVPO) and their availability to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), the system used for background checks of firearms purchasers.

The November 19 event featured experts from the FBI, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI), a domestic violence organization, the National Center for State Courts (NCSC), Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS), and SEARCH who briefed invited staff members of the House and Senate Judiciary Committees.

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Software Developer Haiqi Wei Joins SEARCH Information Sharing Team

Ms. Haiqi Wei joined SEARCH as an Information Sharing Developer effective November 12, 2014. In this position, Ms. Wei will develop, implement, and deploy information sharing systems on behalf of SEARCH clients in local, state, tribal, and federal government settings. She will also provide programming, configuration and testing assistance, and consult on implementation architecture and design.

Ms. Wei has 11 years of experience as a software engineer. She specializes in developing applications using open source technologies and frameworks, including Java, Spring, Apache Camel, and Apache CXF, and has a solid understanding of relational databases, XML databases, Web Services, and X509 Certificate authentication.

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Helping Pima County Exchange Justice-Health Information: SEARCH Shares Details of Project Success at NIEM in November

In a pilot project supported by SEARCH, stakeholders in Pima County, Arizona, leveraged national standards and practices to improve business processes, policies and technical solutions to conduct medical and health assessments for the 40,000-plus offenders arrested and booked in the county each year. 

What is NIEM?

The National Information Exchange Model is an XML-based information exchange framework. NIEM makes it possible for organizations to share critical data; as a result, people are empowered to make informed decisions that improve efficiency and help organizations advance their missions.

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Georgia Governor Appoints New GCIC Director to SEARCH Membership

Georgia Governor Nathan Deal appointed Ms. Terri Fisher to serve as Georgia’s representative on the SEARCH Membership Group, effective September 1, 2014.

Ms. Fisher is Director of the Georgia Crime Information Center (GCIC), a division of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI). GCIC/GBI is the state agency responsible for operational decisions and policy on managing Georgia criminal justice information, particularly criminal history record information.

Ms. Fisher replaces Ms. Terry Gibbons, who had served as Georgia’s SEARCH Member since April 2009, and who served a two-year term on the Board of Directors.

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Enterprise Strategic Planning for Justice Information Sharing: Learn the “Why” and “How” from New SEARCH Publications

Justice and public safety organizations develop technology solutions so they can obtain and share justice information. This effort is rarely limited to a single agency—planning for technology and sharing information more often takes place as part of an enterprise that spans agency and jurisdictional boundaries.

It is particularly important for organizations to plan their efforts carefully. The justice enterprise is complex and can involve multiple participants, differing governing processes and rules, distinct business needs, and competing resources.

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National Criminal Justice Icon Retires from SEARCH

At the July 2014 Annual SEARCH Membership Group Meeting, then-Chair Francis X. Aumand III (left) presents a clock to Mr. Owen Greenspan in recognition of his retirement and decades of service to SEARCH.

On September 30, 2014, Owen Greenspan, an authority for all things criminal history, is retiring from SEARCH. He’s ending a 50-year career in law enforcement, criminal history records management and policy-making that began as a teenage recruit for the New York City Police Department.

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NICS, NIEM, PSBN and More: SEARCH Staff Presents on a Range of Topics at 32nd Annual NAJIS Conference

National Association of Justice Information Systems (NAJIS)
An organization of individuals responsible for acquiring, operating, and managing local, state and federal criminal justice information systems.

SEARCH staff with expertise in law and policy, information sharing, national standards, public safety communications and social media investigations are presenting at the 32nd Annual NAJIS Conference in Salt Lake City September 23–25, 2014.

NAJIS conferences are geared to educate and demonstrate best practices for justice information system implementation and business process flow.

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Iowa Governor Appoints Gerard Meyers to SEARCH Membership

Iowa Governor Terry E. Branstad appointed Mr. Gerard F. Meyers to serve as Iowa’s representative on the SEARCH Membership Group, effective August 26, 2014.

Mr. Meyers is Assistant Director of the Division of Criminal Investigation, Iowa Department of Public Safety (DPS). He oversees the division’s criminal history section, which includes fingerprints, records and information sharing systems.

Mr. Meyers replaces DPS official David Jobes, who had served as Iowa’s SEARCH Member from March 2011 to May 2014.

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