JUSTICE IN AMERICA
The United States recently became the most incarcerating country in the world, with a greater share of its population � 724 per 100,000 residents � in prisons and jails. Over 2.1 million people incarcerated as of December 31, 2004.
At the same time, there were 4.8 million adults on parole or probation.
These figures represent nearly 131,000 more than there were in 2002. According to recent Bureau of Justice statistics, 650,000 people are incarcerated in jails and prisons every day.
Did you know that in 2000, nearly 15 million Americans spent more than $60 billion to buy illegal drugs? Americans use 50 percent of the world�s cocaine, but comprise only about 6 percent of the world�s population.
Between 1960 and 1998, the population of the US increased by 50 percent. During the same period, the number of crimes reported to the police increased by almost 145 percent.
Every 54 hours a police officer is killed in the line of duty.
Almost two-thirds of defendants charged with a felony in the 75 most populated counties of the country in May 1996 were released from jail pending disposition of their case. Thirty-one percent of those released were rearrested for a new offense, did not show up for a court date or violated some other condition of their pretrial release.
In 1976, 79 percent of homicides nationwide were cleared by arrest compared to 66 percent in 1997.
The failure of 30 percent of US businesses has for many years been linked to employee theft. In the retail industry in 2000, 44.5 percent of all lost revenue � inventory shrinkage � was due to employee theft; 32.7 percent was due to shoplifting.
Some other alarming prison statistics indicate that there are over 700,000 parolees in the US and over 3.6 million probationers. The average incarceration period in the US state prisons in 1998 for murder was 8.6 years; for rape it was 5.5 years; for drugs it was 1.8 years.
ORGANIZE AND ASSOCIATE
There are a multitude of associations and organizations for investigators in the private sector. Some organized by specialty, others by geographic area.
Here�s a listing of some of the more unusual.
There is a European Council of Detectives. You can check their web site at:
The Professional Investigators and Security Association
Based in Charlottesville, VA, they can be found at: www.pisa.gen.va.us
National Defender Investigator Association.
National Association of Legal Investigators.
This association represents private investigators who conduct work for the defense. They also have a national accreditation program.
The Council of International Investigators, headquartered in Singapore.
World Association of Detectives. This international group hosts an annual convention that brings detectives from� all over the world (where else?)! Claim to be the largest and oldest association of its kind in the world.
YOU CAN�T MAKE THIS STUFF UP
Here are some excerpts of actual conversations heard in and around Squad rooms. Some during interviews, some by� detectives?
�They were all conversating.
We conversated telephonically.
They were living domesticatarly.
Seeking the location of his whereabouts.
He was of Jamaican assessment.
Seeking to identify his identification.
Identified a pattern of unrelated crimes.
He was wearing a multi-colored white t-shirt.
He is known to congregate by himself.
The eyewitness is blind and didn�t see anything.
They went into a feet pursuit.
He has numerical arrests on his rap sheet.
The bus driver was working off duty at the time.
The information was received from an anonymous CI.
His sister states she was not related to her brother.
The suspicious package was examined and determined to be not suspicious.
The unarmed security guard fired 2 shots at the perp.
All the calls that day happened another day.
Free directory assistance and long distance dialing?
There is a new company that provides free directory assistance and long distance calling when connecting through their directory assistance.
The new service, at 1-800-FREE411, could make paying for directory assistance a thing of the past.
Too good to be true? Not as long as your willing to sit through a 10-second ad. The service is funded not by consumers paying to access it, as the conventional directory assistance is, but by companies that pay to have callers hear their ads while they wait for listings.
You can check out their web site at www.free411.com.
�COME IN DICK TRACY�
Remember the old Dick Tracy cartoons? Remember Dick Tracy�s wristwatch that he used to call for assistance? Well, it�s here.
There is a digital voice recorder that also functions as an MP3 player � and a wrist watch!
The fully functional watch is also a media player with 256MB flash memory built in which will allow you to record up to 9 hours of voice recording, as well as download MP3 music files.
You can play back the recording with an easy USB plug and play, or play back via stereo headphones or window media player.
Available for $189.95 at www.PIgear.com
Imagine the investigative potential of recording a conversation from a wristwatch?
WHERE DID THAT CAR COME FROM?
The National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) has created an online database consiting of motor vehicles or boats affected by Huricanes Katrina and Rita for the public to search in an effort to protect them from fraudulent sellers.
The online data is made available to law enforcement, state fraud bureaus, insurance companies and state departments of motor vehicles. The NICB is also making the data available to the general public to help protect buyers against fraud.
Effective immediately, anyone can log on to www.nicb.org and query a suspected VIN free of charge, against the regularly updated database to find out if there is a match.
For more information on NICB and disaster fraud, visit their web site.
You can also call 1-800-TEL-NICB.
UPDATE ON IDENTITY THEFT
Greater consumer awareness regarding identity theft issues has resulted in a drop in the actual number of identity fraud victims nationwide, although the dollar amount per loss has increased.
Last year, about 4 percent of US adults, or 8.9 million people, had their personal data stolen and used in fraud.
The average dollar loss per victim increased from $5885 in 2004 to $6383 in 2005.
The Federal Trade Commission�s latest study confirmed that ID fraud complaints topped its list of consumer complaints in 2005. Of the 686,000 complaints, 255,000 were identity theft related.
Internet related complaints accounted for 46 percent of all fraud complaints.
The major metropolitan areas with the highest per capita rates of consumer fraud reported were Washington, DC; Tampa/St Petersburg/Clearwater FL; and Seattle WA.
Credit card fraud was the most common for of reported identity theft, followed by phone and utilities fraud, bank fraud, and employment fraud.
The major metropolitan areas with the highest per capita rates of reported identity theft were Phoenix/Mesa/Scottsdale, AZ; Las Vegas NV; and Riverside/San Bernardino CA.
A NOTE FROM THE MINISTER OF INVESTIGATION
Any regular reader of this blog, who is somewhat familiar with current news, will associate the lack of updates with an increase in work here in Brooklyn North.
Looking back, I realized I neglected to post anything new to this site during the month of February 2006. I think even my more critical readers will realize that is not a common occurrence - I usually have news waiting to be posted, yet this past month has been unusually busy in the North.
I�ll try not to let that happen again! My staff let me down, leaving all the writing to myself. (Oh, I forgot � I have no staff. Sorry.)
In the over 375 postings I have made to this blog since I started it almost five years ago, I have tried to remain true to a certain standard. I will not use this space as a �rant� � I will not take your time to listen to gripes and moans about any aspect of this job. You can find that in other places. I intended to use this space to share information with investigators � tips, unusual web sites, and entertainment. Sometimes I succeed, other times I may fail � but I continue to try my best. I enjoy hearing about the history of this department, and of detectives. Some may call me a buff � alright, I may even call myself that � but if you�ve been reading closely, you know that the term is now an affectionate one. So be it. In any event, you will not see me criticizing leadership or decisions of this department or of this job in general, not on this site, anyway. At such time that I can no longer stick to this standard, I will stop writing. I like being a detective (yes, I still consider myself a detective), and I am proud of my history as a Transit cop and an NYPD Detective Commander. I grew up with cops, and never tire of hearing of �old-time� war stories. After spending 25 years as the police, I realize now that my stories are considered by many to be �old-time�. Go figure that!
It is still very satisfying to me to spend a few hours with a group in a CIC class, or at the Homicide Course, taking the time to try and help educate � train � others for this calling we have taken up � Detective work.
A Detective � the Police � no finer calling is there.
Anyway, enough said. Thank you for listening. Sometimes, when discouragement strikes, you need to step back and evaluate. As I tell the new rookies who I instruct them about Crime Scenes and Investigations, �work should be fun�. Louie Croce told me that fifteen years ago. Yes, work should be fun. When you are doing exactly what you want to do, then you are successful. And happy.
Be safe� and remember, work should be fun!
CONTACTING THE MINISTER OF INVESTIGATION...
Can easily be done by dropping an e-mail to:
I'm always looking for new material, interesting web sites, investigative tips, etc.
�LEST WE FORGET�� THE NYPD MEMORIAL
March 22, 1932 Ptl George Myers, Line of duty injury
March 23, 1986 PO James Holmes, PSA3, Shot-off duty robbery
March 26, 1949 Ptl Anthony Oetheimer, 114 Pct, Shot-robbery in progress
March 26, 1992 PO Joseph Alcamo, 100 Pct, Auto accident on patrol
March 27, 1921 Ptl Joseph Connelly, 10 Div, Shot-investigation
March 27, 1944 Ptl Arthur Eggers, Traffic C, Auto accident on patrol
March 28, 1922 Ptl James Baker, 83 Pct, Motorcycle accident
March 31, 1914 Ptl Thomas Wynn, 155 Pct, Arrest-robbery
March 31, 2002 Det Jamie Betancourt, BxNarco, Stabbed- o/d dispute
April 2, 1914 Det Joseph Guarneri, DetDiv, Shot-arrest
April 2, 1930 Ptl Thomas Harnett, 13 Pct, Auto accident on patrol
April 2, 1978 PO Christie Massone and PO Norman Cerullo, 79 Pct, Shot-car stop
April 3, 1953 Ptl John Pendegrass, 32 Pct, Shot-robbery
April 3, 1972 Ptl Phillip Cardillo, 28 Pct, Shot-investigation