Intelligence Unit Memo Police Chief I.B. Friendly Essay

Excerpt from Essay :

Intelligence Unit Memo

Police Chief I.B. Friendly

Incorporating Intelligence Unit into Department

In modern law enforcement, the sophistication of modern criminal activity, particularly post-September 11th, causes a necessary paradigm shift for 21st century police departments. This shift requires that departments rethink the power of information -- the manner in which it is collected, analyzed, and then used to fulfill the goals of the department. In fact, in 2007, the National Strategy for Information Sharing released by the White House describes the need for fusion information centers as a vital way to succeed in modern law enforcement and critical to the safety of the local community as well as the nation (Porter, 2008).

Historical Background - Prior to 1960, even large, urban Police Departments did not have intelligence units. Resources were combined so that Detectives were at the hierarchy of information analysis; and every member of the department was open to gleaning information. Information was not typically shared between departments, and certainly there was no sophisticated national database with which law enforcement around the nation (or globally) could post and sequester information. The turbulent 1960s and 1970s showed the need to collect and disseminate information, which also combined with the availability of technology to help in this effort. Even as early as 1973, the National Advisory Committee on Criminal Justice Standards recommended that every policy agency and every state establish and maintain the capability to gather and evaluate information and to disseminate intelligence in a way that protects right to privacy while still curtailing criminal activity (Corrections - Report of the National Advisory Commission on Criminal Justice Standards and Goals, 1973). Computer technology certainly aided local and national efforts, and several databases were created, including IAFIS (fingerprints), and NCIC, the national Crime Information Center (Federal Bureau of Investigation, 2011; Federal Bureau of Investigation, 2011).

Contemporary Approach- Since the terrorist attacks of 9/11, the government have implemented several means in their attempt to safeguard the United States against further terrorism. The PATRIOT Act was implemented just after the 9/11 attacks in an attempt by the Government to communicate commitment to safeguarding American citizens. The Act provides government with increased electronic surveillance, search and data gathering power. Under the guise of tracking down "potential" terrorists, the expansion of Internet eavesdropping technology provides the government with full viewing rights into any private life they choose. In this way, immigrants who enter the country and conduct their business in a perfectly legal manner are now targeted for such surveys (White, 2008). Olson (2001) also mentions the technology known as "Carnivore." This is technology by means of which Internet communication can be surveyed and stored by the Government. Investigators are now allowed not only to tap phones without the knowledge of citizens, but also to gather private information from Internet users without their knowledge. Under the act, the previous "pen register" is expanded to include not only telephone conversations made by suspected criminals, but Internet communications used by persons not as much suspected of crime as fitting a general profile of the average terrorist (Olson, 2001).

Functional Relevance -- There is clearly a balance necessary from a policy, technical assistance and training standpoint that the privacy and civil liberty question must be balanced with the needs of law enforcement to coordinate and maintain a safe environment for the citizenry. The Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Justice…

Sources Used in Document:

Works Cited

Corrections - Report of the National Advisory Commission on Criminal Justice Standards and Goals. (1973, March). Retrieved from

Federal Bureau of Investigation. (2011, June). Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System. Retrieved from

Federal Bureau of Investigation. (2011, June). National Crime Information Center. Retrieved from

Gaines, L., & Worrall, J. (2010). Police Administration. Clifton Park, PA: Cengage.

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