Knowledge Is Power – Using Technology to Gain Forensic Intelligence

Forensic intelligence can be derived from the accurate and timely processing of forensic case data across numerous investigations or various disciplines. The results of forensic analysis can be used just like any other relevant information to improve the ability of the crime analyst to generate leads and solve crimes. For example, geospatial analysis, gang and drug intelligence, and other data are used routinely to link crimes and to identify suspects.

In recent years, an increasing number of police professionals have come to appreciate the value of forensic intelligence. The knowledge gained by utilizing different forensic data and information technology tools to connect crime scenes, evidence, victims, and suspects has forged a more refined investigative process. Typically, police agencies use two types of forensic databases to link crimes: reference collections that classify evidence (e.g., footwear, firearms, and drugs) and incident databases that link crimes (e.g., DNA and latent prints). Over the past several years, multiple instances within the United States and other countries have demonstrated the power of forensic intelligence to provide technological solutions to combat crime. For example, DNA, ballistics, and footwear databases have been used to link crimes during the investigation phase.