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December 2012 Advances & Applications

Where do the good ideas come from?
In this column, we offer our readers the opportunity to learn about—and benefit from—some of the cutting-edge technologies being implemented by law enforcement colleagues around the world.

The Speed and Accuracy of the Cummins Allison JetScan iFX Is a Win-Win for the Pennsylvania Attorney General Bureau of Narcotics Investigation

The Pennsylvania Attorney General Bureau of Narcotics Investigation, which identifies and prosecutes drug dealers and traffickers, often requires agents to purchase drugs or pay informants with cash. The responsibility for counting the currency, capturing an image of every serial number, and recording the text value of those serial numbers—a tedious, multistep process, which falls on the responsibility of agents—tying up hours of their valuable time.

The Office of Attorney General rolled out nine Cummins Allison JetScan iFX currency scanners to support the Bureau of Narcotics Investigation offices throughout the state. Not only did the new equipment meet the IT department’s list of requirements, it also brought speed and accuracy to their operations. At 1,200 bills per minute, the machines identify the denomination of each note, record the serial number, and identify counterfeit bills.

“With the new money scanner the agent acquires the money, sets it in the machine, scans it in a matter of seconds, and it’s done,” said John Soprano, northeast regional director of the Bureau of Narcotics Investigation.

The accuracy concerns the agency had prior to implementing the JetScan iFX currency scanners are a thing of the past. “The fact that the iFX scanner takes a snapshot of the serial number and also has a text value of the serial number we could import right into our case expense tracking system . . . the human error is eliminated,” said Chad Kuhn, senior software application developer for the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General.

Combined with the existing case expense tracking system, the JetScan iFX has saved hours of valuable labor and brought improved accuracy, counterfeit detection, and more reliable evidence documentation to the Bureau of Narcotics Investigation.

For more information, visit

Cellebrite Announces UFED Link Analysis for Rapid Mobile Device Data Visualization

Cellebrite introduces the latest addition to its UFED Series: UFED Link Analysis. This new product augments existing UFED analytics capabilities, allowing field investigators to rapidly visualize key relationships between suspects and identify important behavior by analyzing data from multiple mobile devices. By drawing on the most comprehensive data sets—including the existing, deleted, and hidden data available only from physical and file system extractions—UFED Link Analysis delivers the most thorough, accurate, and actionable picture of any mobile forensic solution.

Law enforcement, military, private, and corporate investigators can use UFED Link Analysis to generate leads in the early hours of an investigation. Whether this brings about more in-depth analysis, a suspect’s apprehension, or a victim’s rescue or prevents a crime, visual analytics can shorten investigations and make operational planning faster and more efficient.

“One of the biggest challenges law enforcement has is being able to take raw data and turn it into actionable intelligence in the field,” said Dan Morrissey, a supervisor with the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department. “We routinely encounter suspects carrying multiple phones. Being able to determine if a relationship occurs, and to what extent the relationship exists, can be a significant benefit to any investigation.” By integrating multiple mobile device extraction reports on a single screen, UFED Link Analysis reveals people’s direct and indirect links via their calls, text messages, chats, and application activities; shows people’s usage behavior, including the channels they use and unusual communication; indicates how strongly connected people are, including whether they share connections across multiple devices; analyzes data from hundreds of the most popular mobile devices and smartphone apps; enables investigators to associate people within groups; filters data by time and date, number of events, and categories; searches data by keyword such as names, addresses, area codes, or other information; and stands alone as an individual application, requiring no special servers or other equipment to run.

“Our customers have a defined need for a practical data visualization tool that can fill a gap between mobile data extraction and decoding, and advanced mobile data analytics,” said Ron Serber, Cellebrite Co-CEO. “With its graphical representation of people’s connections and activities and streamlined infrastructure, UFED Link Analysis makes it easier for investigators to identify the next steps they need to take.”

Cellebrite’s UFED Series provides solutions for physical, logical, and file system extraction of data and passwords from thousands of legacy and feature phones, smartphones, portable GPS devices, tablets, and phones manufactured with Chinese chipsets. UFED Series solutions also enable advanced physical extraction and decoding capabilities for the world’s most popular platforms—BlackBerry, iOS, Android, Nokia, and more.

The extraction, decoding and analysis of vital evidentiary data includes call logs, phonebook, text messages (SMS), pictures, videos, audio files, ESN IMEI, ICCID (SIM card serial number), and international mobile subscriber identity (IMSI) information and more.

For more information, visit

IBM COPLINK Helps Law Enforcement Agencies Combat Crime

Combating crime in major cities like Mesa, Arizona, is never easy, but the Mesa Police Department has done an amazing job of reducing crime to historic lows that have not been seen in 50 years. The department has dramatically reduced crime by 25 percent since 1991.

While Mesa may not always enjoy such historic low crime numbers, the department plans to continue its efforts with vigor. Part of this evaluation process will include a forward-looking approach.

“Mesa is now embracing a smarter policing approach that allows us to coordinate traditional police work with more strategic use of its resources like analytics technology to gain a more holistic view of our city,” said Chief Frank Milstead, Mesa Police Department.

Using the IBM COPLINK technology Mesa is now able to share information with neighboring cities like Chandler, Gilbert, Tempe, and almost 50 other cities throughout Arizona . . . essentially tearing down those invisible barriers.

Now Mesa has taken it a step farther. Because criminals do not operate in only one state, Mesa has created similar relationships with police and sheriff’s departments in places like Orange County, California and is developing relationships with other agencies in Nevada and Colorado.

Sharing information with other states helps fill in the gaps that help Mesa’s investigators. For example, other states have lacked pictures of subjects and through accessing Mesa’s systems have found photos to confirm the subject’s identification. In addition, a large benefit has been that its investigators have established strong ties with others in bordering states. Working together across state lines definitely supports reducing crime.

Also, Mesa just launched a very successful proof of concept that links its information with the NCIS Law Enforcement Information Exchange (LInX) initiative. This will allow Mesa to be connected with 39 other agencies in the greater New Mexico area. The project is meant to foster the sharing of information between local, state, and federal law enforcement. ♦

For more information, visit



From The Police Chief, vol. LXXIX, no. 12, December 2012. Copyright held by the International Association of Chiefs of Police, 515 North Washington Street, Alexandria, VA 22314 USA.

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