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Back to Archives | Back to June 2004 Contents 


IACP Board of Officers Photo

In an effort to complement IACP's ongoing initiative to design a leadership system for police organizations, President Joseph M. Polisar held the IACP Board of Officers retreat this year at the U.S. Army Military Academy in West Point, New York. IACP's project is modeled after West Point's leadership program. The meeting took place March 25 - 28. Flanked by President Polisar and Chief J. Scott Finlayson, general chair of the IACP Division of State Associations of Chiefs of Police, in the photograph above are the West Point hosts, from left to right, Colonel Thomas A. Kolditz, Brigadier General (Retired) Howard T. Prince II, Lieutenant Colonel Bernard B. Banks, and Colonel (Retired) Johnston (Jack) Beach.

IACP Committee on Terrorism traveled to Israel
In January of this year, IACP First Vice President Joseph G. Estey and 12 members of the IACP Committee on Terrorism traveled to Israel and spent four days in intensive meetings with various officials, learning about their country's experiences with suicide bombings.

The trip was underwritten, staffed, and coordinated by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), an international organization fighting hate and anti-Semitism around the world. The ADL has been a long-term supporter of the IACP Committee on Terrorism and has previously supported the committee by hosting one of its meetings at the ADL's New York City offices.

The mission members were given open access to a number of the Israeli National Police (INP) department heads and supervisors as well as tours of police facilities in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Haifa, and Galilee. Members toured a CCTV monitoring station in the Old City of Jerusalem and saw demonstrations of how technology has been successfully interfaced in a location that dates back thousands of years.

Presentations from key staff members from the INP Hostage Negotiation Unit, the Bomb Disposal Division, and other internal units on Israel's experiences with suicide bombings and the operational procedures that have developed as a result provided the group with a critical inside look at their operation. Intelligence gathering, forensic issues, interviews with unsuccessful bombing suspects, and political issues were examined at length and with refreshing candor.

Throughout the four days the group also heard from authors, media representatives, and political figures on all sides of the ongoing conflict in Israel. Members found the information riveting and all were staggered by the complexities, politics, and history that become inevitably intertwined in this small country.

The group also toured a number of other sites, including a military post that monitors the border with Lebanon and is the site of frequent confrontations with smugglers and terrorists. The group examined some of the areas where fences and walls are being created in the West Bank area and held frank discussions of the impact of the barrier and the effect it has on police. They also visited the site of a bombing that had occurred six months before and talked about the increase in private security and how the bombings have affected the Israeli economy. Group members also had the opportunity to visit a number of religious sites including the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, Domus Galilaeae, and the Temple Mount.

The group from the Committee on Terrorism hopes to produce a document detailing much of the information that was gathered and translate some of this information into operational guidelines and training information to be used in the fight against terrorism in the United States.

Social Security Administration's
Master Death File Available Online

The official version of the Social Security Administration Death Master File is now available online in a variety of applications. Whether the department needs only a limited number of inquiries or an ongoing search to match hundreds or thousands of names and social security numbers, its needs can now be met by National Technical Information Service. The National Technical Information Service (NTIS) is part of the U.S. Department of Commerce Technology Administration and is the federal government's source for information produced by the U.S. government.

The Social Security Administration Death Master File is used by government, financial, investigative, credit reporting, medical research and other organizations to verify identity as well as to prevent fraud and to comply with the USA Patriot Act. To assist in this effort, NTIS and the Social Security Administration (SSA) are working together to offer the SSA Death Master File more frequently, with fewer delays, and in different formats, including the new searchable online applications.

By methodically running applications, watch lists, organizational lists, and suspects' names and social security numbers against the Death Master File, law enforcement is better able to verify identify and prevent identity fraud. Law enforcement agencies can identify people who are attempting to use the identities of deceased persons.

For more information on the new online search application or the raw data on CD-ROM, visit (, or call David Thomas, product manager, Computer Products Department, at 703-605-6654; send a fax message to him at 703-605-6742; or write to him at (

IACP University and College
Police Section 2004 Scholarship

Tony Wagner has been awarded the 2004 University and College Police Scholarship. A rising senior at the University of Scranton, where he majors in criminal justice, Wagner has been a member of the school's Department of Public Safety Student Officer Program since his freshman year. His leadership and courteous manner helped earn him the rank of sergeant and the position of shift leader. His student officer duties include traffic and crowd control, special event security, and responding to minor incidents on campus.

Through six semesters at the University of Scranton Wagner has maintained a 3.55 grade point average while taking an average of 18 credit hours per semester. He volunteers at a campus school and a nearby home for the elderly, and he was recently accepted as an intern in the Scranton Police Department. Wagner's goal is to pursue a law enforcement career.

For more information on the IACP University and College Police Section scholarships, including applications, please visit ( and enter the area devoted to the IACP's divisions, sections, and committees.

Personal Digital Assistants Security
A Pepperdine/Pointsec study reveals that 31 percent of respondents store sensitive information on their personal digital assistants (PDAs), and nearly one in four have lost a PDA or had one stolen. PDAs have become a daily productivity tool for millions of users. But this study of PDA users points to a significant risk as large numbers of employees store sensitive information on the small, easily lost or stolen devices with virtually no security protection of any kind.

The study was conducted by the Graziadio School of Business and Management at Pepperdine University in Los Angeles and sponsored by Pointsec Mobile Technologies, Inc., USA, a subsidiary of IT security company Protect Data. Among the study's key findings:

  • Half of all respondents did not have any kind of security features on their PDAs
    other than standard power-on password protection.
  • 81 percent of respondents carry "somewhat valuable" or "extremely valuable" information on their PDA.
  • 24 percent of respondents have experienced a loss or theft of at least one of their PDAs.
  • 38 percent access their corporate networks or multiple networks using their device.
  • 60 percent of all executive-level respondents say their business would be "somewhat" or "extremely" affected if the data on company-issued PDAs were lost.

The 2004 United States PDA Business Usage Survey found that 37 percent of executive-level respondents supply PDAs to their employees as a basic productivity tool. Yet, when asked what factors are most important to their companies when considering a PDA purchase, "security" ranked third, behind "price" and "ease-of-use."

Underscoring the risk to companies is the high financial cost resulting from data theft. In the eighth annual 2003 CSI/FBI Computer Crime and Security Survey conducted by the Computer Security Institute (, theft of proprietary data, while down from the previous year, was still listed as the number one cause of financial loss for businesses. Average loss by participating companies suffering a loss was approximately $2.7 million.

Also evident in the 2004 United States PDA Business Usage Survey was the desire by PDA users for improved protection, despite a seeming lack of awareness about the seriousness of data loss. Seventy-seven percent of all respondents said they were "somewhat" or "extremely" comfortable storing sensitive data on their PDAs; yet 71 percent also said they would like to have log-in password protection on their devices. Another 70 percent said they would be "somewhat" or "extremely" interested in a security system for their PDA.

Thirty percent also revealed they use removable storage devices with their PDAs, pointing to yet another potential security risk.

Other results included support for personal digital assistants that come bundled with security protection. Sixty-four percent of those responding said they would be willing to pay more for a PDA with a security system than one without.

For more information visit the Pointsec Mobile Technologies Web site at (, or call or write to Roxanne Pascente at 800-287-2279 or (



From The Police Chief, vol. 71, no. 6, June 2004. Copyright held by the International Association of Chiefs of Police, 515 North Washington Street, Alexandria, VA 22314 USA.

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