Thursday, November 12, 2009

Tuesday and Wednesday

Tuesday at 10:00 AM, the Glendale, CA police department’s command staff, Glendale Information Technology Department, and the City Manager’s Office joined me for a web conference. It was a follow-up to a previous get together I had conducted with a smaller group at Glendale. Apparently, they wanted a bigger group to see what we are doing to get actionable information into the hands of our police employees.

We have our regular weekly staff meeting at the Lincoln Police Department on Tuesday mornings at 8:10 AM, so I invited my management staff to stick around if they wished, for the Glendale web conference. Most were able to do so, and we had the unusual situation of two police management staffs in two similar conference rooms separated by 1,700 miles engaged in a joint meeting for two hours. It seemed to have everyone engaged and interested, so I think it was productive on both ends.

Wednesday was a National holiday, but that didn’t stop the Lincoln Chamber of Commerce from having their monthly “Face the Chamber” luncheon. I was the grillee. At my last appearance, I caused a bit of a dust up. The government reporter from the Lincoln Journal Star emailed me earlier in the week, asking what I intended to talk about. She was probably wondering whether I intended to stick my foot in my mouth again this year, so she could decide if it would be worth covering. I told her that I wouldn’t really know what I would be talking about until I started speaking, but that it would probably be something about crime statistics and trends, blah, blah, blah.

Then I had a better idea: I talked about a topic I’ve covered here on several occasions: why it’s getting tougher and tougher to get away with many kinds of crime. I even took along a prop in a grocery sack to pull out while talking about one aspect of this phenomenon. I walked one member of the audience through his day thus far, pointing out all the breadcrumbs he had dropped before noon. You just can’t fly to Argentina anymore to visit your mistress and claim you were hiking on the Appalachian Trail.


Dave said...

It is ironic that you had that speaking engagement yesterday. As I drove into downtown with an out-of-town friend, he remarked at the cameras around the federal building. I commented to him that cameras are in more places than he'd think. He spent the rest of the day playing "spot the cameras."

Folks don't realize as you move around, there are cameras everywhere, more than just traffic cameras. That's just travel, think about everytime you use your computer, or make a phone call, heck, maybe even placing an order at McDonald's, but sure enough, you leave a trail.

Tom Casady said...


Yes, it's almost a little scary, when you think about it. The only thing that protects any semblence of privacy is the fact that all these data systems and cameras are unconnected: it would take a lot of work to splice together a time line from your Blackberry, McDonald's, your ISP, your cell phone company, your work network, your apartment complex, and so forth--but it's all there, someplace. The really, really clever criminals (few and far between, but the most dangerous) are figuring out ways around this, as we speak: pre-paid cell phones, spoofed IP addresses, and much more sophisticated stuff.

Anonymous said...

" would take a lot of work to splice together a time line from your Blackberry, McDonald's, your ISP, your cell phone company, your work network, your apartment complex, and so forth..."

The TV cops put all of that together in 60 minutes with commercials so the public thinks the real cops can too.

Anonymous said...

Chief, Your second paragraph needs corrected. "we need our" instead of "we need are"
You been reading too many posts by arrrrrrrgh.
"We need arrrrrrrrrrgh" it should say.

Anonymous said...

Criminals will always be one step ahead. They have to if they want to stay in the game.

Trevor Brass said...

Harder to get away with, but in many instances the opportunities have increased. Back in the day, the real value-loaded items in a home were bulky and heavy (TVs circa 1960s). Now you can concentrate that "steal-able value" in just a few pounds (laptop, mobile, iPod, etc.)

Steve said...

More like 60 seconds on TV.

Anonymous said...

Chief-As a former bag-phone owner, I'll tell you they only worked if you were in town or could see one of the towers, so obviously things have changed. I happened to be in Lincoln this morning and saw the article in the LJS. How old is your photo that was displayed? I'm guessing it might be from a previous decade.


Jim said...

I owned a bag phone when I lived in outstate NE. It worked wonderfully in some of the most out of the way places. That had more to do with the Cell Provider than the piece of equipment.

On another note, if you want to get away from the cameras and other tracking devices. Turn off your cell phone, leave your laptop wifi off, and take cash, don't use your credit card. Drive out to the Sandhills. All of a sudden you are in a relaxing "black hole".

Anonymous said...

I'll also comment that it looks like they used a picture of you form about the same era as the bag phone you shared w/the audience!

Nice photo Chief!