Crime Tech for Crazy Times

With all the madness and chaos going on out there last night, tonight, tomorrow night, not to mention more days of tension and turmoil, I’m again compelled to revisit a topic I blogged about a while back – on crime tech.

Operational crime tools are fine and dandy, but they require good people to run them. And part of running this is the need to link all the pieces of technology together. Different developers and providers provide different systems to the security forces per the specifications provided, rooted in the needs and objectives of these pieces of technology. However, if the specifications for individual systems fail to include the need to link up these pieces together, then we’re wasting our time. Operationally, there are two conditions – peacetime and wartime. In peacetime, collect intelligence, collate data, make sense of known patterns and trends, deploy technologies sensibly. And when the inevitable wartime drops, like what’s going on now, these systems morph into force multipliers. We cannot take on the gunmen gun to gun and man to man on their turf. They would out-number us, and we would hope our security forces are better trained, but this is off-set by their home court advantage.

Use of current systems already deployed by the security forces to enhance firearms training (FATS), forensic investigations (IBIS, AFIS, CODIS), and Forward-Looking Infrared (FLIR) systems on helicopters are all good and well, and these can be augmented by plans to deploy GPS-tracked motor vehicles and CCTV cameras, and improve current cellphone tracking technologies and systems. But it’s how all these come together in wartime operations where we see the effective benefits play out. Command and control systems, supported by proper communications systems between bases and field commanders, and from commanders to field operatives, is crucial. This is where it no longer becomes technology for technology’s sake, but technology as a vital life and death support mechanism.


The legislative support for such technologies is important to make sure that the important advantages that technologies offer us are not negated by old laws that neuter our ability to protect ourselves from those who would abuse us. Everybody laughs about the use of CCTVs, that people will just shoot them out etc. But apart from the fact that any good camera should be able to get a shot of the shooter before the trigger is pulled, and we should be able, with the combined use of intelligence and other supplemental technologies (the ShotSpotter system can also detect and pinpoint gunfire), to find the shooter. This is assuming the camera is even damaged; there are kevlar-armoured camera casings out there. So having done that, we need to ensure the collection of the CCTV information as evidence and its admissibility in court; the role of the CCTV camera is not single-purpose. Certainly, its deployment will involve so many components that to maximize the benefits of this would require multiple use of a single technology in this case.

White collar crime investigations deploy a whole different level of technologies, but I’m not getting into that here. I’m talking about the hardcore deployment of technologies into war zones. The use of satellite imaging to assist in intelligence and major operations allows for a different dimension than a standard paper line map, where police can see recent or near-recent images of actual buildings not captured on a line map, as well as incorporate GPS-mapped data into the system, which will add intelligence collected, giving names to places seen on imagery and overlaid accordingly. Imaging has also been useful in a more nefarious and long drawn-out war we’ve become accustomed to – the war on illegal drugs, with the identification of marijuana fields, and potential landing sites for the notorious Haitian guns-for-drugs operations.

It’s just how we weave this all together. This means nothing if we don’t use it. This means nothing if we use it and nothing changes. If nothing changes, then we’re not using it properly. Technology is only as good as how it’s used. There’s no replacement for good people. And we need good people more than ever to take the reins from those who would condemn us to ignorance and poverty.

Finally, there is one very specific issue I wish to address within the context of this blog and situation. The Hannah Town Police Station, which was burned down yesterday, was the site of an after-school computer centre dedicated to giving children in the community a place to go after school to do their homework and/or interact with computers and the internet. It was also designed as a means by which the police could interact with members of the community and show that they’re not the enemy. The destruction of this place goes beyond the building itself, and the impact of this will be felt far beyond the police itself. Who are they really hurting? I just hope that the people being held hostage in west Kingston realize this fact, and turn on their captors. Time to put the blame where blame belongs.

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11 Responses to “Crime Tech for Crazy Times”

  1. graham. c says:

    Jamaica, Jamaica, What are we turning our Island into. I am going to say this because I really don’t know if we as Jamaican don’t realize the economic grave we are building for ourself. A lot of us came home to vote for a government that stated that he will curbe voilence in the country and bring back the deth penalty…that jolt us as jamaican to vote for him….but instead He is part of the problem. We are making one individual turning the country in a place were honest people fear to walk on the road….Jamaica I want to come home and open a business like many others. All we are asking for is that the government clean up the security force and give them( the one that dedicated to duty)open range to counter the problem. The government need to give the working people of Jamaica its full protection. Botomline, STAMP THE CRIME OUT. Jamaica doesn’t have a gun factory, so, those have to come from somewhere…let me tell you where its coming in if the police and soldier do not know…the Airport and the Wharf and the little boat them from surrounding Island. The police them need to come out of the rum bar and girlfriend houses at night and start plan strategic raids depending on intel. utalize the JDF patroll the coast line. I am in Afghanistan and I see what a country can turn out in if it does not have a strong security force and a strong government, Jamaican this is nothing, you support this BS and you would have to lock up in your house before 4PM and can’t come out until morning, and still you are in fear. Jamaica do not need any DON, sthe are not elected figures, they can order the killing of people without any retaliation. We need Jamaica back. Get rid of the tugs and gunmen and lets us build a better Jamaica. We use to be poorer than this and we weren’t eating each other. What are we doing Jmaica people…so tell me something, when we run jamaica in turmile and all the business move out becaus of security issues. What are we going to do? start feeding on each other…we already starded. I am in the Middle East and see seeing Jamaica as the highest crime and murder rate. We are tired that when we come home we are in fear to go out, tired, tired, to hell with the bull-S..kill them out and resture the country..If we don’t we are going to go down so far you wouldn’t believe it. America really do not have nothing to do with us, Pulling Visa and making it harder to file for even your kids. we are supporting a known criminal and putting our country down. You Jamaica think its badness run a country, no, its strong planners and great vision and good action for a better country.
    Jamaica is my country and I would really like to come home and be of peace.

    May god bless us in the years to come.

  2. jeff willis says:

    see,what im saying,this is just one man responsible for all these deaths and mayhem in kingston..if that wicked gangster bruce golden had followed extradition laws and had the usa pick up dudas weeks ago,this would have been now jamaica bruce golding should be brought before a court of law in jamaica first, and then if the usa want him also for trial,because we know they have all the goods on the crooked jamaican politicians..even though this is also a good chance to purge those garrisons and relocate those monsters living there..put them somewhere,until they are clensed..

  3. michelle says:

    those crazy peoplekilled my cousin ,they were only doing there jobs,to serve and reassure

  4. michelle says:

    he and his colleague got killed for nothing ,lord please help us.wayne henriques r.i.p.

  5. Tulip44 says:

    I second your proposal (it long though lol), might I add that this is also a great opportunity to finger-print, DNA and photograph all the detainees taken in to custody during this mayhem.

    Make certain to publicize the rebuilding of the computer lab so I can contribute.

  6. John Devey says:

    Technology is an important element of crime fighting that will cost. But first we have to focus on the socio-political cause.
    We have a Prime Minister that came into power being backed by criminals such as Dudus and so owes his loyalty to a criminal as we have seen played out over the months – so how can we get rid of crime when the head of the country backs a crime monster.

  7. L'Shamoy Campbell says:

    It is disheartening to see the extent of political tribalism. We are being consumed by this monster called “crime”, but a number of Jamaicans are still caught in a political wilderness. Defending political parties is indeed foolish as many of our representatives aid and abet the very criminals we are trying to “flush out”. When will we as citizens remove the veil from our eyes. Our island is being tarnished and God only know what is next on the horizon.

    Whilst we are busy playing the blame game, hardened criminals are planning and preparing to unleash their cowardly acts. They do not know fear because they have been brought up to be soldiers. Our response cannot be tame…the beast must be silenced and its our collective response that will do the trick.

    I call on the UWI with all its revered academics to begin to chart the direction for change and policy improvement. We need our Sociologists, Economists, Educators and others of similar ilk to begin the arduous task of re-socializing our people. ENOUGH is ENOUGH

    Jamaicans, politicians need to be sent a message. We brought Golding to his knees, let’s hold the other members of parliament accountable. THE TIME IS NOW

    I pray for Jamaica and trust that the healing powers of our Heavenly Father will provide the relief needed in this country.

  8. Wayne Gregory says:

    As a Jamaican living abroad I am horrified at what has become of our country. This has been going on far too long and for so many years that the country knows nothing else. The citizens need to stop treating the Drug Lords whose money is ill-gotten as pariahs of hope. They need to stop treating them as revered figures who do nothing but bring crime and violance to our great land. The ends do not justify the means when it comes to our cities. Nothing good will come of this if we keep feeding this Monster.

    The goverment also needs to cut off all ties with these people who put vots in the pockets at the expense of lawlessness. Here it is now dozens of innocent citizens are dying for a harboured crimminal. What price do we pay when politicians make promises to weeds out the crime and corruption while secretly doing business with these thugs behind our backs? ClClean up and Clean House Jamaica. Those who forget history are condemned to repeat it.

  9. lloyd says:

    I would like to stress my concern about the state of Jamaica you have all these big head living in gated community they can sit there and talk all sort of bollocks about what the security force did. 1 The question i would like to ask in respect to Tivoli did the people of Tivoli not known that the security force coming in 2 why did they block the road is that the Wright thing to do? in other countries when things like that going to happen they get dem things and move out these people stayed blocked the road with guns are they the ones that run the country? I guess as cordon to Perkins that is the case, and the human rights some of the MPs who backing Tivoli and some of the reporters. These guys are criminals[ If not] why didn’t they let the security force go in when they dont find anything they would go why block the road is the question and gun blaming them no man get a life Jamaica is going to sink under the water it is going happen it is going to happen. you people are lyers why telling lies on the police the police should seize every thing from and if dem teck it dem fi teck you people tell too much lies. Perking should get the fact before him start clapping is beak get a life once again i call upon the security force to clean up Jamaica so that investment can come in GET A LIFE JAMAICA CHANGE CHANGE and stop lining to the radio stations.

  10. Well, this page looks way more professional than my yahoo blog. I think I should use WordPress aswell.What do you think? Regards.

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11 comments so far
parris Posted by: parris May 24, 2010 at 10:35 pm