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Lou Hayes, Jr. @LouHayesJr
, 10 tweets, 2 min read Read on Twitter
I first made Detective in 2002.

People, including younger cops, ask me: What's changed the most in police investigations since then?

Technology.

Which might seem like an odd answer since it's only 16 years ago...but some examples >>>
We were beginning to experiemnt with Dept #email addresses.

We handwrote reports.

Internet? Barely on a detective's radar.
Crime bulletins or alerts were photocopied & literally passed out at detective meetings. Missed the meeting? You're in the dark without someone grabbing a stack for you.

Cell phones: Nextel was popular on shared flip phones. Ideas of a take-home cellphone would be laughed at.
Wanted a mugshot from another agency/department? I hope your fax machine was working. Or they were close enough for an in-person pick-up.

Fingerprint identification: Fax a copy of inked prints to FBI or State agency. (Copy enlarged to 120% to be exact).
Databases? Not really. Now I possess ~45 logins & passwords for various databases & intel websites.

Surveillance systems: if they existed, you needed blank VHS tapes to get copies. Best to bring your own to be sure you left with what you needed.
License plate reader cameras? No.

Pod cams? No.

Vehicle GPS? No.

Cellphone "dumps" (extractions)? Huh?

DNA swabs? Maybe in the movies.

Social Network Analysis? Only on detective TV shows blackboards.
Social media? I think we had MySpace.

Facial recognition? That was the old copper who remembered names & faces.

There's even more, but I won't discuss the available technology in the open....
As I write this thread, I feel like an old man chatting up "Back in my day..."

But this is only 16 years ago!

The investigative tools available to a Detective has changed an awful lot in a decade-and-a-half. If we know how to best use them & when.
Modern detectives need to be masters of technology - or at least have a master of technology at their disposal.

Yet through it all, one (1) thing remains: People skills.

What's changed? Technology.
What hasn't: People.
I'm not sure what the next decade has in store for Detectives and police investigations.

But I'm pretty sure we'll laugh & shake our heads at what we're doing today...much like some of you youngsters laugh & shake your heads at this above thread in disbelief.

/end
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