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Read Me First

CJA/304 Version 4

Week Four Read Me First
TECHNOLOGICAL COMMUNICATION
Introduction
Rapid and ongoing technological change has become a fact of life for criminal justice
professionals, and many government agencies have adopted new and sophisticated forms of
communication.
Some technological advances are highly beneficial to the criminal justice field, such as
efficient and mobile communication devices and instant access to personal data, but some
advances in technology actually complicate investigations, assist existing criminal activity, or
have become types of criminal activity, such as computer crimes and the connection of such
crimes to fraud and identity theft, as well as computer-related violent crimes such as cyber
bullying and cyber stalking. (Wallace & Roberson, 2009)
When it comes to using new technology to communicate, you must understand the advantages
and potential consequences of electronic communication. For example, one potential advantage
and disadvantage is the instantaneous nature of e-mail, which helps provide efficiency of
communication, but also has no barriers.
This Week in Relation to the Course
Different aspects of the course may require different perspectives as you explore the use of
technology during interviews and other investigative interactions. Consider this class as an
opportunity to change strategies, modify protocols, or simply become more efficient when using
technology for electronic communication. New technology can change established procedures
and result in new processes, which may be an opportunity to inspire feedback and suggest new
changes.
Discussion of a Key Point, Thread, or Objective
Familiarize yourself with the following key terms:







Mobile data terminal (MDT)
Department terminal
Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS)
Combined DNA Index System (CODIS)
National Crime Information Center (NCIC)
National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS)
National Integrated Ballistic Information Network (NIBIN)
E-mail

Practical Applications and Questions
Technology is, and will continue to be, important to criminal justice systems. For example, during
an interview or interrogation, it may be necessary to administer a polygraph test. As you complete
this week’s assignments and readings, ask yourself what current or future technologies may aid
in the communication process and how.
How Tools, Readings, and Simulations Help Solidify Concepts

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Read Me First
CJA/304 Version 4
The text reviews many of the technological advances police are currently using. You may be
familiar with many of these common tools and technologies. In addition, the text reviews many
current criminal activities that involve using a computer. Refer to the text and compare older
methods of committing crimes to new methods made possible through technology. Technology
has either made certain crimes obsolete or has made them more advanced and more difficult to
investigate. The text may not refer to the most recent technologies, but it describes how
technology has affected all forms of the criminal justice system.
Summary
Rapid and ongoing change is, and always will be, a fact of life in the law enforcement field. As
technology continues to advance, new technologies become available for use in criminal justice
settings to assist officers and law enforcement workers. Regardless of advances in criminal
justice technology, it is important to note that communication will always rely on human senses for
crime detection and protection.
References
Wallace, H., & Roberson, C. (2009). Written and interpersonal communication: Methods for law
enforcement (4th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall.

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