IACP Honors Vancouver Police Department for Using Innovative Technology, Spurring Public Participation in Massive Stanley Cup Riot Investigation
Award sponsored by Thomson Reuters recognizes innovation and excellence in criminal investigations
SAN DIEGO, Oct. 5, 2012 – In the wake of the June 2011 riot in Vancouver following the Stanley Cup hockey finals, law enforcement officials from the Vancouver Police Department, along with officers and law enforcement professionals from all over the world, embarked on the largest criminal investigation of its kind in Canadian history -- one which ultimately led to recommendations of criminal charges against more than 200 scofflaws. It was their innovative approach to solving the massive and costly crime that led to the Vancouver Police Department being named the recipients of the 2012 International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) Award for Excellence in Criminal Investigation.
The award is sponsored by the Fraud Prevention & Investigation business of Thomson Reuters, whose solutions include CLEAR, a powerful public and proprietary records platform that helps thousands of law enforcement and government agencies find essential information on people and businesses. In this age of smartphones, where virtually everything is documented by someone in real-time, there happened to be a rich amount of data and footage of the riot available in various places. Law enforcement worked to obtain this information, gathering a tremendous amount of footage from various sources.
“The IACP congratulates the Vancouver Police Department. This investigation is a prime example of the incredible outcome that can occur when law enforcement and private citizens come together to promote public safety and the pursuit of justice,” said Chief Walter A. McNeil, president of the IACP.
To begin the massive job of sorting through 4,600 tips as well as 5,000 hours of video footage acquired from the public, CCTV and the media, 50 forensic analysts from 40 separate police agencies from across North America and the United Kingdom logged a total of 4,000 hours, working in three shifts, over 14 days. They were able to tag 15,000 criminal acts and suspected rioters.
The investigative team converted the extensive video footage into one format, and developed the Integrated Riot Investigations Information System to help keep track of tips, video and photographic evidence, as well as criminal charges. Additionally, they created a secure website where the team could engage with and communicate to the public. The site itself was a great success, attracting more than 1.5 million visitors and generating upwards of 7,600 additional tips.
“The Vancouver Police Department led a remarkable investigation to identify a very large group of criminal actors,” said Andy Russell, vice president, Fraud Prevention & Investigations, Thomson Reuters. “They showed great ingenuity by deploying numerous strategies to mobilize public assistance in their pursuit of justice. The Fraud Prevention & Investigation business of Thomson Reuters is proud to stand with the IACP to recognize such excellence. The story of how the team built by the Vancouver Police Department responded to last year’s riot should be a model for law enforcement agencies everywhere.”
The first runner-up, the Texas Border Security Operations Center, was honored for implementing a program using state-of-the-art camera technology to monitor and secure Texas’ border with Mexico, as well as areas of land known for being oft-traversed by criminals trying to evade the detection of border patrol officers. Being mindful of many factors, including cost, utility and ease of use, the placement of the camera systems has led to the seizure of more than four tons of narcotics, the detection of more than 2,000 cases of suspected human trafficking, and the apprehension of more than 1,000 suspected criminals.
The second runner-up, the Minnesota Financial Crimes Task Force, was recognized for carrying out a multi-level, multi-year investigation that uncovered a massive identify theft and fraud ring, ultimately leading to the arrest and conviction of more than 30 people who were perpetrating $100 million in fraudulent activity. The investigation required a high level of collaboration among local, state and Federal law enforcement and regulatory agencies, in addition to the careful cooperation of various financial institutions.
The IACP Award for Excellence in Criminal Investigation is given to a law enforcement agency, law enforcement unit, task force or inter-agency task force in recognition of exceptional innovation and excellence in the area of criminal investigations. Judging focuses on contributions to the advancement of the art or science of criminal investigations, and innovations in the development or enhancement of investigative techniques. Learn more at http://www.theiacp.org.
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The International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) is a dynamic organization that serves as the professional voice of law enforcement. Building on our past success, the IACP addresses cutting edge issues confronting law enforcement though advocacy, programs and research, as well as training and other professional services. IACP is a comprehensive professional organization that supports the law enforcement leaders of today and develops the leaders of tomorrow. Visit the IACP Web site at www.iacp.org.