Thursday, November 21, 2013

LAPD's digital "murder books" hope to organize murder case files

The Los Angeles Times had a great story about an effort to digitize the vast amounts of information in their murder investigation files to make this information easier to access.
The task wasn't feasible before because of a lack of resources, but this first-of-its-kind partnership with the FBI will place sought-after information a click away for detectives, who sometimes spend weeks tracking down a file's location. When the database is complete, investigators will be able to search any aspect of a murder book, including license plate numbers and gang monikers.
Via The Los Angeles Times

Most people don't realize just how volumes a homicide case file or "murder book" really is. One of my homicide cases from back when I was a detective filled four or five large file boxes. Finding a bit of information or even finding case files themselves can often get to be a problem. An effort like LAPD's is a great thing.

I worked on a cold case murder project a while back to come up with a comprehensive list of all our cold cases and tracking down case files was very labor intensive. There were several different computer systems and multiple paper file locations to check and I still had trouble finding some files. I can only imagine how difficult it must be in a huge organization like LAPD's.

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