Law Enforcement Perspective on Mobile Remote Deposit Capture

Technological boundaries have become non-existent across the landscape of consumer banking. Financial institutions continue to properly manage risk while attempting to maintain and attract customers in a very competitive consumer banking environment. The technological cultural shift has integrated electronic devices into the ability to effectively and efficiently function in our society, but not without a cost. As the distance between the consumer and the teller frontline has increased the potential for financial fraud corresponds.

As financial fraud evolves Law Enforcement must strive to stay ahead of the fraudulent schemes and respond with proper investigation techniques and prosecutorial strategies. For the past several years Remote Deposit Capture(RDC) has provided efficiency and lowered cost for both commercial banking customers and their financial institutions. Financial Institutions have expanded this technological trend and rolled out a convenient product for personal banking clients known as Mobile Remote Deposit Capture(MRDC).

Mobile Remote Deposit Capture is implemented through a software application used on a smartphone, tablet or a personal computer. The common method of remote deposit is for a customer to authenticate their identity, key in certain transaction data, capture a digital image of an endorsed financial check on their device that generates an Image Replacement Document or substitute check. The customer is then prompted to submit the substitute check and the bank receives the transaction as a valid financial deposit. The oversimplified model just described generalizes many factors that encompass the RDC process. One factor about MRDC that can quickly be determined is that this electronic transaction is ripe with fraud.

Proactive Perspective

A proactive approach to prevent MRDC fraud will appropriately mitigate risk and lower the potential for monetary loss. Below is a brief list of several proactive protocols designed to secure MRDC:

Multifactor Authentication methods that are more strict than guidelines suggested by the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC) and FDIC for online banking
Securing data transmissions
Layered IT Security
Collecting IP data and electronic device identifiers for an authorized user while using software filters to identify threatening anomalies, such as IP data collected from a unusual geographical area for the consumers CRM data or an electronic device identifier that has not been approved through a strict user authentication process. Electronic data is captured upon the submission of the deposit.
Customer Due Diligence and Suitability
Vendor Due Diligence and Suitability
DO NOT allow brand new account holders to utilize MRDC
Customer agreements specifically designed for MRDC

Prosecutorial Strategy

The ability to successfully prosecute MRDC fraud would be very favorable for law enforcement agencies in a simple straightforward scenario, but near impossible for an elaborate scheme.

The simple straightforward scenario exists when a bank customer who has been legally conducting business decides to deposit a forged or counterfeit check. Law Enforcement can clearly articulate that the criminal had intent to implement a scheme to collect funds from a fraudulent check. Given the history of the account relationship, probable cause exists that the bank customer benefited from the scheme. The ability to identify a suspect will increase the likelihood of collecting physical evidence such as the original physical check, electronic forensic examination of device and a possible verbal admission from the suspect.

In order to successfully prosecute the simple straightforward scenario Law Enforcement Agencies must consider the following elements:

Customer Identifiers
Establish a historical relationship with customers of legit banking activity or MRDC activity
Account statement reflecting the fraudulent transaction
Image of the submitted substitute check
Electronic data collected from the MRDC application, this might include IP data, geographical locations and unique electronic device identifiers

In contrast with a very simple scenario, an elaborate scheme would be near impossible to prosecute. An elaborate scheme would involve the implementation of non-traceable smartphones, use of anonymous IP proxies, layered money cards and stolen identities to just name a few tools. However, through a properly structured MRDC program with strict security protocols these tools of fraud would be near impossible to implement. The largest threat for monetary loss in a MRDC program are new accounts. Implementing a probationary period of time for new customers to prove their legitimacy would be most beneficial to financial institutions.

Law Enforcement Exam – 7 Strategies To Help You Ace Reading Comprehension Questions

Many law enforcement candidates react to reading comprehension questions by thinking, “This part of the test is going to really slow me down.” And, to a degree this part of the test will slow you down. However, if you follow the strategies described in this article you will be able to complete your test at a steady pace and gain valuable points.

Most police entrance exams emphasize reading comprehension. Why? Because to properly perform their jobs, law enforcement officers are expected to understand and comprehend what they read.

Reading comprehension questions will typically be based on one or more situational paragraphs, or require a candidate to determine the proper course of action to take based on reading police rules and procedures.

Firstly, I would suggest you do a lot of reading before taking the test. Newspaper and magazine articles can improve your concentration and your ability to understand what you read. Read with purpose. Underscore details and ideas that appear crucial to the meaning of the articles. Identify the writer’s point of view and their supporting information. When you finish with an article, summarize it. Ask yourself, what was the author’s purpose in writing the article? What was the main idea. What was the article’s focus, key information and words?

Another suggestion is to take practice law enforcement exams. The best practice exams will include reading comprehension sections taken directly from actual exams used by law enforcement agencies.

Here are seven proven strategies to help you pass the reading comprehension part of the law enforcement written exam:

1. Skim the answers before reading the passage. This will let you know what to look for while reading. As you read the passage, mark or circle anything that answers a question. Continue reading that passage until you’re done. Don’t answer the question until you’ve read the entire passage because you’ll break your concentration.

2. Ask yourself after you read a paragraph, “What exactly did that paragraph say?” Spend a couple of seconds summarizing the contents of the paragraph. While doing this look at the paragraph to help you remember where important information is located.

3. Without fail there will be one or more questions asking you to identify the main idea. Usually a passage will have a few sentences stating the author’s main idea. While reading, underline these sentences. This will save you valuable time.

4. Underline key words, phrases and facts, such as dates, names and events.

5. If you are totally confused by a sentence or phrase in the passage, read the sentence before and after the difficult sentence to clarify its meaning. If you’re still confused, move on. Don’t dwell too long or you’ll lose valuable time.

6. Try to visualize by forming a mental picture of the events described in the passage as you read. When you are able to visualize something, it’s easier to comprehend.

7. Answer the questions based on the information in the passage, not prior knowledge. If you don’t agree with something stated in the passage this is not the time to argue your point. Remember your goal is to get the highest score. In this part of the test, you are being tested on your ability to read and comprehend, not your knowledge of the subject.

Do’s and Don’ts

Do read actively, not passively. Pause briefly after each paragraph to think about the points made by the author. Jot down a brief outline as you go.

Don’t get too concerned with details as you read a passage, especially long passages. Just take notes of where the details were in the passage. You can quickly list statistics, numbers, dates, names titles, etc.

Do pay attention to the passage structure. Is it organized chronologically, by comparison of two or more arguments, or was there some other classification system? This will help you locate details later.

Do summarize the passage. Take a few seconds to recap the main idea of the passage. This may help you answer several questions quickly.

In summary, if you follow these simple tips and strategies you will find reading comprehension test questions far easier to answer correctly. Remember read with purpose. By far the most effective method to help you hone your skills and build your confidence, besides reading newspaper and magazine articles, is to take actual practice exams used by law enforcement agencies.

Law Enforcement Surveillance Cameras for the Post-9-11 World – 5 Considerations

Whether events of September 11th, 2001 portend permanent or temporary changes in our nation, or around the world, local law enforcement organizations around the country know that a seismic event of some magnitude occurred which will affect the way we do things for years to come. Certainly the psyche of this and many other nations were impacted. Elections were influenced, relations between nations were altered, and normal international discourse was dramatically changed – maybe permanently.

While so much changed in the way we approached our daily lives, the most fundamental change may have taken place in the realm of security. “Business as usual” could no longer be tolerated at the local law enforcement level as a very real and visceral reality hit home – that some of the world’s most capable and redoubtable military powers could find themselves vulnerable to far less sophisticated, asymmetric threats which could kill thousands without firing a single round. Asymmetric warfare migrated from an intellectual exercise that planners in the Pentagon used to channel the directions of the Revolution in Military Affairs to one of practical consequence that seemed to throw all of the rules out the window.

When those two passenger jets slammed into the Twin Towers on 9/11 they had a galvanizing affect on how we conduct our day-to-day activities and challenged conventional wisdom about how we deal with potential threats. Probably nothing in our lives changed more visibly than the explosion in surveillance capabilities and the willingness, albeit with some degree of objection, to accept greater intrusiveness by governments as they sought to prevent even more cataclysmic events. Securing the general population became the mantra of governments and their leaders, and surveillance systems became a key means to achieve that security.

Yet the need to fill the apparent gap in government as well as private security architectures has not in all cases been met by a concomitant appropriate response from the commercial arena. Many companies rushed to fill the void without the commensurate experience needed to provide the right customer solutions. Company size, financial deep pockets, and an army of engineers by themselves mean little without a deep bench of experienced technocrats who have put years in the trenches of the surveillance industry and have lived the complex challenges this industry poses.

Towards that end, there are some necessary considerations when looking to acquire a surveillance system. These include, but are not limited to, the following:

1. Surveillance systems are not simply cameras on a pole: Potential users such as local law enforcement agencies need to understand the broader applications and uses of all of the components in an integrated, “total systems” approach. Certainly simple, and cost effective, wired CCTV solutions are a piece of the total solution. However, by themselves, they deprive a user of a complete solution – a fact that can go unnoticed until it is too late and a situation arises whereby more is needed.

2. Surveillance systems should be holistic in design and defined by the user’s specific needs and desired objectives: There are a myriad of factors that influence what a potential user will require in a surveillance system. What is the objective or threat? Is it counter-drug, counter-terrorism, illegal immigration, criminal activity reduction, homicide reduction, etc.? Can the requirement be met solely by copper or fiber optic solutions? Is there a wireless component? Is the solution a mix of overt and covert platforms? How can a new solution be coupled with the existing legacy system in place potentially saving the customer a lot? Is there an aerial component to the requirement? Are there low light camera needs? Is there a mobile requirement, a rapid deploy need? Is full frame rate video required? The answers to these questions will have a dramatic effect on what is needed, determine the priority of needed functionality, and temper how and when to acquire various components of the desired system. Moreover answering these questions ensures the practical and measured acquisition of a system commensurate with the fiscal resources available to the user.

3. Surveillance systems should be scalable: capable of starting small, able to grow in adaptable stages, and anchored to easy-to-use and robust video management software: The term “system” should not be intimidating, for it can be something as little as a basic video sensor, a transmitter, a receiver, a couple of antennas, and a small box to view the video, control the sensor, and record the video. The components should be modularized in such a way that the ability to grow the system is seamless and rapidly expansible. Most importantly, the system should be manageable via software that is flexible, agnostic (i.e., is capable of integrating with a host of different sensors and video management components regardless of the brand name of each component), and able to be worked by the user out of the starting gate.

4. Surveillance systems are tough stuff: It is not the size of a company that matters – it is experience! It is not a company’s deep pockets that count, but rather its exhibited skills in what is an incredibly complex niche industry. Knowing how to integrate analogue with digital solutions, how to transmit large volumes of streaming video through different “pipes” for long distances, how to meld wired and wireless components, and do so in a reasonable time are not skills resident in a lot of companies even if they do advertise that is what they do. So “buyer beware!”

5. Surveillance systems are not cheap and they need care. Sometimes, the hardest thing is to convince a user that they must protect their investment with an extended service agreement. But doing so is not only smart – it is essential. Systems should be made so they can be operated easily. But they are a product of advanced electronics, complex sensors, and complicated software and need a sustained service program to maintain one’s investment. This one element is the most overlooked yet most necessary element in any system.

Surveillance systems are here to stay. They are imbedded in much of the fabric of our every day life. You have seen vestiges of such systems in London, heard about efforts to man the U.S. border with them (although with mixed results to date), have seen them used as a means to bring down organized crime, and watched their proliferation throughout many of the major cities in the United States. There has been a lot of trial and error . . . a lot of successes and failures. But one conclusion is inescapable – they are here to stay and will grow in size and scope and, as they do, so too will the number of providers who say they can produce the right solution. The five considerations mentioned above may help in providing the right solution for a city, company, or agency seeking to procure a system to meet its surveillance needs.

4 Law Enforcement Gear Every Law Enforcement Officer Should Possess

Law enforcement is serious business. Depending on the situation and the area in which police personnel are posted, he or she must always be properly equipped with the appropriate law enforcement gear.

Naturally, areas with low crime rates would not require police officers to be fully stacked with bullet proof vests and multiple weapons. An overly geared up police officer is akin to attending a pool party decked out in a tuxedo.

However, no matter the situation, there are 5 basic law enforcement gear every police enforcer should have.

Standard Police Issue Handgun
A polish issue handgun like the classic Colt M1911 pistol is a fantastic handgun. It has been in service since 1911. Can you believe that? That alone is testament to what a good product it is. A few factors contribute to make this law enforcement tactical gear so popular among law enforcement agencies and the military.

Firstly, it is highly reliable. Secondly, it is light and compact. Thirdly, it has good stopping power due to its high caliber. Fourthly, it is quite accurate. And lastly, it is very durable.

Other notable mentions are the Glock 22, Smith & Wesson 45 CPs, Beretta 92, &.357 Sigs.

Police Issue Tasers
A Taser is an electroshock weapon and is an important part of law enforcement tactical equipment. They are mainly used to neutralize a suspect while causing little or no harm at all. Tests conducted found that Tasers did not interfere with pacemakers and implantable defibrillators. Other studies conducted revealed no lasting effects on healthy test subjects.

Tasers work by delivering electric shock with the primary purpose of disrupting superficial muscle functions. A typical Taser can inflict 50,000 volts upon a suspect from a range of 15 feet. This would buy enough time for police officers to overcome the suspect and make an arrest without risking their own safety.

Police Handcuffs
Police handcuffs have to be the most used item of all law enforcement tactical equipment. Their function is to secure suspects and prevent them from escaping police custody. In certain situations, they are used to prevent persons from causing harm to themselves.

Most police officers carry more than one set of handcuffs so that more than one suspect can be apprehended if the situation calls for it. Police issued handcuffs are more durable and more difficult to pick than the ones available for purchase for obvious reasons.

Police Issue Bulletproof Vests
In terms of protection, the bulletproof vest or ballistic vest, is most probably the most important law enforcement gear around. Police usually use soft vests while military personnel use hard-plate reinforced vests.

The soft vests not only offer protection from small caliber weapons but also from knife attacks and shrapnel. They are made from tightly woven fiber and be reinforced with protective plates if needed.

Body Worn Camera Systems for Police: Improve the Efficiency of the Law Enforcement Departments

A body worn camera has emerged as an effective crime fighting tool which also improves safety of the security personnel. Some law enforcement agencies have started relying upon these cameras which prove to be a cost-effective surveillance and evidence gathering mechanism. In many countries, police departments have equipped their personnel with body cameras so that they can be better prepared to handle a crime situation.

A body worn camera is fast gaining popularity in the police departments across the world. Earlier, police personnel have been extensively using in-car cameras as a crime-fighting device. But now, a camera has emerged as a replacement for these in-car cameras. Majority of law enforcement agencies, in an attempt to cut costs, have started investing in body worn cameras instead of buying in-car cameras.

Many police personnel prefer body worn cameras to in-car cameras. The advantage is that a body camera can go with the police officer wherever he goes. When he steps out of his car, an in-car camera fails to accompany him and record anything. While this camera can go anywhere accompanying the police officer. Whether he goes in a building or an apartment, his camera will be right there to record anything that he would wish to. Detectives can also use these cameras for their field works when they try to gather evidence for any crime victim.

Many people prefer body worn cameras, as they can increase transparency of operations while at the same time, they help in reducing the litigation. This results in cost-savings and this is an additional advantage for cash-strapped law enforcement agencies.

When an officer uses a body worn camera, he can have several types of advantages. It helps the officer in cases of false accusation and the footage recorded by this device presents important evidence. Many times, a police officer uses these cameras to collect evidences for court trails. In this manner, a body camera allows a police officer to improve his relationship with the community.

There are several types of body worn cameras available these days and one can activate such cameras by pressing a button or simply by a voice command. Some are so tiny that can be hardly noticeable. You can even wear them like an ear-piece of a cell phone and no one will be able to detect it. With the latest technological advancement, these cameras have taken varied shapes, qualities and features.

Law Enforcement Equipment

Law enforcement agencies, commonly called the police, are tasked by the government to protect and serve the people. Proper equipment is a vital component of an effective law enforcement body.

Standard equipment issued to a police officer includes a gun, a holster for the gun, handcuffs, a nightstick, and a two-way transmission radio. The gun issued is only to be used if the officer is fired at. By no means should a police officer shoot first shot unless he or the other people around him are in danger. The handcuffs are to be used to restrain an assailant. The nightstick is a non-lethal weapon that an officer can utilize to defend himself.

A traffic enforcer is assigned a radar gun used to determine the speed of vehicles. To keep the peace during a riot, police officers are issued helmets and shields to protect them while they control the crowd. If the crowd becomes too unruly, the officers might be forced to use tear gas or to borrow water cannons from the fire department.

But tear gas is not only used by riot police. It is actually a standard part of the arsenals assigned to a Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) officer. SWAT members are assigned more specialized weaponries for the most dangerous missions. The situations that these officers engage in are often life-threatening. They are issued bulletproof vests and night vision goggles. Members of the SWAT team do not always go directly to the front lines. If necessary, they can attack from afar using sniper rifles.

Equipment does not make an officer. Using police equipment requires sufficient training, discipline, and the ability to make the right decisions in a split-second.

Counter Terrorism and Today’s New Law Enforcement Training Strategies

Even before 911, law enforcement agencies across the U.S. were beginning to become aware of the new global realities that they could potentially come face to face with. Of course the attacks on the world trade center brought the message home to all Americans in no uncertain terms, however many of Americans strategic allies had been passing information along to U.S. law enforcement agencies that it was a matter if, not when terrorist attacks would take place on American soil and against Americas overseas interests.

A Complex Topic of Study

The resulting effect on police academies and law enforcement training facilities, is that virtually every one of them now includes some sort of curriculum on the topic of terrorism and counter terrorism. Also, it is a subject of study that is continually evolving to adjust to the ever changing tactics that terrorist organizations are implementing.

Newer Abstact Challenges

Counter terrorism and criminal forensics experts must not only focus on actual physical aspects of the science of counter terrorism but there are also the psychological aspects to be considered. One need only to consider the complex mentality of the suicide bomber to understand the new challenges that now face forensic psychologists.

Domestic Terrorism

Foreign and domestic terrorism is an all encompassing threat, in that virtually no community can now consider themselves to be immune from its reach. In fact, rural communities have found themselves to now be preferred recruitment and training areas for domestic terrorists, which are proving to be a growing threat across all areas of the U.S.

A Growing Threat

So, for anyone that is now considering a career in law enforcement, counter terrorism will definitely be an integral part of their study curriculum. Also, after they finish their training and move forward in their chosen line of police work, they can expect that as time progresses the chances of them having to call on that particular line of training will only increase.

Confidential Informant Classification – Rats Used in Law Enforcement

What could be worse than somebody willing to betray his friends, family, and country for the sake of money? Many juries will respond “nobody” and may even ignore information provided by a rat, or informant in court.

Known to the crooks on the street as rats, confidential informants or plainly informants are a valuable asset to police and law enforcement. His value as a witness in court is inversely proportional to his value as a member of society. That is, the deeper an informant is involved in crime, the more valuable his testimony becomes.

Using police informants is an integral part of many law enforcement agencies in America. It would be difficult to conduct an investigation if law enforcement authorities did not make use of such shady individuals. For the confidential informant, doing his job as such is a double edged sword. To police, an informant’s intimate knowledge of criminal activities makes him a valuable insider. However, his involvement in criminal activity undermines his credibility. The informant’s reliability is in direct relation to his involvement in criminal activities. In court, his knowledge of the criminal activities taking place makes him a reliable witness. On the flipside, his involvement in criminal activity damages his credibility.

How do criminal investigators amplify an informant’s reliability while minimizing the damage to his credibility? Investigators circumvent this problem by using what is known as the totality of circumstances test. The totality of circumstances test refers to a collection of facts and circumstances relative to a case and is used to assess and support any information provided by an informant. If all the facts and circumstances are considered as a whole and support the information provided by the informant, it can be concluded that the informant’s information is highly reliable. The criminal investigator may also corroborate the credibility of the informant by stating on the witness stand that he has used the informant’s services in the past to get information that led to arrests and/or convictions.

For the informant, his safety will always be on the line. For law enforcement, field officers do not have to put their lives in jeopardy by working undercover when they have an insider to do the work for them. The officer’s safety is not at risk unless he works undercover. For that reason, informants are an invaluable asset.

Laser Dazzlers – Non Lethal Laser Weapons Used by Military and Law Enforcement Personnel

Ever since 1995 when the United Nations banned all weapons that were designed to blind, armed services and law enforcement agencies have been looking into the use of laser dazzlers.

According to Wikipedia a laser dazzler is “a type of a directed-energy weapon employing intense visible light, usually generated by a laser (laser dazzler). It is a non-lethal weapon intended to cause temporary blindness or disorientation.”

In the US the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and the Department of Justice have both sponsored research into the development and use of laser dazzlers. Using funds from DARPA the first laser dazzler, a 300 milliwatt hand held green laser, was developed in 1996 and later used by the US Department of Defense.

The laser dazzler is similar in size and weight to a heavy duty flashlight or torch and is now used by both the military and law enforcement agents around the world. Laser dazzlers are currently being used in both Iraq and Afghanistan. The laser dazzler is used mainly to distract and disorient opponents from a safe distance and reduce casualties.

The laser dazzler works in two ways. The first way is to temporary blind a person with strong over powering pulses of green light that temporarily ruin a person’s vision over stimulate their visual centers. The second way is to use the pulsed effect to interfere or scramble the magnetic signals sent to the brain and cause disorientation by over stimulation of the brain.

Laser dazzlers effective both during the day and night and can be used at very close range with out any risk of causing permanent damage to a persons vision.

The Top Four FAQ’s About United States Law Enforcement Agencies

All Special Forces teams, agencies, officers, and other law enforcement personnel comprise the United States law enforcement landscape, and are divided into three broad categories: local, state, and federal. Each has their own jurisdictions and responsibilities in American society, but all of them have one mission-to protect and serve Americans citizens’ interests. Using a combination of specialized skills and training, field and survival gear, tactical weapons, and other resources-they successfully enforce the law and protect your very way of life.

Four Little-Known Facts About U.S. Police Agencies

Possibly Trivial, Yet Fascinating, Technique Routinely Used by the Police

Have you ever noticed that when the police pull someone over, they usually touch the trunk bare-fingered? This isn’t merely coincidence; police are trained to do this to leave their fingerprints on the car should, God-forbid, anything happen to them whilst they are consulting with the suspect in the driver’s seat. They also do this to ensure that the trunk is firmly shut-lest someone pops out and gives the officer a nasty surprise.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)

Known globally as one of the most elite law enforcement agencies around, the FBI is based in Washington, D.C. and operates upwards of 500 offices in the U.S. Additionally, it has a smaller network of international offices in various U.S. embassies-dubbed legal attachés.

According to the official website, the FBI operated on a fiscal budget of well over seven billion dollars in 2010. Furthermore, they’ve used such resources to preempt and counter terrorism, fight computer crime, white collar crime, curtail WMD proliferation, capture nationally-wanted felons, and to accomplish many more objectives important to keeping the U.S. safe.

How FBI agents got the moniker ‘G-men’

You’ve probably heard the expression ‘G-men’, as it generally refers to FBI agents. While it was never made official, countless stories of a gangster of yore, named George Kelly (aka ‘Machine Gun Kelly’), are said to have inspired it. This gangster apparently, whilst being held up by federal agents and his hands in the air, screamed “don’t shoot me, G-men!” The FBI has never collaborated this account, but there is a modest body of evidence to back it up.

What, exactly, do the U.S. Marshalls do?

The U.S. Marshalls Department is an especially interesting arm of the government-it functions much like that of other Executive-level enforcement agencies, capturing nationally-wanted criminals, but also serves the federal/state prison system and the Judicial branch. Deputy Marshalls protect federal judges, jurors and witnesses in federal cases; they help to manage federal prisons and transfer federal prisoners; and they direct the Witness Security Program (also known as the Witness Protection Program). Furthermore, the Marshalls Department manages and sells/reinvests all federally seized and forfeited property of criminals through its DOJ-sponsored Asset Forfeiture Program.