Last Friday’s attacks at the hands of terrorists rocked the city of Paris, as well as the world as a whole. As French officials piece information together, every connection to the terrorists matters. One such connection is a discarded parking ticket discovered in a grey VW Polo near the concert hall that was one of the targets.
The reason this ticket matters is that the car in which it was found was rented by one of the alleged attackers, and the ticket was issued in the Brussels district of Molenbeek, a well-known haven for extremists and a key clue for officials that pointed to the possible origin of these attackers.
Yet rather than relying on a discarded parking ticket – a random find – law enforcement officials could have immediately run the plates and found the parking ticket record with a mobile field interview app. With the functionality inherent in such devices – and in the cloud they link to – authorities could have pulled up previous, related cases to piece together additional information about the renter and where he/she came from.
Field Interview (FI) cards have long been used by law enforcement officials to record notes from interactions in the field, but they’ve been on paper notecards. There’s no reason law enforcement shouldn’t benefit from the same technological solutions available to the rest of us. Technologies such as Haystax Technology’s Mobile Field Interview (Mobile FI) app takes the FI process to the cloud, enabling public safety personnel to capture FI information on a smartphone, whether it runs Android or iOS. FIs are immediately saved and become both searchable and viewable to other members of an organization both within the app and on Haystax Technology’s Constellation for Safety & Security web application.
Gone are the days of waiting for FIs to be entered into a database, potentially hindering active investigations. Haystax’s Mobile FI not only documents an encounter, but it also layers the information with existing data to provide better situational awareness and understanding, both of which are key to any investigation and identification of suspected terrorists. It’s time we take the FI out of the filing cabinet and put it at the fingertips of investigators, police officers and analysts to quickly check information from the field against existing information in Constellation. This enhanced situational awareness can only help law enforcement officers make quicker connections between incidents and stay ahead of high-risk suspects.
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