Editorial: New Networking

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New networking.

THERE’S THIS OLD CLICHÉ REGARDING SUCCESS: “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” In the not too distant past, you would ensure that who you know part through networking. This term generally implied attending social or professional gatherings, shaking hands, exchanging business cards, and following up.

But for investigators, the what you know part is often equally important. In that case, the standard method of casting a wide inquiry for information regarding a particular case would be a press release to local media containing general information and a reminder of the phone number to the local tips hotline.

Today, both the who you know and what you know parts can be handled through one source: the Internet.

There may not be any better example than the case currently being worked by the Integrated Riot Investigation Team (IRIT) from the Vancouver, British Columbia region in Canada. In June 2011, thousands of people rioted after the Stanley Cup Finals, causing millions of dollars in damage. The event was widely captured on security cameras and by the media—but perhaps even more importantly, the event was captured by individual citizens wielding cell phones and other personal video-capture devices.

IRIT leveraged the power of the Internet by setting up a website dedicated to the 2011 hockey riots and issuing a request for photos and videos related to the riots. As the video and images have been processed (see story on Page 10), images of suspects have been posted by IRIT on their website. Those who visit the site are encouraged to share the link on their Facebook, Twitter, and other social networking accounts. If users of the website recognize someone in one of the photos, they can submit a tip—or, if they see themselves in one of the images, they can choose to turn themselves in. According to the website, more than 100 people have already opted for the latter.

This is just one high-profile example of the “new networking” opportunities provided by the Internet. We would like to know: How is your agency utilizing this kind of networking to spell success? Send your e-mail and contact information to us at This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it and we will include some of your responses in a future issue.

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Evidence Technology Magazine

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Item of Interest

The language barrier between English-speaking investigators and Spanish-speaking witnesses is a growing problem. (Updated 28 February 2011)