The Passion Behind the Project: The Importance of Training
By: Rich Brown, Law Enforcement and Technology Liaison, ICMEC
To enact true change, the right tools and proper training is key, but advanced, first-class tools tend to have a price tag that agencies can’t afford. That is why we at Project VIC, where our mission is to create an ecosystem of information and data sharing between domestic and international law enforcement agencies working on crimes facilitated against children, we rely on technology donations like Griffeye Analyze. By supplying the best tools at no cost, we provide investigators real value immediately – something we are very proud of.
As the numbers of agencies utilizing the donated technologies are going through the roof – over 5,000 users around the world are using Project VIC compatible tools and infrastucture – the next step is to ensure that every user is empowered to use the technology to its true potential. Through partnerships with the National Criminal Justice Training Center (NCJTC), Department of Homeland Security Investigations and the International Centre for Missing and Exploited Children (ICMEC), users are offered custom and individualized training sessions to ensure competencies are achieved to strengthen the investigators ability to identify and save victims of abuse.
Taking training to the next level
Often when non-profit organizations or other groups go to various countries to train investigators in the field on new techniques, those trainee groups can’t afford to buy the technology that they need to implement and maintain the new skills, or can only afford one copy. With the pro bono donations, we mitigate this cost. And beyond that, it offers savings in terms of training.
When a law enforcement group buys a tool, the group is typically responsible for paying for training. This means that even if they can afford the tool, they must also have additional budget to make sure investigators can operate it. However, since the tools are donated, government organizations and NGOs are often able to provide the training at no cost. This means double the savings and more resources added to the actual process of rescuing children.
Shifting mentality, saving more lives
In addition to the technical improvements we offer law enforcement around the world, Project VIC is bringing a different perspective to investigations by moving victim identification to the forefront of investigations, taking what we like to call a “Victim Centric” approach. This means finding victims and saving them from exploitation is as important, or more important, as finding the offenders and bringing them to justice – and for many law enforcement agencies, this is a fundamental switch in mindset. As such, if the technology donations and image hash values are the backbone of Project VIC, the lifeblood of the project is our philosophy: Victims First – No Child Left Behind.
With generous donations and passionate investigators, we are making great strides in making the world a safer place, and are paving the way for a change in mentality when it comes to solving crimes.