Ongoing Crime

I was glad to see that Government Technology discussed the ongoing problem law enforcement is having with high technology ["Next-Generation Crimes, Next-Generation Justice," July 1998].

What was absent from the article is what government is doing to stem the tide of this new area of crime. Federal, state and local law enforcement officers from all over the country are learning to deal with high technology as used by criminals. As with most policing, law enforcement is currently reactive to high-technology crime. However, we are increasing our responsiveness to meet the needs of our victims.

At the local level, our victims range from misdemeanor e-mail threat cases to complicated interstate Internet scams. Your "Trend No. 4: Counterfeiting" (of checks) is an almost daily occurrence. Law enforcement's ability to respond to high-tech crime is under-reported and often viewed as of little importance in our violent society. As technology progresses, law enforcement must ensure it is capable of responding to technology-related crimes. Most agencies currently have little ability to respond to technology crimes. Throw in the need to properly collect evidence from computers, and you have a seemingly insurmountable task for small agencies. Even large agencies are finding it difficult to respond due to the costs related to training and time invested in personnel.

With all these problems up front, there is a core group of people nationwide that is committed to solving at least some of these problems. Through several groups -- such as The International Association of Computer Investigative Specialists, The National White Collar Crime Center, SEARCH (a federally funded training facility), the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center and organizations like the High Technology Crime Investigators Association -- law enforcement is getting the skills necessary to combat the technology currently being used against our communities. Much is being done and more needs to be accomplished.

Todd G. Shipley, CFE

Detective Sergeant

Computer Crimes Unit

Reno, Nev., Police Department

Visions

I finally found some time to read GT's May [1998] special edition. Wow! Your articles were fantastic -- informative, lively, thought-provoking. Too many journalists, when writing about IT and its possibilities, inject so much jargon into their articles that they obfuscate the point they are trying to make.

After reading this edition, I felt more positive about the future of technology and its role in our world. Things are happening so fast now; just when I think I'm beginning to understand how things work, I learn that most of what I know is obsolete. I love change; I embrace it; I help facilitate it, but there are times when I feel overwhelmed by it. It is motivating to read about other leaders who are successfully channeling and managing change in their areas.

I look forward to reading more of your articles. Thank you.

CJ Walters

North Carolina Attorney General's Office

Project Management

Excellent article on project management in the public sector! ["Building a Template," May 1998] As a roving state project manager with 25 years of project experience, I can vouch for the importance of the "canons" preached in your article.

There is a possible additional factor to consider: user accountability of a project's success. "User" is defined to be the group paying for the project, including the "little people" on teams and committees. Too often, the users are passive and don't take responsibility for the outcome of a project, presuming they can disassociate themselves from the project, if necessary. Frequently, the pressure is squarely upon the PM to whip up user involvement and participation. Not a good sign.

I stumbled upon some tools that help with user participation -- especially during the critical initial-planning phase. For one example, try Project KickStart. Such tools engage users in the important strategic "visualization" steps and

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