HARS - High value information Alert and Reporting System

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The Good Side of Bad

IMPORTANT NOTE: The following is a description of a successful program in Florida State to Get the Bad Guys. It is a very basic concept and used a deck of playing cards, with each describing a cold case, that was described throughout the State. Using HARS this basic system could be tremendously improved by having display monitors in each correctional institution and then displaying cold case and active case information, specifically created for that correctional facility based on geographical location and the specific profiles of the incarcerated prisoners. Therefore, instead of the “shotgun” approach of indiscriminately being distributed to a large population segment, the “sniper-rifle” approach is used to provide specific case information uniquely tailored to each of the individuals in that specific facility in that specific location.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE), Department of Corrections (DC), the Attorney General’s Office, and the Florida Association of Crime Stoppers have teamed up with Florida sheriffs and police chiefs to create decks of playing cards of statewide cold case. In the past, he decks were distributed to inmates in all 67 county jails and to supervised offenders reporting in through the state’s 156 probation offices. Each card features a photograph of the victim and factual information about the case. By distributing the cold case playing cards to offenders, law enforcement will reach thousands of potential sources who may be able to provide critical information about an unsolved case.

The issuing of the third edition of cold case playing cards is a testimony to the success of this program. Distributing these to the thousands of inmates within the jails and corrections facilities in our state exposes the cases to an audience of people most likely to have come in contact with these individuals,” said Okaloosa County Sheriff Charlie Morris, President of the Florida Sheriffs Association. “This will provide an excellent source of information to help law enforcement solve crimes. The Florida Sheriffs Association is proud to be a part of supporting this effort.”

“The Florida Police Chiefs Association wholeheartedly supports this creative and innovative program that provides visual aids and factual information as a means to jog the memories of individuals that may have information vital to these cases,” said Port Orange Police Chief Gerald Monahan, President of the Florida Police Chiefs Association. “It is the hope of our members that this program coupled with state-of-the-art technology that was not available at the time of many of these murders will lead to many more solved cases throughout Florida.”

Florida was the first to develop a deck of statewide cold case cards and distribute them in the state prison system. Since then, the concept has been replicated by law enforcement and correctional agencies across the country and internationally. Numerous states, including Texas, California, Washington, Illinois, Missouri and New York have implemented similar programs and are distributing their own cold case playing cards in local areas. Australia has also developed a playing card program based on the Florida model.

Note: Information on the FDLE program obtained from the FDLE state website.