Tuesday, October 14, 2008

My Trip to the Birth Place of Rock and Roll.

I visited Memphis Tennessee last week. It was the second time I visited the Birth Place of Rock and Roll. about 8 years ago my whole family made the trip to visit Graceland the home of Elvis Presley. I often joke with my co-workers that Elvis was my father. The joke continues on that I became estranged from the family after Lisa Marie and I split ways when she married Michael Jackson. All that aside I was in town with out the family this time. Our Computer Forensic Examiner and myself went on business.

We attended the National White Collar Crime Summit. The summit was actually really good and primarily focused on high tech crimes and the use of cell phones, computers, and pda's for crime and how to gather evidence from them. Santa Fe County Sheriff's Office is one of only five police agencies to have in house computer forensic labs and two of those five others are state agencies. One of my goals when I first became sheriff was to bring the future of law enforcement into our local sheriff's office. This included computers in the cars, digital photography for gathering evidence, computerized report system, a computer forensics lab, use of cell and pda's to enhance law enforcement and soon to come Global Positioning Systems in the Sheriff's Cars. Believe it or not only 6 years ago all reports at the Santa Fe County Sheriff's Office were done with pen and paper.

The Key note speaker was former C.H.I.P.S. star Erik Estrada. Erik Estrada serves as a deputy sheriff in Bedford County, Virginia and a reserve police officer for the Muncie, Indiana PD. I was able to meet him earlier in the day before his key note speech. He immediately began speaking to me in Spanish. Me habla muy poquito espanol ( I speak only a little Spanish), and Erik was extremely fluent. I made my way through the conversation, got a photo and autograph, (which he also signed in Spanish, calling me his primo and telling me to be safe.

An interesting part of the conference was a look into virtual worlds such as World of Warcraft and Second Life. These virtual worlds have economy's of their own and people are coming into police departments and reporting thefts of their virtual money. Many are actually earning real money working in these virtual worlds. Companies are advertising in these virtual worlds and even identity theft is occurring. Viruses are being transmitted within these worlds and virtual people called avatars are actually being killed off by these viruses.

Although this may be years away from affecting local agencies it was still interesting and a good seminar to keep on top of emerging trends. Of course these worlds are being used by sexual predators as well as those just seeking interaction.

Other topics included presentations by Microsoft, working and gathering evidence from Windows Vista, and of course Internet based crimes including Identity Theft, Sexual Predators, and locating criminals using online databases such as facebook and others. Besides Microsoft, one of the big sponsors of the conference was Philip Morris. This was the first time I had seen this sponsor at a police conference however they were there with a booth in the exhibition hall asking for law enforcement help in catching those who distribute counterfeit name brand cigarettes. Apparently this is a growing crime with cigarettes being brought in from China, Europe, Asia and Latin America. According to Philip Morris “in China, 190 billion counterfeit cigarettes are produced each year, making it a major source country for European-destined fakes”.

Of course being a big 50's rock and roll fan while in Memphis I had to visit Graceland, Sun Records, Jerry Lee Lewis Ranch, and Beale Street. Over the next few days I will blog about those trips. I am by no way a singer but I enjoy singing Elvis Karaoke so I even cut a track at Sun Records. It was like a dream singing (although I wont be discovered any time soon) at the same studio where Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Roy Orbison and many others cut their most famous records.

No comments: