After the Webinar: Forensic-Led Policing. Q&A with Yaneisy Delgado

Webinar presenter Yaneisy Delgado answered a number of your questions after her presentation,  Forensic-Led Policing. Here are just a few of her responses.


Audience Question: On average, how long does it take you to create a link worksheet and the Spider Web Analysis and the maps? And do you do this for every crime gun incident?

Yaneisy Delgado: We just got some young people here in the lab, some new intelligence analysts. So, we are producing a lot more charts now than we did before. No, I was not able to create it for every single NIBIN link that the lab produces. That was a little bit hard to keep track of because there were a lot. And even before I arrived here, there was a lot more that hadn’t been worked yet. It depends on the chart when it comes to the timeframe. It depends on how many NIBIN links there are and how much evidence I find, and how much information I find that’s available. If it’s something, like the one that I just showed previously, that took me about two days to come up with a draft and then send it over to the detectives. And sometimes, depending on the urgencies, you wouldn’t have to do the entire report. Sometimes you can do just the spider web chart to kind of give them, like, a rough draft of what eventually will look like, and then if they want a full workup, you can do the three parts of the report, and if you feel like the gun has been very active and moving around, then I do a mapping for them as that could kind of narrow it down. So, they can see exactly where that gun is popping up. I hope that answered the question.


Audience Question: Does the lab perform automatic NIBIN lead confirmations?

Yaneisy Delgado: If I’m not mistaken, we just recently went live for the National Correlation Center. So now they automatically send the notification to the lab, and then we send it to the detective, but before when we had a system called PES, which was our Property and Evidence System, they were notified, it was a quick e-mail that just kind of let them know, “Hey, your case link to these cases.” And we would have sometimes just the lab case number, not the originating agency case number. But later on, they adopted an e-mail system in which there was sent for hotspot areas like our Northside District, South District. They would send a little bit more information on it, at least the type of crime as it came in the lab, and the property receipt. The day that it happened, the detective assigned, and just the case number itself, and that, that was basically what the detectors were getting originally.


Audience Question: The ATF developed the NIBIN enforcement support system, known as NESS, which generates lead sheets directly from BrassTrax, does Miami Dade use this system?

Yaneisy Delgado: We do use the system, which is the one I was talking to when I referred to NESS. That’s the one that we use most of the time, the issue with NESS is as a civilian, I do not have access to view every case like an ATF agent would. I am only limited to hits done for the agency of Miami Dade Police Department. Ironically, however, the lab processes cases for other agencies as well, because we are the Sheriff’s office, so we process Miami Springs, —————, and a couple of other agents. So, I don’t have access to view their information on NESS. So sometimes it kind of leads me a little bit blind also because I’m not law enforcement. I am limited that I won’t be able to export data from the system either. So, that kind of tied my hands a little bit. The reason why is because, in order to generate the charts, we use something called IBM I2 Analysts Notebook that if we were able to export the data from NESS, and then import it into I2 Analyst Notebook, it will create a chart almost immediately. But because of those regulations, NATF is working with us to try to see if there’s a way around it or tried to resolve the issue. But besides that, yes, I do use it. I think is a great system. Unfortunately, I’m not I don’t have access to all the other capabilities that it has because I’m not law enforcement. And I’m not a PFO with ATF. I hope that answered the question.


Audience Question: About the third party of rules that you have in place for sharing of information and wants to know if you need to have MOUs in place to be able to permit that share.

Yaneisy Delgado: Right now, for law enforcement and for investigative purposes, we go by the homeland MOU. We have one here as long as law enforcement, there’s a protocol to share the information if you were to send it via e-mail. It depends on the classification that you give to this chart. In my case, it’s law enforcement-sensitive. If it’s something that’s going to disrupt an investigation issue, it should be classified as top secret. In that event, I do not include it in my charts. And the detectives are kind enough to notify me ahead of time. So, in those cases, no, but I do follow a protocol to make sure that only law enforcement personnel are allowed to view those charts. The SharePoint that I utilize is the county’s, the county created it. So, you have to be in our network in order to access it. It’s not a public platform that multiple people can utilize at one time. So, we do try to make sure that all that information is sensitive. In place right now, so I hope that answers the question a little bit.


Audience Question: Do you ever use eTrace data such as common buyer common data, gun, purchase, et cetera, to connect different cases?

Yaneisy Delgado: We definitely do, and that’s another layer of information. We do include eTrace data when the gun is recovered. Sometimes I do regenerate the charts faster than the eTrace results that we get, but we do keep it in mind, and we do add it on. We also add the report if the firearm was stolen, where it was stolen from when it was stolen, and sometimes that gives an idea who the original purchaser was because most of the time the victim will be the original purchaser when the eTrace information comes back. And we do try to follow up on extra buyers, and I do get on a call with ATF every week to try to see if any of those cases are a potential to be brought federally or they could take over it on their site.


Audience Question: Do you have some suggestions on how other jurisdictions might be able to initiate your kind of intelligence analyst position within the crime lab? Do you have any recommended actions?

Yaneisy Delgado: My first advice would be to try to get intelligence analysts to be embedded into the lab like they did with me, and show them the capabilities, or the information available, and see the ideas that they come up with. I used to actually work in the real-time crime center before I got promoted to work in the Forensic Crime lab and became an intelligence analyst. And, based on my previous experience, working with officers, and how we capture data, and how I knew what data will be beneficial or not. Once I got shown this side of the lab, it was easier to kind of create something that I believe our officers will benefit from the investigators. So, get together with your crime analyst or intelligence analysts in the area. Try to show them, try to attend some webinars that might give them an idea of how the information may be useful, and see what they come up with. See what would be beneficial for everybody. At the beginning when I started, I used to ask a lot for feedback. I’m like, “Please it doesn’t hurt my feelings. If this is not useful to you. I do not want to create it,” I want a product that will be useful for detectives because you’re going to be the end-users, you’re going to be the one that benefits from it. So, I don’t get anything on it. Once I generated. Unfortunately, I cannot go and arrest anybody. So, this is exclusively for the officer, the investigators, and law enforcement personnel.


Audience Question: What are some of the steps a student can take if they are wanting to do the kind of work that you’re involved in?

Yaneisy Delgado: Every jurisdiction has its own minimum requirements. Me, specifically, I got a bachelor’s in criminal justice, a minor in business administration, associate’s in political science, and I have a master’s in criminal justice specializing in forensic technology. Just to give you an idea. However, my best advice is, try to get your foot in the door and try to actually join the police department. Try to see if they hire you as an intern if you can intern at the lab. You can get experience because experience is, to me, one of the best teachers. And you can learn a lot from being hands-on. Unfortunately, while what I learned in school was very valuable, you will not be taught the technical portions of it. Because, until you get hired by a law enforcement agency, you won’t have access to all of the law enforcement systems that you will be trained on as well. So, some of the things will be kind of like a hands-on experience, as well. So, try to see if you can do any internships around your police departments around your area. We actually, I have an intelligence analyst right now that he works alongside me. And he originally had interned as well in our department. And then eventually, he got hired and he’s been working with us for five over six years or so and he’s great.


Audience Question: Do you have investigators assigned to follow up on NIBIN cases? Or do you just work with the lead investigators at each agency?

Yaneisy Delgado: Most of the time I work with the lead investigators. We do have some people from ATF assigned to follow up on cases when it comes to NIBIN links. But there’s not a unit currently in place for officers to exclusively follow on NIBIN links. And to me, that will be a little bit hard to do. The only reason why is, because when an incident occurs, you do have a lead investigator automatically assigned, and we do have general investigative units through the different districts. So, you always have multiple detectives, so I make sure I work with all of them. So, what I do when I complete a report and there are 5, 6, 7, 10 investigators listed on the report, they’re all going to get the same information. Information goes first to them. So that information is sent to them first in reference to their cases and their supervisors as well.


Audience Question: We often confiscate weapons associated with cases. How can the gun’s lineage be shared better since we don’t have a ballistics lab? Any suggestions or ideas from you? 

Yaneisy Delgado: So, you don’t have a ballistic lab. Does that mean the firearms are never entered into NIBIN? I’m just curious. What I would suggest is to follow up with the crime lab, to follow up to see if they have NIBIN links. In the event that there are no NIBIN links available. The best step to find the lineage of the gun that I found using my system, is I actually run the serial number in LinX. I don’t know if you’re familiar with LinX. LinX is a database, an inter-agency database created by the Naval Academy. It is open to most law enforcement and a lot of agencies participate in it. And you can run the serial number of a gun and let’s say, if an incident report was written because the gun was stolen and was involved in something, it will pop up. And that sometimes gives me an idea, or a history of a gun without having any NIBIN links, or without having the eTrace report available. But that will be my second step, to make sure you eTrace that gun through ATF. So first run the serial number, through your own incident report system, run it through LinX. You can even do it through a pawn shop system if you have it to see if, at any point, the gun was pawned. And try to see who it was sold to, who had it at one point. And that’s another way you can track, kind of like the lineage of the gun without having any NIBIN links associated with it. That I can think on the top of my head right now. I hope that that helps.


Click Here to Watch a Recording of  Forensic-Led Policing

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