The recession has kept law enforcement officials busier than ever. The reasons are obvious: as unemployment has increased and the jobs outlook has grown worse, more people, even normally law-abiding citizens, are are turning to crime. As a sheriff's detective assigned to the Sacramento Valley Hi-Tech Crimes Task Force in California, I deal with these crimes every day.
In the past few years, criminals at all levels - from simple shoplifters to those involved in organized retail crimes - have been taking advantage of the latest technologies. Fortunately, law enforcement agencies have developed their own technologies that have become a valuable asset in leveling the playing field. One unique technology we employ is an online product database called SIRAS P.I, which has been developed by SIRAS and is provided free to law enforcement agencies.
SIRAS, a developer of retail point of sale electronic product registration, and the SIRAS P.I. database contains hundreds of millions of product serial number transaction records that were developed through the company's ongoing partnerships with retailers and manufacturers. While SIRAS doesn't collect any consumer information, the information it provides in its detailed product transaction records has proven instrumental in linking products to specific crimes, and helping to apprehend and convict criminals.