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National best practices for implementing and sustaining a cold case investigation unit .

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Recherches policières canadienne


Livres électroniques



Includes bibliographical references.


1 online resource (xii, 141 pages)


NIJ Cold Case Investigation working group members: James Adcock, Bob Alford, Hannah Barcus, Patrick Barron, Martha Bashford, Tiffany Brown et al.
NIJ Cold Case Investigation project team: Hannah Barcus, Charles Heurich, Dawn Elizabeth Schwarting.
Writing and publication development: Hannah Barcus, Charles Heurich, Nancy Ritter, Dawn Elizabeth Schwarting, Rachel Walton.
NCJ 252016.


"This publication, designed for law enforcement administrators and command staff, provides information about the importance of addressing cold cases and offers best-practice recommendations for creating and maintaining sustainable cold case units. NIJ recognizes the diversity of law enforcement organizations in size and resources. Not all recommendations may be applicable to all agencies. The best practices presented here are recommendations compiled from many subject matter experts and from the available research. How these recommendations are implemented should be adapted to best suit each individual agency. This document is not designed to give a specific or absolute order of implementation steps; rather, these guidelines are intended for consideration when initiating and operating a unit. Not all practices need to be incorporated for success. Nor does this document specify which offenses should be considered for cold case investigations. Although the popular conception of cold case units is that of cold case homicide investigations, the suggestions in this document may also assist agencies in addressing other unresolved crimes. Agencies need to determine what the scope of their cold case operations will be, based on the needs and gaps identified within the organization. Each individual cold case may require a unique investigation strategy. The most relevant practice for all agencies is to have a plan in place for resolving the unresolved cases."--Pages xi-xii.


Accès en ligne


Chapter 1. Background on cold case units. -- Cold case crisis. -- The current picture. -- Chapter 2. The need for cold case units. -- Why are cold case units needed? -- Why now? -- Chapter 3. Determining the needs and scope of a cold case investigation unit. -- Case inventory. -- Determining the scope of operations. -- Chapter 4. Designing a cold case unit. -- Identifying support for a cold case unit. -- Preparation. -- Planning. -- Assessment of success in cold case investigation. -- Operational consideration. -- Unit models. -- Multidisciplinary teams. -- Chapter 5. Implementing a cold case unit. -- Unit requirements. -- Agency organization. -- Cold case unit expenses. Protocols and directives. -- Victim-centered and trauma-informed approaches. -- Staffing. -- Chapter 6. Operating a cold case unit. -- Case selection. -- Modernizing the case. -- Information management. -- Roles. -- Training and continuing education. -- Media. -- Chapter 7. Identifying support for a cold case unit. -- Local and state agencies as sources of support. -- Community resources as sources of support. -- Academia as a source of support. -- Federal resources as sources of support. -- Nontraditional sources of support. -- Chapter 8. Conclusion.

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