A couple of weeks ago I had the privilege to be invited to the Arizona Gang Investigators Association's first annual conference in Phoenix. I was invited to sell copies of my book - The Mexican Mafia, The Story. It was a wonderful conference with over 400 people in attendance; real good for the first one. Everything was first class, from the speakers to the food service. While sitting in the lobby, I could not help but reflect on my early days at the conferences we put on. There were a few major changes that have taken place over the years. For instance, several women investigators attended this conference. We had none. I also could not help seeing several of the investigators entering and exiting the conference room while answering their cell phones, again we had none.
We of course did not have these new contraptions. Our "cell phones" consisted of the old 4 pound radio we used on surveillances so as not to tie-up the unit radio that was being used for regular police functions. Of course we did not have computers, or the micro tape recorders now used by many investigators. We relied upon the old clumsy reel to reel to record during some of our interviews.
It was also good to see so many "youngsters" in the group. They remind me of "sponges". (This is ment as a compliment, not as being disparaging.). Everyone has to start somewhere, and it is important to know, as my dear friend Robert Marquez so eloquently said, "Nothing is absolute." I interpret this to mean: check out and recheck the sources of the information given to you ... even then it may not prove to be perfectly true.
The bottom line is that the training presented today is up to date, with some of the generational info included to give the new "Pepsi generation" a look into the past, for without the past, one cannot determine the future. ...Moco