This is an organization that was created by police officers who saw they had to meet a special need. They recognized that more and more police departments were creating special units to investigate vice crimes, and yet they lacked a sure-fire way to exchange information with colleagues that would help all of them to do a better job. Far too often, the flow of information between jurisdictions was non-existent or haphazard at best - a common problem among many specialized groups within a law enforcement entity. Detectives assigned to vice units within several police departments took action in 1981. They decided they would no longer allow heavy workloads and jurisdictional boundaries to prevent investigators from sharing significant data throughout the area east of the Mississippi.
The rewards, in vice crimes solved and prevented, could be enormous.
Led by detectives from the Washington, D.C., Metropolitan Police Department, they established the Eastern States Vice Investigators Association, Inc. (ESVIA). Immediately, it became apparent that illegal drug use was intertwined with vices crimes. Police Departments, especially the smaller ones, were forced to utilize detectives assigned to their vice units for narcotics work as well. The ESVIA Board of Directors revised the organization's criteria for membership to cover officers involved in narcotics law enforcement and in vice investigations or both, or who want more data about them.
The result was a quantum increase in ESVIA membership, together with an expanded agenda at the organization's annual conferences. Course schedules now include extremely useful discussions and instructions on such topics as search and seizure procedures, surveillance techniques and undercover operations. An entire forum is devoted to legal issues that all police officers need to have at their fingertips in this era.