There are approximately 18,000 law enforcement agencies across the United States – local, state, tribal, and federal— generally working independently, each gathering clues, conducting interviews, solving crimes, and generating reports and information. Within their jurisdictions.
So the 2011 question is: in an age supporting a very mobile and transient number of people, obviously crime will cross many jurisdictions, how can we get these 18,000+ agencies connected rapidly and in an automated environment to share their information…not only to catch criminals and terrorists but also to spot crime trends and patterns and help prevent attacks?
After all, beyond a few national criminal justice systems like the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) and the Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS) , most information-sharing between police agencies today is still done on a case-by-case basis or through local and regional information systems.
In a three-year project (from 2008 – 2010), the FBI has been working on just such a system that incorporates all of the information maintained by all of these American law enforcement agencies and compiled this data into a single registry – the Law Enforcement National Data Index, N-DEx. N-DEx includes all of the traditional “hard” data: criminal backgrounds, parolee statuses, wants/warrants and can deliver highly effective reports connecting people, places and events by various methods such as MO comparisons, crime trends and familial DNA comparisons, to name several techniques.
It is the literal equivalent of each law enforcement agency, regardless of size, having its own CSI lab, forensics psychiatrist, anti-terrorism expert and other crime solving capabilities generally affordable only by large cities and the national l.e. organizations. N-DEx brings this broader scope, more tightly focused physical and psychological database to a one sheriff town and to the Homeland Security Administration. The final implementation of N-DEx occurred quietly at the end of 2010. It is this tireless work by our security and law enforcement expert that allows the FBI (and now many others in the field) to track and more often than not, stop terrorists, cult members and violent criminals before they commit additional heinous crimes.
It is expected that the N-DEx will become available to state and local district attorneys, (all need to know requests are recorded) and may be accessed via FOIL, albeit, for attorneys and private investigators, probably with highly redacted/limited information and very specific rules monitoring the N-DEx’s use.
That this crime information and trend data has finally all come together in one registry is a good thing. Too often, too many criminals have slipped through the cracks, knowing how to work the “systems” and normal time delays. Now, we’ll have the ability to access relevant aggregated information to solve cases quickly and effectively and aggressively deter potential threats.
BNI Operatives: A step ahead.
As always, be safe.
- FBI Data Exchange System Now Fully Operational (informationweek.com)
Filed under: background checks, fbi | Tagged: AFIS, crime, criminal background check, Criminal justice, fbi, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Information sharing, Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System, Law enforcement agency, National Crime Information Center, NCIC, parolee, United States, warrant | Leave a Comment »