Local Fbi Office To Test Data-Sharing System
As part of an initiative to increase communications between federal and local law enforcement agencies, the FBI’s Hampton Roads office will become the official test site for a pilot data-sharing program.
Since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, the FBI has been accused of hoarding information that could have aided in terrorist investigations, if it had been shared with other law enforcement agencies.
FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III, who took office only seven days before the terrorist attacks, has been fighting with lawmakers over their push to create a new agency to handle all domestic terrorism investigations.
Federal officials say that the new program, called the Gateway Information Sharing Project, points to efforts by the FBI to reduce the resentment of the federal agency by state and local law enforcement. The pilot will enable local law enforcement officials to access FBI information about criminals and suspected terrorists, and allow law enforcement investigators to make links between investigations that would have before appeared unrelated, according to Attorney General John Ashcroft.
Officials have not yet released a timetable for the new initiative, but they have announced that law enforcement managers will be appointed to monitor the new systems’ use and to ensure that individuals in the system are not being profiled.
Abstracted by the National Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Center(NLECTC) from the Virginian-Pilot (01/23/03) P. B4; McGlone, Tim .