Washington State Patrol Uses Technology To Catch Violent Criminals
The Washington State Patrol reports that they have enhanced their record system to help officers and troopers identify career criminals who possess firearms. This is a new way law enforcement in Washington can communicate with each other to augment safety.
“At no additional cost to citizens of the state, this is another tool we use that will bridge the gap to help protect our officers and communities from armed career criminals,” says Chief John R. Batiste, Washington State Patrol.
Typically, state and local investigators are aware of the federal statute that says a person with three prior convictions for crimes of violence will go to prison for 15 years to life, if in possession of a firearm. These investigators generally already have close working relationships with agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), which is the agency that enforces the federal firearms laws.
“The federal laws are for the most violent and dangerous criminals in our communities; and the lengthy mandatory sentences allow us to get the worst of the worst off the street,” says ATF Special Agent in Charge Kelvin N. Crenshaw.
By automating the process and integrating it into the current system, the Washington State Patrol, and any agency using their system, can now immediately notify any officer or trooper when they contact individuals flagged as “armed career criminals.” “
The armed career criminal notification system now available to all law enforcement officers in the State of Washington is a great step forward to make sure they can go home at the end of their watch,” says Seattle Police Chief Gil Kerlikowske.
This program still requires officers and troopers to use the same investigative techniques and protocols required by law; it is designed as a conduit for the sharing of information among law enforcement, and for the enhanced safety of officers and citizens throughout the state.
Abstracted by the National Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Center(NLECTC) from the States News Service (08/16/06).