Post-9/11: A New Push for Information Sharing
The mission of the Joint Regional Intelligence Center (JRIC), which is sponsored by the Los Angeles Police Department, the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department, the FBI, the Homeland Security Department, and the state of California, is to set up networks and policies for sharing information across agencies in the seven-county Los Angeles area for the purposes of bolstering public safety and deterring terrorist attacks.
The center is designed to link the various agencies with international law enforcement agencies and local firms that watchdog potential terrorist targets or critical components of local infrastructure.
Analysts think the time is ripe for JRIC because of technological advancements such as Global Justice XML and service-oriented architecture.
These standards form the basis of Memex, the Windows-based collaboration software that lies at the heart of the center. Memex compiles, manages, secures, and circulates information according to participant-established rules. It looks for both structured and unstructured data, and can visually sort, connect, or display data.
JRIC project manager Mario Cruz says the project’s success does not hinge on the software, but on whether or not participating agencies can resolve their differences over what type of information to share and the manner of sharing.
At this point, no agency can link electronically to any other agency because information sharing agreements are still lacking. An array of analytical tools (Google Earth, Microsoft SQL, and ESRI’s ArcView GIS software among them) are employed to filter information.
“The people who work [at JRIC] now are interested in analysis and cooperation,” reports LAPD detective Stanley Salas. “They really want this.”
Abstracted by the National Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Center (NLECTC) from Baseline (10/06); No. 64, P. 67; Gage, Deborah.