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Best Practices and Success Stories
This page is dedicated to promoting the standards and resources that can be considered best practices in information sharing and that are found throughout this site. The implementation efforts that may be useful as an example implementation for others are highlighted below. If you know of a "success story" that you believe should be showcased here, please let us know using the Contact Us form.
Using NIEM to Unify Statewide Gang Data Sharing
Submitted: 04/20/2010 03:44:52 PM
The state of Massachusetts was faced with a significant challenge in that local, regional, and state law enforcement and public safety agencies lacked an effective mechanism to capture and share gang-related data. Gang data was stored and maintained locally in agency-specific electronic and paper-based systems that did not support effective information sharing across jurisdictions. Using funding provided by a Bureau of Justice Assistance, Department of Justice grant, the Commonwealth, under the leadership of the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security, implemented a centralized repository and Web-based gang data management application called MassGangs. MassGangs is an intelligence and investigative tool that allows authorized users to electronically exchange, store, and facilitate the analysis of gang-related data maintained by public safety and law enforcement agencies throughout Massachusetts. Information can be entered directly into MassGangs via a Web application, or it can be exchanged electronically with agency systems using a NIEM-conformant schema and Information Exchange Package Documentation (IEPD). By using NIEM in the MassGangs project, the Commonwealth has streamlined the gang data management process, providing a single, unified way for agencies to share gang intelligence information within Massachusetts. MassGangs also aids current and planned interstate and federal information sharing initiatives. It is designed to be the basis of exchanging gang information with the state of New Jersey and will serve as the foundation for future Massachusetts submissions to the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) Gang File.
Washington State NIEM Pilot Driver’s License Photo Exchange
Submitted: 04/12/2010 11:18:26 AM
Every day and every hour, thousands of law enforcement officers across the country encounter violators who cannot produce verifiable identification, such as a driver’s license or a state identification card. While some drivers honestly leave their licenses at home, others are less than truthful. This presents significant problems for law enforcement officers in the field. To take appropriate action, law enforcement officers must have the ability to accurately and positively identify the individual in question. From writing a check to renting equipment, a driver’s license is a fast, effective, and familiar method to verify a person’s identity. Providing this verification to law enforcement officers in the field will help ensure that honest mistakes are treated as such and those that are less than honest will be further questioned. The purpose of this case study is to highlight the success of the development of the NIEM 2.0-conformant Information Exchange Package Document (IEPD) for Law Enforcement Access to Driver’s License Photos in Washington State, which will provide law enforcement the access they need to driver’s license photos for positive identification.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services E-Verify
Submitted: 12/18/2009 10:35:46 AM
E-Verify is an Internet-based system operated by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). It works within the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), in partnership with the Social Security Administration (SSA), to provide a means for employers to verify the employment eligibility of newly hired employees. E-Verify compares the information of newly hired employees taken from Form I-9 (the paper-based employment eligibility verification form used for all new hires) against more than 425 million records in SSA's database and more than 60 million records in DHS's immigration databases. This case study highlights the success of E-Verify from a data sharing perspective among the Social Security Administration (SSA) and different systems within the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The E-Verify system was developed in compliance with DHS standards for information exchange according to the National Information Exchange Model (NIEM) and the Information Exchange Package Documentation (IEPD) development process and was based on the deployment of a NIEM-conformant Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA).
Pennsylvania’s Success with the Global Federated Identity and Privilege Management (GFIPM) Initiative
Submitted: 10/29/2009 09:01:12 AM
Over 34,000 users throughout Pennsylvania use the Pennsylvania Justice Network (JNET) for access to criminal justice related data. A key component to this information sharing success was the development of a central user identification process, the implementation of access priviledge management, and a mature secure network connecting all municipal, county, state, and federal justice agencies throughout the Commonwealth. One challenge however, was JNET’s ability to extend services to other state and federal users and in turn to provide JNET users with access to out of state data services. Participation in the GFIPM initiative has presented a secure option that will allow stakeholders to bridge that very gap and justice users throughout Pennsylvania now understand the benefit of a healthy and secure exchange between data providers throughout the nation.
ACJIC Letter to Justice Executives and Leaders
Submitted: 10/29/2009 09:30:42 AM
The Alabama Criminal Justice Information Center (ACJIC) is piloting a solution for cross-jurisdictional identification, authentication, and priviledge management called Global Federated Identity and Priviledge Management (GFIPM). GFIPM is a newly embraced and recommended interoperable justice information sharing security standard that enables partnering agencies and organizations to trust the secured identity of each other’s users and systems and ensures that only the right people have access to the right information. Full implementation of GFIPM will allow secure justice information sharing and benefit participating states by saving time, money, reducing user administration burdens, safeguarding data, and maintaining privacy.
Connecticut DMV/CJIS Use NIEM to Exchange Student Driver Qualifications
Submitted: 8/18/2009 09:01:12 AM
The State of Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and the Connecticut Criminal Justice Information System (CJIS) have successfully defined a National Information Exchange Model (NIEM) 2.0 exchange and published an IEPD that has reportedly assisted the DMV in their efforts to ensure that persons holding student transportation endorsements maintain proper qualifications. [Read the complete case study]
Pennsylvania's Court Case Event GJXDM to NIEM (G2N) Pilot Project
Submitted: 7/01/2009 09:01:12 AM
The purpose of this case study is to highlight the successful development of a National Information Exchange Model (NIEM) 2.0-conformant Information Exchange Package Document (IEPD) for Pennsylvania's Court Case Event Messages through Pennsylvania's Justice Network (JNET). Furthermore, this case study aims to draw attention to documentation resulting from the creation of this IEPD, including a NIEM Adoption Whitepaper that outlines the best practice for moving GJXDM (Global Justice XML Data Model) messages to NIEM; a Performance Measurement Plan including performance measures that benchmark conversion of existing exchanges; and a Lessons-Learned Report that summarizes the progress and various lessons learned throughout the GJXDM to NIEM project. Others interested in implementing NIEM will be able to use this case study as a guide in their future NIEM implementation efforts.
NIEM Case Study: New York City Health and Human Services (HHS)-Connect
Submitted: 5/08/2009 09:47:10 AM
The New York City (NYC) Chief Information Officer (CIO) for Health and Human Services (HHS), under the HHS-Connect program, has begun to implement functionality for New York City residents to apply for benefits through the online tool ACCESS NYC. The School Meals program is the first benefit available for online application; however, NYC has adopted NIEM 2.0-conformant data exchanges for both ACCESS NYC and the overall Health and Human Services Domain, allowing the potential for data exchange across many programs in the future. In fact, the connections between ACCESS NYC and the School Meals program data at the NYC Department of Education were made possible by implementing these NIEM 2.0-conformant exchanges. This case study details the challenges faced by New York City and the solutions identified for the successful exchange of data in the School Meals program.
NIEM-GJXDM for New Jersey Law Enforcement Information Sharing
Submitted: 5/08/2009 09:37:11 AM
New Jersey has more than 500 law enforcement agencies. These agencies have realized that there is a regional basis for where crimes occur and how they are solved, which necessitates improved ways of sharing information. New Jersey is a home-rule state; therefore, no centralized technology can be dictated to the local agencies. As a result, there is a hugely diverse collection of platforms for records management systems (RMS), computer aided dispatch (CAD), and information sharing query systems. New Jersey began using a standards-based approach to tackle information sharing challenges beginning with the Global Justice XML Data Model (GJXDM) and then incorporated the National Information Exchange Model (NIEM). This case study details the challenges faced, solutions identified, and the results observed from the actions taken to improve information sharing efforts.
New York State Development of a NIEM 2.0-Conformant IEPD for the New York Intra-State Criminal History Report (Rap Sheet) Project
Submitted: 4/09/2009 04:39:41 PM
The purpose of this case study is to highlight the success of the development of a National Information Exchange Model (NIEM) 2.0-Conformant Information Exchange Package Document (IEPD) for the New York Intra-State Criminal History Report (Rap Sheet) Project. The development of XML schemas using the National Information Exchange Model (NIEM) is a central element of New York State’s strategy for the effective integration of criminal justice information systems. The NYS Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) is in the process of converting legacy systems, including the mainframe rap sheet. New York City is the last agency dependent on the mainframe rap. As part of NYC Datashare’s eArraignment process, NYC will be the pilot site. DCJS has developed the NIEM-conformant XML rap sheet to replace the mainframe rap sheet to NYC. The XML rap sheet will also be available to any other NYS criminal justice agency that wishes to participate in that exchange. The funds appropriated to DCJS through the National Governors Association (NGA) and the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) have been used to develop a NIEM 2.0-conformant Information Exchange Package Documentation (IEPD) XML rap sheet used in the exchange of the New York Intra-State Criminal History Report (rap sheet). Results of this project include creation of a NIEM 2.0-conformant rap sheet IEPD, completion of all required IEPD artifacts, and publication to the U.S. Department of Justice IEPD Clearinghouse for use by other states.
Applying NIEM to Facilitate Sharing of Alabama Uniform Crime and Suspicious Activity Reports
Submitted: 4/09/2009 04:11:00 PM
The purpose of this case study is to highlight the successful development of two National Information Exchange Model (NIEM) 2.0-conformant Information Exchange Package Documents (IEPDs) and electronic data transmission involving the N-DEx subset of Uniform Crime Report (UCR) incident/offense and arrest data and Suspicious Activity Report (SAR) data, through the Alabama Criminal Justice Information Center (ACJIC). The challenge for the ACJIC was that the ACJIC intrastate UCR Local Template for Reporting and Analysis (ULTRA) was developed prior to the establishment of NIEM 2.0 as the national standard. Additionally, ACJIC’s intrastate Secure Homeland Access and Reporting Environment (SHARE) must be complemented by the amount of SAR information that it collects and has been limited by the amount of information that gets entered by law enforcement and private sector security personnel. As a solution, the funds appropriated to ACJIC through the National Governors Association (NGA) and the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) were used to ultimately develop two NIEM 2.0-conformant Information Exchange Package Documents (IEPDs) and transmit data for sharing Alabama’s Uniform Crime Report (UCR) data with other states through N-DEx and Suspicious Activity Report (SAR) data generated by Alabama law enforcement agencies and private security personnel with fusion centers located in other states.
California–Nevada Pilot Project Prescription Monitoring Information Exchange (PMIX)
Submitted: 04/09/2008 10:01:03 AM
Prescription monitoring programs (PMPs) are state-sponsored initiatives aimed at addressing the diversion and abuse of prescription drugs. One of the first programs was established in California more than 60 years ago, but the entire initiative received a boost when, in 2002, Congress appropriated funds to the Department of Justice (DOJ) to support development of a national PMP capability. The purpose of this case study is to highlight the success of the pilot design of an interstate prescription monitoring information exchange (PMIX) program between California and Nevada.
Submitted: 9/19/2008 10:01:03 AM
The state of Texas was confronted with the challenge to coordinate the development and operation of justice systems that are maintained or managed by participating state and local justice entities, so that these systems are able to share information consistently and accurately in a manner that maximizes the services provided to justice information users in Texas. In its approach, Texas decided to update its five-year-old Texas Justice Information Exchange Strategic Plan and develop National Information Exchange Model (NIEM) 2.0-conformant Information Exchange Package Documents (IEPDs) for 28 high-priority information exchanges. The NIEM standard provided the solution Texas was looking for and has facilitated the exchange of information between the participating state and local justice entities.
Pennsylvania State Police First to Transmit Interstate Criminal History Using National Information Exchange Model (NIEM)
Submitted: 8/21/2008 10:13:52 AM
The Pennsylvania State Police (PSP) has migrated its interstate criminal history transmission to the National Information Exchange Model (NIEM) putting Pennsylvania on the map as the first state in the nation to successfully execute the NIEM standard for information sharing. Pennsylvania is one of eight states supported by funding from the U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, to implement a standardized criminal history transmission format using eXtensible Markup Language (XML). This project has been a cooperative effort between the state police and Nlets, The International Justice and Public Safety Network (Nlets). "I'm very pleased that Pennsylvania State Police personnel, working with our contractor and Nlets, were able to complete this critical project so quickly. It is also very gratifying to be the first state to implement the use of the NIEM standard which will eventually provide the common format for information sharing across our nation," said Major Huascar Rivera, Director of the PSP Bureau of Communications and Information Services. NIEM is a product of a partnership of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). It is designed to support enterprise-wide information exchange standards and processes that can enable jurisdictions to effectively share critical information in emergency situations, as well as support the day-to-day operations of agencies throughout the United States. NIEM builds on the Global Justice XML Data Model (GJXDM), which was developed by justice agencies, including law enforcement, prosecution, and courts.
Overcoming Security Funding Roadblocks
Submitted: 8/19/2008 9:40:49 AM
While a security breach is a frightening threat for public Chief Information Officers (CIOs), governments constantly lack enough funding for information technology (IT) security. Security is one of the most frequently misunderstood management functions. As a result, it is generally not funded adequately to fully protect an organization's critical information. Outlined in this article, which is an excerpt from an upcoming feature in Public CIO magazine, (the full version will appear this fall), are a few key steps CIOs should take to ensure IT security receives the attention and budget it deserves, such as: Increasing Appreciation of Security's Significance; Quantifing the Real Cost of a Security Breach; (IT Management) Appreciating the Importance of Security; Making All Employees Aware of Security; and Understanding the Best Practices for Technology Adoption. Proactive cyber security can ultimately save agencies money, labor, and time. However, these facts are not routinely understood by everyone in the public sector. CIOs must improve appreciation, awareness, and adoption in order to make any headway during budget negotiations. Public sector organizations are encouraged to change how they think about security in order to keep data secure and protect citizens.
Virtual Alabama Wins Another Award
Submitted: 7/24/2008 8:02:03 AM
For the fourth time since its unveiling late last year, Virtual Alabama has won an award. Virtual Alabama has earned the state the 2008 Innovations Award for the Southern Region from the Council of State Governments. Previous awards won by Virtual Alabama were presented by the American Council for Technology, the Google Enterprise Award, and the National Governors Association. Virtual Alabama is a computerized database of information superimposed on satellite imagery and aerial photography of all 67 counties. According to a release from the Governor's Office, it is the only comprehensive database of its kind in the country. The amount of information counties can load on to Virtual Alabama is endless, and the program can help emergency responders, law enforcement, economic developers, and more with their planning and response. The Council of State Governments chose Virtual Alabama because it is a cutting-edge program that can benefit other states. Alabama Homeland Security Director Jim Walker has been in contact with several Southern states as they attempt to develop a Virtual Alabama model in their states.
Police Enforcement Strategies to Prevent Crime in Hot Spot Areas
Submitted: 7/7/2008 9:50:51 AM
"Police Enforcement Strategies to Prevent Crime in Hot Spot Areas" (NCJ 223196) is the second report in the Crime Prevention Research Review series. Using advances in mapping technology, it investigates whether focused police efforts in targeted areas help to control crime or merely relocate it. This report summarizes the findings from all rigorous academic studies evaluating police enforcement strategies in hot spot areas. It finds that focusing efforts on places with high crime and calls for service can effectively be used to prevent crime in those locations. Reduced calls for service and other reductions in crime and disorder measures were noted in most studies. Displacement of crime due to the enforcement efforts was not prevalent in those studies that measured displacement.
NASCIO on Data Governance: An Essential Discipline for Managing State Information
Submitted: 5/7/2008 3:04:00 PM
With funding support from the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA), the National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO) is pleased to announce the release of its new issue brief "Data Governance Part I - An Introduction." This issue brief is part of NASCIO's series on Enterprise Governance and presents an overview of this very broad subject. Data governance is presented as an operating discipline that must ultimately encompass all types of electronic data, information, and knowledge as enterprise assets that must be well managed in order to enable government to deliver positive citizen outcomes. The governance challenge was ranked as one of the top ten priorities of state CIOs in a survey of the states conducted in October 2007. This issue brief is available at: www.nascio.org/publications.
The Law Enforcement Information Technology Standards Council Releases Standard Functional Specifications for Law Enforcement Records Management Systems Version II
Submitted: 4/30/2008 9:40:49 AM
With support from the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA), Office of Justice Programs (OJP), U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), the Law Enforcement Information Technology Standards Council (LEITSC) is excited to announce the release of the Standard Functional Specifications for Law Enforcement Records Management Systems Version II. The Standard Functional Specifications for Law Enforcement Records Management System Version II are intended to be generic in nature rather than favor one particular system or approach over another. These specifications are at the functional level--they define what is to be accomplished versus how it should be accomplished. The specifications were developed to depict the minimal amount of functionality that a new law enforcement records management system should contain. They are not intended to simply be substituted for a request for proposal but rather to assist agencies of any size in their development of a request for proposal. They are designed to serve as living documents and will be modified in concurrence with the ever-changing technological environment and as law enforcement needs mature.
Citywide Wireless IP Network Launched in New York
Submitted: 4/18/2008 10:23:49 AM
Leave it to America's biggest city to launch an equally big high-speed data network. The New York City Wireless Network (NYCWiN) was rolled out to 70 percent of the city's police precincts and firehouses on April 1, 2008, giving the city's first responders and employees a unique public safety and public service network. NYCWiN will run on 400 nodes across five boroughs-with many of the access points perched on rooftops. New York City Chief Information Officer (CIO) Paul Cosgrave, in testimony to the City Council in February, said NYCWiN can support a diverse array of functions. In addition, the wireless network will be a powerful tool for law enforcement and public safety personnel. The New York City Police Department (NYPD) Real Time Crime Center will link into NYCWiN, which will support Internet protocol (IP)-based emergency call boxes and surveillance cameras. Police officers will have access to in-car photos and video. The wireless network was piloted in Lower Manhattan beginning in January 2007. Ninety-five percent of the city will be covered by this summer, and the network will be entirely built out by the end of 2008.
Whatcom County, Washington, Success Story
Submitted: 4/9/2008 9:13:51 AM
In Whatcom County, Washington, software design teams are completing the process of mapping the Blaine Police Service Point to make law enforcement reports from the Blaine Police Department available for sharing on the Whatcom Exchange Network (WENET) portal. WENET is a multijurisdictional law and justice information exchange program that utilized the Global Justice XML Data Model (Global JXDM). WENET provides real-time data sharing between law enforcement agencies in Whatcom County, the Whatcom County Jail, and the Whatcom County Prosecutor's Office. WENET makes available to law and justice practitioners multiple sources of critical information that can now be accessed from one site. There is no longer a need to log in and out of multiple systems to locate law and justice information. Officers in the field have access to multiple databases simultaneously, and the data is displayed on their patrol car computer screens via one access point. In addition, the federally funded LinX project has received support from both the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) and the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) to make the technical connection with the WENET portal to expose all available information to participating LinX partners from within Whatcom County. The design team is currently working with the LinX technicians to complete that link. [More on this story.]
Shared Identities - Federated Approach Makes Identity Management Portable
Submitted: 3/28/2008 9:07:31 AM
Overlapping identity management systems can be as difficult for users--and ultimately to systems administrators--as multiple passwords. Agencies that maintain multiple user repositories or whose processes cross more than one security domain should consider implementing federated identity management to reduce administrative overhead and costs while increasing security and simplifying the user's experience. The primary objective of federated identity management is to give authorized users the ability to securely access applications or services both in their own organization and in other domains without the need for redundant user administration in all the domains involved. Adoption of federated identity management is expected to increase dramatically this year and next as organizations attempt to improve communication with business partners, enhance customer service, better integrate outsourced services, and adopt more open, standards-based technologies. In addition to the benefits obtained through adoption of federated identity management, this article also expands upon current obstacles, how federated identity management works, cross-domain challenges, and a policy-based approach.
A New Threat, a New Institution: The Fusion Center
Submitted: 3/11/2008 9:16:09 AM
The New Jersey Regional Operations Intelligence Center (ROIC) or "the Rock," as it is called by people who work there, is a fusion center, a new type of facility being created in states and major urban areas, often with federal grant assistance, to improve threat information sharing and coordination with federal authorities. Rich Kelly, who recently retired from a top position at the Federal Bureau of Investigation's (FBI) Newark Field Office, will head the ROIC and has experience in breaking down barriers to information sharing. "We are all on Team America," Kelly said during a recent interview in the 55,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art ROIC at state police headquarters in West Trenton. Team America describes the culture Kelly and his deputies want to create at the center, which houses local and federal law enforcement officials from various New Jersey state agencies; the Philadelphia Police Department; the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS); the U.S. Department of Justice's (DOJ) Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF); and the FBI. Although counterterrorism was once the primary rationale for creating fusion centers, most of them now accept responsibility for responding to all threats. Fusion centers play an increasingly prominent role in local law enforcement and are communication hubs for federal, state, and local authorities. At the ROIC, analysts from the agencies described above start each day by convening what officials call "the 10 a.m. huddle" in which they share current threat information from each of their organizations. Multiple databases from different agencies bring gigabytes of law enforcement and intelligence information into the fusion center. The daily meeting is crucial for connecting the dots and interpreting that data. Officials involved in the fusion center program say they obey state and federal criminal record-sharing laws and also aim to protect individuals' privacy and civil liberties through privacy policies that each fusion center has written or is in the process of completing soon.
Missouri to Deploy Statewide Law Enforcement Information Sharing Solution
Submitted: 1/10/2008 9:23:13 AM
Missouri will deploy a software suite from Knowledge Computing Corporation that will foster better information sharing and collaboration among local and state law enforcement. The state will use Coplink crime analysis tools, which provide decision support for rapidly identifying criminal suspects, relationships, and patterns to solve crimes and thwart terrorism. Funding for the project, known as Missouri Data Exchange (MoDex), was made possible by a unique partnership between local and state law enforcement, which together, pooled federal funding to maximize the initiative's reach, effectiveness, and return on investment. Coplink allows vast quantities of structured and seemingly unrelated data?- including data stored in incompatible databases and records management systems?- to be securely organized, consolidated, and quickly analyzed over a secure intranet-based platform. The software includes sophisticated analytics and visualization tools to build institutional memory. Coplink will allow the Missouri Information Analysis Center (MIAC) and other agencies to instantly cross-reference and analyze law enforcement records systems statewide. MIAC, launched in 2005, collects, evaluates, analyzes, and disseminates information to agencies tasked with Homeland Security responsibilities. [Related Article]
Interagency Information Sharing: The National Information Exchange Model
Submitted: 1/8/2008 9:13:37 AM
Seamless information sharing among criminal justice agencies at all levels of government is of the utmost importance. Those intimately involved with information sharing initiatives understand the compelling need for a seamless solution and the complexity of accomplishing such a feat, while others may assume that such communication already happens with ease. This article will attempt to further educate readers while exploring the development of the National Information Exchange Model (NIEM) as a logical next step in successful and cost effective information sharing. It will outline what NIEM can provide to law enforcement managers facing the growing demands and expectations for information sharing and will explain what resources are available now to assist police executives.