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Back to Archives | Back to January 2007 Contents 


New Technology Assistance Program for Local Departments
Technology assistance is now available to law enforcement agencies that are in the process of procuring or updating either a computer-aided dispatch (CAD) system or records management system (RMS).

With support from the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA), Office of Justice Programs (OJP), the Law Enforcement Information Technology Standards Council (LEITSC) announces a technical assistance program that will give law enforcement agencies an opportunity to work with the Standard Functional Specifications for Law Enforcement Computer-Aided Dispatch Systems and the Standard Functional Specifications for Law Enforcement Records Management Systems. These tools provide significant guidance to agencies developing a request for proposal (RFP) for purchasing or upgrading CAD systems or RMS. Both documents are currently available for download at both ( and (

LEITSC was created in 2002 with funding from BJA and brings together a consortium of law enforcement organizations, including the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), the National Sheriffs’ Association (NSA), the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE), and the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF), to address law enforcement information technology standards issues. These organizations have partnered to develop standards for improving the application of information technology for law enforcement operations. Through these organizations, U.S. law enforcement community is represented on IT standards issues. The results of this initiative will ultimately shape the integration of justice IT solutions meeting a wide range of needs impacting the public safety community and the citizens they serve.

The Standard Functional Specifications for Law Enforcement CAD and RMS will provide significant guidance to agencies developing an RFP for purchasing or upgrading CAD systems or RMS. Based on agency needs, these standard functional specifications can be used as a starting point to build a fully operative CAD system or RMS based on open standards to interface and share information with other systems internally and externally.

These specifications depict the minimal amount of functionality a new law enforcement CAD system or RMS should contain, and they are intended not as a substitute for an RFP but as a guide to agencies, of any size, as the develop RFPs.

The IJIS Institute helped prepare both documents under the direction of LEITSC and the LEITSC Functional Standards Committee. Each of the LEITSC participating associations vetted the documents to ensure a common agreement for these Standard Functional Specifications for Law Enforcement CAD systems and RMS.

The Technology Assistance Program centers on the use of the LEITSC standard functional specifications. These documents were developed through a collaborative effort involving BJA, the IJIS Institute, and LEITSC.

Technology assistance is now available to law enforcement agencies that are in the process of procuring or updating either a CAD system or an RMS. LEITSC will support delivery of appropriate technology assistance during an agency’s selection and procurement process. However, it is not the role of program sponsors and partners to recommend any CAD or RMS vendor.

LEITSC will provide technology assistance and expertise that an agency can use when developing their RFP, but LEITSC will not prepare the RFPs for any participating agency. In addition, technology assistance will be offered to agencies that are interested in implementing the Information Exchange Package Documents (IEPDs) for CAD or RMS. The IEPDs for CAD and RMS were developed by APCO, LEITSC, and the IJIS Institute and can be found on ( and the IEPD Clearinghouse at (

The Technology Assistance Program includes, but is not limited to, onsite meetings and conference calls to answer questions that might arise while working with the Standard Functional Specifications for Law Enforcement CAD or RMS or the IEPDs. The unique needs of each agency will be addressed on an individual basis.

By participating, the agency agrees to take part in an evaluation about the effectiveness of the technology assistance and the usefulness of the Standard Functional Specifications for Law Enforcement CAD or RMS.

This is not a funding opportunity. The Technology Assistance Program is an opportunity for agencies to obtain technology assistance and consulting services as they adopt standard functional specifications for law enforcement CAD systems or RMS or both or as they implement the IEPDs for CAD or RMS.

For more information, send an e-mail message to Heather Ruzbasan, the LEITSC project manager, at ( if you are interested in receiving technology assistance.

Local Government Police Management: Fourth Edition Available
Major changes have occurred during the career spans of many police chiefs today: transformations in hiring and promotional practices, operations management, use of technology, information analysis, federal funding and federal mandates, and increased emphasis on community security and involvement. Rising public concern about security issues, public scrutiny of police department performance, major advances in communications and forensics technology, and fiscal cutbacks are all having a major effect on police management.

Local Government Police Management, Fourth Edition, the authoritative police management resource for police chiefs and senior officers, is now available through International City/County Management Association.

This traditional management text helps the chief manage the change process, anticipate and address the forces of change, and foster an environment in which change can be accomplished. It examines alternative patrol strategies and presents ideas and strategies to make the patrol function more effective. It provides an understanding of how departmental infrastructure—such as resource allocation systems, dispatch operations, and information systems—support patrol operations. It reviews a wide array of crime prevention strategies: resistance and self-protection, environmental design, media and public education, watch programs, citizen patrols, communication with neighborhood associations, and other initiatives to bring the police into closer contact with the community.

The book also explores the effectiveness of different techniques in the criminal investigations process, and performance measures for each one. It addresses new techniques to fight organized and drug-related crime, including patrol and investigation activities, special units with focused responsibility, and education and prevention strategies. An overview of the principles of forensic science, management issues in crime scene investigations and laboratory operations, and new developments in technologies such as DNA typing and automated fingerprint identification and classification are included.

Descriptions of how local, community-based police are in a strong position to gather intelligence, assess the community for potential targets, and uncover activities that might indicate emerging terrorist activity are provided.

Ideas for fostering integrity in the department, both through personal example and explicit policies, are included. It identifies measures of performance for both personnel and programs and assesses how well they’re doing relative to desired outcomes

The fourth edition covers these subjects and so much more. To obtain a copy, call toll free 800-745-8780, or 770-442-8631, extension 377, if outside the United States, or write to the ICMA (International City/County Management Association) at 777 North Capitol Street NE, Suite 500, Washington, DC 20002.

Governors Examines Communications Needs, Strategies for Improved Public Safety

To help governors address the urgent need for reliable communication in emergency situations, the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices (NGA Center) has released Strategies for States to Achieve Public Safety Interoperability. The brief guides governors in their efforts to improve wireless interoperability—the ability of public safety agencies to share information using radio communication systems to exchange voice and data on demand in real time, when needed and as authorized.

The events of September 11, 2001, and Hurricanes Katrina and Rita emphasize the urgent need for public safety departments and other agencies, including police, firefighters, transportation operators and public health officials, to communicate effectively when called upon in a crisis. This ability is compromised, however, by challenges such as incompatible and aging communications equipment, limited and fragmented funding and planning, lack of coordination and cooperation, and inadequate and fragmented radio spectrum.

Governors can play a critical role in meeting each of these obstacles. The brief outlines strategies governors can use to improve communication interoperability capacity:

• Institutionalizing a governance structure that fosters collaborative planning among local, state, and federal government agencies
• Encouraging the development of flexible and open architecture and standards
• Supporting funding for public safety agencies that work to achieve interoperability and denying funding for agencies that do not include interoperable solutions
• Supporting the efforts of the public safety community to work with the Federal Communications Commission to allocate ample spectrum for public safety and create contiguous bands for public safety spectrum.

“Governors are well positioned to provide the leadership necessary to improve public safety communications interoperability,” said John Thomasian, director of the NGA Center. “This guide will provide governors with the tools they need to enhance emergency communications in their states and across the nation.”

For more information, write to the National Governors Association at Hall of the States, 444 North Capitol Street, Suite 267, Washington, DC 20001-1512; call NGA at 202-624-5300; or visit NGS’s Web site at

United States and Canada Enter IBIS Agreement
The governments of the United States and Canada on November 16, 2006, entered into an historic agreement aimed at tackling gun violence. U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and his Canadian counterpart, Canadian Minister of Public Safety Stockwell Day, signed the Memorandum of Understanding Regarding Accessing Forensic Firearms Data.

Attorney General Gonzales said, “Currently, the ATF uses the same ballistics collection and identification technology as the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. This technology allows us to collect and search images of bullets and cartridge cases recovered from crime scenes and from firearms seized by law enforcement officers. The Integrated Ballistics Identification System or IBIS, allows information to be collected nationwide in Canada and the United States.

“Before today, ATF and the RCMP shared IBIS data on an ad hoc basis—a viable but cumbersome solution. We could be much more efficient by better connecting our systems and that is what this agreement seeks to do. The technology has recently been developed to allow us to link these networks and now we have an agreement in place allowing for a much more integrated process.

“Previously, a cop investigating a gun crime in New York, who suspected a connection to a similar crime across the border in Toronto, would face such a complicated and labor-intensive ordeal in pursuing that lead, it was likely to just never happen. Now, he will be able to follow a streamlined electronic trail directly through the IBIS network. Lab techs will be able to compare evidence in both systems and our law enforcement officers will save valuable time in their investigations—allowing them to concentrate on solving crimes instead of filling out paperwork.”

As the creators of IBIS, Forensic Technology have been extremely proud these past few years to witness the fact that IBIS has played a pivotal law enforcement role in Canada and the United States. Indeed, IBIS has provided detectives with timely information about crimes, guns, and suspects by suggesting possible matches between pairs of spent bullets and cartridge cases at speeds well beyond human capacity.

This collaboration will enable both countries to access all pertinent ballistics information contained within each country’s network. Stockwell Day said, “Today’s agreement will further enhance our ability to tackle gun violence on both sides of the border and keep our communities safe and secure.”


From The Police Chief, vol. 74, no. 1, January 2007. Copyright held by the International Association of Chiefs of Police, 515 North Washington Street, Alexandria, VA 22314 USA.

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