By Heather Ruzbasan, Project Manager, Law Enforcement Information Technology Standards Council, IACP
elp from the LEITSC Technology Assistance Program always begins with a conference call or a visit to a police agency to conduct a needs assessment.
With support from the Bureau of Justice Assistance in the U.S. Department of Justice Office of Justice Programs, the Law Enforcement Information Technology Standards Council (LEITSC) announces a new technology assistance program for law enforcement. The LEITSC Technology Assistance Program introduces law enforcement agencies to the Standard Functional Specifications for Law Enforcement Computer-Aided Dispatch (CAD) Systems and the Standard Functional Specifications for Law Enforcement Records Management Systems (RMS). The books identify the basic minimum functional requirements for a new CAD system or RMS, and the technology assistance program is designed to help agencies use these books during the request for proposals process for purchasing or upgrading a CAD system or RMS.
Agencies should use the standard functional specifications as a starting point when developing a request for proposal and as a guide for building a fully operative CAD system or RMS that meets each agency’s needs. The books depict the minimal amount of functionality a new law enforcement CAD system or RMS should contain. The CAD system and RMS described in the specifications are based on open standards to allow police agencies to use the systems to share information with other systems internally and externally. Electronic versions of both books are available for free at www.leitsc.org.
The LEITSC Technology Assistance Program, which centers on the use of the Standard Functional Specifications for Law Enforcement CAD Systems and the Standard Functional Specifications for Law Enforcement Records Management Systems, gives agencies the opportunity to work with subject matter experts and law enforcement practitioners from the request for proposal to system procurement. Agencies that are in the early stages of writing a request for proposal for a CAD system or RMS are encouraged to contact LEITSC and take advantage of this opportunity. The services offered with the technology assistance program will be tailored according to agency needs but will always begin with a conference call or a visit to the agency to conduct a needs assessment. Ultimately, the goal of the program is to help agencies save time and reduce the costs associated with the CAD and RMS procurement process.
LEITSC, created in 2002, brings together the International Association of Chiefs of Police, the National Sheriffs’ Association, the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives, and the Police Executive Research Forum to develop standards for improving the application of information technology (IT) for law enforcement operations and to represent U.S. law enforcement on matters related to IT standards. LEITSC will ultimately shape the integration of justice IT solutions affecting public safety agencies and the citizens they serve.
LEITSC gives law enforcement experts opportunities to give input on standards development initiatives, creates outreach and training opportunities to keep law enforcement executives engaged in the process, and continues work that is already under way to address the IT needs of the law enforcement community. The law enforcement community understands the value of using IT standards in technology implementation, and significant progress has been made in recent years in the development and implementation of IT standards to advance information sharing.
Projects in the Global Justice Information Sharing Initiative (Global), such as the Global Justice XML Data Model and the National Information Exchange Model, continue to evolve and develop standards that aim to ease information sharing across disciplinary lines from the law enforcement community to public safety to other social service areas. Through these projects, LEITSC has promoted IT standards and brought the issues associated with information sharing to the forefront of the law enforcement executive’s agenda.
For more information about the LEITSC Technology Assistance Program visit www.leitsc.org, or send an e-mail message to Heather Ruzbasan, LEITSC project manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org. ■