he IJIS Institute has announced the formation of a new committee designed to support the development of information technology standards for law enforcement agencies. The institute is a nonprofit company supported by more than 130 information technology companies that serve law enforcement and criminal justice agencies. The mission of the institute is to harness the technological experience and knowledge of industry to help state and local governments in particular develop better ways of sharing information using computer technology. The work of the institute is documented at (www.ijis.org).
The IJIS Institute has partnered with the Law Enforcement Information Technology Standards Council (LEITSC), a consortium of the International Association of Chiefs of Police, the Police Executive Research Forum, the National Sheriffs' Association, and the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives. The mission of LEITSC is to provide outreach and education to the nation's law enforcement community regarding IT standards; to represent law enforcement in the development of standards that affect the information sharing; and to facilitate the development of standards by utilizing committees composed of law enforcement practitioners. Details are available at (www.LEITSC.org).
The IJIS Institute has been working closely with LEITSC to help develop functional standards for law enforcement computer-aided dispatch (CAD) and records management systems (RMS). LEITSC is in the process of circulating the draft functional standards through committees of its four partners to attempt to achieve national consensus on what these systems should do for law enforcement agencies of all kinds.
The LEITSC project is funded by a grant from the Bureau of Justice Assistance of the U.S. Department of Justice as part of its broad mission to encourage improved information sharing and interoperability among law enforcement information systems.
The role of the IJIS Institute in the functional standards project has been to guide the development of draft standards and gain the concurrence of a number of leading software suppliers to support the development of functional standards. The institute has been commended by LEITSC for bringing critical industry insight and guidance to the project.
The purpose of the newly announced IT standards committee is first to broaden industry involvement in the vetting and endorsement of standards for dispatch and records systems and then to move beyond the functional standards to develop the technical standards needed to support information exchanges between dispatch and records systems from different companies, and the exchange of information with other justice computer systems in prosecutor and court agencies.
The IJIS Institute believes that the development of standards particularly for information exchange should adopt the open standards developed in the course of creating the Global Justice XML Data Model, and that adherence to these standards will reduce cost and risk in implementing complex computer systems in law enforcement.
The chairman of the new committee is Neil Kurlander, a 35-year police veteran and former chief of police in Maryland Heights, Missouri, and now vice president of public sector solutions at Asynchrony Solutions Inc., a consulting and software integration company. Other committee members are John Arnstein, director of local public safety, MTG Management Consultants; Tom Dewey, principal, Advanced Justice Systems; Steve Hoggard, manager, Spillman Technologies; Paul Smith, chief marketing officer, NetDelivery; Vincent Tortoriello, president, Enforsys Inc.; Morgan Wright, global industry solutions manager, justice and public safety, Cisco Systems Inc.; Mike Mellin, vice president, program management, TriTech Software Systems; and Tony Luckman, manager, product management, VisionAIR.
Kurlander said his intent "is to work closely with LEITSC and the participating organizations to develop standards that will meet the needs of law enforcement while reducing both time and costs in development and implementation." He expressed confidence that the open dialog established between industry and practitioners through the current LEITSC project will continue to provide the basis of a real partnership between industry and the law enforcement community.
This new committee also builds on the other standards related work being done by the IJIS Institute in collaboration with the law enforcement practitioner community. The institute is also engaged in developing standards for (1) exchanging information between intelligent transportation systems and public safety, (2) developing model exchange specifications for states to share information on the abuse of prescription drugs, and (3) defining prosecution originated exchange reference documents.
The IJIS Institute is funded directly by the Bureau of Justice Assistance to provide technology assistance and training to state and local law enforcement agencies in the application of information technology. The institute provides company-neutral, on-site assistance by sending a multicompany team to explore local needs, provide recommendations on project approaches and architecture, and help evaluate project plans and programs. The cost of the technical assistance is paid for under the grant, but agencies are asked to cover the travel expenses of the technical assistance team. For further details on the services available from the institute, go to (www.ijis.org), and click technology assistance. ■