Crime knows no boundaries. The constellation of clues and evidence related to criminal activity is often spread across disconnected databases and paper files in thousands of local, state and federal agencies across the nation. If this disparate data were fully integrated and subjected to state-of-the-art analysis tools, law enforcement agencies would be much more effective in both preventing crime and solving open cases.
In many cases, criminals who have been stopped by police are freed when local law enforcement data searches miss important information that is stored outside of their own systems. An integrated data system would enhance the ability of law enforcement to identify suspects quickly. Accurate identification is the key to successful investigations. Whether a person is arrested or is released for a crime that occurred in another jurisdiction is frequently based on the ability of the police to confirm the subject’s identity. It is the person’s identity that links the person to an arrest warrant. Warrants are stored in databases on the local, state and federal level. In addition, terrorist watch lists and investigative alerts are also computerized and stored in different databases. Most of these databases are not integrated, and therefore the information contained within them is not shared.