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O.C., Boston police form information network

The partnership will allow law enforcement agencies to share data.

BY CAITLIN ADAMSPublished: October 26, 2010 08:09 AM

The Boston Police Department and the Integrated Law and Justice Agency for Orange County are partnering to create a network for sharing data and information with i2’s COPLINK, a comprehensive tactical lead-generation tool widely used in the U.S.

Created in 2004, the Integrated Law and Justice Agency developed a regional information-sharing system that allows law enforcement agencies throughout Orange County to share information in their record, jail and court management systems, including current and served warrants, citation data, and terms and conditions of probations under supervision by the court.

Under the new agreement, the Boston Police Department now has access to 25 Orange County agencies and more than 20 million searchable documents. Integrated Law agency also has sharing agreements in place with departments in Oregon, San Diego, Los Angeles, Arizona, Washington state and Sacramento through COPLINK. The system is capable of sharing a total of almost a quarter of a billion records – a number that continues to grow daily.

"The nature of law enforcement today calls for a cross-jurisdictional approach that speeds up investigations,” said Bob McDonell, Integrated Law agency executive director and former chief of the Newport Beach Police Department. “Criminals don't know geographic or political boundaries. There is so much criminal data at the local level that can be an invaluable tool in solving crimes.”

The system allows investigators to enter information about a case into the database and then search across jurisdictions in the network to discover similar elements that may provide new leads in the case.

“As part of a typical investigation, one of our officers may enter information into COPLINK and learn that a person of interest or suspect recently was given a speeding ticket in Irvine, Calif., which could lead to additional information that accelerates solving a crime," said William Casey, deputy superintendent for the Boston Police Department. "In the past, we would have to go through the time-consuming task of contacting someone from Irvine. We hope to see other jurisdictions across the country join this initiative."

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