Improving Information-Sharing Across Law Enforcement

Improving Information-Sharing Across Law Enforcement
RAND Corporation
John S. Hollywood, Zev Winkelman
First page of document "Improving Information-Sharing Across Law Enforcement"

Law enforcement capabilities increasingly depend on records management systems (RMSs) that maintain agencies' case histories, computer-aided dispatch (CAD) systems that maintain agencies' calls for service and call response histories, and other data systems. There are also increasing demands to share information with regional, state, and federal repositories of criminal justice information. A good deal of progress has been made on developing information-sharing standards, developing repositories of shared law enforcement information, developing common policies, and improving affordability. However, there are limitations with respect to existing information-sharing technology and policy. Commercial providers can have business models that do not support greater and cheaper information-sharing. Widespread concerns remain regarding the cost of RMSs, CAD, and other key systems.

To address these barriers in the short term, we have identified information-sharing items to include in RFPs. We identify indicators that can help agencies determine whether bidding providers are interested in supporting information-sharing at comparatively low costs, and we provide some tips on writing requirements and pursuing new, lower-cost business models.

In the longer term, we discuss building on existing developments to create a comprehensive framework for information-sharing. We identify critical interfaces that have not yet been captured. We present elements to be included in model policy and RFP language related to information-sharing, information assurance, and privacy and civil rights. Finally, we recommend further support for the new technology and business models that can help make these systems more affordable.