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NEWSLETTER The Newsletter of the First Responder Technologies Program

Volume 2 Issue 10 October 2009

AT YOUR FINGERTIPS

Arizona Police Have New Handheld Device that Accesses Crime Data

Police in southern Arizona have a new tool to ght crime, a technology that gives them instant access to vast amounts of crime data through commercially available smartphones: AZLink, an Internet-based law enforcement information sharing program. The project, launched in 2007, is a growing statewide initiative that was developed through funding from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology (DHS S&T) Directorate.

The AZLink program provides access to both state and federal law enforcement data as part of a collaborative information sharing eort among agencies. AZLink is partnered with DHS Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ).

The technology enables law enforcement personnel to

  • nd, access, and share information, such as mug shots

and incident reports, from several law enforcement agencies, via their smartphones while still in the eld. AZLink will soon progress to the point where users will be able to access information from across the country.

AZLink will connect to OneDOJ/N-Dex, a federal storage project for DOJ. OneDOJ stores information

for the Bureau of Prisons (BOP), the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), as well as participating tribal, state, and local agencies. The project shares the information it stores with all of its partnering law enforcement agencies.

Before AZLink, ocers could only access vital criminal data from police radios and computers located at their headquarters. The new system helps them exchange secure data through a public cell phone network, saving resources and time.

Bruce Baicar, manager of the project at the DHS S&T Command, Control and Interoperability Division (CID), said, “AZLink represents a signicant step toward improving information sharing not only among emergency responders in Arizona, but nationwide. By working with state and local public safety to develop systems, our federal partners benet as users of those systems.”

James Wysocki, administrator of the information technology department in the Public Safety Division of the City of Tucson, has worked with Tucson Police Department users of AZLink. He said the program has considerably decreased the time spent on criminal investigations and removed jurisdictional limitations on the information that can be accessed.

“Since AZLink uses cellular telephone providers which have a national footprint, the ocers, deputies, agents, detectives, and crime analysts of our member agencies can do their work anywhere in the United States,” said Wysocki.

Tucson ocer accesses information provided by AZLink from his smartphone while in the eld. Photo courtesy of Tucson Police Department.

Wysocki also praised AZLink’s ability to let users access its information nationwide and how it allows for investigating ocers to not be limited in where they use the program. “AZLink has saved many work hours of eort, since our sta can do their work in the

  • eld,”said Wysocki. “They don’t have to go back to the

substations or relocate their patrol cars to use their investigative systems.”

AZLink Southern is administered by the Tucson Police Department. Ocers in Tucson have said that pooling

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