Middleware makes data sharing easier for N.J. police

The New Jersey State Police, pretty much like every other law enforcement organization in the past five years or so, has been working on improving its data sharing capabilities.

The problem was an abundance of information silos, said Chris Rein, an IT program manager who has worked for the state police since 2005.

Wanting to take a standards-based approach, NJSP decided to use Crossflo Data Exchange (CDX), a browser-based middleware solution from Crossflo Systems Inc. The software provides secure cross-domain data sharing across disparate platforms and different data structures, said Joe Ramirez, Crossflo's director of technical integration services.

Written in Java 2 Enterprise Edition, CDX supports the Global Justice XML Data Model (GJXDM), the law enforcement data standard developed by the Justice Department.

Specifically, NSJP is using CDX to help extract incident and arrest data from its Records Management System (RMS) and integrate it with the state police's Statewide Intelligence Management System (SIMS).

The state police recognized that there was vital information in the RMS that they needed to extract, Ramirez said. 'They knew that if they could make it available to the intelligence side of the house, they'd be quite a few steps ahead of the game,' he said.

Each of New Jersey's 21 counties has different computer systems, Rein said. 'And everyone has their favorite vendor,' he said. 'Dictating, 'Thou shalt use this vendor,' would never work.' Using CDX 'allows us to say, you can use this GJXDM format and use whatever vendor you want,' Rein said.

The state police recently upgraded to the browser-based CDX Version 3.2, which supports more data sources, including Web services and message queuing systems.

About the Author

Trudy Walsh is a senior writer for GCN.

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