New systems to help FBI and L.A. analyze, share intel

The Federal Bureau of Investigation and Los Angeles County have chosen different approaches to obtaining systems for handling criminal, gang and terrorist data.

The bureau, following up on a concept of operations issued in the spring about how to process and disseminate gang information via the National Gang Intelligence Center (NGIC), chose systems integrator SRA International to develop a new system. SRA received a contract valued at $16 million over five years if the bureau exercises all options, the company said.

SRA plans to use commercial and newly developed software to create an integrated system that the FBI has specified in great detail via its acquisition requirements.

Across the country from the bureau's Washington headquarters, Los Angeles County plans to deploy the Coplink system from Knowledge Computing Corp. Coplink comprises several modules that can be combined to meet agencies' varying needs, and hundreds of law enforcement agencies nationwide have already fielded it to process intelligence about crimes,.

The county's contract calls for a total of $4.5 million in payments to cover all modules of the analysis and decision support system in addition to training and support for three years.

Coplink complies with the Global Justice Data Exchange Model. That format for data tagging and exchange ' now required for all new federally funded state and local police IT systems ' facilitates information sharing among law enforcement agencies.

LA County's Coplink implementation will be able to seamlessly share information with other Coplink implementations in San Diego and Orange County and many other, smaller police departments statewide. KCC already has fielded Coplink to more than 600 jurisdictions nationwide, including four of the five largest cities in the country, the company said.

SRA's work will involve providing database support to NGIC, states a detailed concept of operations the bureau provided to vendors.

The NGIC case tracker database won't function ' as the bureau's ill-fated Virtual Case File was intended to ' as a full-fledged investigative case management system, but it will include many unique features the bureau has specified.

SRA will provide services including systems design, development and integration; data collection and management; Web development; and integration of commercial and government products, the company said.

The resulting system is intended to integrate NGIC's disparate components while improving connectivity, knowledge management and information sharing of gang-related intelligence, SRA said.

The procurement documents for the upgrades to NGIC specified that the system include a capability to use Gangnet, which is an SRA law enforcement intelligence analysis tool. Gangnet traces its history back to a relational database system initially called Cal/Gang, which provided gang data analysis capabilities for Ccalifornia police forces starting in the 1990s.

Coplink extracts knowledge embedded in multiple databases with advanced analytical tools and visualization methods to provide investigative leads to its users.

Both Coplink and the FBI system allow law enforcement officers to establish links among criminals and their characteristic crimes, methods, associates, weapons, drugs, vehicles and locales.

Los Angeles Country will field Coplink through Southern California's Regional Terrorism Information and Integration System consortium.

Funding for the technology projects could vary with fluctuations in the agencies' budgets, among other factors.

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