Nebraska residents report 'suspicious activity' via Web

The Nebraska Information Analysis Center, the state’s law enforcement data fusion center, has unveiled a website for collecting suspicious activity reports from the public.

By clicking on Suspicious Activity Report in the Quick Links box on the Nebraska State Patrol (NSP) homepage, residents can access the SAR portal and provide information on suspicious events they believe should be shared with law enforcement. The automated website uses software from the Memex Solutions Team at SAS, which helps analysts evaluate and respond to SARs more effectively, Memex officials said.

The expansion of the Homeland Security Department’s “See Something, Say Something" program has increased public awareness of the value of submitting suspicious activity reports when something doesn’t seem right, the fusion center's director said.

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"It is great to have the leads going directly from our citizens into the data management system," said NSP Capt. Kevin Knorr, NIAC director. "It's now a standard process, and we know the SAR will be assigned and worked up within business rules we set, for operational excellence and better service to the community."

NIAC can now quickly use the search and analysis capabilities of the Memex intelligence platform to determine the validity of such reports or activities. The platform allows intelligence information to be escalated to the command level and shared with other law enforcement agencies as needed for investigation and response.

"More law enforcement agencies and fusion centers are participating in the Nationwide SAR Initiative (NSI) because it gives law enforcement an advantage," said Neil Schlisserman, vice president of the Memex Solutions Team at SAS. He added that “precursors to crime or terrorism are often suspicious acts that aren't in violation of law.” SAR lets those activities be investigated effectively.

Nebraska law enforcement officials can compare the citizen-submitted SARs to the NSI database to find any matches in other regions that might indicate broader criminal activity or help identify suspects. NIAC's integration with NSI also lets information evaluated by analysts be appended with the SARs in the NSI shared space. This makes the system much more powerful compared to simply sharing just the initial SAR, Memex officials said.

The Memex intelligence platform provides a portal for analyzing record management systems, computer-aided dispatch, intelligence, SAR and other data sources — whether via data integration, federated access or a hybrid approach. Staff members can examine all such data in one place, using the same data-mining tools and user interface, rather than having to log on and off different systems, Memex officials said.

Nebraska has been using the Memex solution for the past three months as a platform for intelligence management, information exchange and analytical capabilities. About 400 law enforcement officials throughout Nebraska use the platform, connecting 17 different law enforcement data sources through an indexed search of selected data and a federated search model.

The NIAC, created in 2007, is a collaborative effort of the NSP, Omaha Police Department, Lincoln Police Department, FBI and DHS.

About the Author

Rutrell Yasin is is a freelance technology writer for GCN.


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