Taking criminal justice resources into the wild

Access to law enforcement data brings additional convenience and safety for federal officers spread across large territories.

But federal offices such as the game wardens in the Interior Department’s Fish and Wildlife Service still use that information. They deal not only with poachers and trespassers but increasingly with drug traffickers who use the National Wildlife Refuges for cover and fugitives seeking to hide out in remote areas.

Checking criminal records and vehicle registrations are routine tasks for state and local police, who have access to state, national and international databases through the National Law Enforcement Telecommunications System. But NLETS is run by the states, and federal officers generally do not have this access.

“They still rely on friends at local agencies,” to do routine checks, said Roger Karr of InterAct Public Safety.

Because of security requirements that NLETS must meet in order access sensitive databases such as the FBI’s National Crime Information Center, the state operators are reluctant to allow access to federal agencies outside their jurisdiction and their control.


Related coverage:

Cloud offers feds access to police data

The FBI's expanding data center



“These guys are dealing with people with weapons all of the time,” Karr said. “They needed help.”

InterAct provides field access to NLETS through its InterAct Mobile application for laptops and PocketCop for BlackBerry phones. With the InterAct Law Enforcement Data Delivery System (ILEDDS), the firm also provides a federal interface to NLETS to enable officers to do their own records checks.

FWS, whose offices typically work alone and patrol large areas without backup, spearheaded the adoption of the technology. Now the PocketCop and Mobile applications are being used in four of the agency’s nine regions. “The No. 1 reason we did this was for officer safety,” said FWS zone officer David Nicely, who was instrumental in getting access to the applications.

The officers depend on their networked laptops and agency-issued BlackBerrys while working in the field, and these now provide direct access to law enforcement databases without having to go through the dispatcher at a local department. The applications also were customized for FWS use.

“Everybody does things differently, and the regulations are different,” Nicely said. Among the changes are the ability to do queries on registrations for water and aircraft, which most police rarely if ever need.

Field officers also can get information quickly, without having to wait for a dispatcher who might be busy and unable to submit NLETS queries immediately. The mobile apps offer additional features, including the ability to locate other officers on duty through the Global Positioning System, form ad hoc talk groups to share information, and broadcast an emergency notice for assistance that includes a GPS location. When users are doing records checks, it also notifies them if another officer using the system has run a check on the same individual.

“If I run [a search on] a guy in Pennsylvania, and if any one of our other officers ran this guy somewhere else, PocketCop will bring up an icon and give that officer’s name and contact information,” Nicely said. “That’s one of the things I thought was great.”

Although field access to NLETS helps to make federal officers more self-sufficient, it does not change the fact that they often are working alone and have to depend on state and local police for help.

“That doesn’t mean we won’t use the radio to call these people,” Nicely said. “We still need these guys.”

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.