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Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Florida to Deploy COPLINK to Support Crime Solving and Anti-Terrorism Initiatives

Knowledge Computing Corp. today announced that its critically-acclaimed COPLINK® Solution Suite will be deployed to support Florida's Regional Law Enforcement eXchange (R-LEX). Funding for the project was made possible primarily by grants from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

"Florida is a nationally-recognized thought leader on information sharing, as well as the creation and adoption of model standards," said Robert Griffin, CEO of Knowledge Computing Corp. "The decision to deploy COPLINK in an expanded capacity not only validates our proven performance in installations across the country, but reinforces why over 550 other jurisdictions nationwide rely on COPLINK's tactical and scaleable solutions for crime-solving and anti-terrorism initiatives."

"We're proud of the R-LEX initiative because it's a powerful tool for fighting crime across multiple jurisdictions statewide, and it's among the first to incorporate the National Information Exchange Model (NIEM) standards, which create greater flexibility for sharing critical information between local, state and federal law enforcement," said project manager Mike Phillips, who oversees the Florida Law Enforcement eXchange (FLEX) initiative.

COPLINK provides unparalleled analysis and decision support for rapidly identifying criminal suspects, relationships and patterns that help solve crime and thwart terrorism. Using a GJXDM compliant interface, it works by allowing vast quantities of structured and seemingly unrelated data - including data currently housed in various incompatible databases or records management systems - to be securely organized, consolidated and rapidly analyzed over a highly secure intranet-based platform.

One search using known or partial facts from an ongoing investigation can produce qualified leads that would otherwise be unapparent in seconds - a process that prior to COPLINK was not possible or often takes days or weeks to accomplish. Through sophisticated analytics, including powerful visualization tools, COPLINK builds "institutional memory," reduces knowledge gaps and prevents criminals from falling through the cracks.

Florida's R-LEX will be accessible to authorized law enforcement investigators, detectives, line officers, and crime analysts throughout the state and will be used for law enforcement purposes only. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE), eleven select state criminal justice agencies, along with three of Florida's seven domestic security task force regions will contribute data such as traffic citations, pawn data, dispatch records, local warrants, and offense reports from a total of 160 sources.

Domestic security task force regions contributing data include: the North Central Region which serves thirteen counties and the metropolitan Tallahassee area; the Southwest Region which serves nine counties and the metropolitan Naples/Ft. Myers area; and the Southeast Region which serves four counties and the metropolitan Miami/Ft. Lauderdale area.

A future phase of the project, which has yet to be awarded, will link up the four remaining regions including the Tampa Bay region which has been using COPLINK since 2005. Known as the Florida Law Enforcement Exchange (FLEX), when completed it will provide effective, secure and credible data interoperability among FDLE, State agencies, and all seven regions to assist with statewide domestic security and crime control initiatives.

The innovative model for this project was conceived by FDLE and its partners, and involves multiple vendors for execution and delivery. Data will be mapped, using a metadata mapping tool by Sypherlink, to a central NIEM-compliant warehouse hub to be built by systems integrator Keane, Inc. This hub will then feed into COPLINK, which will serve as the universal access point for the R-LEX. Based on FDLE's model, COPLINK, Sypherlink and Keane, Inc. are developing uniform interfaces that facilitate rapidly scaling information sharing statewide, and with additional state and federal partners in the future. When complete, the initiative will be the first in the nation to incorporate both NIEM and Law Enforcement Information Sharing Program (LEISP) EXchange Specifications (LEXS) at the state level.

Access to R-LEX will be restricted based on individual user security clearance levels, and the sensitivity of the data itself based on strict policy protocols to be spelled out in a memorandum of understanding between participating agencies. COPLINK also creates a detailed audit trail for every search conducted. This serves two purposes. Officers seeking to question or obtain a warrant on suspects identified through COPLINK are able to clearly demonstrate with hard facts how that person fits the criminal profile and how others were excluded. The Systems Administrator is also able to monitor use for audit purposes to identify any abuse that would result in suspension of a user's access privileges under the privacy and use protocols established by R-LEX participants in accordance with local, state and federal laws.

When COPLINK is used to create regional or statewide networks, each participating agency has real-time control over what data is shared, with whom and when. In addition, data continues to reside and be updated at its existing source, with automatic refresh mechanisms triggering updates within the hub and then COPLINK. These safeguards help protect the integrity of the data and sensitive information while allowing for the creation of ad hoc regional task forces to address specific criminal activity.

COPLINK first catapulted into the national spotlight for its proof of concept role following the Montgomery County, Maryland sniper investigation. Today, the solution is in use in over 550 jurisdictions nationwide including four of the nation's five largest cities, helping police officers fight crime, thwart terrorism and improve community safety. A powerful force multiplier, COPLINK is documented as conservatively providing a 14:1 investigative time advantage, reducing the time it takes to identify qualified suspects, thereby enabling law enforcement to keep more feet on the streets.

Winner of numerous awards, COPLINK was recognized twice by the International Association of Chiefs of Police for deployments in Tucson, Arizona and across the State of Alaska. The Center for Digital Government also recognized COPLINK as one of the best-of-breed and most innovative IT projects undertaken by cities in the nation.

Press Release - COPLINK