Central Ohio Agencies Implement Crime-Fighting Technology

Intra-agency information sharing system helps identify subjects faster.

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Seven central Ohio law enforcement agencies recently joined forces to implement new crime-fighting technology that allows police departments to enter, access and share information across jurisdictional lines. The agencies participating in the consortium project include Dublin, Grandview Heights, The Ohio State University (OSU), Powell, Westerville, Worthington and Upper Arlington.

Each agency has implemented iLincs, a Web-based mobile crime-fighting information system that enables officers in the field to identify subjects, issue missing person alerts and wanted notifications, and enhance field interview reports with photos and fingerprints. With increasing populations, hazier jurisdictional lines, and increasing emphasis on homeland security and fighting terrorism, the agency consortium realized that they needed to dramatically enhance communication internally and with neighboring agencies.

"The equation of success for central Ohio law enforcement is simple," said Michael Clancey, chief of the Westerville, Ohio Police Department. "Effective technology plus timely information equals officer safety. This real-time informational exchange between agencies also translates into safer communities in central Ohio."

iLincs, from Armada Group, allows officers to capture, access and share both visual and text-based information on a suspect or incident. It can be used with existing in-cruiser and in-station PC-based systems and with other mobile technology such as a cell phone or PDA. iLincs also provides officers fast access to local, state and national data repositories.

Project funding for six of the agencies, excluding the OSU police, was made possible through grants administered by the Ohio Office of Criminal Justice Services and funded by the U.S. Department of Justice. The OSU Police Department used its own funding to participate in the consortium.

According to Detective Rick Amweg of the OSU Police Department, increasing information sharing with neighboring police agencies such as Upper Arlington and Grandview Heights helps the university and is critical in solving campus crime.

"The university has several officers on foot or bicycles who require or need to enter critical information, but are not close to the station," Amweg continued. "This project will enable us to put state-of-the-art mobile technology in the hands of every officer so they can enter, access and share real-time information from the field -- helping us to become more efficient, improve officer safety and resolve cases faster."

Miriam Jones is chief copy editor of Government Technology, Governing, Public CIO and Emergency Management magazines. She joined e.Republic in 2000 as an editor of Converge magazine.