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National Sheriffs' Association Expands First Responder Connectivity Capabilities

Technology team to build information sharing network to support local law enforcement.

ALEXANDRIA, Va. -- The National Sheriffs' Association (NSA) and the Pegasus Research Foundation (PRF) will expand the NSA Pegasus Program for Multi-State Information Sharing.

The NSA Pegasus Program is a nonfederal multi-state immediate information sharing system designed by and for local law enforcement and first responders utilizing COTS technology. The Pegasus Program is operated using U.S. Department of Justice-approved National Institute of Standards and Technology criteria, and is managed by the Pegasus Research Foundation in coordination with and for the National Sheriffs' Association (NSA).

NSA recently awarded a contract to Maximum Information Technology (MaxIT) and its Pegasus Technology Consortium (PTC). The PTC will build upon its NSA Pegasus Program Pilot System, which covered four offices, with a broader rollout of the information-sharing network to 220 sheriffs' offices throughout the United States. In addition, 500 additional sheriffs' offices will contribute data to the network.

The primary objective of the project is to demonstrate the power of information sharing, to strengthen operational and homeland security public safety, address critical data interoperability issues for sheriffs, law enforcement and first-responders and to support local law enforcement database sharing.

To meet these objectives, the PTC will enable information sharing among the diverse records and database software used by the offices so that authorized users in the program can automatically access local public records, for increased efficiency and effectiveness in day-to-day operations and for enhanced homeland security in preparing for and responding to the terrorist threat. Technologies provided by the PTC will enable critical continuity of operations capabilities and network survivability, ensuring connectivity between offices despite network condition. Access to the network will be strictly limited to authorized individuals by utilizing biometric authentication technologies.

The NSA is a nonprofit organization representing the nation's approximately 3,100 sheriffs. NSA has been involved in numerous programs to enable sheriffs, their deputies, and others in the field of criminal justice to perform their jobs in the best possible manner and to better serve the people of the counties and cities they serve.

The PRF is a nonprofit corporation created to work in coordination with the nation's sheriffs, municipal police, fire departments, first responders, public health and critical infrastructure entities to facilitate multi-state sharing of essential law enforcement and homeland security information.

The PTC consists of MaxIT, Appriss, Bio-Key International, Business Communications, Circadence Corporation, Cquay Technologies, Dell, eLabs, MS e-Center and Sun Microsystems.
Miriam Jones is a former chief copy editor of Government Technology, Governing, Public CIO and Emergency Management magazines.
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