The challenges of law enforcement data sharing

RAND has put out a new report, titled “Improving Information-Sharing Across Law Enforcement: Why Can’t We Know?”   Written by John Hollywood and Zev Winkelman, it makes some key points, including:

  • Law enforcement information sharing is a complex problem; there are many different systems to integrate.
  • Information assurance is a key issue.
  • Cost, especially for smaller agencies, is often a limiting factor.

Lumen addresses all of these.  Because Lumen does not have its own pre-defined data schema, data sources such as customized RMS and CAD systems can be integrated and shared quickly, easily, and at low cost.  And Lumen is CJIS compliant, ensuring the security of critical law enforcement data.  Contact us today to learn more!

CJIS Compliance

Ensuring compliance with the FBI CJIS Security Policy is an in-depth, comprehensive project that requires scrutinizing everything from software design to physical security and training.    While we had built our entire Lumen and CJISvault infrastructure from the ground up to be CJIS compliant (including putting all of our staff through the appropriate CJIS training and background checks), we wanted to be absolutely sure that we had done everything right.  That’s why we engaged with CJIS ACE at Diverse Computing to help us ensure that we exceed all of the requirements with flying colors.  To quote Bill Tatun, former New York State Police CJIS Systems Officer and CISO of Diverse Computing, “You are among the best prepared I’ve ever seen.”

Horizontal CJIS ACE seal

Body cameras: how expensive does storage have to be?

Body camera vendors are experiencing explosive growth in demand.  There’s no doubt that these small cameras can make a big difference in reducing issues related to interactions between police officers and the public.  But what is the true cost of body camera storage?  As noted recently on PoliceOne.com, some agencies are facing multimillion dollar annual bills just for storing and managing the videos.

That’s one of the reasons we introduced CJISvault.  We think that reliable, CJIS-compliant cloud storage of body camera videos, crime scene photos, and other electronic evidence doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg.

Not only that, we also believe that critical data such as body camera videos shouldn’t be siloed inside yet another system.  Law enforcement agencies will get a lot more value out of their videos and photos if they can directly integrate them with RMS, CAD, and other data through Lumen, creating a user-friendly “one stop shop” for all of your data.  For less than the price of just storing your data with one of the big name body camera vendors, you can store your data securely in CJISvault and get the full-text search and powerful analytics of Lumen.  Interested?  Contact us for more details.

 

 

 

RAND Report on Information Technology Needs for Law Enforcement

RAND has put out a new report titled “High-priority Information Technology Needs for Law Enforcement.”    Thanks to RAND and John Hollywood for all of the hard work that clearly went into this report.  Top needs identified in the document include common operational picture to support day-to-day command and control,  knowledge management systems that can integrate multiple data streams such as RMS, CAD, and LPR cost effectively, and improved data interoperability and data sharing capabilities.

Lumen offers a unique and cost-effective solution to these needs.  If you were to talk to Lumen customers, you’d find that Lumen is meeting these three areas (and more!) day in and day out.   Contact us if you want to learn more!

Leaked document gives details on Palantir

TechCrunch has a story on Palantir today.   It sounds like a great product, but everything that they describe as a Palantir capability, Lumen can do too, and at a fraction of the price.   For example: “Detectives love the type of information it [Palantir] provides. They can now do things that we could not do before. They can now exactly see great information and the links between events and people.”  Or this one:  “Users do not have to use SQL queries or employ engineers to write strings in order to search…Instead, natural language is used to query data and results are returned in real-time.”  Again, check!

If this sounds like something you need, but you can’t afford Palantir’s seven-figure price tag, then Lumen is worth a look.

 

 

CJIS compliance and the Cloud

Chances are, you’ve heard of the cloud.  Every day, more businesses and more consumers are using software-as-a-service providers such as Amazon Web Services, Office 365, Dropbox, and others to provide on-demand software services at any scale.  The scalability and reliability are the major reasons why this move is happening.  Simply put, cloud vendors can realize economies of scale that an individual business or institution would be hard-pressed to match.   And they have the skills and knowledge necessary to implement best-in-class security measures.

Law enforcement poses a special challenge for cloud services.  Criminal history records, personally identifying information, and related information must be carefully controlled and used only for legally authorized purposes.  The FBI CJIS Security Policy lays out what we consider the ‘gold standard’ of how such information should be treated.  It includes the following measures:

  • Physical security.  Such information must be stored in a physically secure location to which only authorized personnel have access.
  • Logical security.  Authentication, encryption, and software access controls must be implemented according to standards set by the FBI.
  • Logging and auditing.  Security-related events must be securely logged and stored for auditing.

While the CJIS policy does allow for cloud computing, most vendors fail to meet the standards (for example, Google lost out on LA County’s business because Gmail isn’t CJIS compliant, while Microsoft Office 365 is).  When talking with a cloud vendor, be sure to ask about the CJIS policy.

If you are considering Lumen, you can rest assured that we have taken every measure to comply with the CJIS policy. Click to download our Lumen Security Brief, or contact us for more details.

 

 

What is enterprise search and why should you care?

Digital information is becoming increasingly important to law enforcement.  RMS, CAD, LPR, body camera video, cell phone forensics, mug shots,  digital crime scene photos, email boxes, and file archives are just a few of the data sources that must be managed, searched, and analyzed in a modern police department.  While there are many solutions that address a particular type of information, too often police personnel are left struggling to access 5 or 10 different internal systems just to piece together the information they need for one investigation or analyst report.

“Enterprise search” describes a suite of technologies designed to address this problem. As defined by Wikipedia, enterprise search is “the organized retrieval of structured and unstructured data within an organization.”  When searching for critical information, you want to be able to find and analyze it no matter where it lives in your agency.  And yet, most law enforcement software on the market today can only reach into one slice of data.

With Lumen, we’ve worked hard to implement an enterprise search and analytics platform specifically designed for the needs of law enforcement.  That means it is a secure, CJIS-compliant product inside and out.  It is fast; results appear in a fraction of a second.  And it is easy to get started, with minimal IT requirements and an intuitive interface.  If Lumen sounds like a solution that your agency needs, contact us today!