RISS provides services to support law enforcement member agency investigations and prosecutions.
RISS services include:
- Information sharing through the RISS Secure Cloud (RISSNET™)
- Officer safety and deconfliction
- Investigative support and research
- Analysis of criminal activity data and development of diverse and varied analytical products
- Loan of specialized investigative equipment
- Loan of confidential funds
- Specialized training, conferences, and meetings
- Publications, bulletins, and educational materials
- Field services support and technical assistance
What resources are available via the RISS Secure Cloud (RISSNET™)?
How is RISS different from other nationwide information sharing programs?
RISS has unique roles and responsibilities; distinctive operational capabilities; multiple sources, formats, and mechanisms to collect and disseminate information;
and different customers than other criminal justice programs. RISS is the only system built by law enforcement for law enforcement and is governed
by state and local law enforcement.
Systems such as the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Homeland Security Information Network (HSIN),
the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) Law Enforcement Online (LEO), the National Security Agency’s (NSA) Intelink-U, and RISS
represent critical components of the Information Sharing Environment (www.ise.gov) and offer valuable services for their individual customers.
These systems are not duplicative. Each system provides primary services or programs that make it distinct.
Examples of the distinctive criminal justice and officer safety resources provided by RISS through RISSNET include:
RISS works closely with many partners, including HSIN, LEO, and Intelink, to provide criminal justice and homeland security agents at all levels of government with
secure easy access to critical information from multiple partner systems. RISS and its partners share information securely using two
complementary approaches: (1) Single Sign-On using federated identity technology
and (2) system-to-system bidirectional information sharing.
RISS also provides critical officer safety event deconfliction through RISSafe and maintains the RISS Officer Safety Website.
In addition to automated capabilities, RISS provides investigative support, such as analytical services, equipment loans, technical assistance,
case funds support, training and publications, and intelligence research. RISS is the only program that offers face-to-face interaction,
with direct service to member agencies, including field coordinators as on-site liaisons.
How is RISS funded?
Who governs RISS and what is the role of the RISS National Policy Group?
RISS is governed by its local and regional member law enforcement agencies through individual RISS Center policy boards. The RISS National
Policy Group (RNPG) is composed of the six RISS Center Directors and the chair of each RISS Center’s policy board or his or her designee.
Each RISS Center has an established policy board or executive committee composed of representatives from member criminal justice agencies
in the center’s multistate region. The primary purpose of center policy boards is to provide direction affecting center policy, operation,
and administration. The RNPG is responsible for strategic planning, resolution of operational issues, advancement of information sharing,
and decision making affecting the RISS Centers, the nationwide organization, service delivery, member agencies, and related partner organizations.
What is the role of the RISS National Coordinator?
The RISS National Coordinator represents RISS at the enterprise level and serves as an ambassador for the program. The RISS
National Coordinator works with local, state, federal, and tribal governmental officials and agencies to help ensure optimal
communication and coordination efforts among RISS and its partners. The RISS National Coordinator fosters opportunities
to promote RISS solutions for information sharing, deconfliction, and investigative support.
What is the role of the RISS Technology Support Center?
The RISS Technology Support Center (RTSC) is located in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. The RTSC Manager oversees the operations of the RTSC, which
consists of the Applications Development Group and the Intranet Operations Group. The RTSC staff develops and maintains technical programs
and projects that provide critical information services to RISS and its information sharing partners. The RTSC also maintains
the RISS Secure Cloud (RISSNET) and supports the RISS Centers in their information technology efforts.
What is the role of the Institute for Intergovernmental Research®?
The Institute for Intergovernmental Research (IIR) is a Florida-based nonprofit research and training organization specializing in law enforcement, juvenile justice,
and criminal justice issues. IIR serves as the technical service provider for ongoing technical training, research, and analysis services to the RISS Program through the
support of grant awards received from BJA. IIR supports RISS by providing project coordination activities, policy development assistance, research and program planning, performance
measurement and evaluation, meeting coordination, training, and information systems support. IIR provides for management support and spending
related to the operation of RISSNET and RISS database applications, including liaison to RISS information technology operational and applications
development components, coordination of information technology support, and processing of technology purchases and acquisitions. IIR has worked with
the RISS Program for more than 30 years providing technical assistance support services. For more information about IIR,
Who are the primary customers of RISS?
The primary customers of RISS and RISSNET are local, state, federal, and tribal law enforcement member agency personnel. RISS supports the investigative and
prosecution efforts of member agencies in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, U.S. territories, Australia, Canada, England, and New Zealand. RISS also
provides services and tools to thousands of public safety and private sector partners through the RISS ATIX
RISS membership has grown to more than 8,860 law enforcement and criminal justice agencies, including more than 116,000 access officers.
Agency membership is required for access to most RISS resources (some exceptions include RISSafe, RISSGang, and RISS ATIX). Membership is a
critical component to ensuring a trusted network of users as well as the integrity of the overall information sharing process and of RISSNET
and its related programs and applications. Agency membership fees are nominal.
Each RISS Center has implemented a membership application and policy board approval process. Agency membership is typically open to all local,
state, federal, and tribal law enforcement agencies; prosecution agencies; corrections agencies; and others, such as multijurisdictional task forces
and regulatory agencies with law enforcement or criminal investigative authority. However, it is important to note that membership in a RISS Center
is governed by the specific RISS Center’s rules, procedures, policies, constitution, and/or bylaws.
Law enforcement agencies may access RISSafe, the RISS Officer Safety Website, RISSGang, and other resources—after completing a thorough vetting
process—without the requirement to establish RISS membership. In addition, those individuals participating in RISS ATIX also complete a vetting
and approval process prior to accessing ATIX resources.
RISS has also established information sharing partnerships with member and nonmember law enforcement agencies at the state and federal
levels based on federated identity technology. RISS’s federated partnerships provide its members with access to numerous information services
that are available on partner systems and provide access to users of partner systems with access to resources on RISSNET, based on user attributes
sent to RISSNET on behalf of the user by the partner system.
RISSNET is a secure Sensitive But Unclassified (SBU) law enforcement information sharing cloud provider. RISSNET provides access to millions of pieces of
data, offers bidirectional sharing of information, and connects disparate state, local, and federal systems. Agencies can easily connect to RISSNET, share
information and intelligence in a secure environment, and query multiple systems simultaneously. Currently, more than 80 systems are connected or
pending connection to RISSNET. In addition, more than 350 resources are available via RISSNET to authorized users; the owners of these resources rely on
RISSNET for its secure infrastructure. RISSNET enables users to connect quickly using secure web-based technologies at both National Institute of
Standards and Technology (NIST) Level 2 and NIST Level 3.
Through information sharing partnerships based on federated identity technology, RISSNET provides secure access for users on partner systems
to RISSNET resources and for RISS members to resources provided by federal agencies such as the FBI’s Joint Automated Booking System (JABS), the
National Security Agency’s (NSA) Intelink-U Website, and the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC) Electronic Learning Portal (ELP).
What partner agencies are connected to RISSNET?
Currently, more than 80 partner agencies are connected or pending connection to RISSNET. RISSNET serves state law enforcement systems, High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA) network systems, and federal and other systems electronically connected to RISSNET. Examples of connected systems include:
- Association of Law Enforcement Intelligence Units (LEIU)
- Nlets—The International Justice and Public Safety Network
- El Paso Intelligence Center (EPIC)
- National Virtual Pointer System (NVPS)
- U.S. Department of Justice, Criminal Division
- National Gang Intelligence Center (NGIC)
- U.S. Secret Service, National Threat Assessment Center (NTAC)
- California Department of Justice, Bureau of Investigation
- Oregon State Intelligence Network
- Colorado Law Enforcement Intelligence Network
- Arizona Department of Public Safety
- National Security Agency (NSA) Intelink-U
- Delaware State Police Intelligence System
- U.S. Postal Inspection Service
- National Railroad Trespasser Database
- Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives
How does an authorized user access RISSNET?
For staff of member agencies, access to RISSNET can be achieved through a single computer connection using an Internet Service Provider (ISP) or
via a RISSNET node connection of an agency information technology system. Member agency staff should contact their in-region RISS Center
for an enrollment package. The enrollment package provides step-by-step instructions for connecting to RISSNET. In addition, RISS has
moved to an industry standards secure web-based authentication technology. To find out how to connect to RISSNET, contact
your in-region RISS Center. For RISS Center contact information, click here.
Users of partner systems that use federated identity technology to access RISSNET are eligible to access certain resources
These federated partner systems provide their users with a link to the RISSNET Portal. If the user has already logged on to the user’s
home system, the user will be connected to RISSNET without requiring a second log-on. If the user of the partner system reached the
RISSNET Portal without having logged on to the user’s home system, the user will be redirected to the user’s home system to complete
the log-on process. Contact your system administrator or Help Desk to discover whether your system has a federated partnership with RISS.
What is the RISSNET Portal?
The RISSNET Portal provides users with a streamlined log-on process, ease of access to resources available on RISSNET, and enhanced search capabilities to
RISSNET and partner resources.
What security measures are in place to ensure that information transmissions are secure when using RISSNET?
The technical capabilities and systems architecture implemented by RISS permit authorized users to interact electronically with one another in a
secure environment. RISSNET protects these transmissions through the use of encryption, user authentication, Internet protocol security standards, and
firewalls to prevent unauthorized access.
What is the U.S. Department of Justice Global Justice Extensible Markup Language (XML)?
RISS uses XML (Extensible Markup Language), a worldwide technology standard, for communication between web-based applications.
RISS supports multiple XML exchanges, both in-house formats and community-based standards, to facilitate the sharing of criminal
intelligence information with RISS member agencies and law enforcement standards. RISS has been actively involved with the
Global Justice Information Sharing Initiative (Global) Intelligence Working Group to develop standards for the justice community.
Data exchanges developed by RISS are compatible with such standards as the Global Reconciliation Data Dictionary (RDD), the Global
Justice XML Data Model (GJXDM), the National Information Exchange Model (NIEM), and the Logical Entity eXchange Specifications (LEXS).
For more information on Global and XML, visit www.it.ojp.gov.
Does RISS consider privacy rights?
RISS firmly recognizes the need to ensure that an individual’s constitutional rights, civil
liberties, civil rights, and privacy interests are protected throughout the intelligence process.
RISS endorses the National Criminal Intelligence Sharing Plan
recommendation to ensure that
"the collection, submission, access, storage, and dissemination of criminal intelligence
information conforms to the privacy and constitutional rights of individuals, groups, and
organizations" and that "law enforcement agencies shall adopt, at a minimum, the standards
required by the Criminal Intelligence Systems Operating Policies federal regulation
Part 23 and is based on the Global Justice Information Sharing Initiative (Global) privacy
guidelines. All RISS member agencies have also agreed to comply with the requirements of
28 CFR Part 23 with respect to any criminal information they submit into applicable RISS
criminal intelligence databases. RISS strongly encourages its member agencies and, indeed, all
law enforcement agencies to voluntarily adopt appropriate and clearly defined privacy and
security safeguards for all agency intelligence missions to manage and control collection,
retention, and dissemination activities.
What is RISSIntel?
is a web-based application that provides for real-time, online federated search of RISS and partner intelligence databases, including state
intelligence systems, California’s criminal gang-focused intelligence system (CalGang®), and systems connected via the National Virtual Pointer System.
RISSIntel permits federated searching across many systems without requiring the RISSNET user to have a separate user account for each partner
system. Member agency personnel may also contact their in-region RISS Center intelligence research staff via telephone, fax, or e-mail for assistance in performing searches.
RISSIntel contains millions of records that include individuals, organizations, and associates, as well as locations, vehicles, weapons, and
telephone numbers. When information is located in any of the connected databases, the user is referred to agencies that have additional information.
The databases are designed to encourage exchange of information and coordination among member agencies investigating the same individuals or organizations.
Member agencies are able to submit large volumes of data for inclusion in the databases through software applications implemented by RISS.
One of RISS’s primary goals is to provide law enforcement with a conduit for sharing criminal intelligence information. By leveraging the
RISSIntel applications, agencies can utilize existing technology through an instance of RISSIntel known as RISS7. Offering this resource provides
agencies with a solution without developing new stand-alone systems. Instead, law enforcement agencies can operate an autonomous criminal
intelligence database to aid in their investigative efforts while being a part of the broader RISSNET community.
Are RISS criminal intelligence databases subject to 28 Code of Federal Regulations Part 23 (28 CFR Part 23)?
All RISS criminal intelligence databases comply with 28 CFR Part 23, issued by the Office of Justice Programs, BJA. All criminal intelligence
databases electronically connected to RISSNET, which are available for member agency access, must also comply with 28 CFR Part 23. RISS provides
member agencies with training and on-site technical assistance to ensure compliance with the regulation.
For additional information on 28 CFR Part 23, visit www.riss.net/Policy/CFR
What is RISSLinks?
RISSLinks is an online data visualization and analysis capability that enables RISS staff and agency officers to view, in a link chart format, information
found in the RISSIntel and RISSGang criminal intelligence databases.
What is the RISSLeads Investigative Website™?
RISSLeads enables authorized law enforcement officers to post information regarding a particular case or other law enforcement issues. Case information is
posted with the intent of generating investigative leads. Member agencies share intelligence by viewing and responding to posted information. RISSLeads
provides geographically disparate law enforcement professionals with the opportunity to convene electronically to discuss crime trends or specific
cases and share investigative techniques. Both open and private information sharing platforms are available depending on investigative or information sharing needs.
What is RISS ATIX™?
leverages the RISSNET infrastructure to provide a secure platform for law enforcement, public safety, first responders, and the private sector organizations
involved in securing our nation from terrorism and other disasters to share information. Community groups include local, county, state, and tribal levels of
emergency management, law enforcement, and government, as well as public and private utilities, transportation, agriculture, chemical manufacturing, private
security, environmental protection, banking and finance, and hospitality industries.
What is the RISSGang™ Program?
The RISSGang Program
consists of the RISS National Gang Intelligence Database, the RISSGang Website, and informational resources. The database, which is 28
CFR Part 23-compliant, provides law enforcement agencies with access to gang records, including suspects, organizations, weapons, locations,
and vehicles, as well as visual imagery of gang members, gang symbols, and gang graffiti. The website provides a vast amount of resources,
information, and publications. In an effort to increase the sharing of gang information, RISS provides access to the RISSGang Program resources to
all criminal justice agencies without the requirement to establish RISS membership.
What is RISSafe™?
is an officer safety event deconfliction system. RISSafe stores and maintains data on planned law enforcement events—such as raids, controlled buys, and
surveillances—with the goal of identifying and alerting affected agencies and officers of potential conflicts impacting law enforcement efforts. RISSafe is used in
conjunction with mapping software to verify data on event locations when an event is entered into the system. If a conflict is identified, immediate notification
to the submitting officer occurs, as well as notification to the conflicted officers by a RISSafe Watch Center. RISSafe makes a significant contribution towards
enhancing officer safety and supporting criminal investigations.
RISSafe Mobile enables officers to access RISSafe from their smartphones and other mobile devices. RISSafe Mobile supports the following mobile operating system
platforms: iPhone® iOS (including the iPad®), Windows Mobile®, Android™ devices, and BlackBerry®.
What is the Officer Safety Website?
The RISS Officer Safety Website
serves as a nationwide repository for issues related to officer safety, such as concealments, hidden weapons, armed and
dangerous threats, officer safety videos, special reports, and training. RISS members and registered users of the VALOR Web Portal who are sworn law
enforcement are able to access the RISS Officer Safety Website and vice-versa. Users of federated partner systems who are also designated as
Sworn Law Enforcement Officers are also able to access the RISS Officer Safety Website.
What are RISS Secure Hosted Websites?
In addition to the many online resources available to RISSNET users, RISS offers its partners the ability to establish secure, full-function collaboration websites on
a nationwide, regional, local, or team level. These secure collaboration sites are hosted by RISS on RISSNET, in coordination with the in-region RISS Center,
using the many built-in features of Microsoft’s SharePoint® and are available, as approved by the in-region RISS Director, to any RISS law enforcement partner
or prospective partner regardless of RISS membership who has a legitimate need for this service. Access to the information stored on secure hosted sites is
under the control of the partner-assigned website Owner.
RISS works with its partners to develop each secure hosted website so that members of the partner’s group can share information, post materials,
and communicate with each other. There are currently more than 30 sites housed on RISSNET. Examples of these sites include:
- Assured SBU Network Interoperability Working Group
- Federal Law Enforcement Training Accreditation
- Medicaid Fraud Control Units
- Medicaid Integrity Institute
- Vehicle Theft Investigators
- National Interagency Fire Center
- New Jersey Office of Homeland Security & Preparedness
- New Jersey Regional Operations Intelligence Center
- Pennsylvania Criminal Intelligence Center
- Alabama Gang Investigators Association
- Midwest Gang Investigators Association (Kentucky Chapter)
How has RISS partnered with fusion centers?
RISS Centers have actively engaged with fusion centers in a variety of ways, including collocating efforts, participating as formal members of fusion center
governance bodies, and using HSIN. In addition, almost all fusion centers have access to RISSNET, thus further fostering the collaboration between RISS Centers
and fusion centers. RISS intelligence analysts interact daily with staff at various fusion centers, and in some instances, RISS Center staff members are assigned
to a fusion center. Fusion center and RISS staffs benefit from daily interactions that enable them to capitalize on each other’s knowledge and experience.
RISS provides technical on-site assistance to fusion centers to integrate RISS services and resources into their daily operations and coordinates the delivery
of RISS services with fusion center personnel. RISS also provides the fusion center staff with on-site training, research, and topical publications. Through
RISS’s sponsored and cosponsored training opportunities, courses such as anti-terrorism, analytical techniques, and 28 CFR Part 23 are made available. RISS
researches, drafts, and disseminates publications related to fusion centers and information sharing strategies to thousands of criminal justice professionals.
RISS is working with 17 fusion centers to connect their existing intelligence systems via RISSIntel. This project is being referred to as the Northeast
Fusion Center Intelligence Project.
How does RISS make use of Federated Identity Management?
A need existed to enable authorized users from systems outside of RISSNET to access information on RISSNET using a digital credential originating at the user’s
home system. To provide this access, RISS initiated the Trusted Credential Project, which enabled RISS to create and accept credentials in the form of Security
Assertion Markup Language (SAML) Assertions and exchange them with other systems.
RISS’s early involvement in Federated Identity Management enabled it to participate in two groundbreaking nationwide justice-related information sharing
initiatives beginning in 2005: (1) the Global Federated Identity and Privilege Management (GFIPM) project and (2) the Law Enforcement Information
Sharing Program (LEISP) Federated Identity project.
The GFIPM and LEISP projects took slightly different approaches and included different participants, but both proved useful to their partners and
resulted in the creation of two ongoing identity-based federations that actively connect critical criminal justice and public safety information
with the authorized people. The GFIPM Demonstration Projects resulted in the establishment of a set of standards and procedures used to create
the National Information Exchange Federation (NIEF), and the LEISP pilot resulted in the establishment of the Law Enforcement Enterprise Portal (LEEP).
As of December 31, 2013, there were more than 18,000 users from trusted partner systems using Federated Identity Management to access RISSNET resources.
What is the National Information Exchange Model (NIEM)?
NIEM’s mission is to develop a unified strategy, partnerships, and technical
implementations for national information sharing by joining together communities of interest.
NIEM leverages the data exchange standards efforts successfully implemented by Global and
extends the GJXDM to facilitate timely, secure information sharing across the whole of the
justice, public safety, emergency and disaster management, intelligence, and homeland security enterprise.
For more information about NIEM, visit
How does RISS measure the effectiveness of the program?
RISS maintains a comprehensive performance plan and reports and analyzes performance
on a regular basis. Program effectiveness is measured by the delivery and acceptance of RISS
reports, data analysis, educational products, policy documents, strategic plans, performance
measures, and feedback from RISS Center management and staff and the BJA Program Office.