RISS Insider
Winter 2014

Northeast Fusion Center Intelligence Project

Photo of Watch Center

RISS provides secure information and intelligence sharing capabilities, investigative and analytical services, and officer safety deconfliction. RISS intelligence analysts interact daily with staff at various fusion centers across the country, 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 Code of Federal Regulations 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 throughout the nation. In addition, almost all fusion centers (97.4 percent) have access to the RISS Secure Cloud (RISSNET), thus further fostering the collaboration between RISS Centers and fusion centers.

Each of the fusion centers has critical goals relative to the prevention of and rapid response to threats to the safety of U.S. citizens. One of those goals includes the collection and analysis of critical information, including intelligence information, from a variety of sources and the dissemination of that information locally (i.e., within the fusion center), nationally, and with other fusion centers across the nation. Sharing critical intelligence information between and among fusion centers is the focus of the Northeast Fusion Center Intelligence Project. A critical element of the project is the efficient reuse of proven standards-based system-to-system data exchange tools.

The RISS Program was awarded funding for the Northeast Fusion Center Intelligence Project from the Office of the Program Manager, Information Sharing Environment, in collaboration with the Bureau of Justice Assistance. The project aims to implement the ability of fusion centers in the northeast region to utilize their existing intelligence system by connecting to the RISS Criminal Intelligence Databases (RISSIntel). RISSIntel is accessible via RISSNET and currently provides for the real-time, online federated search of more than 35 state and regional connected systems simultaneously without requiring the user to log on to the individual systems. By leveraging RISSNET and RISSIntel, fusion centers can securely share intelligence data among themselves and other entities efficiently and effectively, analyze criminal and terrorism data across jurisdictional boundaries and agencies, and safeguard privacy, civil rights, and civil liberties.

RISS identified 17 fusion centers to participate in this project. Each of the fusion centers either already has or is in the process of acquiring a software system to manage its intelligence information.

RISS is honored to be working with these fusion centers and continues to move forward with this effort. For more information about RISS, visit www.riss.net and facebook.com/TheRISSProgram.

Expanding Information Sharing by Connecting Systems

Technician at Watch Center

RISS developed the RISS Secure Cloud (RISSNET), a secure infrastructure for law enforcement and criminal justice agencies to share information across jurisdictions. RISSNET is the only nationwide sensitive but unclassified (SBU) law enforcement information sharing cloud provider governed by its users. RISSNET houses millions of pieces of data, offers bidirectional sharing of information, and connects disparate state, local, and federal systems. Our nation’s public safety mission requires an interoperable information sharing environment to proactively solve crimes. RISSNET is a major component in meeting this need.

RISSNET serves as the secure communications infrastructure for a number of critical resources and investigative tools. Currently, 84 systems are connected or pending connection to RISSNET. There are more than 350 RISS and partner resources available via RISSNET to authorized users; the owners of these resources rely on RISSNET for its secure infrastructure. By connecting to RISSNET, rather than funding the build-out of new stand-alone information systems, law enforcement agencies and systems are able to save hundreds of millions of dollars and easily and quickly access millions of data records.

RISS recently welcomed the Philadelphia Police Department, the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation, and the Ohio Department of Public Safety to the group of partner agency systems connected to RISSNET and sharing criminal intelligence via the RISS Criminal Intelligence Databases (RISSIntel). These intelligence databases are now available for real-time, online federated search through RISSIntel.

RISS member agency users may query the six RISSIntel databases and more than 35 partnering agency systems, including the National Virtual Pointer System (NVPS) agency systems, connected via the NVPS Message Hub. In addition, numerous fusion centers in the northeast region of the United States are planning connections to RISSNET in the next few months.

This seamless capability is beneficial to officers, analysts, and other authorized users who are involved in developing investigative case information and analyses. RISSNET connectivity is an ideal collaboration model that maximizes criminal information sharing and provides for the simultaneous search of separate but connected criminal intelligence databases containing millions of intelligence records. All RISS criminal intelligence databases and partnering agency systems comply with the Criminal Intelligence Systems Operating Policies (28 Code of Federal Regulations [CFR] Part 23), issued by the Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice.

If you would like more information regarding connecting to RISSNET, contact your in-region RISS Center or visit www.riss.net.

RISS Analytical Products Lead to Murder Conviction
Radio Tower

RISS offers law enforcement agencies and officers a full range of support services, from the beginning of an investigation to the ultimate prosecution and conviction of criminals. RISS member agencies rely on RISS for these investigative support services. One of RISS’s investigative support services in high demand is its analytical services.

In FY2013, RISS analysts developed 27,015 highly complex and specialized flowcharts, link-analysis charts, crime scene diagrams, and telephone toll analysis, as well as financial analysis reports, digital forensics analysis, and audio/video enhancement services. Analysts prepared crime surveys; activity assessment reports, such as terrorism assessments; and national-scope products for distribution. RISS analysts also provided their expertise during court preparation and served as expert witnesses at trial.

By using RISS analytical products, RISS member agencies experience numerous shared successes. One example of this pertains to a request that the New England State Police Information Network (NESPIN), a RISS Center, received from the Boston, Massachusetts, Police Department.

The Boston Police Department was working a case in which the victim was stabbed to death and the main suspect and an accessory fled the scene. The Boston Police Department contacted NESPIN for analytical assistance. The NESPIN analytical staff prepared reports and charts that were used in the investigation and during the trial of the two suspects. As a result, the main suspect was convicted of second-degree murder. He faces a mandatory term of life in prison with the possibility of parole after 15 years. The accomplice was found guilty of being an accessory. He faces a maximum of 7 years as an accessory to murder after the fact.

A detective with the Boston Police Department stated, “I am looking forward to further utilizing NESPIN services, as they have quickly become a valued resource.” RISS benefits thousands of agencies and officers and provides vital resources and services to support law enforcement and public safety efforts.

To read success stories from your region or state, as well as other information regarding RISS, visit www.riss.net/Impact.

Learn the latest information about RISS services and resources at www.riss.net and at facebook.com/TheRISSProgram.

A Call to Action – Officer Safety Event Deconfliction
Combined Officer Safety System Logos

Event deconfliction is the process of determining when law enforcement personnel are conducting an event in close proximity to one another at the same time. Events include law enforcement actions, such as raids, undercover operations, surveillance, or executing search warrants. When certain elements (e.g., time, date, or location) are matched between two or more events, a hit (or conflict) results. Immediate notification is then made to the affected agencies or personnel regarding the identified conflict.

Using a deconfliction system enables officers to identify conflicts, collaborate with other law enforcement agencies and officers, avoid officer safety issues, and maintain investigative efforts. After entering an event into a deconfliction system, officers often discover that they are investigating the same subject as another law enforcement agency or officer. Officers are then able to leverage each other’s information and successfully apprehend criminals.

The Criminal Intelligence Coordinating Council (CICC) consists of members representing law enforcement and homeland security agencies from all levels of government and is an advocate for state, local, and tribal law enforcement and their efforts to develop and share criminal intelligence for the purpose of promoting public safety and securing the nation.

Because of its role within the nation’s intelligence landscape, the CICC is in the unique position to serve as the voice for all levels of law enforcement, which it does by making recommendations to the Bureau of Justice Assistance through the Global Justice Information Sharing Initiative (Global) Advisory Committee-the Federal Advisory Committee to the
U.S. Attorney General on standards-based, justice-related information sharing. The CICC strives to ensure that every chief, sheriff, and law enforcement executive has a stake in its effort so that all law enforcement and homeland security agencies understand their role in the development and sharing of information and intelligence. The CICC also collaborates with federal partners, including the U.S. Department of Justice; the U.S. Department of Homeland Security; the Federal Bureau of Investigation; the Office of the Program Manager, Information Sharing Environment; and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, to coordinate national initiatives focused on intelligence sharing.

In July 2013, the CICC formed the Deconfliction Task Team, which met and developed a Call to Action urging all law enforcement agencies to use an event deconfliction system, regardless of the system. Visit https://www.ncirc.gov/Deconfliction/ to read the Call to Action and to learn about which deconfliction systems are available in your area and how to participate.

The CICC also recognized the need to interconnect existing event deconfliction systems. There are three nationally recognized event deconfliction systems: Case Explorer and the Secure Automated Fast Event Tracking Network (SAFETNet), which are used by the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA) throughout the country, and the RISS Officer Safety Event Deconfliction System (RISSafe), which was developed and is used by RISS as well as some of the HIDTAs.

Also in July, representatives from HIDTA and RISS met in Chicago, Illinois, to discuss this effort, known as the Nationwide Event Deconfliction Partner Project, which aims to identify the next steps and strategies for promoting the use of event deconfliction among the law enforcement community and for connecting the deconfliction systems.

RISSafe and Case Explorer have been connected in the Middle Atlantic-Great Lakes Organized Crime Law Enforcement Network (MAGLOCLEN), the Mid-States Organized Crime Information Center (MOCIC), the New England State Police Information Network (NESPIN), the Regional Organized Crime Information Center (ROCIC), and the Rocky Mountain Information Network (RMIN) regions. It is anticipated that the Western States Information Network (WSIN) will be connected in early 2014. Additional work is under way to refine and expand this initiative and to pursue interconnectivity with additional deconfliction partners.

The safety of officers is a top priority, and using an event deconfliction system is one critical component for safeguarding these men and women. Contact your in-region RISS Center or appropriate HIDTA for more information about event deconfliction and how you and your agency can benefit from this important officer safety tool.

National Data Exchange (N-DEx) Now Available via RISSNET

N-DEx Logo

The N-DEx and RISS Information Sharing Partnership aims to expand the availability of case management, investigative, and intelligence data as well as critical analytical tools to law enforcement agencies and officers in a secure, real-time environment without the need to log on separately to both systems. Through this effort, access to N-DEx will be available to authorized RISS Secure Cloud (RISSNET) users via the Law Enforcement Enterprise Portal (LEEP) without an additional username or password. This capability enables officers to obtain needed information quickly, saves officers’ time, streamlines operations, and enhances law enforcement’s ability to respond to crime in their community effectively and efficiently.

The project was launched in December 2013 in the Rocky Mountain Information Network (RMIN), a RISS Center region. N-DEx and RISS training was held in El Paso County, Colorado, and additional training will be scheduled throughout Colorado and the RMIN region. It is anticipated that the project will expand to the other five RISS regions in 2014.

N-DEx is the only national criminal justice investigative information sharing system. N-DEx contains records from thousands of criminal justice agencies that have contributed millions of records, representing more than one billion entities, including persons, places, things, and events. N-DEx supports multijurisdictional task forces-enhancing national information sharing, linking regional and state records management systems, and enabling virtual regional information sharing. N-DEx supplies free, secure, and immediate access to relevant information, enhances the criminal justice community’s ability to share that information in a timely manner, and provides analysis and collaboration tools to assist investigators working cases cooperatively with other agencies.

N-DEx and RISS/RMIN are proud of this partnership and are dedicated to providing law enforcement with easy access to critical data and supporting law enforcement efforts throughout the country. For more information about these systems or this partnership effort, contact N-DEx at ndex@leo.gov and view the N-DEx website at http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/n-dex or contact RISS at portalfeedback@risstech.riss.net or www.riss.net.