VERMONT

RISS Center- NESPIN

Vermont Leadership for NESPIN

In addition to federal monitoring, NESPIN is governed by a policy board composed of one state and one local representative from each member state. In Vermont, these leadership positions are held by the following NESPIN members:

Colonel Matthew Birmingham
Vermont Department of Public Safety
45 State Drive
Waterbury, VT 05676-0850
(802) 244-8718
matthew.birmingham@vermont.gov

Chief Trevor S. Whipple
South Burlington Police Department
19 Gregory Drive
South Burlington, VT 05403
(802) 846-4155
twhipple@southburlingtonpolice.org

NESPIN/RISS Initiatives

As threats to our nation continue to emerge, law enforcement at all levels of government must have the ability to quickly and securely access critical information and intelligence. RISS is an innovator and leader in providing this capability. Examples of RISS’s efforts include:

RISS Support for Narcotics (Including Opioid) Investigations: RISS has been named as an important partner in the President’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis. RISS is one of the key field-based information sharing, analytic, and investigative entities that leverage this capability to enable interjurisdictional and multidisciplinary information sharing and facilitate collaboration among federal, state, and local public safety partners to address both local and nationwide threats.

Identifying the Impostor: In collaboration with a police officer from the Saugus, Massachusetts, Police Department, NESPIN has been providing space and assistance for his training course “Identifying the Impostor” for almost two years, reaching more than 800 attendees. The focus of the course is on foreign national impostors using stolen identities of U.S. citizens to live and commit various criminal offenses in the New England area, particularly narcotics trafficking.

Partnerships:

  • New England Organized Retail Crime Alliance (NEORCA)–Driven by the six New England State Retail Associations, NEORCA is a group of retailers and law enforcement personnel who have partnered together to reduce property crimes, keep shoppers safer, and lessen their chances of becoming victims.
  • Scrap Metal Industry–Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries, Inc. (ISRI) has worked to be a part of the solution to the problem of metal theft. It helps police, communities, and the industry. ISRI has developed www.ScrapTheftAlert.com, a new online theft reporting system available to law enforcement and recyclers, free of charge.

Officer Safety:

  • Surviving the Unthinkable–Law Enforcement Officer Safety–Promotes the importance of police departments having a plan to take care of officers who are severely injured in the line of duty and are forced to cut their careers short.
  • Mental Health First Aid for Law Enforcement–A program taught to police officers that provides officers with more response options to help them de-escalate incidents and better understand mental illnesses so that they can respond to mental health-related calls appropriately without compromising safety.
  • Event Deconfliction–NESPIN has taken an active role in promoting deconfliction in New England. The three nationally recognized event deconfliction systems are Case Explorer, RISSafe, and SAFETNet.

In FY2017—

52 Member Agencies
2,277 Sworn Personnel Served
173 Officers from 83 Agencies Attended Trainings for a Total of 1,614 Hours
16,341,336 RISS Property and Recovery Tracking System (RISSProp)
Total Records and
591,450 RISSProp Inquiries
1 Equipment Loan
459 Total Requests for Research/Assistance and
1,660 Investigative Database Searches

The Regional Information Sharing Systems (RISS) mission is to assist local, state, federal, and tribal criminal justice agencies by providing adaptive solutions and services that facilitate information sharing, support criminal investigations, and promote officer safety.

The New England State Police Information Network (NESPIN), one of six RISS Centers, began providing services to its regional member agencies in 1980. NESPIN’s region consists of:

• Connecticut
• Maine
• Massachusetts
• New Hampshire
• Rhode Island
• Vermont
• Eastern and Maritime Canada

Since 1980, the number of criminal justice agencies benefiting from NESPIN services has grown to more than 973 agencies.

www.riss.net/Impact

Vermont State Police
Intelligence Research Services

The Vermont State Police barracks in Shaftsbury received a report of a homicide in Arlington in which an elderly woman had been stabbed to death during a burglary of her residence. During the investigation, numerous leads were followed and multiple persons of interest were developed. One such person of interest was looked at as having possible connections to the crime. During a check of the individual’s social media account, several different types of apparent gang-related graffiti were located. One detective, who had access to the RISSGang website, submitted queries. Pursuant to these queries, similar gang-related graffiti were located that matched posts from the individual’s social media site. This information ultimately led to the person being identified as a member of the Bloods gang out of New York. In the end, this individual was determined not to have been responsible for the burglary and homicide. The information obtained through RISSGang was useful, however, in identifying a suspected gang member living within the community and will be used for intelligence purposes.

Manchester Police Department
RISSProp Services

An officer with the Manchester Police Department (MPD) received a report of an embezzlement and larceny in the neighboring town of Bennington. The officer received this information from a friend, who worked for the victim’s agency. The suspect in this case, a company employee, was alleged to have had a problem with drug addiction. The MPD officer conducted a subsequent query of RISSProp, which indicated that a female suspect had pawned $3,000 worth of expensive high-end jewelry at a shop in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. These pawns had been spread out over a period of several months, and it is believed that the suspect cleaned houses, which would have given her access to the property. The investigation, which is in its early stages, has been turned over to the Bennington Police Department (BPD). The BPD officers will follow up on the embezzlement case, including the drug allegations and larcenies. At this point, the jewelry has not been recovered from the pawnshop; however, it is believed that some or all of it was stolen from the various residences by the suspect.

Essex County Sheriff’s Office
Intelligence Research Services

A deputy sheriff with the Essex County Sheriff’s Office contacted the NESPIN intelligence research staff in an effort to locate a witness in a sexual assault case. The information that he had on the victim was from 2007, but he thought she may have moved to Florida. He also asked for information on the victim’s mother. The NESPIN staff provided current address information on the victim’s mother and several phone numbers. The deputy sheriff stated, “A few weeks ago you did some public database searches for me on a witness. All of the contact information was stale and failed to help me find her. I decided to ask for a search on a name that appeared to be the witness’s mother, which you provided. The report showed the mother had recently moved to Connecticut from Maine, which was consistent with the information that I received from the law enforcement agencies in Maine, so I decided to call the first phone number on this list provided by [the NESPIN staff]. It did work, but no one answered. I tried two more and the third one was answered by my witness’s mother. The mother provided me current contact information about her daughter and, more important, information that the daughter had information about my case. The mother asked whether the crime that I was investigating was about her daughter’s ex-husband and if it was about allegations of sexual abuse against his daughter. She confirmed that these allegations were true. I am writing this as I await a call back from her. I would not have been able to locate this witness were it not for the help you provided with the public database searches.”