Rhode Island 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 Rhode Island, these leadership positions are held by the following NESPIN members:
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.
- 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.
- 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.
52 Member Agencies 2,756 Sworn Personnel Served
423 Officers from 76 Agencies Attended Trainings for a Total of 3,885 Hours
16,341,336 RISS Property and Recovery Tracking System (RISSProp) Total Records and
591,450 RISSProp Inquiries
14 Analytical Requests Totaling 203 Products Delivered
16 Equipment Loans
583 Total Requests for Research/Assistance and 2,218 Investigative Database Searches
Bristol Police Department
The Bristol Police Department (BPD) investigated a complex case of prank and obscene phone calls. A subject with the same phone number made numerous bomb threats to officials with the Bristol Fourth of July celebration. After executing a number of search warrants to cell phone providers, the Bristol police officers were still unable to identify a specific suspect. The Bristol officers contacted NESPIN to request analytical services to geolocate and map more than 4,000 phone calls by the target phone number. The NESPIN analytical staff provided key information that led the BPD to a specific area of the country and, ultimately, to the hometown of the suspect. The NESPIN staff also provided crucial reports that broke down the number of calls that each specific victim received, which also led to the identification of other victims. The NESPIN staff attended a meeting at the BPD that involved several victims and persons related to the investigation and provided technical knowledge about the cell phone and network. The meeting produced a possible suspect’s name, and the NESPIN staff linked the suspect to the location of the calls, which showed a travel history to Bristol. NESPIN’s assistance in the case provided crucial information that led to the identification of a suspect, who, based on past travel patterns and current real-time travel information, was ultimately located in Bristol and arrested.
State Fire Marshal’s Office
Intelligence Research Services
The Deputy State Fire Marshal contacted the NESPIN intelligence research staff to obtain information on the owner of a property in which a civilian injury had resulted from a fire in his building. Even though the Fire Marshal believed the fire to be accidental, he needed the information for his report because of the injury, and the building owner was not forthcoming. The NESPIN staff provided the date of birth and the address of the president of the company that owned the building. The Fire Marshal later stated that he realized the owner had had code violations at his rental properties in the past. Receiving the information enabled the Fire Marshal to finish his report.
“Based on information provided by the specialist, I was able to locate the subject, interview him, and gather enough information to reinterview the suspect in a fire involving a severe burn injury. Because of the new information gathered, the suspect admitted to intentionally setting a fire that caused permanent disfigurement to the victim. The suspect will now be charged with felony assault and battery resulting from criminal negligence.”
—Deputy Paul Manning, Rhode Island State Fire Marshal’s Office
“Without your [NESPIN intelligence research staff] assistance, we would still be looking. As I have said many times, you are our best intelligence source. For all of the work that you have done, thank you very much.”
—Inspector Steve Springer, Rhode Island Attorney General’s Office
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:
• New Hampshire
• Rhode Island
• Eastern and Maritime Canada
Since 1980, the number of criminal justice agencies benefiting from NESPIN services has grown to more than 973 agencies.
Woonsocket Police Department
Intelligence Research Services
NESPIN was asked to assist in several “impostor” cases for the Woonsocket Police Department after Woonsocket officers attended the “Identifying Impostor” class at NESPIN. One case in particular was highlighted by an officer as a success. A detective arrested an impostor for identity fraud. The Dominican national had an active Massachusetts driver’s license in a Puerto Rican citizen’s name, and he also possessed a Rhode Island identification card in the name of another victim from Rhode Island. In addition, he had previously been arrested under two additional Puerto Rican citizens’ names. Facial recognition was utilized with the Massachusetts license photo, which resulted in a fifth Puerto Rican citizen’s name used in Rhode Island. A U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agent identified the subject as a previously deported alien. The NESPIN intelligence research staff contacted the Puerto Rico Fusion Center to obtain the true subject’s driver’s license photo and corresponding information on one of the identities. Also found was information from visitor logs at the Rhode Island Department of Corrections and an online resource that tied a female to this subject as his girlfriend. Also provided were mugshots from the Massachusetts Automated Fingerprint Identification System on one of the identities, which assisted in proving the subject was not the individual he claimed to be. The staff provided public records information on the subject and his girlfriend, which led to the location of the subject and his arrest. Ultimately, ICE picked him up for deportation. He was one of many individuals in the New England area who traffic in illicit drugs and who are Dominican nationals. The staff also assisted with an investigation of this subject’s brother and several other associates. One of those associates had four separate identities over three states, plus altered fingerprints. The staff assisted the officer by obtaining his oldest known unaltered prints and his oldest mugshot from Massachusetts and then put him in contact with the State Department to request an investigation of this subject via liaison with the Dominican Republic. The officer was able to obtain the true identity of this associate. He was arrested at a location provided by the NESPIN research staff through work on this associate’s girlfriend. He was subsequently deported.