A cruise on an empty road in Miami turns my uncle’s and my vacation upside down. After the Police pulled us over for speeding, the officers handcuffed my uncle Bob and placed him under arrest. Since we are from California and my uncle never set foot in Florida ever before. In addition, these officers have Uncle Bob’s entire rap sheet including the length of his prison sentences. This paper analyzes the various information systems used by police forces across the nation that provides law enforcement with instant information on any potential threats.
Process of transferring data from California to Miami
The police officers in Miami were using the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) database to access information on Uncle Bob’s prior convictions. The FBI formed this information center to store and share information on all known criminal elements. The NCIC database comprises of the Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System (IAFIS). This feature enables police officers across states to search information from twenty-three file sections. Once the police officer acquired Uncle Bob’s fingerprints by scanning it on their machine, they instantly had access to all the files pertaining to my uncle in California.
The process undertaken started when the officer called dispatch to check Uncle Bob’s license. While he was waiting for a response, he scanned Uncle Bob’s fingerprint as a reference point to access information. The fingerprint reached the NCIC database and scanned it against outstanding warrants, parole violations, and DMV records. Once there is a match, the NCIC server returns all the data to the police officer. The information will reach the police officer in his mobile office in his police cruiser. Case files represent themselves in the form of numbers. When an officer enters each number, the corresponding case will pop up on the dashboard monitor inside the police cruiser. The NCIC is a federal server. Hence, the response speed and accuracy of the information is reliable (Foster, 2004).
Four ways to share information among law enforcement agencies
The first approach to sharing information between law enforcement agencies is records management systems. This system uses information from the NCIC and other police databases for this purpose. The next approach is to check information stored in the Jail Management System. Whenever a police officer arrests an individual, he or his partner upload the information into the databases. The third approach to share information is through the Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System which stores all the fingerprints of convicted or arrested individuals. The final approach is to check with the NCIC which hosts the largest sections of data (Foster, 2004).
Traffic stops or field interviews conducted by a police officer is fed into a software as daily report records. A police systems administrator will categorize this information according to the nature of the offence. Since the police will scan the fingerprint for data retrieval purposes, the analyst links the fingerprint to the suspect’s file. The National Data Exchange is finally an upcoming database for storage purposes. Whenever a law enforcement officer scans the fingerprint of a suspect, the reference print will sift through the data. Once there is a match, the database server attaches all files or records pertaining to the individual and returns the information to the police officer. The internet is extensively in use to transmit the information (Foster, 2004).
Uncle Bob’s possible charges
The crimes committed and sentences served by Uncle Bob are public records in the state of California. It is possible that Uncle Bob did not keep his parole officer informed about his vacation time with me in Florida. The terms and conditions for parole in the State of California state that if one of the charges proven against the defendant is relevant to driving, the case of Uncle Bob driving the vehicle will attract criminal action. In addition, parolees have to take permission and travel passes from the designated parole officer if they are going to an area that is more than fifty miles from their present locations. Moreover, in some cases, the crossing of state boundary is parole violation.
Uncle Bob’s speeding charge might also contribute to the arrest since the Florida laws for road traffic are largely stringent. The chances are that Uncle Bob exceeded the speed limit in excess of fifty miles an hour. This particular speeding offence carries a low-grade felony charge in Florida. The speeding combined with possibility of parole violations were probably the factors that contributed to Uncle Bob’s arrest. Parolee’s also have a habit of lying to police officers when they are picked up or pulled over for questioning. It is usually a futile attempt to avoid a record of parole violation. However, police sophisticated technology and advanced interviewing skills to ascertain the truth (State of California, 2016).
Feasibility to obtain information from Florida law enforcement
The Miami Police officer scanned Uncle Bob’s fingerprint and immediately there must be alarm bells ringing. Uncle Bob’s criminal records are at the County Court House. However, these files also make their way into the NCIC database. The police officer’s request is first routed to the section that stores driver’s licenses’. This is the first enquiry that a police officer will do to ascertain the authenticity of the license. Once there is positive confirmation, the police officer will cross-reference for outstanding warrants against the scanned fingerprint.
This fingerprint scanner aligns the print against all other records that are present in the NCIC database. The federal database is available to all law enforcement agencies to procure information. The FBI is the sole custodian of this database. Hence, a well maintained database and with the infrastructure to handle hundreds of information requests at any given time. The Miami Police department also uses the advanced Vetronix EDR Data Retrieval System. This is the latest software and is definitely capable of pulling up vast chunks of data from the NCIC.
Foster, R. E. (2004). Police Technology. New York: NY. Pearson Prentice Hall. Pp. 115 – 130, 155 – 173, and 212 – 221.