ACT honors innovative federal-state IT projects

PHILADELPHIA?Law enforcement agencies across the country were building duplicative systems to identify potential criminals. Called virtual pointer systems, officials planned to use these systems to search databases that provide information about criminal cases.

But then the Justice Department teamed with the Missouri State Police to develop one national application called the National Virtual Pointer System-High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area.

The American Council for Technology yesterday recognized this federal-state collaboration by naming the National Virtual Pointer System as one of eight Intergovernmental Solutions Award winners at the 2005 Management of Change conference.

The system was one of 60 federal, state and local government projects nominated and 16 that were named as finalists for their "tremendous progress" in demonstrating collaborative and innovative uses of technologies.

Through the Pointer System, participating agencies can determine whether any other law enforcement entity is focusing on the same investigative target, regardless of the crime, and link agents who have information about the related case.

Information is transmitted over the National Law Enforcement Telecommunications System and Regional Information Sharing Systems network, the secure Web-based communication system operated by a collaborative organization of state and local law enforcement officials.

"We created this nationwide system in 18 months," said Judy Bertini, project leader for the National Virtual Pointer System. "It took a combination of senior IT and policy people to get it done."

The other winners included:

  • The Defense Manpower Data Center's Defense Biometric Identification System

  • The Office of Personnel Management's E-Training e-government project

  • OPM's Recruitment One-Stop e-government project

  • Virginia's Arlington County Public Safety Wide Mobile Data Communication System

  • The Oregon Employment Department's iMatchSkills

  • Michigan's Public Safety Communication System

  • Pennsylvania's Emergency Incident Reporting System

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