WALL, N.J. , Aug. 18 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- BIO-key International Inc. (OTC Bulletin Board: BKYI), a leader in finger-based biometric identification and wireless public safety solutions, today announced the recent expansion of a unique, cross-jurisdictional law enforcement information sharing system utilizing the company's InfoExchange(R) data access solution. Each of the police departments in five participating neighboring communities in Massachusetts now provide their officers on the street with vital information previously unavailable from the separate criminal records systems maintained by all of the departments.
As in many police departments across the country, officers in these five communities already had direct, wireless access to federal and state local law enforcement databases from laptops in their patrol vehicles using MobileCop(R), BIO-key's industry-leading mobile data solution. Getting information on stolen vehicles or outstanding arrest warrants from these sources before approaching a vehicle at a traffic stop, for example, is critical in protecting officer safety.
But three neighboring police departments in Massachusetts wanted to go even further in providing crime-fighting information to their officers in the field. Each of the police departments maintains its own records management system (RMS), which tracks and stores data on individuals arrested or involved in incidents in the community, including information not available in federal or state databases.
"We all know that criminal behavior doesn't stop at the town or city line," explains Patrolman Greg Kiff of the Plainville, MA Police Department, one of the founding members of the consortium. "If someone's looking to commit a crime in Plainville there's a good chance he's been involved in similar behavior in nearby communities -- or he associates with others from those communities. And there's a good chance that there's valuable information on that individual in the local RMS systems in those communities."
Over the last year, the three departments developed a unique RMS data sharing system using InfoExchange, and two more communities recently joined the consortium. Now, when an officer in one of the five departments initiates a federal and state mobile data query with MobileCop, InfoExchange automatically checks the RMS databases in each of the participating towns. When a "hit" is found and reported back to the officer over a secure Verizon Wireless network connection, the specific department is identified so the officer knows immediately where it came from. The data sharing system is also used by other staff in the five departments, including detectives investigating crime patterns.
"Individually, none of our towns can afford the number of police needed to keep track of all the activities of an increasingly mobile population of offenders," added Patrolman Kiff. "InfoExchange is effectively a force multiplier for small towns like ours, letting us use the intelligence gathered from neighboring police departments to fill in the gaps and work smarter. Our five towns, with our limited resources, are now actually doing what everyone has just been talking about since 9-11 -- communicating and sharing data."
"Since its introduction just a year ago, InfoExchange has been helping hundreds of officers and investigators across the U.S. to be safer and smarter," according to Ken Souza , Senior Vice President and General Manager of BIO-key's Law Enforcement Division.