North Central Texas Fusion Center To Expand Capabilities With i2's COPLINK
The North Central Texas Fusion Center (NCTFC) has awarded a contract to i2, a provider of intelligence and investigation software, to facilitate secure information sharing between the 60-plus contributing law enforcement and public safety organizations in the North Texas region, including Allen, Arlington, Dallas, Fort Worth, Frisco, McKinney and Plano, through its COPLINK software. The most widely deployed tactical lead generation tool in the U.S., COPLINK enhances NCTFC's existing investments in i2's Analyst's Notebook.
"The addition of COPLINK will help us achieve our goal of establishing information sharing across the entire state of Texas," said Kelley Stone, director of Homeland Security, Collin County North Central Texas Fusion Center. "The decision to select i2 was a natural extension of the capabilities that many of our analysts are already using and by our partner agencies. This project goes a long way in maximizing our existing IT investments."
Operational since 2006, the fusion center houses more than 100 million records from more than 75 data sources and, in cooperation with the Arlington Emergency Operations Center, will play a key role in supporting the security infrastructure leading up to and during next month's Super Bowl in Dallas.
Fusion center analysts routinely rely on Analyst's Notebook to develop a complete analytical understanding of a particular crime or criminal activity. In one example, they assisted on a homicide investigation for a local agency. By organizing existing information from the victim's life, they were able to identify anomalies that helped with the investigation.
With the addition of COPLINK, NCTFC will be able to quickly organize and rapidly analyze vast quantities of seemingly unrelated criminal data currently housed in 82 records management, dispatch and jail management systems. NCTFC plans to expand its investigative capacity by forming information sharing agreements with the Austin Regional Intelligence Center, the Houston Police Department Fusion Center, the El Paso Regional Intelligence Center and the San Antonio Regional Intelligence Center.
"By their very design, fusion centers take what law enforcement already does in using vital information to help generate leads and solve crimes. The difference now is the speed and ease with which disparate pieces of potentially related data can be aggregated and fused," said Robert Griffin, i2 CEO. "Our COPLINK and Analysis suite of products help NCTFC and other fusion centers across the country bring together and analyze disparate data, and create and disseminate actionable intelligence to those who need it and are authorized to use it."
Fusion centers such as NCTFC were created following the 9/11 attacks as a joint effort between the Departments of Justice and Homeland Security to ensure and facilitate information sharing between local agencies, across state lines, and between the state and federal levels, with a particular emphasis on preventing and responding to terrorist and criminal activities. Though many of the country's fusion centers have developed independently and remain different in size and scope, their missions are the same, and i2's solutions enable an across-the-board consistency and unprecedented information sharing capability -- all while protecting civil liberties with capabilities such as audit logs, reversible data consolidation and authorized use standards that permit data discovery without gaining access to data content.