While information sharing in law enforcement isn’t (in the grand scheme of things) a new concept, it is still new territory for many. Even with the Bureau of Justice Assistance tremendous efforts of making informational resources and training available to public safety, learning about the maze of IEPD’s, JIEM, and NIEM can be challenging.
If your agency is interested in sharing information, connecting to other jurisdictions records, and having the ability to query other law enforcement data systems, there are 2 ways to go about it: 1) buy a new RMS system that has these features built-in (compatible with the alphabet soup) or 2) tweak your current system. Both of these options are quite involved and how to go about doing either is not the focus of this article (remember, we’re keeping this simple for you). Either way, having an understanding of the technology behind being able to search local agency records for names, license plates, phone numbers, addresses, property, tattoos, or other specific personally identifiable information will enable you to make informed decisions. So what does it all mean?
If your agency is in the market for a new RMS or integrated CAD/RMS/MFR system, chances are the system is alphabet soup compatible. However, this is not a certainty and it is imperative to get hard and fast proof (solidified in the contract) that the system is based on Global Reference Architecture (GRA) and conforms to the National Information Exchange Model (NIEM).
If on the other hand you are interested in getting your current system into the information sharing age, inter-jurisdictionally speaking, you’ll first need an understanding of what this all means.
NIEM: A national information exchange model used to connect information between public safety agencies. It uses extensible markup language (XML) that allows for a standardized or common vocabulary used in the exchange of information between differing agencies and their systems. NIEM is a holistic set of resources and computer language that can be reused as necessary in information sharing projects including training, governance, methodologies and technical assistance.
GJXML: Global Justice Extensible Markup Language. A standard computer programming language which describes how information is structured or classified so that the information itself can be shared among differing computer systems and platforms.
JIEM: A model to utilize in the process of determining an agency’s information sharing business processes. It is a structured and standardized approach for identifying information exchange requirements for an agency. This process produces sets of information exchanges which are common to public safety agencies that can be reused and built upon for the unique needs of each agency. JIEM is somewhat of a sub-component of NIEM
IEPD: Information Exchange Package Documentation. A specification for a particular data exchange and its definition. It is a “package” of information that describes a particular process such as an Amber Alert or the booking of an offender. It includes the business process of the information exchange, a data model, and documentation describing the particular exchange of information. These are standard packages of information common to policing designed to allow interoperability amongst data sharing systems. They come in the form of a compressed file that when opened reveal all of these components.
In conclusion, if you’re in need of updating your current system to allow for interoperability with other agency’s data there are a number of resources to turn to. Download these guides to familiarize yourself with NIEM, JIEM, GRA and consider utilizing the technical resources of experts in this area who can assist.