We are always looking to highlight best practices and initiatives that demonstrate the power of responsible information sharing and the critical role of our state and local government partners. Today, we’re shining the spotlight on the state of New Jersey.
New Jersey's ISE
Jersey is working to build an information sharing environment for public safety that links their state, county, and local law enforcement agencies. We believe these efforts could serve as a model for other states throughout the country. As one critical step in building a state-wide ISE, the New Jersey Regional Operations and Intelligence Center (NJ RIOC, a fusion center) contacted the IJIS Institute for help, through a formal “technical assistance” request.
State and local agencies can request technical assistance from the IJIS Institute to assist with the planning and implementation of information sharing projects. Technology assistance services are provided by the IJIS Institute through an innovative delivery approach that engages the resources and expertise of industry.
The ROIC asked the IJIS Institute to provide technical assistance comparing their current technology and systems to applicable best practices. The initiative started in early 2012 when the IJIS Institute reviewed ROIC technologies and provided recommendations for building an integrated information sharing enterprise. The Institute for Intergovernmental Research (IIR) in partnership with the IJIS Institute and the Police Institute at Rutgers University currently is coordinating the project to implement the IJIS recommendations, and the IJIS Institute is developing the standards-based architecture and technical components. The Rutgers Police Institute and the IIR are supporting all governance, policy and operational aspects of the initiatives with the participating stakeholders across the State.
These changes will help the ROIC expand New Jersey’s state-wide information sharing environment and:
- Enable the free flow of information in support of statewide law enforcement, homeland security and emergency management missions to prevent, mitigate, respond to, investigate and recover from crime and all man-made and natural hazards.
- Provide secure access to information and actionable intelligence for participating agencies, across the public and private sectors, to better assure the safety and security of New Jersey communities.
- Provide network, data, and application services in a trusted internet based federation, in conformance with the national standards for information sharing and safeguarding.
- Optimize investment through the use and reuse of business and technological frameworks that have been effectively implemented in relevant state and national initiatives.
The goal of an information sharing environment is to facilitate sharing critical information with key partners at the local, county, state, and federal levels in a timely, cost effective, and efficient manner. This solution provides analysts, field operators, investigators, and chief executives with the information and intelligence needed to enhance overall public safety efforts. The importance of information sharing for New Jersey is illustrated by the following two examples.
NJ ISE in action: information sharing during Hurricane Sandy
In 2012, Hurricane Sandy hit the East Coast–and New Jersey–as the second costliest hurricane in U.S. history. The new NJ RIOC played a critical role in information sharing that helped the state prepare for and recover from the hurricane. For example, the RIOC and New Jersey’s State Emergency Operations Center (“the Center”) used the ROIC’s systems and networks to issue detailed situation reports with up-to-the-minute information about the locations of shelters, road closures, the status of public transportation vehicles, and the overall state of the disaster. Following the storm, the Center provided updated law enforcement-related information, maps, and other general public safety information. This was valuable data used in the protection and rehabilitation of communities severely impacted by the storm. Through the chiefs of police network, Center personnel were deployed into the field and began the process of collecting information related to the condition of various municipal government buildings and infrastructure. These reports were shared with FEMA and the US Army Corps of Engineers to prioritize recovery efforts. Learn more in our blog post about the ROIC’s role in supporting New Jersey’s response to Hurricane Sandy.
NJ ISE in action: the Super Bowl and possible human trafficking
In early 2013, the New Jersey State Police joined other senior law enforcement representatives from Las Vegas and Georgia to meet private sector partners to discuss innovations that could help combat child sex trafficking, including information sharing solutions. The U.S. Chief Technology Officer convened the meeting, which was part of a White House effort to fight human trafficking. The New Jersey State Police are working to build on these meetings by developing information sharing protocols to deal with human trafficking and prepare for the 2014 Super Bowl at MetLife Stadium – human trafficking often increases significantly around major sporting events.
Learn more about Fusion Centers and their role in the ISE
To learn more about the New Jersey ROIC and other fusion centers, you can visit the Department of Homeland Security website; review the congressional report PDF: The Majority Staff Report on the National Network of Fusion Centers from July 2013, which is a comprehensive review of the current state of the nation’s fusion centers; or visit the National Fusion Center Association website.