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NCJ Number: 220644 Find in a Library
Title: Putting a SPIN on Communications
Journal: Law Enforcement Technology  Volume:34  Issue:10  Dated:October 2007  Pages:142,144,150
Author(s): Joe LaMonica
Date Published: October 2007
Page Count: 8
Type: Program/Project Description
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article describes the objectives and operation of the Southwestern Pennsylvania Intelligence Network (SPIN), which is designed to facilitate daily interagency communication via e-mail.
Abstract: It is uncommon for many local agencies to be uninformed about public safety issues in adjoining towns and suburbs, let alone what State and Federal law enforcement agencies are doing. SPIN has addressed this information and intelligence gap through a network of secure e-mailing. SPIN was established in late 2005 for the sole purpose of simplifying law enforcement communication in southwestern Pennsylvania. A secure, in-house e-mail server located within the Ross Township Police Department operates SPIN. Equipped with the latest SPAM and virus protection, this server houses the e-mail addresses of nearly 700 law enforcement officers. Ongoing communications have forged working relationships that did not exist in the past. Typing an e-mail message is relatively fast and provides a means of attaching images of perpetrators in order to expand surveillance. SPIN was a key tool in the apprehension and prosecution of a serial bank robber. During SPIN's development, two people handled all correspondence and software configurations. A two-person team continues to maintain the network, which requires 8-10 hours a week. Once an e-mail server is up and running and policy issues are resolved, the tasks required are recruiting members, authenticating requests, and adding cleared applicants. The communication network should not be so large geographically as to make a significant percentage of e-mails irrelevant to many network members. The relevance of messages to network members is critical to their continued use of the network. This article discusses the importance of the authentication of requests, annual reauthentication of network members, and the establishment of a common format.
Main Term(s): Police intelligence operations
Index Term(s): Computer aided operations; Digital communications; Interagency cooperation; Pennsylvania; Regional information sharing systems
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