I had never viewed a law enforcement agency as a business organization the way we look at typical financial and commercial businesses. Not until I started working with law enforcement agencies and observing how they operate on a daily basis. Now I see how law enforcement agencies are no different from business organizations after all. Law enforcement agencies suffer from exactly the same problems as other organizations: Disparate data sources, inefficient processes, too many redundancies, no record management, lack of standard formats. All of these challenges and many more are information technology-related challenges. Whereas law enforcement is not profit-oriented, their business mission is to improve and maintain public safety. There are various ways to accomplish this goal but the most concrete one is by reducing crimes. In order to reduce crime, however, they need good information that they can access quickly, analyze, and can be used to back them up. This is where IBM i2 comes into play to help solve many of these problems.
IBM i2 has been supporting law enforcement transformations for over 20 years. IBM i2 Public Safety and Fraud solutions can claim several firsts in providing breakthrough technologies and solutions for Law Enforcement. IBM i2 Integrated Law Enforcement is an IBM Smarter Cities solution offering that addresses the needs of modern-day law enforcement agencies. It is a pre-configured law enforcement solution that includes tools for intelligence analysis, lead generation, agency collaboration, GIS, and communications integration. It is a solution framework designed to interact with other application systems.
The following figure shows the i2 Integrated Law Enforcement system context diagram. The diagram provides the highest level of abstraction and emphasizes the external entities that interact with i2 Integrated Law Enforcement.
There are two primary types of data that feed into the i2 Integrated Law Enforcement system: Static data and dynamic events. The successful operation of a law enforcement agency depends heavily on the wealth of their static data and their ability to capture and respond to dynamic events. Due to the very nature of law enforcement, i2 Integrated Law Enforcement has to establish serious integration with the security systems of an agency. With the advancement of technologies in the areas of analytics, information delivery platforms, and visual presentation, Geographic Information Systems (GIS) has become pervasive in public safety. Hence, i2 Integrated Law Enforcement includes a capability that leverages the use of such systems.
But the most important elements shown in the figure are the direct users who interact with i2 Integrated Law Enforcement. IBM i2 Integrated Law Enforcement is a single solution that supports three broad types of user communities:
- The law enforcement officers include front line officers who are directly faced with situations where public safety is at stake. They include patrol officers, lieutenants, sergeants, captains, and others. It also includes desk officers whose role is to support fellow officers administratively or non-administratively.
- The investigators and analysts can be in the back-office performing search and data analysis, or they can be in the field gathering and validating information or working with other law enforcement officers. The investigators and analysts support each other. Both apply their analytical skills to figure out relationships among seemingly unrelated information. They have special skills of filling the gaps or the missing links that can potentially solve crimes.
- The command and operational staff is another group that is comprised of supervisors, commanders, and operational personnel. These professionals are responsible for the day-to-day operations of the agency, such as receiving 911 calls, dispatching responders, and so on. Some are members of management with additional responsibilities and accountability, and with the authority to issue commands and protocols.
With this broad spectrum of users, systems, data, and services, i2 Integrated Law Enforcement is a dynamic and powerful solution. i2 Integrated Law enforcement architecture offers a modular design which enables flexible deployment options based on the priorities of your organization. i2 Integrated Law Enforcement architecture provides a cohesive solution framework for the law enforcement communities where they can customize, extend, and enhance their own capabilities by integrating with other systems and/or solutions.
The following figure represents the system architecture of i2 Integrated Law Enforcement. It shows the high-level internal components. It follows a layered architecture that cleanly separates the presentation, processing, and data layers. The different layers help you to focus on a single aspect of the system one at a time.
The IBM Redpaper™ publication IBM i2 Integrated Law Enforcement: Technical Architecture and Deployment Guide explains the technology and the architecture on which the solution is built.
The IBM Redguide Integrated Law Enforcement: A Holistic Approach to Solving Crime provides an introduction for law enforcement executives and individuals evaluating advanced law enforcement software solutions for their organizations.
Wil Jamison is a Solution Architect at IBM i2 development. He is based in the Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, USA. Wil has 10 years of middleware development at IBM and six years of integration architecture work across the IBM software portfolio. Wil is an i2 Integrated Law Enforcement solution architect working with customers around the USA and internationally. He holds a PhD in Computer and Information Science from Syracuse University with expertise on distributed systems and distributed artificial intelligence. Wil is the lead author of the IBM Redpaper publication
IBM i2 Integrated Law Enforcement: Technical Architecture and Deployment Guide
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