Improving Public Safety With Information Sharing

This blog post is an excerpt from GovLoop’s recent guide “State and Local Government: 8 Tech Challenges and Solutions.” In it, we provide an overview of case studies from governments across the country. Download the full guide here.

The ability to quickly and effectively share information across the criminal justice system can be a matter of life or death. State and local justice and public safety agencies require that accurate and complete information is delivered to the right people at the right time.

Ineffective information sharing can lead to everything from a warrant being denied to an improper release of a dangerous prisoner. In order for agencies to break out of their information siloes without reconfiguring their systems, they need a solution that gives them real-time access to information they need.

To learn more about how public safety agencies can adopt an information-sharing solution that ensures public safety, mitigates risk and improves collaboration, GovLoop sat down with David Taylor, Vice President of State and Local Solutions at Software AG, a company that specializes in enterprise software. Taylor discussed how public safety agencies can overcome their information-sharing challenges and specifically how Software AG is helping them do it.

To overcome the information-sharing challenge in the justice process, public safety agencies must break out of their siloed IT systems and begin leveraging a solution that allows each system to talk to the others.

Traditionally, accomplishing this would require completely reconfiguring each system, a time-consuming and costly endeavor because there are so many agencies in the public safety enterprise, Taylor said. One way to do this without complete reconfiguration is utilizing a software-based integration platform that acts as a “connector” between different agency systems. Doing so provides an easy way to get the right information into the right hands at any point in the justice process.

To enable better information sharing, Software AG offers a standards-based solution toolkit that provides fast integration and a real-time view of data. Software AG’s toolkit is a basic integration engine that offers other components like its Digital Business Platform, webMethods Integration Platform and Business Process Suite that users can plug and play into the framework. With all solutions, security is paramount.

“Security is baked in and is a priority for us, making it perfect for the justice community, which must comply with standards related to the exchange of justice information,” Taylor said.

In San Diego, more than 11,000 law enforcement officers, adjudicators, investigators and analysts at over 80 agencies rely on the Automated Regional Justice Information System (ARJIS) to do their jobs effectively and ensure public safety.

ARJIS provides access to real-time criminal justice information to agencies throughout the San Diego area. As a result, it is critical that the system is leveraging the most up-to-date technology. Recently, the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) wanted to expand ARJIS’s capabilities by improving how information was integrated, shared and re-purposed.

This is where Software AG came in. Through the components of its platform solution, it helped SANDAG take ARJIS from an expensive, hard-coded mainframe-based system into a more cost-efficient, process-central service-oriented architecture, Taylor said. In order to do this, SANDAG employed Software AG’s webMethods Integration Server to move processes off of the mainframe to a web-based solution. By reusing existing logic and leveraging modern interfaces, SANDAG was able to preserve its IT investments and make the ARJIS solution easier to use.

The Georgia Technology Authority (GTA) relies on Software AG’s webMethods platform as well as its Business Process Management Suite to facilitate collaboration in agencies at the front end of their projects to quickly and effectively create a solution. With webMethods as its main platform, GTA can offer Data Sharing Services (DSS), which allows agencies to share real-time interoperable data. Through the DSS, agencies can focus more on streamlining their services and meeting citizen needs and less on whether they have access to the data they need.

Through the Business Process Management Suite, GTA is able to better collaborate with other agencies and promote more effective project management. For example, GTA developers can create dynamic what-if scenarios to see how data will be used before integration construction begins. Once a business process is locked in, developers can deploy the model in one simple process.

Looking forward, it’s critical that the justice and public safety system has access to the data it needs to keep the public safe. A comprehensive approach like Software AG’s justice and public safety toolkit can help your agency gain access to the information you need, when you need it, to ensure public safety throughout your jurisdiction.

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