Law Enforcement Online
So you’re a police officer in Topeka, Kansas who’s looking for information about gangs in your state. Or an intelligence analyst in the U.K. who wants to chat with peers about the latest counterterrorism trends. Where do you turn?
One important answer: to Law Enforcement Online, or LEO, www.leo.gov.
LEO is a secure, Internet-based communications portal for law enforcement, first responders, criminal justice professionals, and anti-terrorism and intelligence agencies around the globe. LEO catalyzes and strengthens collaboration and information-sharing by providing access to sensitive but unclassified information and various state-of-the-art communications services and tools. It is available to vetted users anywhere in the world around the clock and is offered free of charge to members.
LEO started in 1995 as a small dial-up service with just 20 members. Now, it has more than 100,000 members across the world and a host of features and capabilities offered through a Virtual Private Network on the Internet.
What does LEO offer specifically? Here’s a rundown:
- A national alert system directing members to the LEO site for information on emergencies (like the London bombings, for example);
- Some 1,100 Special Interest Groups (SIG) that allow members who share expertise or interests to connect with each other, including sections on terrorism, street gangs, and bombs;
- Access to important and useful databases, like those run by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children;
- E-mail services, which enable members to submit fingerprints to the FBI for processing by our Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System;
- A Virtual Command Center (VCC)—an information sharing and crisis management tool that allows the law enforcement community to use LEO at local and remote sites as an electronic command center to submit and view information and intelligence;
- Distance learning, with several online learning modules on topics like terrorism response, forensic anthropology, and leadership; and
- A multimedia library of publications, documents, studies, research, technical bulletins, and other reports of interest to LEO users.