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How N-DEx Can Help Your Agency

N-DEx brings together data from law enforcement agencies nationwide, connecting the dots in seemingly unrelated investigations.

How N-DEx Can Help Your Agency

N-DEx brings together data from law enforcement agencies nationwide, connecting the dots in seemingly unrelated investigations. Download (186MB)


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N-DEx is a groundbreaking advancement in the sharing of criminal information. It maximizes the use of information technology as never before, bringing together otherwise disparate criminal justice system data.

N-DEx helps investigators establish relations between people, places, things, and criminal activity.

Integrating pieces of data…bringing criminal justice agencies together that might not otherwise collaborate…N-DEx vastly expands the information reach of investigators. Armed with the data and analytic tools of N-DEx, investigators are able to make more effective and timely decisions, which save time and tax payer dollars. By collaborating to investigate cases using N-DEx, criminal justice agencies defend the innocent, prosecute the guilty, and optimize service using a secure information environment that safeguards civil liberties by protecting personally identifiable and criminal history record information.

We’ll show how collaboration and information sharing facilitate apprehension of a homicide/robbery subject in one jurisdiction—and closure of a missing person investigation in another.

July 15, 2010: Waco, Texas

Joanne Keane calls the Waco Police Department to report an individual, John Cooley, missing. Kean describes Cooley—noting his appearance and even the eagle tattoo on his left forearm. Kean even provides officers with a description of the car he drives and its license plate number. The police department collects the service call, which is then ingested into the N-DEx system.

Dispatched to the Cooley residence, a Waco officer arrives later that day. But that Waco officer isn’t just showing up looking for Cooley the missing person. Because the original Waco service call record was ingested into N-DEx—and records are processed and correlated automatically—the officer is able to query N-DEx and have the original service call AND additional relevant data at the scene for this service call follow-up.

After determining Cooley is not at his residence, a welfare concern-missing person report is filed and submitted to N-DEx. The N-DEx missing person report contains a NCIC reference number indicating that Waco Police Department also has a NCIC Missing Person record entered for Cooley. Inclusion of this NCIC reference number in the Waco N-DEx report creates a direct link between the data in both systems.

Integrating disparate systems gives investigators using N-DEx enhanced ability to fight

crime and terrorism—and ensure public and officer safety.

July 17, 2010

In pursuit of their missing person, Waco investigators perform a known person search for Cooley in N-DEx, using his name and date of birth.

Waco investigators are looking for leads. Investigators search N-DEx for additional information on Cooley. N-DEx results show the original Waco service call as well as the welfare concern missing person report created a couple of days ago. And it also returns a previous incident, a shoplifting offense committed two years ago in Arkansas, where Cooley had the same vehicle and license plate. Through the leveraged systems interfaces with NCIC and III the investigator sees the missing person entry from NCIC and the shoplifting offense disposition information from III.

In order to receive notifications of other activity involving Cooley, Waco investigators create a person subscription for John Cooley. This will notify the investigator of searches performed on or records submitted to N-DEx involving John Cooley.

July 24 2010: Denton, Texas

The Denton Texas Police Department receives a call. A robbery and homicide has just been reported at a local convenience store and Denton investigators have little to go on. Just a store video retrieved by investigators from the scene.

On the video, investigators identify a 40-50 year old man with a distinct eagle tattoo on his left forearm. Investigators complete the incident report, check in evidence, and continue the investigation.

Using N-DEx, Denton investigators perform a person search for the suspect using descriptive data, including the eagle tattoo. This brings up pages of results, including the Denton incident report from the robbery homicide.

Believing the suspect to be local, the investigator then uses a polygon filter for the North Texas region to target the results to a specific geographical area. This yields two results that meet the suspect’s physical descriptions, including the eagle tattoo.

The investigator then selects the geo-visualization tool. Viewed on a map the investigator can see the locations are somewhat apart. But the crime scene is on the path that Cooley travels to visit Joanne Keane who reported him missing in Waco. Although Cooley is not identified originally by Denton, Denton has seen Waco’s missing person data and demographic information, and followed the lead.

The Denton investigators contact the Waco Police Department. Denton investigators have uploaded their convenience store video to the N-DEX Collaboration area thinking John Cooley, the Waco missing person, might be their convenience store suspect.

Denton investigators invite the Waco officers to the Collaboration area. Maybe together two cases can be closed today. Waco officers open the collaboration area and download the video.

N-DEx data brought these criminal justice agencies together to easily collaborate. Working alone, they might have otherwise missed key data to help solve their cases.

Before N-DEx, Denton investigators had to send a copy of the video evidence to the Waco Police Department, or Waco Police Department would have had to meet with Denton investigators to view and discuss the video. But in the N-DEx collaborative environment, each agency saves time and money, ensures a secure environment for information sharing, and enhances investigative efficiency. Both agencies avoid the risk of exposing or losing data, and the cost of mail, travel, copying, and time often associated with agency collaboration.

With the permission of Denton investigators, Waco investigators show parts of the video revealing the perpetrator’s face and tattoo to Joanne Keane, who identifies John Cooley right away.

Waco investigators communicate Keane’s confirmation back to Denton investigators. Denton’s robbery-homicide suspect is indeed John Cooley. Waco Police now know that John Cooley isn’t your average health and welfare missing person and configure an additional N-DEx subscription to notify the department of any changes to the Denton incident report. Waco doesn’t want to miss any opportunity to close a case.

Likewise, Denton investigators update their incident record to indicate John Cooley as a suspect in the robbery-homicide and obtain a warrant for his arrest.

The Denton Police Department include the warrant, also entered in NCIC, in their up-dated N-DEx incident record along with the NCIC reference number creating a direct link between the data in both systems.

July 30, 2010: Denton, Texas

The Denton Police Department get their man. Denton officers arrested John Cooley after discovering he was wanted during a stop at a sobriety check point—reinforcing the known fact that sobriety checkpoints regularly catch much more than just drunk drivers. The arrest of Cooley enables Denton investigators to close their incident report and supplement it with arrest data—you don’t know who in the future might be looking for John Cooley.

N-DEx receipt of this up-dated Denton incident report data immediately results in subscription notification to the Waco Police Department.

A subsequent person search for John Cooley by Waco Police investigators displays the updated information along with other Cooley information—including information in NCIC and III through the N-DEx Leveraged Systems interface. Waco investigators note that the Denton warrant in NCIC is not part of the return and additional confirmation that Cooley is now in jail.

The N-DEx link visualization too—driven by the entity resolution on John Cooley and his vehicle license plate—shows the links between Cooley and known entities, including those in his recent Denton booking report. Resulting follow-up by Waco Police Department with the Denton Police Department to confirm the arrest and booking of Cooley and to obtain permission to use this data allows the Waco Police Department to close their missing person report and clear their NCIC missing person record.

N-DEx allows investigators from various agencies to collaborate and view data in order to solve crimes and promote public safety. Using N-DEx, criminal justice agencies enhance investigative abilities and maximize resources by leveraging national criminal justice data and analytic resources. Using N-DEx, the criminal justice community puts the right information, in the right hands, right now, for a safer America.

N-DEx Links
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- N-DEx Home

Participation Resource Center for Criminal Justice Agencies
- Brochure
- Benefits
- User Access
- Data Connectivity & Submission Guide (pdf)
- Data Integration Guide (pdf)
- Data Contribution Checklist
(pdf)
- Data Sharing Worksheet (pdf)
- Audit Information
- Policy & Operating Manual (pdf)

- Privacy Impact Assessment
- System of Records Notice (pdf)

How N-DEx Can Help Your Agency
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