CJIS Annual Report 2009
CJIS Annual Report 2009
Criminal Justice Information Services Division
U.S. Department of Justice
Federal Bureau of Investigation
The power to connect, The power to identify, the power to know.
State of CJIS
“From the cops on our streets, to our troops around the world, to our colleagues at other government agencies, we are arming our partners with immediate access to information they need to fight crime and terrorism and protect our nation.”— Daniel D. Roberts, Assistant Director, CJIS Division
When I came to CJIS in June 2009, I was excited to join CJIS’ mission to provide vital services for law enforcement across the nation. During my career, I have been a customer of CJIS systems not only as a police officer at a small agency near Detroit beginning in 1982, but also since becoming an FBI agent in 1987. For each investigation, arrest, or booking, I relied on CJIS systems such as the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) and the Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System (IAFIS) to provide criminal history or identify my suspect.
Now, I am leading CJIS to take these services to the next level. And, I am doing this in a post 9/11 world when requests for these services are dramatically on the rise. For example, during the fiscal year:
- IAFIS celebrated its 10th anniversary and marked a high of 144,365 average daily responses for fingerprint identification.
- NCIC set a new single day record on July 24, 2009, processing more than 7.9 million transactions for inquiries of wanted and missing/unidentified persons.
- The National Instant Criminal Background Check System, used during gun purchases, celebrated its 10-year milestone and conducted over 14 million checks, a 22 percent increase year-over-year.
- The CJIS Division Intelligence Group, which provides support to the FBI, Intelligence Community Agencies, and other law enforcement, reached a milestone of having processed 30,000 Security Risk Assessments.
- The global Collections Program extended CJIS’ reach around the world with the Foreign Fingerprint Exchange, Flyaway, and the Quick Capture Platform programs.
The growth of IAFIS reflects the efforts of the Biometric Interoperability program to exchange information, in near real time, with other governmental agencies, such as the Department of Homeland Security, for national security purposes while enhancing local, state, and tribal law enforcement.
Given CJIS’ role in providing fingerprint identification services through IAFIS and the development of future identification services (e.g., advanced fingerprint and new biometric capabilities) with the Next Generation Identification, the Science and Technology Branch (STB) named CJIS as the Executive Program Manager for the Biometric Center of Excellence (BCOE). The STB created the BCOE to ensure that the best methods and practices are developed and implemented within the FBI’s programs, thereby poising the FBI on the forefront of biometric technology.
On the investigative front, the Law Enforcement National Data Exchange (N-DEx) deployed additional functionality to enhance its ability to search, link, analyze, and share information on a national scale.
Other efforts to improve our existing systems include:
- Continuing to increase services and membership of the Law Enforcement Online, which provides the criminal justice community free, protected communication functions.
- Pursuing an upgrade of the aging technology upon which the Uniform Crime Reporting Program relies. When complete, this upgrade will eliminate numerous manual processes and improve efficiency.
After my first few months at the CJIS Division, it is clear that the dedication of the 2,500 CJIS employees is key to delivering high-quality services that support law enforcement in safeguarding our nation. I am proud to present this 2009 CJIS Annual Report–the first of its kind–that conveys the current state of CJIS services and programs and their role in the future of law enforcement. As we go forward, we will do even more to serve our customers and all those sworn to protect and serve our communities.
CJIS on the move
We stay focused on our purpose to accomplish our goals.
Mission : The mission of the CJIS Division is to equip our law enforcement, national security, and intelligence community partners with the criminal justice information they need to protect the United States while preserving civil liberties.
To safeguard our nation as the global leader in delivering emerging capabilities that empower our partners to connect, identify, and know.
Value Our Employees
Exemplify Integrity and Professionalism
Intelligent Risk Taking
Culture of Quality
Goals: Manage more information and process it faster; Provide accurate and complete information; Preserve civil liberties; Provide additional value-added services.
National Crime Information Center— Information on-the-spot
We provide cops on the street with the facts they need when they need them.
J. Edgar Hoover presided over the meeting during which the decision was made to implement a computer system that would centralize crime information from every state and provide that information to law enforcement throughout the nation. The resulting National Crime Information Center (NCIC) became operational on January 27, 1967, with five “files,” or record categories, that contained about 95,000 records of stolen property and wanted criminals. By the end of 2009, the NCIC contained more than 15 million active records in 20 files concerning wanted and missing/unidentified persons and stolen property, with 92,000+ connections to nearly 18,000 law enforcement agencies and other authorized criminal justice partners.
Through the years, the NCIC has served law enforcement in obvious and sometimes unanticipated ways. For instance, following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the NCIC’s Violent Gang and Terrorist Organization File (VGTOF), took on added significance. Although the File had been a part of the NCIC since 1995, few records were entered into it; however, after 9/11, it became a central collection point for information about terrorist suspects. Within 3 years, the VGTOF grew to contain more than 100,000 records.
This is just one way in which the NCIC demonstrates that it is always poised to meet the changing needs of the criminal justice community. Looking to the future, the NCIC plans to develop a Web site that will allow the public to access stolen vehicle data and, therefore, expand the opportunities for these items to be identified and recovered. Whatever the future brings, the NCIC stands ready to assist its partners in their mission to keep the country safe.
The NCIC has assisted law enforcement in catching such noted wanted individuals as Ted Bundy and Timothy McVeigh—and individuals not so well known but equally as dangerous. In 2009, for example, an NCIC off-line search on a license plate number revealed the plate was linked to a vehicle owned by a man wanted for the July 2008 murder of his mother in Mississippi. About an hour after receiving the search request, NCIC staff provided the results to the requesting agency, and that agency contacted a sheriff’s office in Florida that had queried the plate 2 weeks earlier. Around 5 a.m. on April 18, three deputies from the Florida sheriff’s office located the vehicle while responding to another call. When the deputies approached the vehicle, the suspect pulled a sawed-off shotgun from under a blanket and pointed the weapon at the deputies. The deputies shot and killed the suspect before he could fire.
- Set a new single day record on July 24 by processing more than 7.9 million NCIC transactions.
- Continued in the development of the National Dental Image Repository Field (to assist authorities in identifying people via dental records).
- Expanded the NCIC Mobile Program to enable all FBI agents to conduct NCIC and Department of Motor Vehicle inquiries using wireless devices through the Law Enforcement Online (LEO) system.
- Upgraded NCIC name search capabilities (to support increases in transactions and provide authorities with a reliable means of searching foreign-based names) and expanded the U.S. Secret Service Protective File (to enter individuals who may pose a threat to authorized protectees).
92,000+: Connections to nearly 18,000 law enforcement agencies and other authorized criminal justice partners that have 24/7 access to NCIC files.
15 Million: Active records currently in the NCIC System.
2.4 Billion: NCIC transactions processed in FY 2009.
National Instant Criminal Background Check System—Instant checks
We determine eligibility to purchase guns and explosives.
On November 30, 2008, the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) celebrated a 10-year milestone. The NICS, which ensures the timely transfer of firearms to eligible gun buyers and prevents the transfer of firearms to those prohibited, began operations on November 30, 1998.
When authorized gun dealers, or Federal Firearms Licensees (FFLs), request a NICS check, the system automatically searches over 74 million records contained in three databases (the National Crime Information Center, the Interstate Identification Index, and the NICS Index). These records include wanted persons, subjects of protective/restraining orders, and other persons prohibited from possessing firearms. If an applicant’s name and descriptive information match any records in the databases, the NICS staff and/or state agencies perform further research to determine the eligibility of the applicant.
The NICS was developed as a result of the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act of 1993 (Brady Act). The Brady Act requires FFLs to request background checks on individuals attempting to purchase a firearm. The NICS enables FFLs to request an immediate determination as to whether the receipt of a firearm by a prospective gun buyer would violate federal or state law.
Looking forward, a new NICS modernization initiative is on the horizon and funding for the first step, a requirements study of the NICS’ work processes, has been secured. This initiative will overhaul the NICS infrastructure and technology that drives the system, enabling the FBI to continue meeting the mandates imposed by Congress and the Department of Justice.
An individual attempted to purchase a firearm from an FFL at 1:30 p.m. on February 16, 2009. The NICS staff determined that the person had an active felony warrant. The NICS Legal Instruments Examiner denied the purchase, keeping the gun out of the hands of a wanted felon, and the agency that held the warrant took the individual into custody by 3:05 p.m. that same day.
On July 24, 2009, a NICS Legal Instruments Examiner received a call from an individual who said he was denied in error. In the state in which he resided, felonies could be designated as misdemeanors. The NICS Legal Instruments Examiner researched the case and verified that the caller no longer had a felony on his record, as it had been designated a misdemeanor. She submitted a status change request and forwarded corresponding documentation to state authorities so that they could update the state’s record. The case was cleared in hours, and the transaction status was changed from “deny” to “proceed,” thus allowing this individual to freely and legally exercise his second amendment rights.
- Conducted more than 14 million NICS background checks, a 22 percent increase over the number conducted in Fiscal Year 2008.
- Exceeded a 90 percent immediate determination rate (eligibility determinations made while the FFL is on the telephone.)
- Reviewed within 3 business days 100 percent of all the NICS transactions delayed based on the name check search.
- Processed its 100 millionth NICS background check and marked 727,300 federal denials processed by NICS Legal Instrument Examiners (federal denials exclude those background checks processed by the state) since the inception of the Program.
14,405,775: NICS background checks for gun purchases completed.
70,656: NICS gun transfers denied federally (in requests processed by NICS Legal Instrument Examiners), keeping firearms out of the hands of felons, fugitives, and other prohibited persons.
74 Million+: Records searched during each NICS background.
Law Enforcement National Data Exchange—Linking common threads
We connect investigative information for law enforcement across the nation.
The Law Enforcement National Data Exchange (N-DEx) is a powerful investigative tool designed for law enforcement to search, link, analyze, and share information on a national scale. N-DEx ties together disparate databases to distinguish relationships among people, places, things, and crime characteristics. As a result, N-DEx reaches across jurisdictions to connect the dots among seemingly unrelated data. The N-DEx concept is the result of collaboration among local, county, state, tribal, and federal law enforcement to establish a secure national criminal justice information sharing capability.
N-DEx has been developed and deployed incrementally to provide the user community with a functional system displaying interim capabilities that continue to be enhanced. N-DEx Increment 1 became available in March 2008 and provides the ability to search nationwide incident and case reports based on people, vehicles/property, location, and/or crime characteristics, which supports multijurisdictional task forces. In July 2009, Increment 2 provided N-DEx users with the ability to subscribe to a certain kind of search (e.g., a particular alias of a suspect) for any information that becomes available, to be notified if other officers or agencies have requested the same information, and to participate in online collaboration. In addition, automated processing began linking information across and within jurisdictions and providing a recurring electronic report to designated N-DEx users.
Currently, N-DEx interfaces with and enables queries of the National Crime Information Center (i.e., NCIC), the Interstate Identification Index (i.e., III), and OneDOJ. The OneDOJ System enables internal sharing among the Department of Justice’s components: Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives; Bureau of Prisons; Drug Enforcement Administration; Federal Bureau of Investigation; and the United States Marshals Service.
Increment 3 will roll out in the fall of 2010 and will:
- Provide “Google-like” search capability with the same refined results with much less user effort.
- Continue integration of N-DEx and OneDOJ, bringing on more records and users.
- Add probation and parole data and expand Web services.
- Double its capability to 200,000 users and achieve a capacity of 1 billion records.
Late in 2008, the North Las Vegas Police Department in Nevada accessed and searched an alias in N-DEx for a suspect in their investigation. The search obtained pertinent information from a surrounding contributing state and helped confirm the identity of the suspect, who had an outstanding arrest warrant. N-DEx helped facilitate the arrest of the suspect on drug trafficking and possession of firearms charges and the recovery of a significant amount of drugs and handguns.
- Deployed N-DEx Increment 2 with additional functions and system performance.
- Initiated N-DEx capability to narrow search option by geographic area—searching an area for incidents occurring nearest to a point, and searching a region for incidents—and the ability to geo-visualize the results on a map.
- Provided ability to subscribe to a certain kind of N-DEx search (e.g., a particular alias of a suspect), be notified if others have requested the same information, and participate in collaboration online.
- Started N-DEx integration with OneDOJ.
63 Million: Searchable records in N-DEx.
1,900+: Registered N-DEx users.
650+: Agencies contributing data to N-DEx.
To obtain an account log on to www.leo.gov.
We analyze information and piece it together.
Established in January 2006, the CJIS Division Intelligence Group (CDIG) enhances public safety and national security by providing intelligence support to FBI Headquarters Divisions and Field Offices, Intelligence Community Agencies, and local, state, and federal law enforcement organizations. Information from across major CJIS systems is accessed and analyzed to identify relevant associations and linkages that may be of interest to law enforcement or intelligence customers. CDIG seeks to become an expert partner with its users to ensure that the information available in CJIS systems is being appropriately considered, analyzed, and disseminated.
On February 3, 2009, a man boarding a passenger train to Paris was stopped by a British Customs agent. During a standard search, the agent noted that the subject had two passports, a current passport, and an expired U.S. passport. The subject was also carrying a Pakistani Visa. The British agent allowed the subject to continue on to Paris, but advised the French Custom authorities of the man’s travels. Upon arrival in Paris, the man was met by French Custom agents who began to question him. During the questioning, a French agent learned that the man was not who he identified himself as, and the current passport he was traveling under had been stolen. The French agent detained and fingerprinted the man. The French agent sent a copy of the man’s fingerprint images to the FBI’s Legal Attaché (Legat) in Paris. Unable to assist the agent, the Legat sent the copy of the fingerprint images to the FBI’s Counterterrorism Watch (CT Watch) Unit in Washington, D.C.
CT Watch phoned the CDIG requesting assistance with identifying the man being detained in Paris. The French Custom authorities could only hold the man for 24 hours, so it was critical for CDIG to respond to this request as quickly as possible. CT Watch sent a copy of the man’s fingerprint images via e-mail. When CDIG received the e-mail, CDIG fingerprint examiners began the identification process of the images by scanning them into the Division’s Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System, which houses over 64 million fingerprint records. Within a matter of minutes, a fingerprint match was made to an existing fingerprint record. This fingerprint match provided the CDIG with the true identity of the man. Immediately, CDIG phoned CT Watch with the man’s true identity, which was passed on to the Legat in Paris. CDIG also contacted the Legat in Paris and found that Legat personnel were very excited with the results. The Legat contacted the French authorities and provided the man’s true identity and U.S. criminal history record. The man was arrested by the French authorities for traveling under suspicious circumstances and under a false identity.
- Hired Intelligence Analyst support to assist CDIG with the development of intelligence products and services.
- Assisted with in-depth subject analysis in support of FBI field investigations.
- Reached milestone by having processed 30,000 Security Risk Assessments in the last five years as a part of the Bioterrorism Security Risk Assessment Program.
4,760: Security risk assessments conducted to screen individuals who work with, possess or transport select agents and biotoxins as it relates to their professional responsibilities.
323: Guardian reports to FBI field offices on suspicious activity of known or suspected terrorists encountered by state and local law enforcement.
46 Intelligence information reports released for the timely dissemination of unevaluated intelligence to the U.S. intelligence and federal law enforcement communities.
Law Enforcement Online—Online community
We enable law enforcement collaboration.
The Law Enforcement Online (LEO) system, a keystone of the FBI’s Information Sharing Initiative, provides a secure, certified Internet site for sensitive but unclassified information exchange and collaboration among local, state, tribal, and federal law enforcement. For nearly 15 years, LEO has provided the criminal justice community free, protected communication functions through:
- Special Interest Groups (LEOSIGs) (authorized groups of users with specific organizational purposes)
- Roll Call (concise information on various topics)
- Chat (real-time, secure discussions on law enforcement topics)
- An electronic calendar (national and state postings of upcoming dates of interest)
- LEO Library (a multimedia repository)
- eLearning (online topical learning modules)
- Forums (a place to broadly ask a question or post an answer)
- Global Address Book
- Virtual Command Centers (VCCs) (Internet-based monitoring of the moving and remote parts of a complex operation in real-time, used in events ranging from a local agency operation to national security needs)
- The National Alert System (a high-priority mechanism used to send key information to homeland security and law enforcement partners across the country)
LEO has grown from its original 29 members to over 145,000 vetted members because it continually evolves to meet member needs. From simplifying the secure log on to advancing to an “anytime, anywhere” network, LEO has always responded to users needs to become an essential law enforcement tool. Upcoming improvements include providing access via mobile devices like smartphones, portal technology that will allow customization of LEO pages, and Spanish translation software.
The VCC continues to cut across jurisdictional lines and aid law enforcement collaboration on a scale not seen before. In 2009, LEO’s VCC capability supported the “takedown” of the Mongol motorcycle gang in San Francisco. LEO staff worked with the ATF to create a multi-agency command post. The VCC provided the ability to share information virtually and in real-time as arrests occurred and events unfolded. This allowed each on-scene commander to evaluate the status of the entire operation with a quick reference to the VCC.
The VCC also played a key role in monitoring activities in and around the District of Columbia during President Obama’s Inauguration. Law enforcement agencies in the District, as well as the FBI’s Strategic Information Operations Center, used the VCC to track events at multiple geographic locations, to ensure the safety of those who were attending various ceremonies, and to safeguard residents in the District on that busy day.
- Provided enhancements to the LEO VCC component, including new view and print options, and the ability to export.
- Began providing full name e-mail addresses for better clarity and less “guess the address.”
- Rolled out enhanced LEO search capabilities to help users quickly find the information they need.
- Connected users with more databases through LEO (e.g., Violent Criminal Apprehension Program [i.e., ViCAP], Joint Automated Booking System [i.e., JABS], eGuardian.)
- Provided software and support on LEO for designing surveys to help agencies discover needed information.
145,000+: Approved LEO members.
760: Special interest groups in LEO.
506: Virtual command centers.
52,000+: Unclassified criminal activity or intelligence documents shared on LEO.
Uniform Crime Reporting Program—Crunching the numbers
We provide a national perspective of crime.
For nearly 80 years, crime statistics gathered and disseminated by the Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program have served as a valuable resource for many real world applications, including law enforcement administration, operation, and management; officer safety training; and research. The data collected has evolved from simple crime counts to include many facets of crime incidents.
Using these statistics, UCR staff publishes to the Internet three high-profile FBI reports each year. These include Crime in the United States, a comprehensive collection of data including crime offenses, clearances, arrests, and police employment information; Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted (LEOKA), a statistical perspective covering the felonious deaths and assaults of officers, as well as information regarding officers who died from accidents while on duty; and Hate Crime Statistics, a report focused on bias-motivated crimes.
During the fiscal year, UCR managers pursued an upgrade of the aging technology upon which the Program currently relies. This effort has included obtaining the approval of a concept of operations and doing the tremendous amount of research and documentation needed to obtain resources for this upgrade. When complete, the new system will ensure a more robust, effective, and efficient program. Moreover, UCR staff has worked with members of the Law Enforcement National Data Exchange (N-DEx) in anticipation of receiving and processing data extracts for use with the UCR’s National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS). Making sure that data extracts from the N-DEx can be accepted into the NIBRS eliminates the need for double reporting by agencies that participate in both the UCR and N-DEx Programs.
In a nation where information sharing has become a priority as law enforcement agencies work together to investigate crimes and prevent terrorist acts, the UCR Program remains an open book for all who wish to better understand crime in the United States. The FBI’s ongoing changes to the UCR Program’s structure, technology, and business practices will help ensure that the valuable chain of crime data, begun in 1930, continues well into the future.
During Fiscal Year 2009, three additional instructors were hired to teach officer safety training classes, both nationally and internationally, as part of the LEOKA Program. With the assistance of these new instructors, a total of 6,358 students representing 1,203 law enforcement agencies have received the LEOKA training.
Data from the UCR Program is used by the Bureau of Justice Assistance to allocate funds from the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) Program. JAG funds may be used for law enforcement state and local initiatives, technical assistance, training, personnel, and information systems.
- Worked to add the ability to capture cargo theft statistics within the incident-based data system. (Collection of these stats is scheduled to begin in January 2010.)
- Researched the additional ability to track statistics on human trafficking offenses.
- Presented details on UCR data collections and work processes to: the Department of State, Office of Security and Economic Cooperation; Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights hate crime meeting; the International Centre for the Prevention of Crime; the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime Data; and the World Health Organization.
454.4: Estimated rate of violent crimes occurring in the U.S. per 100,000 people in 2008.
6,358: Participants in officer safety training offered through the LEOKA Program.
2 Million: Visits to the Internet homepages of the UCR Program’s publications.
Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System—Automated Identification
We manage the world's largest criminal database of fingerprints and criminal history.
With the implementation of the Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System (IAFIS) on July 28, 1999, CJIS made great advancements with the technology to identify criminals. Ten years later, the IAFIS is the world’s largest repository of biometric-supported criminal history information. The IAFIS provides law enforcement with access to specialized files for the identification of known criminals through fingerprint identification and for investigative purposes through name-based inquiries. It also accesses criminal history record information for Non-criminal justice, or civil submissions, i.e., individuals being screened for employment or licensing, which protects our nation, our children, and our communities from criminal and terroristic threats.
The IAFIS is person-centric, i.e., it relies on the biographic, fingerprints, and/or criminal history data on file to identify an individual. When a rolled or flat ten-print submission is received, the IAFIS accesses over 64 million criminal fingerprints, 20 million civil fingerprints, and 210,000 latent fingerprints (those left behind at crime/terrorism scenes) to look for a match. If a match is found, the submission then goes through the IAFIS Interstate Identification Index (i.e., III) segment to access biographic and criminal history information. Finally, the IAFIS delivers a response to the requesting agency on whether a match was found. Additionally, law enforcement processes over 21.6 million III name-based inquiries each month for investigative purposes.
Over 86,000 local, state, tribal, federal, and international partners electronically submit requests to IAFIS, which operates 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The IAFIS is supported by over 900 service providers who focus on fingerprint comparison, criminal history maintenance, and various support functions.
On July 23, 2009, the Special Agent in Charge (SAC) of the FBI’s Denver Division alerted CJIS that a man believed to be Eddie Eugene Harper, one of the FBI’s Top Ten Fugitives had been apprehended. The subject, who was in custody in Wyoming, was taken to the Casper Resident Agency (RA) to be fingerprinted. At 4:10 p.m., the Casper RA called to advise that the subject’s fingerprints were being faxed. Upon receipt of the prints, CJIS entered the prints into the IAFIS, and within minutes, the subject’s identity was verified as Eddie Eugene Harper, who was wanted by the FBI in Jackson, Mississippi. CJIS immediately called the Casper RA to confirm Harper’s identity. Although Harper had been arrested and charged for alleged sexual behavior with two girls, ages 3 and 8, in Mississippi, he was released on bond, and then failed to appear for a court hearing in 1994. Thanks to the collaboration of law enforcement and the identification verification by IAFIS, Harper’s new status is CAPTURED.
- Celebrated the 10th Anniversary of IAFIS. Average Daily Receipts for fingerprint submissions rose from 42,203 (10 years ago) to 144,332. Average Daily Responses increased from 34,728 (10 years ago) to 144,365.
- Processed IAFIS criminal submissions in an average of 16.25 minutes, well within the goal of a 2-hour response time, and processed IAFIS Non-criminal/ civil submissions in an average of 3.38 hours to fall within the 24-hour goal.
- Maintained more than 64 million subject criminal history records, which grew by an average of 9,000-11,000 new identities per day.
- Processed over 259.2 million III name-based inquiry transactions for law enforcement purposes.
284,941: Fugitives identified by IAFIS.
459,059: Criminals of a “national security interest”.
525,465: Sex offenders in IAFIS.
Next Generation Identification—Fingerprints and beyond
We are developing the future of identification services.
Reflecting customer requirements and advancements in technology, the Next Generation Identification (NGI) will replace the current IAFIS by providing both new and improved identification and criminal history information services. To access an individual’s criminal history information, biometrics (e.g., fingerprint, palm print, facial, iris) provide the measurement and analysis of unique physical or behavioral characteristics as a means of verifying personal identity. The NGI Program is focusing on the following capabilities to enhance identification services, while ensuring individual privacy rights:
Advanced Fingerprint Identification Technology—In addition to more speed, more efficiency, and increased search accuracy, NGI will improve latent processing services and improve the search of ten flat fingerprint impressions. It will also offer the Repository for Individuals of Special Concern (RISC) service, a rapid search of ten or less, rolled or flat, fingerprints against known or suspected terrorists, wanted persons, sexual offenders, and other persons of special interest.
Disposition Reporting Improvements—Accurate and complete criminal history files are an integral part of providing up-to-date responses to fingerprint identification requests. As such, NGI delivered the capability to submit electronic dispositions for criminal arrests via the Interstate Identification Index (III) in June 2008. NGI is striving to enable the submission of disposition data via the CJIS Wide Area Network, CD-ROM, and other standard media.
Enhanced IAFIS Repository—In addition to improving the efficiency of the IAFIS, NGI will provide search and response services, including the storage of new biometrics for future services such as iris. For example, the new “Rap Back” service will allow authorized agencies to receive notification of subsequent criminal activity reported to the IAFIS on individuals holding positions of trust.
Quality Check (QC) Automation—Formerly a manual function to ensure that required data was included on fingerprint submissions, the QC process was automated in July 2007 to render a pass or fail decision for more than 88 percent of fingerprint transactions.
Interstate Photo System—By taking IAFIS beyond the mugshots currently accepted, customers will be able to add photographs to previously submitted arrest data, including photos of scars, marks, and tattoos, and provide photo search capabilities.
National Palm Print System—NGI implemented the capability to accept and store palm print images at the national level in September 2007. These capabilities will expand to accommodate investigative palm print search requests from local, state, tribal, and federal criminal justice agencies.
- Designed, developed, and tested the NGI Advanced Technology Workstation (personal computer designed to handle enhanced identification services) in order to provide FBI examiners with the state-of-the-art tools necessary to perform the next generation identification services.
- Provided the RISC service’s first live operational responses to several state/local mobile identification programs.
- Identified several criminal subjects operating under false names and assisted with the apprehension of individuals wanted for murder, kidnapping, attempted murder, family violence assault, forgery of a commercial instrument, attempted robbery, and probation violations as the result of the RISC service.
68%: Increase in the number of NGI RISC pilot transactions (i.e., Test and Live) processed.
758,576: Palm prints stored electronically.
245,677: Dispositions for criminal arrests submitted electronically via the III message key since inception.
Biometric Interoperability—Partnering to Identify
We collaborate with other federal agencies and international partners to identify criminals and terrorists.
Biometric Interoperability was initiated in 2005 to facilitate the exchange of biometrics, e.g., 10-print rolled and flat fingerprints, and associated biographics between the Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System (IAFIS) and the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS’s) Automated Biometric Identification System (IDENT). The goal of Biometric Interoperability is to improve information sharing between IAFIS and the biometric systems of other federal and international partners. These partnerships enhance the identification of criminals and terrorists to secure our nation’s streets and borders.
In September 2006, the FBI, the DHS, and the Department of State (DOS) deployed the interim Data Sharing Model (iDSM) to share limited data subsets from the IAFIS and the IDENT in near real-time. Authorized users of each system access the others’ records to determine if an encountered subject is located within the shared records, allowing them to make more informed decisions. In October 2008, participating stakeholders gained access to the full IDENT repository for the first time, enabling an authorized IAFIS or IDENT user to access certain biometric and biographic information retained in the other system. The iDSM continues to be operational so that Known and Suspected Terrorists (KSTs) and wanted notices can be exchanged with the DHS’s United States Visitor and Immigrant Status Indicator Technology Program.
As a result of Biometric Interoperability, more state and local law enforcement agencies are using IAFIS to gain access to the full IDENT repository through the DHS, Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE’s) Secure Communities Program, which helps identify and remove criminal aliens who pose the greatest threat to local communities. As of September 3, 2009, the program has been deployed in 80 locations within Arizona, California, Florida, Massachusetts, New Mexico, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Virginia.
An individual serving a 150-day sentence for multiple convictions was fingerprinted as he was being released into the work furlough program. The fingerprint search through IAFIS returned an Interoperability response with information about his immigration status. It was determined that the man was a lawful permanent resident who, based on his recent conviction, was removable under the Immigration and Naturalization Act. As a result, the individual’s work furlough privileges were revoked, and he was remanded back into custody to serve the remainder of his sentence. ICE issued a detainer and, upon completion of the individual’s current sentence, he will be released into ICE custody.
- Provided biometric-based access to the full DHS IDENT repository via IAFIS to: the United States Office of Personnel Management to screen federal employees; 80 state and local law enforcement agencies within nine states through Secure Communities and the Southwest Border Initiatives; FBI Special Agents using mobile, fingerprint capture devices in remote locations.
1,743,099: IAFIS searches sent to IDENT from October 28, 2008 through September 2, 2009.
68,000: Submissions to IAFIS per day from the DHS, Customs and Border Protection Port-of-Entry primary checking on foreign visitors traveling to the U.S.
30,000: Submissions per day forwarded by the DOS for a search.
Biometric Center of Excellence—Exploring New Frontiers
We ensure the ongoing advancement of FBI identification services.
In October 2007, the FBI’s Science and Technology Branch (STB) formed the Biometric Center of Excellence (BCOE) as the FBI’s focal point for biometrics and identity management activities to advance the FBI’s ability to fight crime and prevent terrorism. The STB also named CJIS as the Executive Program Manager of the BCOE. The BCOE combined the FBI’s extensive biometric experience which includes that of the CJIS Division (fingerprint identification), the Operational Technology Division (face image and voice identification), and the Laboratory Division (DNA and latent fingerprints). With this expertise, the BCOE’s mission is to foster collaboration, improve information sharing, and advance the adoption of optimal solutions not only within the FBI but also across the law enforcement and national security communities. Moreover, the BCOE is building a strategy for biometric programming within the FBI to ensure valid legal approaches, to help establish policies and procedures and protect individual privacy rights by managing the implications of the emerging technologies, and to secure funding for the chosen initiatives. Ultimately, the BCOE will shape the way that law enforcement investigates crimes across the spectrum.
Within months of its formation, the BCOE established a Cooperative Agreement with West Virginia University (WVU) to facilitate the sponsorship of biometric research projects at select academic institutions. Initial projects include collection of specific biometric modalities (e.g., fingerprints, iris, and facial) and the collection of biometric samples for future testing and evaluation. Another research component with which the BCOE is involved is the Center for Identification Technology Research (CITeR), which studies and evaluates both traditional and new types of identification characteristics. CITeR membership includes twelve government affiliates, seven industry affiliates, and two nonprofit affiliates that fund select biometric/academic projects.
The BCOE also funded and subsequently published an independent biometric technology assessment that was conducted by The MITRE Corporation. Through an extensive survey of biometric technologies, products, systems, independent performance evaluations, and select research activities, MITRE assessed current biometric applications, identified promising research topics, and noted potential challenges across the biometric market. The results were delivered in the State-of-the-art Biometrics Excellence Roadmap (SABER) Technology Assessment. The BCOE is using the SABER Technology Assessment not only to strategically prioritize the FBI’s biometric research and funding activities but to also develop a common baseline understanding among the biometric community at large.
- Established a website, www.BiometricCoE.gov, in December 2008 as a resource for FBI biometric activities available to the public and published the SABER Technology Assessment.
- Established the Facial Identification Scientific Working Group in February 2009. The group met for the first time in June 2009 to address the classification and individualization of humans through photographic comparison of visible physical features.
- Awarded three additional projects via the WVU Cooperative Agreement in August through September 2009.
14: BCOE sponsored biometric projects with various federal agencies such as the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), Department of Defense, Department of Homeland Security, as well as academia and independent laboratories.
8: BCOE sponsored collaborative events with U.S. government agencies, industry, NIST, state and local agencies, international law enforcement, etc.
We identify criminals and terrorists across the globe.
Through the global Collections Program, the CJIS Division fosters national and international relationships related to biometrics in support of counterterrorism and other law enforcement efforts. The global Collections Program is composed of the Foreign Fingerprint Exchange (FFE), the Quick Capture Platform (QCP), the Flyaway Program, and other initiatives.
The Foreign Fingerprint Exchange facilitates the acquisition, review, analysis, and comparison of biometric samples and related information from foreign governments against comparable information within the IAFIS. In addition to receiving and processing ad-hoc biometric inquiries from international sources, CJIS also makes similar requests of agencies in foreign countries, channeling them through the FBI Office of International Operations, Legal Attachés, or the INTERPOL.
The Quick Capture Platform allows front-line investigators to acquire tactical intelligence on-site through biometric collection. Able to simultaneously query the FBI’s IAFIS and the Department of Defense Biometric Fusion Center’s Automated Biometric Identification System, the QCP provides real-time, direct access to over 81 million records. Amazingly, the entire platform weighs approximately 22 pounds and can be loaded into a backpack. Initially developed for combat theatre operations, the QCP has proven to be invaluable in the operational investigations of known or suspected terrorists, transnational criminals, and illegal aliens. In addition to the combat theatre, the QCP is deployed to hostile environments and other remote access areas.
The Flyaway Program assists domestic and international law enforcement with critical on-site fingerprint identification. At any given moment, a team of seven members from a pool of 46 CJIS employees can be notified of a mission with a 4-hour recall to deploy. The intelligence gained from onsite identifications has been extremely important to national security and border protection.
On April 19, 2009, a 15-year-old girl was sexually assaulted at gunpoint by six men in Plantation, Florida. The alleged ring leader was a 28-year-old man, named Lecky, who had a tattoo that read “BADZ” on his forearm. After America’s Most Wanted (AMW) profiled the case in June 2009, one of the other five men surrendered to police. Nearly 2 weeks later, a tipster who had seen the show (particularly the “BADZ” tattoo) called the AMW hotline and reported seeing Lecky in Baltimore, Maryland. On July 30, 2009, law enforcement caught up with Lecky outside his Baltimore apartment complex and detained him. Lecky provided a false name and identifying information. However, the QCP was deployed, and the fugitive’s identity was quickly confirmed. Thanks to this great collaborative effort and the QCP, Lecky became AMW’s 1,082 capture.
- Conducted 18 FFE assessments of foreign national biometric capabilities and information sharing potential.
- Held 12 training sessions on collecting fingerprints in foreign countries.
- Conducted eight Flyaway on-site fingerprint identification missions (i.e., Buffalo plane crash, Group of Eight [i.e., G8] conferences, etc.).
19,069: Fingerprints collected via the FFE.
26: FFE missions conducted to collect fingerprints from foreign governments.
The advisory process
We partner with law enforcement to fight crime and prevent terrorism.
The FBI established the CJIS Advisory Process to obtain the user community’s advice and guidance on the operation of CJIS programs. The philosophy underlying the advisory process is one of shared management between the FBI and local, state, tribal, and federal system users. The Advisory Policy Board (APB) is responsible for reviewing appropriate policy, technical, and operational issues related to CJIS Division programs and for making appropriate recommendations to the Director of the FBI. Subcommittees are established to thoroughly review controversial policies, issues, program changes, and formulate alternatives and recommendations for the consideration of the entire APB. Currently, there are nine ad hoc subcommittees:
- Bylaws—responsible for evaluating proposed changes to the Bylaws for the CJIS Division APB and Working Groups and for recommending appropriate language with proper notice to the APB for approval.
- Identification Services—responsible for all projects related to the FBI’s fingerprint identification programs/initiatives and the criminal justice use of criminal history information.
- Information Sharing—reviews and evaluates the development of the Law Enforcement National Data Exchange (N-DEx) Program.
- National Crime Information Center (NCIC)—addresses issues related to the NCIC Program.
- Public Safety Strategy—reviews issues being considered by the various APB Working Groups and subcommittees, topics, programs, and issues being addressed by other law enforcement professional associations/organizations, and current events in the criminal justice and information processing arena.
- Sanctions—responsible for evaluating the results of audits conducted of participants in CJIS programs.
- Security and Access—responsible for reviewing the hardware and software security policy for current CJIS Division computer systems as well as those systems under development.
- Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR)—responsible for reviewing issues concerning the UCR Program, including Summary, the National Incident-Based Reporting System, Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted, and the Hate Crime Statistics Program.
- Crisis Management—provides input to the FBI’s Crisis Management procedures and the Operational Response and Investigative Online Network, which is sponsored by the FBI’s Critical Incident Response Group.
Working Groups review operational, policy, and technical issues related to CJIS Division programs and policies and make recommendations to the APB or one of its subcommittees. All 50 states, as well as U.S. territories and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police are organized into five Working Groups: North Central, Northeastern, Southern, Western, and Federal.
- Supported APB recommendations for: the development of and guidelines for a search for a “Person of Interest” that may have been involved in the disappearance of a missing person; a national standard for information sharing between local, state, tribal, and federal agencies known as the N-DEx Information Exchange Package Documentation; re-endorsement of the system security standard for risk-based user authentication and its use by agencies as an acceptable method beyond user ID and password access to systems for at least the next 5 years.
138: Potential topics submitted by law enforcement agencies nationwide and our CJIS internal subject matter experts.
76: Recommendations related to improving and enhancing our systems and programs approved by Director Mueller and being implemented.
379: Staff papers were researched, prepared, and reviewed by participants.
We partner with policy makers to provide criminal history information for employment/licensing screening.
There is a widespread interest in obtaining access to criminal history record information for the purpose of screening an individual’s suitability for employment, licensing, or placement in positions of trust. This type of access to criminal history record information is referred to as a “Non-criminal justice purpose.” These types of fingerprint-based background checks were established to enhance public safety, welfare, and security of the United States while recognizing the importance of individual privacy rights. This interest and need is what drove the passing of the National Crime Prevention and Privacy Compact Act of 1998 (Compact) and creation of the Compact Council.
The National Repository for sharing national criminal history information is the FBI’s Interstate Identification Index (III), a major segment of the Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System (IAFIS). It was determined in the late 1970s that state criminal history records were often more complete than records maintained by the FBI, because states may have had additional arrest and disposition information within the state files (such as District Attorney records and court records.) Because states had varying statutes or policies that restricted the dissemination of records for Non-criminal justice purposes, it was determined a federal law, or Compact, was necessary to facilitate interstate criminal record dissemination authority. For this reason, on October 9, 1998, President Clinton signed into law the Compact.
Article VI of the Compact, required the formation of a 15-member Compact Council whose responsibility is to create policy and publish rules and regulations related to the Non-criminal justice use of criminal history record information available through the III. The FBI’s CJIS Division provides mission critical support to the Compact Council and serves as the location for the FBI’s Compact Officer. The FBI’s Compact Officer is responsible for ensuring that all agencies abide by the rules and regulations created by the Compact Council.
Once a state ratifies the Compact, it has the authority to share their state’s criminal history record information (on an interstate basis) for all authorized purposes, including for Non-criminal justice fingerprint-based background checks. To date, 28 states have ratified the Compact. As Compact states are able to implement the necessary technical and operational changes, they are required to participate in the FBI’s National Fingerprint File (NFF) Program. The NFF ensures that the most comprehensive criminal history record information is provided for all Non-criminal justice purposes. NFF states use their records to respond to the majority of criminal history requests (as opposed to the FBI maintaining and responding on behalf of the state). By 2011, 20 states are projected to be NFF.
- Supported Compact Council to: propose helpful policy for the implementation of fingerprint-based background checks on Mortgage Loan Originators; create a policy change that will provide additional fingerprint images from the NFF states to improve the effectiveness of fingerprint-based background checks; deliver presentations on the benefits of Compact ratification to the National Council of State Legislators and the New York Division of Criminal Justice Services.
15: Member Compact Council supported by FBI Compact Officer and staff.
28: States have ratified the Compact.
12: Compact states are NFF participants.
Enabling our services
We provide the technology to connect CJIS services across the globe.
New Blade servers will double processing capacity as fingerprint submissions soar. The CJIS Division will upgrade to Blade server technology for a savings of almost $80 million. This is vital as the number of incoming fingerprint submissions to the Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System (IAFIS) rises dramatically. The IAFIS, which averaged 56,444 receipts per day only 3 years ago, averaged 144,332 receipts per day in Fiscal Year 2009 and achieved a record outgoing response of 200,254 on July 21, 2009. These receipts are increasing daily due to new business lines, i.e., 68,000 prints from Customs and Border Protection and 30,000 prints from the Department of State. Also, in Fiscal Year 2009, over 200,000 fingerprint cards were submitted by the U.S. Census Bureau to ensure that applicants were suitable candidates to serve as Census Bureau employees for the upcoming U.S. census, which occurs every 10 years.
In addition, CJIS provides the technology to support the growth in its other major systems. For example:
The National Instant Criminal Background Check system (NICS) accomplished 14,405,775 FBI background checks in support of firearms sales nationwide, 22 percent higher than the number in Fiscal Year 2008 (11,808,254).
The National Crime Information Center (NCIC), which processed approximately 2.5 million transactions in 1967, its first year of operation, an averaged 6.7 million transactions per day in Fiscal Year 2009 and set a new daily record of 7,970,540 transactions–6.9 percent higher than a year ago (7,455,985).
IAFIS Criminal Fingerprint processing: .Goal 2.0 Hours; Actual 16.25 minutes
IAFIS Non-criminal (Civil) Fingerprint processing: .Goal 24 Hours; Actual 3.38 hours
NCIC transaction processing: .Goal 2.0 Minutes; Actual 0.0601 seconds
NICS Immediate Determination Rate (IDR): .Goal Greater than 90 percent; Actual 91.7 percent
(Note: NICS IDR is the percentage of eligibility determinations made without any delays.)
IAFIS: Goal 97.5 percent; Actual 99.2 percent
NCIC: Goal 99.5 percent; Actual 99.8 percent
NICS: Goal 98.0 percent; Actual 99.9 percent
Note: System availability is less than 100 percent due to scheduled outages for maintenance, which is approximately four hours per month.
$80 Million: In savings by upgrading to Blade server technology.
Accounting for roughly $1 billion of the FBI’s $7 billion annual budget, the CJIS Division is based in Clarksburg, WV, on nearly 1,000 rolling acres. The campus includes a Main Building, Service Center, The Lasting Impressions Child Development Center, Central Plant, and Visitors’ Center. Altogether, these five buildings contain 947,000 square feet of space with the Main Building comprising about 500,000 square feet and housing approximately 3,000 CJIS employees and contractors. CJIS also occupies the Satellite II facility in Fairmont, WV. The Satellite II Facility houses 110,000 square feet of manual records and storage files and 45,000 square feet of office space, supporting approximately 300 CJIS employees.