March 19, 2012
Originally published in the March 2012 edition of the CJIS Link, Volume 14, Number 1
Established in April 2011, the National Crime Information Center’s (NCIC’s) Protective Interest File (PIF) was designed to aid law enforcement agencies that have a protective mission by providing timely information on individuals who threaten protected persons. Protective missions are defined by municipal, state, or federal statutes; regulations; or other appropriate legal authority. An example of this type of duty is a U.S. Marshal providing protection for a U.S. Attorney. Records entered into the PIF assist agencies in determining the threatener’s location and may provide the agency that owns the record with information related to the threatener’s criminal activity.
In addition to being searched for PIF inquiries, information in the PIF is searched when agencies submit inquiries of the Wanted Person File. When an inquiry results in a hit on a PIF record, the inquiring agency receives a caveat providing direction on how to handle the hit, and the agency that entered the original record receives a notification of the hit. Records for the U.S. Secret Service (USSS) and the U.S. Marshals Service include specific caveats, and records for other law enforcement agencies include a general caveat.
The PIF replaced the USSS Protective File, which was designed to aid the USSS in protecting the President and other authorized individuals. Unlike the USSS Protective File, in which only the USSS had the ability to enter and update information, the PIF allows all law enforcement agencies with protective duties to enter and update information.