MetroAlert gives police what they want most from
information sharing: relevance, control and security

Police assume that today’s information sharing systems will share data in real time, enable access from any RMS and comply with industry standards. Above and beyond the basics, they want:

  1. Relevant information from other law enforcement agencies at the local, county, state and federal level to help them do their work.
  2. Total control over the information their department chooses to share (or withhold) within their own unique RMS environment according to their own operational policies.
  3. Tight security for their own data and a secure network for sharing data useful to others.

Metro’s Advanced Information Sharing solutions are uniquely aligned with the qualities police want most from information sharing. Metro’s solutions also offer the most useful features, the most efficient functionality and the lowest price.

How MetroAlert ensures relevance, control and security

A core design element in both LEJIS and ALERT Server ensures relevant data, total control and tight security in a way that other commercial information sharing systems don’t. Instead of pulling data from a police department’s RMS, the ALERT Server requires departments to push only the data they want to share.

Pulling data has inherent problems

  • Pulling reaches behind the department’s firewall, bypassing the parameters and controls that the department depends on its RMS to protect.
  • Pulling reduces relevance by including huge amounts of data that is insignificant to other departments, such as “service” calls.
  • Pulling reduces control by end-running department policies on private or sensitive matters, and rules regarding dissemination of information.
  • Pulling reduces security by giving away high-level access privileges to your database and increases work by requiring departments to manage data at two locations.

Pushing data benefits all participants

  • LEJIS, and the U.S. Department of Justice data exchange standard on which it is based, make individual agencies responsible for pushing out sharable data.
  • Pushing ensures relevance by letting groups decide for themselves what categories of data they want to share. Only allowable data leaves the department.
  • Pushing ensures control by making individual departments responsible for sharing or withholding reports in accordance with their internal policies and procedures.
  • Pushing ensures security by maintaining the privacy, integrity, stability and administrative access control over the department’s database.

MetroAlert supports sharing as a cooperative venture

Information sharing in a county, task force or group is a cooperative venture among participating organizations. Typically, the participants include not only law enforcement agencies but also their RMS vendors. For sharing to be sustainable, all must be cooperating partners in the process.

If someone suggests that one or more participants be left out of the process, be sure to ask why. They are likely to answer that it will be easier, cheaper and quicker; like one-stop-shopping. The truth is that leaving out one of the parties won’t be sustainable.

The incongruities among RMS systems must be resolved in advance, through full cooperation by all. Any shortcut is likely to involve accessing or modifying another organization’s server, software or database — a practice that risks system breakdown every time there is a change or update to the system.

Safe, secure data interchange models require all vendors to follow government standards for sharing data. This is the way ALERT Server — using the LEJIS standard for information sharing — offers full interoperability with every RMS employing this standard.

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