The Federal Bureau of Investigation's Efforts to Improve the Sharing of Intelligence and Other Information
Report Number 04-10
Office of the Inspector General
|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 9, 2002
TDD (202) 514-1888
ATTORNEY GENERAL JOHN ASHCROFT UNVEILS
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Attorney General John Ashcroft today unveiled the Gateway Information-Sharing Project (ISI), a pilot program that integrates investigative data from federal, state and local law enforcement agencies into one database that will ultimately be accessible to all participating agencies via secure Internet. This program is the result of cooperation between the Illinois State Police, St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department, St. Louis County Police Department, Missouri State Highway Patrol, St. Clair County Sheriff's Office, Collinsville, Illinois Police Department, Southern Illinois Police Chiefs Association, St. Louis Area Police Chiefs Association, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the United States Attorneys' Offices of the Southern District of Illinois and Eastern District of Missouri. St. Louis Joint Terrorism Task Force.
"Today, at a time when our nation is fully engaged in a war on terrorism, information has never been more important," Attorney General Ashcroft said. "It is the key to prevention - not just of terrorism, but also of crime. This Information-Sharing Initiative will be a vital tool to the federal, state, and local law enforcement officers who dedicate their lives to keeping our communities and our nation safe."
The St. Louis Intelligence Center began in 1999 when the U.S. Attorneys for Eastern Missouri and Southern Illinois, together with federal, state and local law enforcement, created a joint intelligence center to explore the possibility of a shared data warehouse, designed to combat drug trafficking and violent crime. Over the past year, these projects have merged into the Gateway ISI. In April, the FBI initiated the first phase of the pilot project in St. Louis, and launched pilot projects in San Diego, Seattle/Portland, Norfolk, and Baltimore.
The Gateway ISI marks the first time that the FBI has entered records in a data warehouse containing investigative data from local and state law enforcement agencies. The first phase included records from the St. Louis FBI field office, the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department, and the Illinois State Police. The project is managed by an Executive Board consisting of federal, state and local law enforcement executives from participating agencies in Southern Illinois and Eastern Missouri districts, along with United States Attorneys Miriam Miquelon and Raymond Gruender.
"The Gateway ISI makes ‘real time' law enforcement a reality," said Miriam Miquelon, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois. "By allowing law enforcement agencies to share information, this technology enables officers to make swift threat assessments and expedite apprehension of criminals."
The Gateway ISI merges investigative files and records from all levels of law enforcement into a single, searchable data warehouse. It provides investigators and analysts the ability to search the actual text of investigative records for names, addresses, phone numbers, scars, marks, tattoos, weapons, vehicles, and phrases. It also graphically depicts the relationships between these factors. Each agency that enters data into the warehouse will be able to access it through four levels of security access.
"Information that was previously fragmented and would take analysts months to collate will be connected within seconds," said Ashcroft. "This revolutionary system will enable investigators to identify intelligence gaps, and to see tangible links between seemingly unrelated investigations."
Though still a pilot project, the Executive Board expects the St. Louis Gateway ISI to be fully operational within 60 days. If successful, the project could serve as a model for a nationwide information- sharing initiative.
"We are very proud that the Gateway Information-Sharing Initiative may become the model for a national program of information-sharing between federal, state and local law enforcement," said Ray Gruender, the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Missouri. "We hope this project will continue to develop and become a powerful tool not only in our efforts to prevent and disrupt terrorism but also in our efforts to fight drug crime, violent crime and fraud throughout the nation."