16    Bayfront Hilton 
17    333 First Street 
18    St. Petersburg, Florida 
19    June 4, 1997 
20    9:10 a.m. 
 1              MS. RENO:  Thank you, Bill, and 
 2      I want to thank all the members of the 
 3      board for your service.  Many of you 
 4      are back for a second term, and I know 
 5      from my own experience what a drain it 
 6      is to have to go to meetings in some 
 7      other city while you have so much 
 8      happening in your own department. 
 9              Mr. Bonino, you deserve special 
10      praise for accepting a second term as 
11      chair, and we really look forward to 
12      continuing to work with you. 
13              This board and its working 
14      groups are able to do so much through 
15      the board, through the IACP, the major 
16      city chiefs, the National Sheriff's 
17      Association and state control terminal 
18      officers and the Royal Canadian Mounted 
19      Police.  You are able to get the 
20      benefit of thinking of law enforcement 
21      across this country and this 
22      continent.  I think it is so important, 
23      and your work is so important. 
24              I'd like to recognize, if I 
25      may, an individual who will soon be 
 1      ending a distinguished 28-year career 
 2      with the FBI, Dennis Kurre.  He spent 
 3      the last 12 years working on 
 4      identification issues and was deeply 
 5      involved in developing and implementing 
 6      the CJIS move to West Virginia.  He was 
 7      also a wonderful force for support of 
 8      his employees during an unstable 
 9      transition period. 
10              Dennis, we wish you luck and 
11      you will be very missed. 
12              (Audience clapping.) 
13              As Bill Esposito said, I came 
14      to Washington with a local 
15      perspective.  I came to Washington 
16      having seen the feds come to town too 
17      often and tell us what to do and not 
18      consult with us, and I wanted to do 
19      everything I could to build a 
20      partnership between the federal, state 
21      and local law enforcement agencies 
22      across this land. 
23              When turf jurisdiction and 
24      wanting to take credit get in the way, 
25      the public loses.  We should be so 
 1      proud of our respective agencies and 
 2      never forget the sense of camaraderie 
 3      that goes along with it, but we can 
 4      have a sense of camaraderie across 
 5      jurisdictional lines and amongst 
 6      federal, state and local law 
 7      enforcement, and when I see that 
 8      develop, it is so exciting. 
 9              It is so wonderful to be able 
10      to go into a jurisdiction and see the 
11      federal agencies working together, see 
12      them sharing with state and local in a 
13      two-way street, see people making 
14      decisions based on what is in the right 
15      interest of the case and not who gets 
16      the credit. 
17              And it's also very refreshing 
18      sometimes leaving Washington to find a 
19      republican sheriff and a democratic 
20      United States attorney working together 
21      without any consideration as to party 
22      lines, and I wish Washington would 
23      learn more about that. 
24              But nowhere is this important 
25      partnership more important than in the 
 1      area of information sharing.  This 
 2      board perfectly illustrates how a 
 3      collaborative local state and federal 
 4      effort combine to make our streets 
 5      safer. 
 6              Just a few days ago, the new 
 7      Uniform Crime Reporting Statistics show 
 8      yet another decrease in crime overall. 
 9      The simple fact is that crime has 
10      dropped for 5 years in a row and that 
11      violent crime is down 7 percent, 11 
12      percent for murder. 
13              Those are heartening numbers 
14      and they indicate that we're on the 
15      right track, but if you're a state 
16      attorney in Dade County for 15 years, 
17      you know that when they go down, they 
18      also go up, and we can never, ever 
19      relax our vigilance.  That's why we've 
20      got to work again to secure passage of 
21      the Interstate Compact.  The Compact 
22      serves as the final step along the path 
23      towards complete decentralization of 
24      criminal history records. 
25              We submitted the Compact to 
 1      Congress for approval last year, and 
 2      unfortunately, they failed to act.  I 
 3      can tell you, and as I told Mr. Bonino, 
 4      it's good to have board meetings every 
 5      now and then to force the issue, but 
 6      O&D approved the Compact for submission 
 7      yesterday, and we are in the process of 
 8      submitting it and hope that it will be 
 9      acted on this year. 
10              As you know, the Compact 
11      represents a sensible and an efficient 
12      approach to the interstate exchange of 
13      criminal history information for 
14      non-criminal justice purposes.  The 
15      Compact will require the certainty 
16      which comes from fingerprint-based 
17      identification prior to the release of 
18      criminal history record information. 
19              In recent months, some of you 
20      have raised concern over the justice 
21      department's agreement with the 
22      Department of Housing & Urban 
23      Development to process name-based 
24      rather than fingerprint-based 
25      background checks on prospective public 
 1      housing authority tenants. 
 2              Let me assure you that our 
 3      agreement with HUD in no way signifies 
 4      a departure from the belief reflected 
 5      in the Compact that fingerprint-based 
 6      names are better than name-based ones. 
 7              I have informed Chairman Bonino 
 8      that the department will examine the 
 9      HUD name-based check experiment after 
10      several months of operation to see how 
11      it's working, and we will work with the 
12      board to try to develop a thoughtful, 
13      careful evaluation process that can 
14      give you confidence in this. 
15      Furthermore, I have received an 
16      assurance from Secretary Cuomo at HUD 
17      that once technology, like IAFIS, 
18      eliminates or substantially reduces the 
19      time and cost differential between the 
20      processing of name-based and 
21      fingerprint-based background checks, 
22      HUD will expect all background checks 
23      to be fingerprint-based. 
24              Our experiment with HUD is an 
25      effort to find the appropriate balance 
 1      between the relatively limited time and 
 2      cost associated with the processing of 
 3      name-based background checks as opposed 
 4      to the absolute accuracy and 
 5      reliability associated with 
 6      fingerprint-based background checks. 
 7      We must study that experiment's result 
 8      as we respond to ever increasing 
 9      demands for rapidly available, 
10      inexpensive and completely reliable 
11      background check capabilities, but I've 
12      already made notes from my conversation 
13      with Chairman Bonino about how we 
14      follow up to make sure that the 
15      evaluation is thoughtful and 
16      scientific. 
17              As we move to the 21st century, 
18      information sharing and technology are 
19      more than ever the bywords of law 
20      enforcement success. 
21              At this time I'd like to take a 
22      few minutes to highlight several 
23      examples of areas where together we are 
24      making a difference in the fight 
25      against crime by you using information 
 1      the right way. 
 2              First, there is the 
 3      implementation of the National Instant 
 4      Criminal Background Check System, the 
 5      NICCS system, mandated by the Brady Act 
 6      and designed by you.  As you know, the 
 7      Brady Act requires me to replace the 
 8      current interim system where local 
 9      police chiefs and sheriffs conduct the 
10      background checks. 
11              With the NICCS system, by 
12      November the 30th, 1998, we will meet 
13      this statutory deadline; however, it is 
14      essential that the states, through this 
15      board, continue to actively participate 
16      in the implementation process.  State 
17      participation is vital to the NICCS 
18      effectiveness, speed and accuracy. 
19              Currently, it is estimated that 
20      the Brady Act's interim provisions, in 
21      conjunction with various state laws, 
22      prevent approximately 6,600 firearms 
23      per month from being sold to felons, 
24      fugitives and other persons prohibited 
25      from possessing firearms.  That 
 1      translates into lives saved and less 
 2      crime.  With your continued role in the 
 3      implementation process, I am confident 
 4      that NICCS will be even more effective 
 5      and less burdensome than the current 
 6      system. 
 7              As you know well, the backbone 
 8      of our current criminal history system 
 9      is the state's criminal history 
10      records.  With that in mind, this 
11      board's Brady Act Task Group designed a 
12      NICCS system that allows for the states 
13      to serve as the points of contact that 
14      firearms dealers will call when 
15      contacting the system. 
16              You, the members of the board, 
17      recognize that NICCS would operate more 
18      efficiently if state law enforcement 
19      representatives served as the point of 
20      contact for the NICCS. 
21              Furthermore, federal and state 
22      law enforcement officials working 
23      through the board recognize that state 
24      law enforcement representatives should 
25      be able to control background checks 
 1      for firearm sales taking place within 
 2      their jurisdictions. 
 3              This system will not only 
 4      maintain local control where it 
 5      belongs, but it will also insure that 
 6      state law enforcement, the agency 
 7      closest to the proposed transaction and 
 8      with the best access to criminal 
 9      history and other disqualifying 
10      records, makes the final determination 
11      of whether a person may purchase a 
12      firearm. 
13              As you on the board recognized 
14      early on, efficient operation of the 
15      NICCS depends on the state's taking on 
16      the task of serving as points of 
17      contact.  States that serve as points 
18      of contact will get the benefit of a 
19      useful new law enforcement tool, while 
20      at the same time strengthening the 
21      NICCS. 
22              I am hopeful that most states 
23      will accept this task as it is clearly 
24      in the best interest of state and 
25      federal law enforcement, not to mention 
 1      public safety. 
 2              Recently, there have been some 
 3      indications that some state 
 4      legislatures are resisting the idea of 
 5      having their state serve as a point of 
 6      contact for the NICCS system.  If you 
 7      are experiencing such resistance, let 
 8      us know.  We are here to support you in 
 9      your efforts to become points of 
10      contact for the NICCS system. 
11              If your governor or your 
12      legislature is considering ceding this 
13      important area to the federal 
14      government, let us know so that we can 
15      work with them and inform them of the 
16      content and the policy behind it.  I 
17      will do everything in my power to 
18      assist you in this effort. 
19              I am also hopeful that we can 
20      continue to work hand-in-hand in two 
21      other areas that make the NICCS as 
22      effective as possible.  First, every 
23      state needs to join the Interstate 
24      Identification Index, or triple I. 
25              State participation in triple I 
 1      will benefit the NICCS by improving the 
 2      quality, the accuracy and the 
 3      timeliness of the criminal history 
 4      information.  I know that 32 states 
 5      currently participate in the triple I, 
 6      and I look forward to complete state 
 7      participation by the year 2000. 
 8              Second, every state must 
 9      continue the process of updating its 
10      criminal history information.  Since 
11      1994, the Department of Justice has 
12      distributed approximately $250 million 
13      in grants for this very purpose. 
14      Up-to-date and readily accessible state 
15      data is an essential component of the 
16      NICCS system, and we are depending on 
17      you to continue your efforts to upgrade 
18      your state record systems.  If there is 
19      anything that I can do to assist you in 
20      this area, please let me know. 
21              And I know, not only in terms 
22      of the NICCS system, but in terms of 
23      our ability to detain the dangerous 
24      offenders or offenders that may be 
25      wanted in another state, that it is so 
 1      important that we undertake this 
 2      effort, and I'm willing to talk to 
 3      governors and to legislators to let 
 4      them know how critically important this 
 5      undertaking is. 
 6              Let me now turn to NCIC-2,000 
 7      and inform you that both Director Freeh 
 8      and I are personally committed to 
 9      making it happen.  There have been 
10      delays and there have been problems. 
11      I'm not here to make excuses or to do 
12      anything but to tell you that this is 
13      an important area to me and to the 
14      director. 
15              But Mr. Esposito can tell you 
16      that the issue of IAFIS and the issue 
17      of NCIC-2,000 are two of the prominent 
18      issues on my get-back list, and I've 
19      learned an awful lot about technology 
20      that I never knew and I understand how 
21      vitally important this is to law 
22      enforcement across this land, and when 
23      it's important to us, I can tell you it 
24      will be important to the entire 
25      Department of Justice. 
 1              We can't cope with the demands 
 2      of the 21st century unless we automate 
 3      the core of the system, the prints 
 4      themselves; therefore, IAFIS must also 
 5      become a reality, and I am dedicated to 
 6      working with Bill and with Director 
 7      Freeh to make sure that happens. 
 8              Two of six bills are now 
 9      complete, and new compatible systems 
10      are being designed to make sure that 
11      everything we now buy is IAFIS 
12      compatible.  IAFIS will bring us into 
13      the 21st century and will do more to 
14      protect officers on the streets.  We 
15      are already hearing success stories. 
16              Moreover, IAFIS will greatly 
17      enhance the FBI's ability to respond 
18      quickly to the increasing demand for 
19      fingerprint checks.  The current volume 
20      of requests is incredible, and it is 
21      increasing, primarily because of recent 
22      state and federal legislative 
23      initiatives that have increased the 
24      demand for FBI fingerprint services. 
25      Handling this volume is particularly 
 1      challenging in light of the CJIS 
 2      division's recent move to West 
 3      Virginia. 
 4              If the FBI experience continues 
 5      at current levels during the remainder 
 6      of this fiscal year, the receipt of 
 7      fingerprint cards is projected to reach 
 8      as high as 14.4 million in this fiscal 
 9      year alone.  This is a 76 percent 
10      increase over fiscal year '93 receipts 
11      and a 28 percent increase since last 
12      year. 
13              I am keenly aware, only too 
14      keenly aware, of the current backlog 
15      and understand that these waits are a 
16      problem for you and for all of law 
17      enforcement.  Let me assure you that we 
18      are doing our very best to address this 
19      problem. 
20              With your recommendations and 
21      support, over 800 new employees have 
22      been hired in West Virginia this year. 
23      Indications from March and April of 
24      this year reveal a dramatic increase in 
25      the number of fingerprint cards 
 1      processed monthly, and, Chuck, I want 
 2      to thank you and everybody involved for 
 3      this extraordinary effort.  But the 
 4      receipts continue to climb and we're 
 5      going to have to work harder to address 
 6      this significant issue for law 
 7      enforcement. 
 8              This fall, the FBI will also 
 9      implement a stand-alone image, storage 
10      and retrieval capability, which will 
11      completely eliminate the need for 
12      manual fingerprint file searches.  This 
13      means no more time-consuming pulling, 
14      identifying, verifying and refiling 
15      functions.  We're confident these 
16      improvements, coupled with the IAFIS 
17      project, will make a real difference in 
18      the amount of time it takes us to 
19      prosecute -- or process a fingerprint 
20      card. 
21              The first summer job I ever had 
22      was with the Dade County Sheriff's 
23      Office in the summer of 1956 after I 
24      graduated from high school.  My job was 
25      checking fingerprints and sometimes 
 1      taking fingerprints.  When I look at 
 2      what has happened in these ensuing 40 
 3      years, it staggers the imagination and 
 4      converts vanity to prayer. 
 5              I would now like to turn to the 
 6      NCIC's newest file.  On May 4th, 
 7      through all of our joint efforts, the 
 8      NCIC protection order file is up and 
 9      running supporting the Violence Against 
10      Women provisions of the 1994 Crime 
11      Act. 
12              Every one of us understands the 
13      scourge of domestic violence, and two 
14      states at least, Kentucky and Maine, 
15      declare it to be their number one crime 
16      problem.  We also all understand the 
17      importance of protection orders, but 
18      those protection orders aren't worth 
19      the paper on which they are printed if 
20      local law enforcement officers don't 
21      know they exist. 
22              Time was when lists could be 
23      typed up and kept over the visor and 
24      cruisers in each city or town; time was 
25      when we didn't think domestic violence 
 1      was very important.  But in our more 
 2      mobile society and in so many 
 3      professional police departments and 
 4      sheriff's offices across the country, 
 5      we now understand how important it is, 
 6      and all of us in law enforcement 
 7      understand the mobility of America, 
 8      both abusers and victims.  The only 
 9      effective way to attract -- to track 
10      these orders is on computer, and you've 
11      made that a reality. 
12              There is an added benefit, 
13      because federal law enforcement 
14      prohibits those subject to certain 
15      domestic violence protection orders 
16      from possessing firearms.  The new file 
17      allows law enforcement to identify 
18      those who shouldn't have a gun.  Since 
19      so many domestic violence homicides are 
20      committed with firearms, we now have a 
21      real chance to prevent these terrible 
22      crimes from occurring, not just 
23      counting them after they occur. 
24              I used to look at cases that 
25      could have been prevented and cases 
 1      that we simply couldn't have done 
 2      anything about, and clearly, we can do 
 3      so much in terms of prevention and 
 4      domestic violence.  All the data is 
 5      there; the arena is there, and this 
 6      information can be incredibly helpful. 
 7              Finally, we need to continue to 
 8      work together to make the National Sex 
 9      Offender Registry a reality.  In June 
10      of 1996, President Clinton directed me 
11      to develop a national sexual predator 
12      and child molester registration system, 
13      a system that would, for the first 
14      time, link together the sex offender 
15      registration and notification systems 
16      being developed in all 50 states. 
17              On February 23rd of this year, 
18      we took an important first step toward 
19      making that national registration 
20      system a reality when the FBI's interim 
21      National Sex Offender Registry became 
22      operational; but, of course, this new 
23      registry will only be as good as the 
24      quality of data on sex offenders that 
25      it contains. 
 1              The watchword here, as 
 2      everywhere else, is collaboration.  But 
 3      we are already working closely with 
 4      officials in your states to insure that 
 5      accurate and up-to-date information on 
 6      the whereabouts of sex offenders is 
 7      timely loaded into the system and we 
 8      need to intensify these efforts. 
 9      Working together, I know that we can 
10      make a difference in preventing sex 
11      crimes. 
12              There are so many other issues 
13      that we will all face together in these 
14      next ten years in law enforcement in 
15      America.  With the development of 
16      technology, we see new tools for law 
17      enforcement that we never dreamed of. 
18      We also see new technology in the hands 
19      of the bad guys that really present 
20      incredible new challenges for all of 
21      us. 
22              We will not succeed unless we 
23      work together in addressing how we 
24      insure for law enforcement at every 
25      level of government, the expertise 
 1      necessary to match wits with the bad 
 2      guys and the equipment and the 
 3      information infrastructure necessary to 
 4      give law enforcement the tools to do 
 5      the job.  These pieces of equipment, 
 6      this expertise in some instance, will 
 7      be very expensive and there may be only 
 8      one or two of its kind. 
 9              We need to figure out how to 
10      share it at the federal, state and 
11      local level in a comprehensive way that 
12      can make us prepared for this next 
13      century to match wits with criminals 
14      around the world, for we will also face 
15      another dimension; and that is, that 
16      crime and its impact and its 
17      consequences will be international in 
18      nature. 
19              When a man can sit in his 
20      kitchen in St. Petersburg, Russia and 
21      with his computer steal from a bank in 
22      New York City, we know the time has 
23      come to really develop a comprehensive 
24      partnership based on principles of 
25      federalism recognizing the 
 1      globalization of so many issues and 
 2      remembering that state and local law 
 3      enforcement are at the heart of all 
 4      that we do. 
 5              I thank you all and 
 6      individually for all that you do every 
 7      day.  I admire you for your work and 
 8      your willingness to be at the cutting 
 9      edge of law enforcement. 
10              I've come here to demonstrate 
11      that we are colleagues, that we are 
12      partners, and I look forward to working 
13      with you to insure full state 
14      participation and NICCS and triple I, 
15      and to insure an ongoing partnership 
16      that will serve law enforcement and our 
17      citizens across this land and this 
18      continent. 
19              If there is anything that I can 
20      do, please let me know, and don't wait 
21      for meeting-to-meeting.  It is very 
22      important that I continue to hear from 
23      law enforcement across America as to 
24      what the Department of Justice can do 
25      to more effectively serve as a partner 
 1      in this effort. 
 2              Thank you very much for 
 3      inviting me today. 
 4              (Audience clapping.) 
 5              (Speech concluded.) 
 1                  CERTIFICATE OF REPORTER 
 5              I, ELSA ROHOW, Registered Professional 
 6    Reporter for the State of Florida, do hereby 
 7    certify that I reported in stenotype the 
 8    proceedings had of this matter previously 
 9    captioned herein; that I thereafter reduced my 
10    said stenotype notes to typewriting; and that the 
11    foregoing transcript, pages 1 to 24, both 
12    inclusive, constitutes a full, true and accurate 
13    record of all proceedings had upon the said 
14    matter, and of the whole thereof. 
15              Witness my hand as Registered 
16    Professional Reporter this 7th day of June, 1997. 
19                  _______________________________ 
20                      Elsa Rohow 
21                   Registered Professional Reporter 
22                   My commission expires: 10-22-98