BJA's Justice Today
August 2011   
In the Spotlight
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Agency Collaboration and Tips From the Public Lead to Fugitives' Apprehension

BJA is pleased to share a success story about how partners involved in information sharing efforts—local law enforcement agencies, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Fusion Center Program Management Office, Nationwide Suspicious Activity Reporting Initiative (NSI), and U.S. Department of Justice's Global Justice Information Sharing Initiative (Global)—collaborated to apprehend armed and dangerous crime suspects.

The "Dougherty Gang" led law enforcement on high-speed chases and a cross-country manhunt before being apprehended—with no loss of life to the public, officers, or suspects—in Colorado. When interviewed about the process, both Pueblo County Sheriff Kirk Taylor and FBI Special Agent in Charge James Yacone praised collaboration across all levels of government and underscored the importance of information sharing (fundamental Global principals); commended the public's involvement in providing tips and leads (an important tenet of NSI); and emphasized the importance of fusion centers in disseminating critical intelligence. As Special Agent in Charge Yacone noted in a recent interview on the Today show: 

"It [was]...a terrific collaboration of local, state, and federal agencies sharing intelligence, and sharing it rapidly using...advanced technology. It started on the East Coast, with both Florida and Atlanta field offices engaging...the media to start that manhunt, and then working with the state fusion centers, relaying to all of the law enforcement agencies around the country the armed and dangerous nature of the subjects.... [T]hat information was relayed here, and then the good citizens of Colorado started calling in tips, which again helped the FBI [and] local and state agencies focus their efforts. At that point, the Colorado Information Analysis Center or the CIAC—our fusion center here in Colorado—quickly and rapidly passed pertinent intelligence to all of the local, state, and federal agencies for us to move in [on the suspects]."

BJA is proud of these ongoing partnership efforts, and the professionalism of the officers who made these arrests.

News You Can Use

Read About JAG-Funded Innovative Programs
NCJA and BJA have released Cornerstone for Justice: Byrne JAG and its Impact on the Criminal Justice System, which describes Justice Assistance Grant-funded innovative program examples from select states and includes statistical information. Please share this report with your constituencies. 

When Does Your Grant End?
If your grant end date is near and you need additional time to obligate remaining funds and complete grant-funded activities, a no-cost extension may be available. Grantees may request a no-cost extension in GMS no later than 30 days prior to the end date of the grant. For assistance, contact your State Policy Advisor.

Serving Drug Endangered Children
On September 14-16, 2011, BJA's partner, the National Alliance for Drug Endangered Children, is teaming with Children and Families Futures to host Putting the Pieces Together for Children and Families: The National Conference on Substance Abuse, Child Welfare, and the Courts.

Learn About Innovative Criminal Justice Practices
BJA, in partnership with the Association of Prosecuting Attorneys (APA), is hosting the Innovations in Criminal Justice Summit on September 28–30, 2011, in Chicago, IL. Topics include probationary strategies, community and intelligence-led prosecution programs, policing practices, judicial procedures, reentry, mental health courts, holistic defense (a public defender initiative), homicide review commissions, and addressing chronic offenders.

Grants and Funding

All FY 2011 BJA grant applications are currently under review. BJA expects to announce all grant awards by October 1, and they will be posted on our web site.

Public Safety Officers' Benefits (PSOB) Program
Enacted in 1976, the Public Safety Officers' Benefits (PSOB) Program provides death, disability, and education benefits to those eligible for the program. For details regarding these federal benefits for law enforcement officers, firefighters, and first responders killed or catastrophically disabled in the line of duty, call the PSOB Office toll-free at 888–744–6513 or 202–307–0635, or visit the PSOB web site.

Did You Know?

NSI logoThe NSI Program Management Office is currently working with several law enforcement associations to deliver the NSI Line Officer Training. To date, state troopers in 15 states have completed the line officer training, with several more states nearing completion, and more than 70,000 federal, state, and local law enforcement officers have taken this important training.  For more information, e-mail NSIPMO@usdoj. gov.

Featured Program

Information Sharing... A Critical Factor in Preventing Terrorism

Every day, law enforcement officers observe suspicious behaviors or receive reports from concerned civilians, private security, and other government agencies about behaviors that could have a potential nexus to terrorism. Traditionally, this information was stored at the local level and shared within the agency—or possibly regionally shared—as part of an incident reporting system. The 9/11 Commission Report emphasized the need for a nationwide capacity to share information that could detect, prevent, or deter a terrorist attack.  This led to the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004, followed by the 2007 National Strategy for Information Sharing, both of which called for a decentralized, distributed information system.

To fulfill this mandate, the Nationwide Suspicious Activity Reporting (SAR) Initiative (NSI) was created, developing policies, processes, and standards for federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial law enforcement agencies to share terrorism-related information. A recent sequence of events this summer highlights the value of the processes developed by the NSI when a community member reached out to a law enforcement officer about a man who had approached him to acquire weapons and explosives. Because of this request, the community member believed that the man was involved in terrorist activity.  The officer took down the information and contacted a detective who was assigned to the local Fusion Center.  After conducting a preliminary analysis and vetting, the information was determined credible and the Fusion Center immediately contacted the FBI's local Joint Terrorism Task Force.  A joint, FBI-local law enforcement investigation was opened and led to the successful interdiction of a terrorist plot. As this example demonstrates, cooperation in information sharing has improved significantly since 2001, with local law enforcement, fusion centers, and the FBI all working together.

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