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Cyberspace tool helps to track down criminals

Posted in Law Enforcement News May 27th, 2009 @ 9:28 am

CopLink network is a new electronic database that helps street cops and investigators analyze information from other jurisdictions in order to help crack a case. This new system, currently being used in Colorado, takes bits of information such as nicknames, scars, tattoos or piercing and uses a search engine that provides names of suspects within about 10 minutes.

42 state law enforcement agencies throughout Colorado have joined the Colorado Information Sharing Consortium. This consortium gives them access to the database. In order for the database to work, all agencies must agree to share its criminal records online with other members.

The database, which initially cost $2 million for an enterprise license, is expensive. Some of the money came from federal grants. However, each participating agency must pay an annual maintenance fee to be part of the consortium database. One problem is that smaller counties throughout the state may find it difficult to pay for the annual fee.

Even though CopLink network is expensive, this database offers law enforcement agencies another tool in catching the bad guys.

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