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Police departments in Michigan moving toward a single data-sharing network

Law enforcement agencies continually try to upgrade their suspect information by creating better ways to share the data through new technology. In Novi, Mich., police department executives are gathering more information on suspects and normal citizens to cut costs and create better methods of communication, The Associated Press reported.

Several police departments across the nation are tightening their belts when it comes to budget concerns, and in Novi, officers are trying to create an easier and less time-consuming method to access and manage police reports, the Detroit Free press reported.

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Michigan is handling a new police records sharing system that will allow officers in different counties to access other agencies' police reports while patrolling in their vehicle. The new system will keep officers in their vehicles and out in the field longer with mobile access to more organized crime data.

The crime control system will manage everything from accidents, noise complaints to personal information on suspects in the new mobile computer program. Law enforcement executives believe the new system will be a cost-effective way to stop the crime in the state.

"Criminals don't keep themselves in one geographic area - one of things police are trying to do is exchange information to keep the public safe," Bob Stevenson, former Livonia police chief and executive director of the Michigan Association of Chiefs of Police, said in an official statement, according to the AP.

There are around 60 networks that charge fees for Michigan officers to access the information about other police reports in different counties, the source reported. It costs departments every single time they gather mug shots, check for warrants or to write reports with other counties.

Oakland using one network to connect officers
In Oakland, Calif., the Oakland County Police Department runs on a single massive network that is titled the Courts Law Enforcement Management Information System (CLEMIS).

Jamie Hess, manager of CLEMIS, told The Detroit News that officers are only allowed to access the information on the system for legitimate law enforcement purposes, which include traffic stops or criminal investigation information. If officers abuse the system, violators could be disciplined or even kicked off the system entirely.

"There can be some talk about what we're doing and concerns about it being bad or misused, but there is encouragement now at the federal level for everybody to share data and try to help in the efforts by public safety and law enforcement," Hess told The Detroit News.

The Michigan police departments are hopeful that the new software will help provide information faster to keep officers up to date with critical data.


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