In the aftermath of 9/11, federal, state, and local jurisdictions recognized the importance and criticality of acquiring, harnessing and sharing of information. It is important for domestic security purposes and it is critical to everyday operations in preventing and solving crimes. In early 2003, Florida established the Information Sharing Work Group to promote success in meeting United States and Florida Domestic Security Strategies and Objectives. As a result of meetings and collaboration, law enforcement agencies from the seven (7) Regional Domestic Security Task Forces across Florida began developing local and/or regional data sharing projects and a state criminal intelligence and information sharing strategy
for the state of Florida.
Fast forward to 2011, the Florida regions have successfully completed their regional projects
- local and/or regional law enforcement data sharing solutions designed to give the investigators, analysts, and officers the ability to detect trends, produce leads, investigate, and provide analysis to prevent, or preempt, and deter criminal and terrorist activity. Regional Systems
Region 1 Northwest – Pensacola SmartCOP,
Region 2 North Florida – Tallahassee – R-LEX,
Region 3 Northeast – Jacksonville – LInX,
Region 4 Tampa Bay Security Network (TBSN,)
Region 5 Central Florida – Orlando – FINDER,
Region 6 Southwest Florida – Ft. Myers – R-LEX,
Region 7 Southeast Florida – Miami – R-LEX,
State node – State of Florida Law Enforcement Agencies – R-LEX.
The FLEX project will deliver the final step of electronically and logically connecting the regional systems to provide the ability to seamlessly search information stored in those systems for statewide data sharing - accessing data from hundreds of Florida agencies for the investigator, analyst, or officer. Recent developments in technology and data exchange standards such as the National Information Exchange Model (NIEM
) and web services have made it possible for secure interoperable data exchanges between these IT systems.
The Florida regional data sharing systems contain law enforcement agency data from Records Management Systems, Jail Management System, Computer Aided Dispatch, and more. The State node, part of the R-LEX
project, contains law enforcement related data from the Florida Agencies including Fish and Wildlife, Highway Safety, Financial Services, Corrections, Professional Regulation, Environmental Protection, and Department of Law Enforcement. The FLEX solution will provide the regions with law enforcement information held throughout the State - while the data remains in the source systems with the agencies retaining ownership and maintenance of their data.
The FLEX project will be developed in two phases, Requirements Phase I and Implementation Phase II with three Implementation Stages: Prototype, Initial Operating Capability, and Full Operating Capability. FDLE is working in collaboration with the seven Florida law enforcement regions, the FBI, and information sharing stakeholders through each phase of the project.
Phase I (Requirements):
· Developed Requirements
· Determined architectural alternatives
· Presented alternatives to Executive Steering Committee
Phase II (Implementation):
· Establish initial FLEX system, limited to answer key questions on functionality and scalability
· Expand to Initial Operating Capability (IOC) – increase the exchange to include additional regional systems. All interfaces will be complete and scalability enhancements addressed.
· Extend to Full Operating Capability (FOC) – increase the exchange to include all regional systems and data types.