is not a new concept. In fact, using technology to facilitate
information sharing among federal, state, and local agencies
isn't a new concept either. Thirty-six years ago this month,
the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) became operational
-- a comprehensive pool of criminal data that could be accessed
through wired computers by law enforcement agencies across
the country...and eventually from patrol cars and by mobile
officers, too, so that a police officer could stop a speeder,
find out if he or she was also wanted in another state for
murder, and make an arrest on the spot.
NCIC come about? Teamwork. Working with
Association of Chiefs of Police, the FBI
created an advisory group of state and local
police to develop nationwide standards...and
consulted with the Commerce Department to build
an effective telecommunications system.
1967, the system was up and running on 15 state and city computers
that were tied into the FBI's central computer in Washington,
DC -- which at that time contained 95,000 records on things
like stolen autos, stolen license plates, stolen/missing guns,
and wanted persons/fugitives. That year, NCIC processed 2
as exciting as Edison and the first telephone. It was
May 1967 when a New York City police officer, suspicious of
a parked car, radioed in a request for an NCIC search of the
license plate. Within 90 seconds, he was informed that the
car had been stolen a month earlier in Boston. His reaction?
We got a report that the patrolman exclaimed, "It works!
NCIC look like today? Huge. It contains over 52 MILLION
records and is connected in a cooperative network to over
94,000 law enforcement agency computers in the U.S. and Canada.
It now includes information in a number of different areas:
property of course (things like stolen vehicles... but also
stolen securities); persons (including those who have been
convicted of a crime, foreign fugitives from Canadian and
INTERPOL files, immigration violators, missing persons, wanted
persons, and violent gang/terrorist organization members);
and automated criminal history record information in the Interstate
the most information that's been shared on any given day?
On December 23, 2003, NCIC processed 4,712,643 transactions...
with an average response time of .1119 second. Imagine how
many times that day a criminal was taken off the street, a
person recovered property that had been stolen, a terrorist
was stopped from entering the country, an abducted child was
found, an innocent person drove away. That's the thing about
NCIC: it's all about protecting American streets by sharing
criminal information with law enforcement partners.
Related Link: To learn more, visit NCIC