Just a few weeks ago in Atlanta, the IJIS Institute held our 2015 Mid-year Briefing for our members, partners, and associates. Our agenda was excellent and was delivered through a series of plenary sessions featuring the importance of the information sharing and safeguarding (IS&S) mission. We are grateful to all of the expert speakers who joined us to deliver important perspectives on IS&S across a spectrum of mission and technological topic areas. Surrounding the Briefing were the Advisory Committee and Task Force meetings. We thank all those Members and partners who volunteer time to work on the important issues addressed in these meetings.
Our welcome and opening remarks on Friday morning set the stage for the briefing and were highlighted by the presentation of the colors courtesy of the Atlanta Police Honor Guard. Our opening keynote was provided by Dr. DJ Patil, U.S. chief data scientist, United States Office of Science and Technology Policy. His presentation resonated with the audience as it closely aligns with the data management work of the IJIS Institute.
Our next sessions targeted two of the significant challenges facing the justice and public safety community. The first session addressed the goals and challenges of Next Generation Public Safety Communications. Thera Bradshaw, CEO of TKC Consulting and the session moderator, coordinated presentations by a team of experts that included:
- David Furth, deputy bureau chief, Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau, Federal Communications Commission (FCC);
- Admiral Ron Hewitt, director, Office of Emergency Communications, Department of Homeland Security (DHS OEC); and
- Jessica Zufolo, director, Federal Grants Strategy, First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet).
The panel provided a range of perspectives on the progress of mobilizing information sharing for public safety first responders, from regulatory to technical to grant funding.
The second session addressed data management standardization in the advanced technology environment. I moderated the panel and posed a series of questions to a panel that included:
- Kshemendra Paul, program manager for the Information Sharing Environment;
- David Slayton, administrative director, Texas Office of Court Administration; and
- Jeremy Wiltz, deputy assistant director, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
The panel provided a view of the standards and technology challenges impacting their use of the new forms of data impacting their respective missions.
Tom Herzog, deputy commissioner of the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision (ret.) provided the luncheon keynote. He discussed his Top 10 technology trends to watch in the mission to keep our communities safe. This session was followed by an update on selected IJIS Institute national IS&S programs. Ashwini Jarral, IJIS’ director of operations, served as master of ceremonies for this segment and was joined by industry leaders from IJIS who delivered program-specific informational updates:
- Project Interoperability by Jarral;
- Court Technology by Joseph Wheeler, MTG Management Consultants and chair of the IJIS Court Technology Committee;
- Corrections by Fred Roesel, Marquis Software and chair of the IJIS Corrections Committee;
- FBI Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) Program Advisory Committee by Bruce Kelling, Athena Networks and chair of IJIS CPAC;
- National Crime Statistics Exchange (NCS-X) by Maria Cardiellos, IJIS senior program manager; and
- School Safety by Kathy Gattin, IJIS senior program manager.
The first day concluded with an update on the FBI CJIS Division by Stephan Morris, assistant director, CJIS Division, FBI. Morris provided updates on seven CJIS program areas of high interest to the IJIS community. In fact, interest in the CJIS programs was prolific at this year’s meeting, including a standing room only CPAC meeting of 4.5 hours.
After the last Friday session there was a hosted Welcome Reception sponsored by our media sponsors, Government Technology and Emergency Management Magazine.
The Saturday session was kicked off by the Inside the Beltway presentation by Elizabeth Pyke, director of government affairs for the National Criminal Justice Association (NCJA). Pyke gave attendees a comprehensive update on the federal legislative and budgetary process and the expected effects on national criminal justice programs.
The Saturday agenda was completed with a Blue Sky session where IJIS members, partners, and associates were given a blank canvass to share their ideas with IJIS Institute leadership. Mike Davis, chair of the IJIS Institute Board of Directors, moderated this segment with me. The session spanned a lively two hours of discussion where ideas were exchanged with regard to how the Institute can improve services to its constituents. A report on the results of this session will be produced and distributed in the coming weeks.
In summary, it was most encouraging to hear the common themes that carried through all of the sessions. It was all about information sharing and safeguarding and the value of data in supporting the justice, public safety, and national security missions. I am proud to recognize the teamwork and professionalism that IJIS Institute staff exhibited in making the 2015 Mid-year Briefing come to life and also to recognize the participants from our Member companies, partner organizations, and government for their attendance and continuous support to the IJIS Institute’s mission.
I want to close by thanking our sponsors, without whose generosity we could not have hosted this valuable event:
- Esri – Signature Sponsor
- Marquis Software – Premier Sponsor
- Appriss and Microsoft/Vexcel – Networking Break Sponsors
- URL Integration – Registration Sponsor
- SoftwareAG – Supporting Sponsor
- Emergency Management & Government Technology Magazine – Media Sponsors