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2019 National Symposium in Review

Posted By Andrea A. Walter, Thursday, January 31, 2019

The 2019 National Symposium, the IJIS Institute’s premier conference and educational event, was held on January 23-24. 2019, at the Hyatt Regency Tysons Corner Center in Tysons Corner, Virginia. The National Symposium event bridges the gap between technology and policy through public- and private-sector collaboration. Through the education and networking opportunities at the National Symposium, public-sector mission challenges will intersect with industry innovation and policy and process best practices to help drive public-sector technology, empower information sharing, and result in safer and healthier communities.

The 2019 National Symposium focused on innovative technology, information sharing and safeguarding, and national priority initiatives in which the IJIS Institute is involved or trying to address, and the event brought together industry, government and associated nonprofit organizations and academia to face challenges in a collaborative setting.

This year’s event had the extra challenge of occurring during the partial federal government shutdown, but, as they say, the show must go on!

Pre-Symposium events included the IJIS Institute Board of Directors meeting and the meetings of many of the advisory committees and task forces. With an entire morning to meet, the committees and task forces accomplished a lot of work, and some of them held joint meetings to review projects.

The 2019 National Symposium began the afternoon of January 23rd with the opening ceremony and a welcome from the IJIS Institute’s executive director and the vice-chair of the board of directors, and then two fantastic opening keynote speakers:

  • Carlos Rivero, the chief data officer of the Commonwealth of Virginia, and
  • Jeff Jonas, the CEO of Senzing.

Rivero, the first chief data officer in Virginia, discussed data-related initiatives occurring in the state and their importance in government effectiveness and future policy. Jonas discussed Bad Guy Hunting with entity resolution, going through a step-by-step example of entity resolution and discussing how these concepts can be used in the future.

The first plenary session was Internet-ot-Things (IoT) Security for Public Safety – Is It Time for Standards? Jenner Holder, Chief Information Security Officer for Axon, spoke on this topic and issued a call to action for the participants, through the IJIS Institute, to come together and start the work of creating IoT security standards.

The second plenary session was a panel discussion on Cyber Security: Maximizing Benefits from Open Standards. It was moderated by Lt. Colonel James Emerson USMC (Ret), Executive Advisor for Cyber Policy, NW3C. The panel included a state perspective from Stacey A. Wright, Director of Cyber Intelligence, Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center, and a federal perspective from Scott A. Vantrease, CISSP, Assistant Special Agent in Charge, Digital Investigations Branch, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The third plenary session was also a panel discussion, and it was on Modernizing Crime Statistics and the Widespread Impact on the IT Industry. Paul Wormeli, President of Wormeli Consulting, served as moderator for the panel and also began the session with a brief history of crime statistics collection in the United States. Dr. Janet L. Lauritsen, Curators' Distinguished Professor, University of Missouri – St. Louis, led the Modernizing Crime Statistics Panel for the National Academies of Sciences with funding from the FBI and the Bureau of Justice Statistics, and she discussed the two reports that came from the study on defining and classifying crime and developing new systems. Erica L. Smith, Unit Chief, Law Enforcement Incident-Based Statistics Unit, Bureau of Justice Statistics, US Department of Justice, spoke about identifying a new path forward to address critical analytic elements in crime data collection.

At the end of the first day of the National Symposium, the participants enjoyed an Awards Celebration Reception. There was a lot of great food and networking, but we also got an opportunity to celebrate some amazing accomplishments.

  • Colonel Joseph Richard (Rick) Fuentes, New Jersey State Police (Retired), received the 2019 Robert P. Shumate National Public Safety and Justice Contributor to Excellence Award. Read more about Rick Fuentes and his career at
  • IJIS Institute thanked our ten-year members that were present at the reception with an award – CommSys, Inc., Marquis Software, and Watch Systems.
  • IJIS also presented a special award of appreciation to several key members who took leadership roles in committees and task forces over the past year:
  • Fred Roesel, Marquis Software (Chair of IJIS Corrections Committee)
  • Joe Wheeler, MTG Management Consultants (Chair of IJIS Courts Committee)
  • Iveta Topalova, Microsoft (Chair of IJIS Technology and Architecture Committee)
  • Anne Thompson, Thompson Finn LLC (Chair of Blockchain Task Force)
  • Patrick Doyle (Chair of the Law Enforcement Imaging Task Force)

Did you know that the slide presentations from the 2019 National Symposium
are available on the mobile app?
The mobile app contained all the schedule,
speaker information, and hotel information that attendees needed during the event,
but it now also contains the slide presentations for reference!

Sessions resumed on the second day of the National Symposium, beginning with a keynote presentation from Doug Robinson, Executive Director of the National Association of State CIOs. He discussed trends with state CIOs and reviewed the CIO priorities from a recent NASCIO study.

Next up was a plenary panel on Data Sharing to Combat Exploitation and Human Trafficking. The panel was moderated by Richard Gold, a program manager for IJIS. Participating in the panel were:

  • Joe Mandala, CIO, Kansas Bureau of Investigation
  • John Bischoff, Executive Director/Missing Children Division, National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC)
  • Amelia Rubenstein, MSW, LCSW-C, Clinical Research Specialist for the Child Sex Trafficking Victims Initiative (CSTVI), University of Maryland School of Social Work

The panel discussed the activities of their organizations in combatting human trafficking and participants notes that partnerships and collaboration in accessing data among systems is critical in this nationwide effort.

The late morning provided participants with a choice of breakout sessions to attend:

  • Using Privacy by Design for Cyber Defense and to Encourage the Adoption of New Technology, presented by Chuck Georgo, Executive Director,, Mike Alagna, Program Director, IJIS Institute, and Jenner Holden, Chief Information Security Officer, Axon.
  • Public-sector Blockchain Use Cases: An Assessment Framework presented by Anne Thompson, Principal, Thompson Finn LLC, and Akbar Farook, Global Justice Solutions
  • Corrections Technology: Challenges for the Future presented by Fred Roesel, Business Architect, Marquis Software, and Brian Day, Director of Product Strategy, Syscon Justice Systems, Ltd.
  • Using AI for Criminal History Records Research, presented by Steve Spiker, Data Evangelist, Measures for Justice, and Dave Kilmer, Data Architect, Measures for Justice

The next plenary panel was on 2021: Nationwide Rollout of Incident-based Reporting and was moderated by Maria Cardiellos, IJIS Institute’s director of operations. Participating on this panel were:

  • Erica L. Smith, Unit Chief, Law Enforcement Incident-Based Statistics Unit, Bureau of Justice Statistics, US Department of Justice
  • Todd Thompson, Senior Project Director, Caliber Public Safety
  • Melissa Winesburg, Criminal Justice Practice Director, Optimum Technology

The panelists discussed the NCS-X program, the broader transition to NIBRS, the value of NIBRS data, and addressing challenges.

The last plenary in the National Symposium agenda was the Future of the CIO, a panel discussion moderated by Federal News Network’s Luck McCormack. He asked various questions of the panelists, who provided local, state, and federal perspectives:

  • Mike Bell, Chief Technology Officer, Houston Police Department
  • Richard Spires, CEO Learning Tree (former DHS CIO)
  • James Collins, Delaware CIO and President of NASCIO

After the CIO panel, the agenda shifted to the Facial Recognition Technology Summit, a special bonus feature of the Symposium to address a very timely topic.

The first summit session was The Evolution and Future of Facial Recognition Technology. The panel was moderated by Benji Hutchinson, Vice President of Federal Operations, Advanced Recognition Systems Division, NEC Corporation of America, who also spoke abut the history of the technology. Also participating on this panel were Andrew Howell from Monument Policy Group and James Loudermilk, Senior Director, Innovation and Customer Solutions, IDEMIA National Security Solutions, who provided some current use cases for the technology and some of the challenges faced.

The second summit session was Policy, Privacy, and Technology Implications in Facial Recognition Technology. The panel included:

  • Ben Bawden, Partner, Brooks Bawden Moore, LLC
  • Patrick Doyle, Global Justice & Law Enforcement Subject Matter Expert, Unisys Corporation
  • Daniel Castro, Vice President, Information Technology and Innovation Foundation

The group discussed the legal and policy challenges with the use of facial recognition technology and some ideas for moving forward.

It was a great National Symposium and we welcome everyone to join us next year at the 2020 National Symposium. A special thanks goes out to our sponsors for the 2019 National Symposium, including:

  • Signature Sponsors FirstNet Built with AT&T, NEC, and Motorola Solutions
  • Media Sponsor Praetorian Digital
  • Networking Break Sponsor Tetrus
  • Registration and Mobile App Sponsor Marquis Software
  • Lanyard Sponsor 5th Column
  • Supporting Sponsor JustChain (powered by Global Justice Solutions)

We also look forward to seeing everyone at other educational events that we will be hosting this year – to learn more about these events please visit our website. 

Tags:  IJISsymposium 

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Building High-value Data Solutions in Silicon Valley

Posted By Richard Gold, Tuesday, December 11, 2018

The Silicon Valley Regional Data Trust (SVRDT) was founded with the intent of establishing a multi-county network of trust and ethical data sharing in the Silicon Valley region. SVRDT brings together data from numerous public agencies that serve children and families, including: education, child and family services, mental health, juvenile justice/probation, and technology; with adjacent interest in school safety.

The SVRDT mission is about stimulating change in the culture and practice of how data is responsibly used to develop actionable solutions to critical educational and social problems that confront children and families. SVRDT involves multiple counties in the Silicon Valley region and is funded by a foundation grant to the Santa Clara County Office of Education.

In partnership with the Santa Clara County Office of Education, the IJIS Institute is bringing its experience in justice and public safety information sharing to the development of an integrated policy and technology architecture for the SVRDT. IJIS is leveraging our expertise in the design and development of a data management and data integration framework for SVRDT, including expertise to define access security and data protection requirements, that can be confidently replicated for other regions.

Recognizing the sensitivity of the data, the SVRDT architecture inherently integrates extensive Rules of Use as developed in accordance with legal, regulatory, and local requirements with data management and technology services. These Rules of Use for data are required for each participating organization and are expressed in a series of common agreements: an Enterprise Memorandum of Understanding, a Multi-Agency Sharing Agreement, and a Universal Consent. IJIS is providing ongoing consultation and development of these policy/legal agreements.

The IJIS Institute is applying this legal, policy and technical expertise to create the SVRDT Secure Data Environment (SDE). The SDE automates the multi-agency coordination of services for children and families. For case workers, this will clarify the myriad factors influencing the lives of the children being served, thus improving the effectiveness of services and academic outcomes for all children, especially for those children from underserved communities.

The SDE platform and web services infrastructure will connect and make data available across the SVRDT participating agencies. Access to SVRDT data and services is controlled by the agencies responsible for the stewardship of the data that is made available by SVRDT. SVRDT data protection embraces three major design principles that are inherent in the SDE services architecture: 1) Minimize exposures of data, 2) Enforce Rules of Use, as defined by agreement, through Codes of Conduct administered by the operational authority in each participating organization, and 3) Monitoring of use via active transaction logging.

The value of SVRDT is further enhanced through a research partnership with the University of California at Santa Cruz. The research team uses data to perform longitudinal analysis of the efficient, effective, and ethical use of SVRDT data. The research agenda will be coupled with the SVRDT Change Integration Working Group for monitoring and measuring of SVRDT operational adaptation. The initial implementation of SVRDT will be in San Mateo County, in cooperation with the Santa Clara County Office of Education, providing education data for all the participating counties and administering the MS Azure-based hosted services platform.

Governance of SVRDT is provided by executives and the elected Boards of Education and Supervisors from the participating counties. Program direction is provided by an appointed Leadership Working Group that is comprised of the agency and department heads. Specialized working groups have been assembled and will continue providing guidance across the policy/legal, practice, research, and technological dimensions of the program.

In summary, the success potential for SVRDT will change the culture of public services in the Silicon Valley. For this reason, the IJIS Institute is working to ensure that this type of solution is replicable across the United States for other organizations that are working toward solving similar challenges. If you are interested in learning more about SVRDT, and/or how this solution might benefit your organization, please see or contact us at

Tags:  data integration  data management  information sharing  secure data environment  svrdt 

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Text-to-911 Project Update

Posted By Michael Alagna, Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Text-to-911 is the ability to send a text message for help to a Public-Safety Answering Point (PSAP), a call center responsible for answering calls to an emergency telephone number for police, fire and rescue, and emergency medical services. Sending Text-to-911 from a mobile device is becoming more and more common across the U.S. Approximately 30% of the 6000 PSAPs in the U.S. have implemented Text-to-911.

There are individual and public safety scenarios where calling 911 is not optimal. Domestic violence situations, home break-ins, car jackings, mass shootings, and hostage situations are just a few examples where calling 911 might draw attention to victims and could cause additional danger for the caller or exacerbate the situation. In addition to these aspects of Text-to-911, authorities say it can alert them to crimes in progress, thereby adding an analytical element as well.

For many citizens, residents, and visitors in America with Limited English Proficiency (LEP), emergency situations can become compounded when trying to communicate with public safety officials. Census data reveals that 61 million people nationwide speak a language other than English in their home and approximately 28 million people are identified as Limited English Proficient. Phone usage data shows that around 90% of non-English 911 calls were conducted in Spanish, with other non-English calls spread out among 150 other languages. In many circumstances, not long after PSAPs implement Text-to-911, they begin to receive non-English texts. The public safety community has identified a need for Text-to-911 translation, and this project that IJIS Institute is participating in is positioned to make significant strides towards meeting this need and positioning PSAPs for future adoption of Next Generation (NG911) services.

PSAPs currently depend on machine translation for handling non-English Text-to-911; however, many remain highly skeptical of machine-translation software. On the other hand, machine translation is accessible for free, will convert text in any of roughly 100 languages, and continues to improve. Many of the machine translation concerns revolve around the understanding and meaning of a text message. The project team looks to examine the accuracy of machine translation and if understanding is needed for effective translation. We will compare human and machine translation to assure that Text-to-911 emergency calls are interpreted correctly.

In addition to machine translation, the project will enable PSAPs to access real-time human interpreters or interpreting services to translate non-English Text-to-911 calls for help. By investigating Language Service Provider (LSP) solutions for machine-translation in PSAPs, we will report on operational and technical findings and recommendations.

This project has put in motion a collaboration between industry technology providers, language service providers, standards development organizations, PSAPs, and policy makers to address interoperability, technology, standards, and the affordability of commercially-available, public-safety-grade solutions for Text-to-911 translation.

For more information on this project, please contact me at

Tags:  PSAP  Text-to-911  translation 

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IJIS Attends APCO Canada

Posted By Ashwini Jarral, Friday, November 16, 2018
Last week, the IJIS Institute staff attended and presented at the APCO Canada 2018 Conference & Tradeshow. The focus of APCO Canada was on innovative technology use and adoption, and its impact on professionals working in Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs). There was great focus on staff wellness and how to ensure that the leaders in the public safety arena are addressing their staffs’ needs. Finally, the topic of procurement was also prevalent in the agenda and in the discussions among the participants.

There was a lot of discussion around Next Generation 911 roll out in Canada. In order to have a successful roll out, a coalition has been formed called the CanadianNG911 Coalition. This coalition presented at the conference and shared the roadmap and the timeline they have put together on the NG911 roll out in Canada. The IP-based ESInet will be available for critical voice communications by June 2020 and critical data will be available within 18 months of this timeline. All the legacy networks will be decommissioned by June 2023.  

The IJIS Institute staff participated on the panel discussion about Innovative NG911 Solutions: Advances in Emergency Communications Technologies. This panel covered the innovative developments in Next Generation 911, and the nature of emergency communications now and into the future. Emergency calling and data interoperability for emergency services are at a critical point, where the integration of networks and services sit on the verge of more widespread and essential interoperability.

It was shared during the conference that Canada has a nonprofit to address public safety health issues and this new entity is called the Canadian Institute for Public Safety Research and Treatment (CISPRT). The mission of the CISPRT is, “to provide a Canadian hub for strategic public safety wellness research and analysis, knowledge translation, and mobilization, working with public safety leaders and academics from across Canada to develop and deploy solutions that meet the current and future needs of Canadian Public Safety Personnel.” CISPRT is looking at mental health issues, not only among first responders, but is also expanding its research to include corrections officers.

Keynote speaker François Mathieu (Co-Executive Director, TEND) spoke about the impact of secondary trauma, compassion fatigue, burnout, self-care, wellness, and organizational health. François talked about how the PSAP staff should look at the model that companies like Dropbox, Facebook, Twitter, and others are using with content moderator staff as these companies have figured out a model to ensure wellness of their content moderators. This model should be explored further for the first responders to ensure their safety and wellness. François also shared an assessment tool with attendees, Professional Quality of Life (PROQOL), that can be used to assess “Compassion Satisfaction and Compassion Fatigue.”

Looking at the conference topics and the discussion that the IJIS team had with the APCO Canada leadership, it is clear that IJIS Institute Members have lots of opportunities in Canada to support the first responder community with the technology adoption, information sharing, and interoperability.

Tags:  APCO  NG911  PSAP 

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DC Criminal Justice Coordinating Council’s Information Sharing Forum

Posted By Ashwini Jarral, Friday, November 2, 2018

On October 31st, several members of the IJIS Institute attended the District of Columbia Criminal Justice Coordinating Council’s Third Annual Information Sharing Forum. The theme of the Forum was Criminal Justice System Information Sharing: Pathways and Challenges. Mannone A. Butler, Esq., the executive director of the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council, opened the Forum describing the goals of the event and noted that CJCC is an independent District agency that identifies issues and their solutions, proposes actions, and facilitates cooperation to improve public safety in the District of Columbia.

I kicked off the Forum with a session titled The Justice Information Sharing Landscape: National and District Perspectives. I was joined by Imran Chaudhry, CJCC’s CIO. In this session, I discussed the overall objective for sharing information among partners within the criminal justice system, provided an overview of national and local landscapes among the criminal justice community, and highlighted some of the challenges faced when sharing criminal justice information. The challenges discussed were primarily policy, legal, and regulatory issues such as HIPAA, The Privacy Act, and FISMA as well as technology standards (NIST, NIEM) and, of course, cyber security. I highlighted the work IJIS has done to stand up Information Sharing Environments (ISE) and stressed the importance that the sharing provide operational value to the parties sharing. I also discussed the importance of true interoperability and the consistent application of principles and standards to address specific mission problems. I also talked about scalability – a challenge we are working on in the justice community – and stressed that interoperability is about automation and mapping to business processes, organizational mission, and goals.

IJIS arranged for Verne Rinker, a health information privacy specialist with the HHS Office for Civil Rights (OCR), to present about HIPAA and how it applies to law enforcement. Verne leads OCR’s administration and enforcement for the Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Act of 2005 in addition to various policy aspects of the HIPAA rules. He also serves as the OCR representative to the HHS Privacy Incident Response Team. Verne reviewed the Act, its purpose, common myths, and permitted disclosures for law enforcement such as court orders, specific administrative subpoena, specific information to identify a suspect, fugitive, material witness, or missing person, specific imminent threat, and much more. He also provided a link for an FAQs regarding disclosures for law enforcement

The Forum concluded with a Breakout Session – Case Study where attendees divided into small groups to address a case study based upon the information covered in the first two sessions.

Download File (PDF)

Tags:  hipaa  information sharing  ISE  justice  privacy 

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IJIS Attends MCCA, iCERT, and IACP Events

Posted By Ashwini Jarral, Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Over the last week-and-a-half, the IJIS Institute staff has been busy representing IJIS at several high-profile events, including the Major Cities Chiefs Association (MCCA) 2018 Fall Meeting, the Industry Council for Emergency Response Technologies (iCERT) Annual Meeting, and the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) Annual Conference and Expo.

At the MCCA 2018 Fall Meeting, I presented an overview of the IJIS Institute to MCCA’s technology committee and gave them some examples of the good work that has been done at IJIS. The common theme at this meeting was how MCCA member agencies embrace technology to support how policing is changing. The technology should help the agencies streamline their operations and help the officers in community policing activities. There was also a lot of discussion about failed IT projects involving RMS, CAD, systems integration, and information sharing. The participants reflected the realization that police agencies need to pay more attention to data management principles; this will not only help the chiefs and command-level staff with better decision making, but also help the officers in the field to have access to mission-related information in a timely manner. I left the meeting with a sense that there is a lot of work still needed, and that the IJIS Institute and MCCA’s technology committee have an overlap in our missions and we can work together to promote technology and information sharing that will help law enforcement agencies across the country.

Next, I attended the iCERT Annual Meeting, and there was a lot of discussion around Next Generation 9-1-1 and how the iCERT membership (technology industry) can help with broader adoption. There was also a lot of discussion about the Next Generation 911 Cost Estimate: A Report to Congress study that was recently published on NG 911 cost estimates for the nationwide rollout. The report was prepared by the 911 Implementation Coordination Office, which is jointly administered by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), in consultation with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

Perhaps most notable from the iCERT Annual Meeting, there was discussion around interoperability between FirstNet and NG 911. In context of this discussion, there was agreement that with all the convergence that is happening in the public safety marketplace, there needs to be a high priority on interoperability, but, at the same time, we cannot forget how it impacts the staff working at all the Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs). The last thing we want is to overwhelm PSAP staffs with information overload and hinder their timely decision-making abilities. It was also agreed that the APCO/NENA NG9-1-1 Emergency Incident Data Document (EIDD) needs to be embraced by all the CAD solution providers to overcome existing interoperability challenges. 

Next up was the IACP Annual Conference and Expo, and the IJIS staff attended the Computer Crime Digital Evidence (CCDE) and CJIS committee meetings, moderated a panel at the conference, and the IJIS Institute Law Enforcement Imaging Technology Task Force (LEITTF) hosted a working meeting. The topics discussed during the CCDE committee meeting included the need for law enforcement agencies to proactively address cyber threats, policy challenges, and staff training; there was also a discussion on how there is no one place for agencies to go and seek solutions or service providers that are in the cyber, digital evidence, or forensics business. As a result of this discussion, the IJIS Institute will work with IACP on establishing a method for collecting and disseminating information on companies that offer solutions and services in this space.

During the CJIS committee meeting, IJIS Institute LEITTF members provided an overview of the facial recognition use cases that will be published in November. The guest speakers at this committee included the FBI CJIS Assistant Director, FirstNet, and Bureau of Justice Statistics, and the FBI Advisory Policy Board.  Some of the topics covered during the committee meeting included the status of NCS-X, NIBRS, Use of Force, and legislative updates. 

In attending these conferences and committee meetings, it was clear that every topic that these communities are discussing or trying to address we at IJIS are already leading the charge to address the same issues or currently working on solutions for these challenges. The IJIS Institute has strong role to play in raising awareness of all the work that has been done over the years and engage with the leaders in these communities to implement solutions that already exist instead of trying to reinvent the wheel.  It’s also clear that the IJIS members, through and along with the IJIS Institute, have to be more engaged in a dialogue with these communities to discuss how they are leveraging technology innovation in their solution sets, embracing open standards, and overcoming procurement challenges. Collectively, as justice and public safety leaders, have an opportunity to collaborate in order to overcome challenges we collectively face. At IJIS, we are always looking for innovative ways to support the mission of our focus area communities. 

Tags:  IACP  iCERT  MCCA  NG911 

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HL7 Annual Plenary and Working Group Meeting

Posted By Tim Grapes, Thursday, October 11, 2018

Last week, I presented at the annual Health Level 7 (HL7) 32nd Annual Plenary and Working Group Meeting with Elysa Jones, Chair of the OASIS Emergency Management Technical Committee (EMTC). Our Birds of a Feather (BoF) session was entitled Bridging the Gap Part 2: HL7/OASIS Advancements in Emergency Continuity of Care.

At the event, OASIS and HL7 announced their joint release of the EDXL Hospital Availability Exchange Standard (HAVE) 2.0 1. It is a companion to the jointly released, bi-directional transformation specification between OASIS EDXL Tracking of Emergency Patients (TEP) and HL7 Admission/Discharge/Transfer V2 Specification that was announced in 2016.

I chair the TEP Subcommittee of the OASIS EMTC, which develops and addresses public and private feedback to the OASIS EDXL-Tracking of Emergency Patients (EDXL-TEP) messaging standard. The TEP standard assists emergency responders, coordinators, and management in the exchange of emergency patient and EMS tracking information from emergency scene to hospital or morgue.

The BoF session included an overview of the EDXL work with a focus on the medical response and healthcare domains and highlighted real-world applications of the TEP and HAVE work. The session also featured a live demonstration by Global Emergency Response (GER) of these standards in action, first through their work with Hurricane Florence and then by scanning and tracking audience volunteers.

The session was well attended by a diverse and engaged audience. The demonstration did a good job clarifying how the real-time nature of this information exchange enables greater situation awareness and transition of care. Audience discussion then turned to important issues related to policy, privacy, security, ease of implementation, and opportunities for re-use or reallocation of current assets, especially during mass casualty incidents.

The combined use of these interrelated standards offers emergency support agencies and hospital and healthcare facilities opportunities for greatly improved situational awareness, patient tracking and continuity of care, hospital preparedness, and family reunification.

But, as many of us are fond of saying, a standard isn’t a standard unless it’s used. Even though the potential benefits are great compared to relative costs, implementation can’t happen within one organization, and sometimes within one domain. It takes a high level of leadership and willingness to collaborate.

I wrote a blog post about this topic back in May of 2018 calling for the support and participation of industry in the adoption and use of the OASIS EDXL Tracking of Emergency Patients (TEP V1.1) standard. Perhaps that alone is a tall order, and maybe we shouldn’t be pointing only at industry. After all, who drives their priorities? We now have available to us standards that have been endorsed by both emergency and healthcare standards communities and that have been driven by volunteer practitioner time and sweat. That’s a rare thing. If these traditionally stand-alone organizations can act, then it’s time for the victims and families that we all care about to begin to reap the benefits too.

The IJIS Institute fully supports the development and use of open standards like the TEP. IJIS will continue to collaborate with OASIS and HL7 open standards groups along with our Members to promote broader adoption of open standards to facilitate public-sector technology and information sharing mission successes.

If you want to learn more about the TEP standard and how to apply it, please contact me at

Tags:  HL7  OASIS  OASIS EDXL Tracking of Emergency Patients  open standards 

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2018 Courts Industry Summit Recap

Posted By Robert L. May II, Thursday, September 27, 2018
Updated: Tuesday, September 25, 2018

The IJIS Institute and the National Center for State Courts hosted the third annual Courts Industry Summit on September 17-18, 2018, at the Vinoy Renaissance in St. Petersburg, Florida. The purpose of the event is to provide an opportunity for industry technology leaders to engage in free-flowing discussion with leaders of Conference of State Court Administrators (COSCA), National Association for Court Management (NACM), and the Court Information Technology Officers Consortium (CITOC), and representatives from the IJIS Institute, the National Center for State Courts (NCSC), and the Administrative Office of the United States Courts.

The objective of this two-day event was to provide industry with insights on the current and emerging technology needs of the courts over the next two to six years. Working side by side, court and industry technology leaders identified business problems, brainstormed opportunities, and charted a course for future court technology.

The event started with a welcome from the Summit hosts, Joe Wheeler, chair of the IJIS Institute’s Courts Advisory Committee, and Paul Embley, CIO for the National Center for State Courts. Joe provided a brief history of the outcomes of the previous Summits.

  • The first Summit in 2016 focused on large unified and decentralized courts, specialty court opportunities, standards, and trends. Major problems/opportunities discussed included: online dispute resolution, triage of lifecycle, integration of data sharing, online self-help systems, management of court consumers, language access, digital analytics, and risk assessments.
  • The 2017 Summit discussed numerous topics including: the court component model, courts disputed, online dispute resolution, triage, fines, fees and bail, federal perspective, and the state court administrator perspective. Four opportunities identified in 2017 were: litigant portal, court component model, the provider directory, and a procurement summit. The latter two opportunities have been acted upon. Thanks to the hard work of the IJIS Courts Advisory Committee, the Court Provider Directory has been developed and currently includes 50 companies and will soon be over 100. It is now online at A Court Technology Procurement Reform Workshop for court leaders and technology staff, court technology vendors, and RFP consultants was conducted in November of 2017 by the National Center for State Courts in collaboration with COSCA, NACM, CITOC, the IJIS Institute Courts Advisory Committee, and the Trial Courts of Maricopa County.
  • Next, Joe Wheeler described the purpose, objectives, and opportunities, for the next two days. Joe outlined how the Summits provide industry access to court leaders to gain insights about business plans and future IT investments.

The following sessions were presented on day one, each followed by a facilitated discussion:

  • The rear window is clear, the front window a mess. It is easy to see where we’ve been, but hard to tell where we’re going.
  • Court Perspectives: where will time, money and resources be allocated over the next 3-5 years?
  • Priorities and Predictions for 2018: Joint Technology Committee & Global Justice Information Sharing Advisory Committee
  • Industry Perspectives - What technology trends have industry participants witnessed in other sectors?  What technology challenges are unique to the judicial branch?  Which cutting-edge strategies could assure sustainable private-sector development and improved access to justice?
  • Procurement Summit
  • Court Component Model: What’s Missing? What Interfaces Are Needed? Are There Logical Product Groupings?

The day concluded with participants submitting their top four court-related business problems in writing.

On the second day of the event, Di Graski formed breakout groups to brainstorm on each of the identified business problems. At the end of the working groups, each reported out the group’s discussions or resolutions to the full audience after the intensive session. The four identified problems from this Courts Industry Summit were:

  1. Fostering Public Private Partnerships – How can we enable these partnerships?
  2. Open Data Standards, Court Component Model
  3. Communication to improve responsiveness to courts urgent needs
  4. Enhanced Procurement Processes - What would a wide-open RFP look like?

In addition to these top four topics, CTOC members met to discuss top CTOC issues.

Leveraging the breakout groups’ recommendations, participants then identified and assigned appropriate follow-up actions stemming from the 2018 Courts Industry Summit. One of the next steps identified was to take some existing RFPs and convert to the Court Component Model by restructuring it, better defining it, and prioritizing which capabilities are most important. The IJIS Courts Advisory Committee agreed to help with developing templates.

Joe Wheeler did an outstanding job in hosting and facilitating the Summit and has been a great leader of the IJIS Courts Advisory Committee, spearheading many key initiatives related to advancing public-sector technology and information sharing in the courts domain. With the information gained in this Summit, the IJIS Courts Advisory Committee will continue to further the IJIS mission in the courts arena. If you are interested in joining the Courts Advisory Committee and getting involved in the IJIS Institute, please let us know at

Tags:  courts  courts industry summit 

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Nlets Implementers Workshop

Posted By Michael Alagna, Monday, September 24, 2018
Updated: Thursday, September 13, 2018

I attended the Nlets Implementers Workshop representing the IJIS Institute. The event was held September 10-12 in Tempe, AZ, and I got the opportunity to provide a snapshot of IJIS and Nlets joint strategic projects.  

Nlets is a private, nonprofit corporation owned by the States that was created more than 50 years ago by the 50 state law enforcement agencies. The user population is made up of all the US and its territories, all Federal agencies with a justice component, selected international agencies, and a variety of strategic partners that serve the law enforcement community in cooperatively exchanging data.

The types of data being exchanged varies from motor vehicle and drivers' data, to Canadian and Interpol database located in Lyon France, to state criminal history records and driver license and corrections images. Operations consist of more than 1.6 billion transactions a year to over 1 million PC, mobile and handheld devices in the U.S. and Canada at 45,000 user agencies and to 1.3 million individual users.

The Nlets Implementers Workshop provides attendees the opportunity to exchange ideas, learn about new technologies and national standards, share implementation successes and failures, and create new contacts. Discussion topics included Nlets technology initiatives, security updates from CJIS and Nlets, and several new resources available to law enforcement. 

The IJIS Institute is a long-standing strategic partner of Nlets, and we are working to help address several important technology challenges. IJIS is launching the Computer-Aided Dispatch Interoperability and Technology Working Group (CAD-ITWG), in collaboration with public safety practice associations to improve interoperability of emergency incident information in the public safety communications environment. To participate on the CAD-ITWG, please email me at

Tags:  Alliance Partner  CAD  CJIS  information sharing  Nlets 

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IJIS Institute Participation in the 2018 ASUCRP Conference

Posted By Robert L. May II, Wednesday, September 19, 2018
Updated: Wednesday, September 12, 2018

I represented the IJIS Institute at the Association of State Uniform Crime Reporting Programs (ASUCRP) Conference held at the Cheyenne Mountain Resort in Colorado Springs, Colorado, on September 5-7, 2018. ASUCRP represents participants in the National Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program.


Let’s start with a little background. UCR data is collected either through Summary or the National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS) reporting methods on the local, regional, state, territorial, and national levels. Members of ASUCRP collect and analyze crime data that is not available through any other source.


This was a very productive conference that brought together participants from state UCR Program Offices, FBI Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS), the Bureau of Justice Statistics NCS-X program, Justice Research and Statistics Association members, and several IJIS Institute Member companies.


The highlights from the conference are included in this article.


Amy Blasher of FBI CJIS provided a comprehensive update on FBI CJIS programs. Amy said they are working toward one Uniform Crime Statistics reporting standard for local, state, tribal, and federal law enforcement agencies that will provide richer data to inform, educate, and strengthen communities. Major components of this effort include the transition to NIBRS by 2021, the National Use of Force Data Collection, the FBI reporting their own data, and Crime Data explorer. Other CJIS updates included:

  • UCR Tech Refresh – deployed in June of 2018, a more streamlined process with automated error, warning and data quality messages. For more information, go to:
  • Topics for the Advisory Policy Board (APB) Fall meeting include: a UCR Program Update, NIBRS Incident definitions and dictionary of UCR words and phrases topic paper, reporting to UCR program by nontraditional means, crime reporting timeliness recommendations, and the Status of the NIBRS Transition.
  • The Office of the Deputy Attorney General has a desire to report violent crime counts on a more frequent basis. The FBI UCR Program has been tasked to develop a mechanism to provide violent crime statistics for 303 agencies (most in high population areas) for use in high-level briefings.
  • The National Academies of Sciences recently released recommendations for modernizing crime statistics. In response, the FBI will create a Task Force (an extension of UCR Subcommittee) which will have different subgroups that will feed their recommendations up to the UCR Subcommittee Chair to report to UCR Subcommittee. The FBI is looking for people to serve on these subgroups. Modernizing Crime Statistics: Report 1: Defining and Classifying Crime assesses and makes recommendations for the development of a modern set of crime measures in the United States and the best means for obtaining them. This first report develops a new classification of crime by weighing various perspectives on how crime should be defined and organized with the needs and demands of the full array of crime data users and stakeholders.

Scott Trent provided a historical overview of the APB. The APB was created in 1994 using a shared management concept. The APB is a Federal Advisory Committee and is therefore re-chartered every two years. The APB is responsible for reviewing appropriate policy, technical, and operational issues related to CJIS Division programs. Subsequent to their review, the Board makes recommendations to the director of the FBI. The APB is composed of 35 representatives from criminal justice agencies and national security agencies and organizations throughout the United States. The APB meets at least twice during each calendar year. A notice of these meetings is published in the Federal Register. Meetings are open to the public by law and the minutes are posted online. Nick Mega is the designated federal officer for the APB. For more information about membership, go to:

Kyle Comer (MO) and Scott Trent (FBI CJIS) provided an update on the NIBRS Transition Task Force. Kyle opened with a few quotes from former IJIS Institute Executive Director Paul Wormeli… “better data leads to better information which leads to better knowledge,” and, “NIBRS is actually not about generating crime statistics, it’s about having better information to make better decisions.” Important points from this presentation include:

  • The XCOTA tool is available for use to get to NIBRS.
  • The FBI is trying to make NIBRS pages more user friendly and less text bookish.
  • 10 federal agencies are now reporting and 36 have committed to report. 14 do not report NIBRS since they do not make arrests.
  • State Programs – Mississippi has committed to establish a UCR Program.
  • States with level of agency commitment to meet the 2021 deadline:

o   29 states have 76-100%

o   5 states have 25-75%

o   4 states 26 – 50%

o   8 states 0-25%


Amy Blasher (FBI), Jeff Sedgwick (JRSA), Daniel Cork (Natl Academy of Sciences), and Jonathan Hawkins, (Professor at Carnegie Mellon) discussed the modernization of crime statistics. The National Academies of Sciences recently released recommendations for modernizing crime statistics. The study was done at the request of OMB, BJS, and the FBI. In the presentation, they noted that an attribute-based reporting system aligns well with NIBRS, and we can do advanced analysis with this data. With NIBRS, we will have data we never saw before and the possibilities are endless with the advanced crime analysis. An attribute-based system is a stark departure from the current system.


The IJIS Institute’s UCR/NIBRS Working Group conducted a session on the Working Group’s activities related to web services for NIBRS. The interactive session was led by Chair Jim Pingel of URL Integration. Other work group members serving on the panel included: Todd Thompson (Caliber Public Safety), Melissa Winesburg (Optimum Technologies), Randy Cole (CODY Systems), Chris Bonyun (Beyond 20/20), Ellie Bennett (Mark43), Michael Wise (FBI-CJIS), and and Patti Zafke (MN BCA).

The session used an interactive polling app to obtain input from participants regarding current methods of submission and plans for submission in the future. Jim Pingel described the collaboration between the IJIS Institute, ASUCRP, and FBI CJIS as working together in emerging technologies to help improve timeliness and efficiencies of crime data submission. The panel provided an overview of submission methods and the benefits of each method. During a discussion of state variations and the potential of XML, panelists talked about extending the NIBRS Specification to capture state-specific requirements. Jim concluding by credited the IJIS Institute for bringing competitors together to work on common problems!


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