GTRI-Assisted Data Exchange Model Wins Award

Published: November 15, 2011

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The Integrated Justice Information Systems (IJIS) Institute awarded the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) Law Enforcement National Data Exchange (N-DEx) its third Annual Innovation Award in August 2011. The Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI) in Atlanta developed the N-DEx information exchange specifications, first delivered in 2007.

N-DEx is the first program by a federal agency to receive the IJIS Institute’s Innovation Award. Open to any organization providing information technology solutions to public safety, the award recognizes projects that have made significant contributions to the advancement of agency interoperability that can serve as a model to other justice and public safety agencies.

N-DEx is an automated information-sharing system created to increase collaboration and interoperability among the various law enforcement agencies crossing local, state, tribal and federal boundaries. The system allows the various agencies to search and analyze data, helping them to “connect the dots” through the diverse facets of countless cases.

The Information Exchange Architecture Division (IEAD) of GTRI’s Information and Communications Laboratory (ICL) is continually developing and updating information exchange specifications—based on the Logical Entity Exchange Specification (LEXS), also developed by IEAD—used by agencies to submit records to N-DEx. The system builds upon the National Information Exchange Model (NIEM) and the Global Justice XML Data Model, also developed by GTRI in 2006.

According to ICL Senior Research Scientist Jack Wallace, GTRI has developed two separate specifications for N-DEx. The first allows agencies to input data from incident and arrest reports, and the second allows the input of data regarding incarceration, booking, probation and parole. GTRI is updating the N-DEx specifications to facilitate their use beyond the N-DEx program.

The FBI’s Criminal Justice Information Services Division in West Virginia developed and maintains N-DEx. As of Aug. 28, 2011, nearly 4,000 individual agencies have logged more than 113 million records into the N-DEx program.