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LEADS gets boost for Homeland Security

Local law enforcement officials will now have access to a new tool to fight crime and identify possible terrorism groups and terrorists.

Saturday, February 16, 2002

Local law enforcement officials will now have access to a new tool to fight crime and identify possible terrorism groups and terrorists.

The Ohio State Highway Patrol unveiled a new State of Ohio Intelligence Report today in conjunction with the Ohio Department of Public Safety, Ohio Association of Chief’s of Police, the Buckeye State Sheriff’s Association, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the state’s Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation.

The new system will provide all Law Enforcement Automated Data System, or LEADS, users the ability to submit incident information that may be useful to other law enforcement agencies in the state.

The intelligence information contains categories of criminal acts, threat groups, and the location of the offense. The new program provides direct information regarding criminal and suspicious activities even when enforcement action has not been taken. The information will be stored in a database by the suspected offense, and will potentially aid in the state’s Homeland Security efforts.

"More than ever, the critical role of local and state law enforcement in national security is clear. The public looks to law enforcement as the front line of defense, not just for the detection and apprehension of criminals, but also as an information source. This new system will assist greatly in open and ongoing communication between all emergency service providers in Ohio," Colonel Kenneth L. Morckel, superintendent of the patrol said.

"I applaud the Ohio State Highway Patrol’s initiative in developing this new State of Ohio Intelligence Report. The system will provide for the sharing of intelligence information that is crucial to the FBI’s mission of investigating and preventing terrorism," FBI Director Robert S. Mueller said.

Homeland Security was originally the motivation for design and implementation of this system, however the benefits will reach beyond that important task.

"The introduction of this new intelligence reporting system marks the beginning of a tremendous opportunity to law enforcement in Ohio. Knowledge of information, and the sharing of that information within the law enforcement community, is a valuable tool for crime prevention and public safety," Lt. Governor Maureen O’Connor, Director of Ohio Public Safety said.

"The statewide participation of all state and local agencies will also enhance the investigative capabilities of federal, state, and local investigators assigned to the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Tasks Forces in both the Cincinnati and Cleveland FBI Offices," FBI Director Mueller said.

Lt. Carl Roark, OSHP post commander said law enforcement officers in Ohio use LEADS to check suspects for pending warrants, pull driving records and vehicle registration information and also check serial numbers on firearms and other registered properties.

The new system was unveiled Wednesday at a press conference at the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office Justice Center in Cincinnati.

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