CRESTVIEW — The Crestview Police Department is now part of a data sharing system that the program's U.S. Navy Criminal Investigative Service coordinators call "a regional warehouse of databases."
The police department's critical systems manager, Kathy Duke, said attendees at a recent Northwest Florida Domestic Security Task Force meeting, including herself, learned about the Law Enforcement Information Exchange, or LInX.
With LInX, agencies can contribute to and search multiple federal, state, county and local law enforcement databanks including those of local agencies, the FBI, Department of Juvenile Justice, Department of Defense, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Marshal's Office and the Drug Enforcement Agency.
When fully operational, LInX will cover several regional counties, Duke said. Escambia was the first local county to join the system. The regional program, which is one of 15 nationwide, encompasses agencies throughout Florida and Georgia, as well as federal agencies.
"The driving impetus for this initiative … is to further the wars against crime and terrorism," the memorandum of understanding between LInX partner agencies states. "This initiative seeks to capture the cumulative knowledge of the participating Florida and Georgia law enforcement agencies in a systematic and ongoing manner."
Participation in the LInX network is free. Participants have complete control over how much or how little information is shared on the network. Duke controls what data from the agency's files is shared on it. For example, mental health information on patients covered under the Baker Act is excluded in information uploaded to LInX.
Local participants also have access to the other 14 regional LInX systems, all of which are maintained by the Naval Criminal Investigative Service.