Thursday, February 11, 2010

Data-Sharing A Priority For Collier Law Enforcement

All three law enforcement agencies in Collier County are now sharing information with each other and 140 law enforcement agencies across Florida with the goal of keeping crime down.

Florida Integrated Network for Data Exchange and Retrieval, or FINDER, allows law enforcement agencies to search databases throughout the state. Through it, investigators can submit queries involving property, motor vehicles, pawn activity and people ranging from suspects to felons or their known associates.

The Collier County Sheriff’s Office is expanding its participation to include all aspects of FINDER. The Naples Police and Fire Department is continuing its participation in all database search options. The Marco Island Police Department is new to FINDER. CCSO played a leadership role in making sure all Collier County law enforcement agencies now have full participation in FINDER.

“Criminals don’t recognize city and county boundaries,” said Sheriff Kevin J. Rambosk. “The more law enforcement agencies share information with each other the safer our communities will be.”

Naples Police Chief Tom Weschler believes the expanded use of FINDER in Collier County will bring added benefits to a tool that’s already valuable.

"The Naples Police Department has been using the FINDER system for over five years. During that time we have found it to be a crucial tool when it comes to collecting and sharing information with other law enforcement agencies and we look forward to the benefits of recent enhancements".

Marco Island Police Chief Thom Carr said the expansion of FINDER in Collier County will send a message to criminals.

“We applaud the Sheriff’s efforts to invite all law enforcement agencies to the table with FINDER,” said Marco Island Police Chief Thom Carr. “This should send a strong message to criminals that the entire county, including Marco Island and the City of Naples, is off-limits to their criminal activity.”

CCSO Lt. Chad Parker, who is a member of FINDER’s steering committee, said the agency’s participation in FINDER has led to arrests and the recovery of stolen items that were later pawned in other areas of the state. He anticipates that the benefits will broaden now that all information databases are being shared.

“In any given case, the piece of information you obtain through FINDER may very well be the one that makes everything fall into place,” he said.