Federated Integrated Network for Data Exchange & Retrieval (FINDER®)
After the horrific events of September 11, 2001, the leaders of several Florida law enforcement agencies, in partnership with the University of Central Florida, took on the challenge of developing a tool to address the absence of a truly effective information sharing network linking various and disparate law enforcement entities. Law enforcement agencies urgently needed electronic access to investigative information relating to persons, vehicles, scrap metal and pawned property; information that was stored in various databases within Florida’s 355 state and local law enforcement agencies.
The solution was the development of the application known as FINDER®. With this system, law enforcement agencies are able to electronically share their low level information over a secure statewide criminal justice network. The critical information that was once located in multiple disparate databases was now instantly and electronically viewable to other agencies through a unique, distributed architectural design that was created specifically for this project.
BENEFITS OF FINDER:
- Distributed, Federated Architecture (see diagram above) – FINDER® does not warehouse your data; your agency’s data remains at your agency. FINDER® provides an interface to allow other agencies to have access to your information, while leaving you in control of your data.
- LEXS-SR / FIPS 140-2 Compliant – FINDER® is designed to meet the technological directives established by the federal government for sharing law enforcement data. This ensures a solid foundation for future expansion.
- User Friendly – FINDER has a clean, intuitive user interface and easy-to-use analytical tools. As former law enforcement professionals, we understand the working environments of our users.
- Proven Success – The FINDER network has been in place in Florida since 2003 and currently has over 120 agencies sharing data and more than 50 additional state, federal and other agencies querying the system. Users continue to report hundreds of successes every year including arrests made, stolen property recovered, suspects identified, missing information obtained, and even lost individuals returned home through the use of FINDER. Undoubtedly, many more successes go unreported.
- Affordable – LETTR utilizes a tiered pricing structure which reflects our goal of “No Agency Left Behind”. Even the smallest agency can afford our technology. As a not for profit corporation, LETTR is not beholden to shareholders. We don’t chase cash … we chase bad guys!
- Search multiple types of records including pawn, secondhand and scrap metal transactions; incident reports; accident reports; traffic citations; FIRs; jail records; CAD records; and any other records shared by participating agencies and regional systems
- Search by numerous fields related to persons (name, address, drivers license number, date of birth, physical description, etc.)
- Search by numerous fields related to vehicles (make, model, color, VIN, tag number, etc.)
- Compound query to search person and vehicle fields together (for instance when you have a physical description and a vehicle description or tag number)
- Search by numerous fields related to pawn/secondhand/scrap metal transactions (seller information; dealer; article description including serial number, brand, model, jewelry description, etc.)
- Use wildcards to fill in unknown pieces of information (such as partial tag numbers)
- Subscription services allow users to save queries for future use and be notified if new records are entered that meet the user’s criteria
- Export search results into spreadsheet
- “Link Analysis” function allows the user to connect a subject to any known associates or events from all data contained in the FINDER system
- “Frequent Pawners and Scrappers” analytics module reports the most active pawners and scrap sellers across multiple jurisdictions
- Success tagging gives users a place to record information related to investigations aided by FINDER searches (ie. number of arrests made, dollar value of property recovered, cases solved, people located, etc.). These results can be exported to a spreadsheet and used to collect empirical data and track how well the FINDER system is working for your agency.
- Billboard feature allows agency administrators to flash important messages to users
FINDER is unanimously endorsed by the Florida Sheriffs Association and the Florida Police Chiefs Association.