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Rowan gets access to crime database

Rowan County is getting access to a database that compiles criminal information from various agencies, making it easier for law enforcement to track offenders and see their histories.
State officials said Thursday the Criminal Justice Law Enforcement Automated Data Services system will soon be available to law enforcement agencies in Rowan and a dozen other counties.
ěExpanding (the system) to the entire state is one of my goals,î Gov. Bev Perdue said in a press release. ěThis program empowers law enforcement officials, from the officers and deputies on the road to the clerks in the courthouse, with the tools they need to better keep criminals off the streets.î
The system integrates data found within the stateís various criminal justice applications and provides up-to-date criminal information in a centralized location accessible to state and local law enforcement agencies through a secure connection.
The database has two primary objectives: to provide a comprehensive view of an offender through a single application, allowing for positive identification of an offender through a photographic image; and to provide an ěoffender watchî capability to alert criminal justice professionals when an offender has a change in status.
The General Assembly approved funding in 2008 for the state-of-the-art integrated criminal justice information system and authorized the Office of the State Controller to begin work on the project.
That office launched a pilot program in Wake County last year and is now expanding it to the rest of the state.
ě… I have been encouraged by the enthusiasm and feedback from criminal justice professionals about this new tool that replaces the manual process of looking up historical criminal data from multiple systems and reduces the risk of overlooking critical data,î said State Controller David McCoy. ěCriminal justice professionals who are now using (the system) have reported numerous instances where the program has helped them catch criminals, and saved them time and money as well.î
The state will hold meetings with criminal justice system professionals in the counties to introduce them to the new program and coordinate training schedules, the press release said.

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