FRIDAY, JULY 17, 1998202/307-0703


WASHINGTON, D.C.--Vice President Gore announced today that this year the Justice Department is providing approximately $4.3 million dollars to five regional intelligence centers to help federal, state and local law enforcement agencies obtain and share information vital to fighting crime that spans across jurisdictional boundaries. The grants will allow participants of the Regional Information Sharing System (RISS) program to use a secure Intranet to access and share criminal intelligence and information on a real-time basis.

"Our Administration is committed to aggressively applying technology to significantly enhance public safety," said Vice President Gore.

From 1986 to 1997, the RISS regional intelligence centers helped law enforcement officials make over 76,000 arrests, seize over $10 billion worth of narcotics, and $21 million in Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) seizures.

The RISS regional intelligence centers receiving these grants will use the funds to purchase equipment and hire personnel to develop a secure Intranet through which state and local member agencies can more quickly share and access investigative information. The upgrades will provide real-time access to data and information in the RISS system. Currently, agencies must dial in to the system and download information. The improvements being made through these grants will significantly expedite the process.

The RISS program is the only multijurisdictional criminal intelligence system operated by and for state and local law enforcement agencies. The program is comprised of six regional sites, which act as hubs for the member agencies that use RISS. Today, BJA is awarding over $865,000 to the Regional Organized Crime Information Center (ROCIC) based in Nashville, Tennessee. ROCIC is one of the six RISS regional intelligence centers and the operator of the RISS National Gang Database, which provides RISS participants with information on gang-related crimes and gang activity in general.

Earlier this year, BJA made grants to three of the regional intelligence centers receiving technology upgrade grants. BJA provided over $2.4 million to the Mid-States Organized Crime Information Center, located in Jefferson City, Missouri; over $367,000 to the Middle Atlantic-Great Lakes Organized Crime Law Enforcement Network, located in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; and over $367,000 to the Western States Information Network, located in Sacramento, California. BJA will make one additional award to the remaining regional intelligence center later this year.

Additional information about BJA and its programs is at: Information about OJP and its programs can be found at:

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BJA 98-154

For additional information, page Doug Johnson at 1-888/582-6753