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Coplink: Database Detective

NCJ Number
Date Published
2 pages
This article describes "Coplink," a joint project of the Tucson Police Department (Arizona) and the University of Arizona's Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, which will result in a mechanism that links databases across jurisdictions and searches these databases for associations between people, places, and things.

Coplink has the effect of putting data from multiple sources into a "warehouse," which can be accessed by multiple users from many jurisdictions through a Web-based interface. This does not involve changes to participating agencies' operational system; it simply makes data from participating agencies available to other agencies. Agencies can use data from other jurisdictions and government entities that are stored on widely differing systems and computer platforms. Jurisdictions retain control over data security, but can quickly and efficiently provide vital information to partner agencies. Coplink is distinctive in that the technology that enables this kind of information sharing did not previously exist. In addition to the funding support from the National Institute of Justice, Coplink has benefited from technology developed by scientists at the University of Arizona's Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. In addition to the expansion of information sharing across agencies and jurisdictions, Coplink can also analyze data and relationships pertinent to people, vehicles, organizations, locations, weapons, or crimes and any links between and among these data categories. Coplink has already proven itself in a preliminary test case, and it is expected to be made available commercially after further development and testing.

Date Published: January 1, 1999