Bomb Arson Tracking System : ATF system will be shared with state and local law enforcement agencies
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) announced today that it has launched a new, Internet-accessible system that will allow state, local and other federal law enforcement agencies to share information about bomb and arson cases and incidents.
ATF’s Arson and Explosives National Repository, which Congress has entrusted with maintaining all national information on explosives incidents and arson, developed the Bomb and Arson Tracking System (BATS) to serve as a library that state, local and other federal law enforcement agencies could use to manage and exchange information.
"BATS will for the first time provide state, local and federal law enforcement agencies that have fire, arson, post-blast and explosives ordnance disposal responsibilities the ability to receive real-time information concerning violent crimes under their jurisdiction," said Kathleen L. Kiernan, ATF’s assistant director for strategic intelligence and information. "It will allow investigators to go from being reactive to proactive."
The system, which is free of charge to participants, is limited only to law enforcement agencies. The BATS program is built upon a number of robust information technology and management security features. Finally, in furtherance of its proactive approach to security, only law enforcement agencies with the ability to obtain information from the National Crime Information Center will be allowed to participate.
Once participants receive a user ID and password from ATF, they can capture, store and exchange information such as the type of incident, target, date, time and location by city, town, county and zip code. BATS also uses the latest Geographical Information System (GIS) technology to create maps and confirm incident locations.
BATS allows investigators to capture other details, including the area of origin or device placement, casualties, dollar losses, fire descriptors, collateral crimes, device components, how the device was paced and biological, chemical and radiological information.
The system is user friendly and requires no special programming expertise. Investigators can create, for example, a narrative document on an incident in widely used Word or WordPerfect format and then copy and paste it into BATS.
The features of the BATS program allow it to be used equally well by law enforcement agencies that already have an existing records management system as well as those looking for a basic turn-key records management solution solely dedicated to the violent crimes of arson and bombing.
ATF serves as the custodian for BATS, but each participating agency will manage and control its own information and decide how and with whom to share classified information.
ATF’s Arson and Explosives National Repository worked since the spring of 2001 with PEC Solutions of Fairfax, Virginia, and state and local law enforcement agencies to develop BATS at a cost of about $500,000.
ATF is conducting BATS pilot projects with the state fire marshal’s office of Maine, the Glendale, Arizona, police and fire departments, the Winchester, Virginia police department, the Southlake, Texas, public safety department, and the fire investigations unit of the Tulsa, Oklahoma, fire department.
|November 4, 2003||Feedback | © Yenra|