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Attorney General Kamala D. Harris Announces Department of Justice Joins Innovative Law Enforcement Data Initiative

Thursday, July 28, 2011
Contact: (415) 703-5837

LOS ANGELES --- Attorney General Kamala D. Harris, joined by nearly two dozen local, state and federal partners, today signed a Memorandum of Agreement to participate in a first-of-its-kind system that provides law enforcement agencies with a clearinghouse of data on the neighborhoods they are sworn to protect, as well as extensive links to community-based resources.

Launched by Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca in September 2010, the Community Based Information System (CBIS) is a robust database that primarily serves law enforcement in Los Angeles and Orange counties.

The announcement was made at a meeting of law enforcement from Zone 1, which is composed of Los Angeles and Orange counties. This is the fourth of eight zone meetings the Attorney General will convene this year, to encourage collaboration and the sharing of resources among the state’s law enforcement community.

“Our goal is to collect the data we need to predict, and prevent, the next crime,” Attorney General Harris said. “CBIS is an innovative data-mapping project that paints a comprehensive and real-time picture of crime statistics and community characteristics from social services to demographic profiles.”

“The Attorney General signing the CBIS memorandum of agreement represents a significant milestone in bringing this valuable tool to the law enforcement community throughout the State of California,” Sheriff Baca said. “This system has the capability to empower police agencies to effectively identify and assess problem areas, without regard to jurisdictional boundaries, just like crime.”

Attorney General Harris also presented Attorney General’s Awards to brave officers, units and members of the public who were nominated for the honor by local law enforcement agencies.

CBIS takes the standard model of a law enforcement technology system a step further by adding demographics and other information that provides context to the crime occurring in a community. A training tool and research library assists officers in understanding and dealing with criminal and transnational gangs – the state’s most significant public safety threat.

In addition to data on the socioeconomic dynamics of individual communities, CBIS has a searchable database of thousands of community-based resources – thus allowing law enforcement to connect individuals with support services to prevent crime from occurring and intervene as needed.

In March, Sheriff Baca co-chaired an Organized Crime, Gangs & Gun Crime working group that prepared a briefing paper for the Attorney General. That group – made up of dozens of veteran, bi-partisan district attorneys, members of law enforcement, academics and non-profit leaders from across the state – presented their findings and recommendations at a Smart on Crime policy summit. CBIS was included as a “promising practice” of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department; it was recommended that the Attorney General join and contribute to CBIS.

To join CBIS, law enforcement agencies enter into a cost-free agreement with the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department by which they enter crime, parole and other data into the system. The California Department of Justice will contribute statewide crime research, crime and gang trend data and other valuable information to the database.

Along with the Department of Justice, law enforcement partners participating in CBIS include: the Los Angeles Police Department, Orange County Sheriff’s Department, US Department of Justice – Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office, Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles, Los Angeles Unified School Police, Tustin Police Department, Anaheim Police Department, South Gate Police Department, University of California, Irvine, Los Angeles County Probation Department, Los Angeles County Housing Authority, Buena Park Police Department, California Highway Patrol – Westminster Office, California Gang Investigators Association, and the Kansas Gang Investigators Association.

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