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For Immediate Release:  
For Further Information Contact:
January 11, 2005

Office of The Attorney General
- Peter C. Harvey, Attorney General
New Jersey State Police
- Colonel Rick Fuentes, Superintendent

 

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609-882-2000
Capt. Al Della Fave
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Lt. Kevin Rehmann
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SFC Gerald Lewis
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A/Sgt. Stephen Jones
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State Police Technology Drives Real Change in Approach to Crime

Intelligence-based Policing ‘Connects the Dots’ Between Street-level Crimes and Large Criminal Enterprises


Blackwood, N.J. – “Crime is not restricted by boundary lines on a map,” said Colonel Rick Fuentes, Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police, at a training seminar held at Camden County College today. “Therefore, our ability to fight crime relies on intelligence-based policing that enables all enforcement to share information across jurisdictional lines,” he added.

Attorney General Peter Harvey welcomed law enforcement members from local, state and federal agencies for this first in a series of regional intelligence conferences, which was coordinated by the New Jersey State Police and the Office of the Attorney General. General Harvey has long supported intelligence-based policing through efforts such as his Gangs, Guns and Drugs initiative.

“Intelligence based policing exponentially multiplies law enforcement’s ability to attack the scourges of gangs, drugs, guns and even terrorism,” said Attorney General Harvey. “Criminal investigative work often depends on putting together pieces of a puzzle. With the intelligence based policing system promoted today, we will be instantly able to put together pieces of the criminal puzzle from every participating agency.”

Today’s morning session featured comments by Attorney General Harvey, Colonel Fuentes and Major John Hunt, commanding officer of the Intelligence Services Section of the State Police. This unclassified briefing was opened to members of the media and was highlighted by never-before-released details of connections between street level crimes and terrorism. These remarks were followed by a confidential briefing outlining some specific, ongoing cases to the gathered law enforcement executives.

During the following two days, interactive classroom training will be held at State Police Troop A Headquarters in Buena Vista Township for representatives from municipal, county, and even federal law enforcement representatives. This is the first of several such conferences planned throughout the state.

The most important example of the effects of intelligence-based policing involved the connection between data from seemingly unrelated incidents that resulted in important arrests or the prevention of significant criminal events. Details of a couple of high profile incidents were offered to the media and specifics about ongoing investigations were divulged to members of law enforcement.

Analysis of the events of 9/11/01, coupled with the current scope of organized, gang-related activity in New Jersey underscores the need to consolidate law enforcement intelligence and enforcement resources in a proactive and target-specific manner.

“Simply put, crimes such as obtaining fraudulent identification or selling street quantities of drugs are necessary for larger, organized criminal ventures,” said Major Hunt. “If you’re able to connect the dots between these precursor activities, you can see the picture they make and take the appropriate law enforcement actions.”

This “all-hazards, all-crimes” philosophy is critical to effectively deploying against a highly transient criminal element that often exploits jurisdictional boundaries.

Both the public and confidential parts of today’s seminar emphasized the abilities of the Statewide Intelligence Management System (SIMS) as a cornerstone of these efforts. SIMS is a database used to collect and share information on suspected involvement in all types of organized criminal activity. Gangs, narcotics syndicates, traditional and non-traditional organized crime groups, terrorists, fraud groups and identity thieves are all found in its files. The system allows agencies to store their intelligence for their own use or for use by the entire law enforcement community. Training and access to the system is managed by the State Police and offered free to all qualified agencies.

Uniquely positioned to serve as a statewide conduit for the timely collection, analysis and dissemination of intelligence data, SIMS serves the role of a force multiplier. The sheer volume of information collected will dwarf any local or county intelligence system, thereby breaking down the silos that stand in the way of full cooperation between agencies. All agencies, regardless of size and budget, will benefit from SIMS. The system has become critically important to the New Jersey Office of Counterterrorism as an early warning system and is able to follow the progress of a lead to its final disposition.

The utility of Intelligence Based Policing is evident. When coupled with a regional enforcement perspective, IBP leads to smart and effective deployment of our collective assets at the tactical and strategic levels.

The conference also introduced attendees with the New Jersey Regional Intelligence Operations Center (NJRIOC). When staffed 24/7, the center will provide immediate access to multiple intelligence databases for municipal, county and state law enforcement personnel operating in the field.

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