Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs Intelligence Committee Washington Gang Database Endeavor

History: Washington State has sought to establish a state wide gang database for many years. Currently there are several databases being utilized across Washington, many of which are stove pipe systems that lack the interoperability needed to meet the needs of law enforcement at all levels of government across the state. Solution: At the 2012 Fall Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs (WASPC) Intelligence Committee meeting a sub-committee was established to review the systems available and come up with a single recommendation to best fulfill Washington’s need for a single gang database. Chief Ken Thomas of Kent Police Department was tasked with heading up the committee. On March 27, 2012 a meeting of gang detectives was held to review the Western States Information Network (WSIN) RISSGang database as a possible solution. This database is available to all law enforcement at no additional cost for the Agency. The following issues /highlights were identified: RISSGang has all the capabilities they are looking for, however they want to raise the bar on Washington data with the goal of significantly increasing the quality and integrity of the data. RISSGang is currently populated with records from across the nation, however the classification meet a wide variety of standards and the training of the entering officers is unknown. The officers want a clean database which would allow them to start from scratch and enter only records that meet the policies and procedures established. The names of gangs in the RISSGang and many other gang databases contain many duplicates that make it difficult to accurately associate gang members in a given gang, within a given community. Washington needs a database where all the records meet one standard. They also see the records being very detailed and of a high quality. Officers viewing these records would be able rely on the information as being reliable. The high standards would be achieved through the utilization of gatekeepers to control the input of information into the database. Most officers would have view only capabilities on the records thus providing a high degree of control of the quality of the records. The gatekeepers would be highly qualified gang officers.

Comment [JH1]: As discussed on the conference call with RTSC and WSIN, supporting this might require some software changes but may also prove to be advantageous for future RISSGang users/agencies.

Comment [JH2]: This has been a significant issue with RISSGang and the integrity associated with the data. As suggested by the RUG, this will be improved.


The gang detectives requested the ability to search just Washington records so patrol officers could quickly access the gang members they routinely deal with in the jurisdictions.

Recommendation / Solution: WSIN has offered to provide and host a blank copy of the RISSIntel database which would be branded as “Washington RISSGang” on the RISSNET portal. Washington’s agencies would have the ability to establish policies and procedures for the entry of data into the system. Designated “Gatekeepers” will have the ability to enter data on behalf of other Washington agencies and regulate the quality of data being submitted to the database. Law Enforcement officers within the state of Washington and nationwide will be able to run searches against the database via the RISSNET network. The records would be viewable by law enforcement officers nationwide. • • A standard gang classification policy would be adopted to provide uniformity throughout Washington. WSIN and RISS provides via the RISSNET Portal, web based access to the application and database, facilitating access to law enforcement from any computer that has internet access. Each WSIN member agency would have discretion as to which officers would have access. These officers could search just the Washington RISSGang database or could expand their search to all the databases connected through RISS nationally (i.e. CalGang, ATF national gang database) Officers would have remote office access to WSIN. The database would be uploaded with a detailed list of all the gangs that currently exist in the state. This list would be reviewed and approved by the Gatekeepers before being loaded or added to the database. Updates or any new entries into the gang list will also be reviewed and updated by the “Gatekeepers”. The classification and certification criteria of a gang and gang membership entered into the database will be customized to reflect the adopted Washington standard to included already established national standards. Washington RISSGang database would appear as an individual database on the list of databases to choose from on the RISSIntel search page. Washington RISSGang records would be searchable and viewable by over 90,000 law enforcement officers nationally. Washington RISSGang would be upgraded each time the national RISSIntel database is upgraded (there is a significant upgrade anticipated in 2013). WSIN access and services are provided at no cost. The security, audit and purge requirements of 28 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 23 would be provided by WSIN. Washington would be able to post information on the database link and possibly on each record explaining the unique qualities of this database and why access

Comment [JH3]: RISS7 instance at RTSC. The RISS7 instances can be branded with unique logo’s and names.

Formatted: Highlight

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Comment [JH4]: Not sure what “remote office” means in the context of this sentence.

Comment [JH5]: This will require some work.

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Comment [JH6]: If the RISSApps requirements changes significantly to meet the criteria of Washington to support the concepts stated above, the datess for upcoming releases published by RTSC ADG may need to be adjusted. Comment [JH7]: Agree with Karen’s comment (KA9). We need to indicate we will work with Washington to construct requirements specific to this use case.


to these records is so restricted. The classification criteria, policies and procedures would be posted if desired. In January of 2013 a follow-up meeting was held, attended by gang officers from across Washington to discuss the possibility of establishing a Washington RISSGang database. The challenges and capability were discussed. There clearly is a need for a statewide system that is customized to meet Washington’s specifics needs. Chief Ken Thomas established two sub committee’s to work on specific aspects of the project

Comment [JH8]: This is the area that Alan offered SharePoint should be the tool we recommend to Washington.

WSIN Benefits
All RISS criminal intelligence databases comply with 28 CFR Part 23. All criminal intelligence databases electronically connected to Washington RISSGang and made available for member agency access must also comply with 28 CFR Part 23. Once an agency establishes membership, that agency must grant access to the officers within their organization that they deem have a right and need to the records. Those officers must submit a WSIN Security Control Card and SSL form which grants them call in access via the Watch Center and online access via their computer. WSIN resources are accessed via the RISSNET Portal which is web browser based and does not require the installation of additional software or browsers on the user’s computer. A SSL certificate is required to access secure databases and resources which is commonly installed inside the web browser. SSL Certificate installation is very easy and very user friendly and can commonly be installed by any user/officer. The system is user friendly and can be easily navigated. The officer can have his/her certificate installed on multiple computers simultaneously where access is needed. . Other Benefits: • Access to RISSIntel which is an all crimes database that contains over 3.6 million records on active investigations occurring nationally. • Access to RISSafe for geographic de-conflictions of gang related operations. RISSafe is a national de-confliction system that provides nationwide officer safety operation deconfliction that determines conflicts between agencies operation within the same geographic space and time. RISSafe provides location deconfliction as well as target (subject, vehicle, phone and gangs) deconfliction. • If officers do not have access to a computer terminal, they can access all WSIN records by calling a Watch Center 24/7. • The WSIN tech unit and Watch center staff are available to assist with access issues and to provide guidance to individual officers as needed to assure they can successfully navigate in the system and access the information they needed.

Comment [KA9]: I don’t want to describe the details of the security because that is, in itself, part of the security. While the database password does not expire, the certificate passwords do expire every three years.


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The two Washington Law Enforcement Coordinators are available to conduct training as needed and have the ability to set up a computer lab, providing officers with hands on training in the use of the database. Officers will be able to access the RISSGang Website which contains investigative resources specific to gangs of all types. WSIN offers other resources that officers may find valuable as a side benefit.


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