Peer-to-peer casework: The LexisNexis Investigators Network
Accurint service now offers investigators ability to share tips, insight, information
By Scott M. Bruner
PoliceOne Product Editor
With reporting by Travis Parrish
LexisNexis, which offers one of the largest searchable news and document databases in the world, is about to expand their Accurint law enforcement application. The LexisNexis Investigators Network is designed to provide peer-to peer networking capability between law enforcement investigators currently subscribing to their Accurint service.
"This will serve as a port for virtual work groups, collaborative projects, to share best practices, and to consult with specialists in different fields," Chuck Staudenmaier, community manager for the LexisNexis Investigators Network said. "It's an invaluable addition to Accurint by allowing law enforcement users to add their personal contributions."
Accurint is LexisNexis' law enforcement database providing a comprehensive search engine for investigators to search for information on criminals, witnesses or abducted children, and to access all the information with the click of a button. The LexisNexis Investigators Network offers a way for Accurint subscribers to network to share personal information and best practices.
Accurint and the network are both web-based applications, accessible to any browser. The network offers many features designed to allow users to add their own content, and be able to search other investigators'. Staudenmaier compared the Investigators Network ability to connect investigators as similar to other peer-to-peer websites such as LinkedIn.
"One example of how the network could be helpful is if a member posts a question about trying to identify a type of gang tattoo, and is curious if anyone can provide any information. Thousands of potential users could raise their virtual hands and say 'I can help you with that,' and have a way to be able to connect and then even work off-line," Staudenmaier said.
Many features will be available on the Network when it is rolled out this Friday, and more will be added on a rolling basis. Some of the features will include a fully-searchable member directory, a comprehensive search engine, private and public groups and forums, case studies and tools, polls, chat rooms, as well as access to law enforcement news feeds. The client will be able to be customized to fit the user's needs.
"This is a great tool," Rick Graham, chief of detectives at the Office of the Sheriff in Jacksonville, said. "For example the narcotics business is very mobile. For me to be able to reach out to Texas from Florida and reach someone who I’ve already had contact with makes the things that much quicker. Networking is critical. Before you make a 200 mile drive, you need to know you are not wasting your time."
All current Accurint LE subscribers will be able to access the new network, when it becomes available this Friday. It is an opt-in system and Accurint users will have to sign up for the new features.
LexisNexis is a global provider of content-enabled workflow solutions to professionals in law firms, corporations, government, law enforcement, tax, accounting, academic institutions and risk and compliance assessment. Visit them on the web at http://lexisnexis.com/government/investigatorsnetwork.