The Department of Public Safety (TXDPS) manages TDEx, which shares the same mission and core goal as the FBI's National Data Exchange (N-DEx), to fill the information sharing gap regarding law enforcement incident and other data. After the attacks of September 11, 2001, one of the universally recognized deficiencies of law enforcement information sharing was in this area. While numerous local and regional information sharing systems have been developed that are proving exceedingly successful, it was not until N-DEx was created that a nationally scaled system emerged. In Texas, TDEx has taken on this role at the state level, and is the mechanism by which Texas agencies contribute law enforcement and criminal justice data to N-DEx. TDEx has been collaborating with FBI N-DEx and contributes TDEx incident data daily utilizing the NIEM compliant N-DEx IEPDs.
One of the stated goals of N-DEx is to provide the capability for local agencies to create "virtual regional information sharing systems" within the large N-DEx database. That is, jurisdictions in major metropolitan areas, in locations where multiple states' borders intersect, or along major highways, can all get the benefit of each other's incident data for investigative purposes, if they all participate in N-DEx. On a large scale, the participation of agencies along interstate highways across multiple states can enhance this benefit as they all are able to contribute data to, and make inquiries into, N-DEx. To take advantage of this concept for Texas, and to build the Texas piece of this infrastructure in N-DEx for the major highway corridors to other states (I 10; I 35; I 20, US59, and others), TXDPS has placed an emphasis on this strategy. The map below is indicative of our success with TDEx along several major highways. The goal of information sharing initiatives is to continue efforts and extend it to other highways. By increasing that coverage, we are making the most possible information available for the agencies in Texas and making that information immediately available nationwide to N-DEx users who may be affected by criminal traffic along these highways.
NIEM is a partnership of the U.S. Department of Justice and the Department of Homeland Security. It is designed to develop, disseminate and support enterprise-wide information exchange standards and processes that can enable jurisdictions to effectively share critical information in emergency situations, as well as support the day-to-day operations of agencies throughout the nation.
NIEM enables information sharing, focusing on information exchanged among organizations as part of their current or intended business practices. The NIEM exchange development methodology results in a common semantic understanding among participating organizations and data formatted in a semantically consistent manner. NIEM will standardize content (actual data exchange standards), provide tools, and managed processes.
NIEM builds on the demonstrated success of the Global Justice XML Data Model. Stakeholders from relevant communities work together to define critical exchanges, leveraging the successful work of the GJXDM, and further enhancing the capabilities of the NIEM model by developing Information Exchange Package Documentation (IEPD).
For more information about NIEM and the associated training, standards, and events, visit the NIEM website directly.
This project coincided with and supported the implementation of the recommendations set forth in the "Texas Path to NIEM", which is a statewide strategy for information sharing using NIEM standards published by the Texas Integrated Justice Information System (TIJIS). The primary objectives of this initiative were:
- Provide a clear plan for how state and local agencies can reach NIEM compliance through a coordinated, collaborative effort.
- Provide Texas agencies with an inventory of local-to-state agency and state agency-to-state agency exchanges to form the foundation for reaching NIEM compliance.
- Create a Data Reference Model, to provide state and local agencies with tools that provide immediate value in implementing these and other NIEM compliant exchanges.
TIJIS membership includes the following state agencies, associations, and local agencies:
- Department of Information Resources
- Office of Attorney General
- Office of Court Administration (OCA)
- Office of the Governor, Criminal Justice Division (CJD)
- Texas Dept. of Criminal Justice (TDCJ)
- Texas Department of Public Safety (TCDPS)
- Governor's Office of Homeland Security
- Texas Association of Counties (TAC)
- County Information Resources Agency (CIRA)
- Conference of Urban Counties
- Houston Police Department
- Arlington Police Department
- Haltom City Police Department
- Hurst Police Department
- Tarrant County (Fort Worth)
- Galveston County
- Travis County (Austin)
- Collin County (McKinney)
- Harris County (Houston)