I recently had the privilege of attending the 2023 Professional Service Council’s Law Enforcement Conference, where senior executives from the government technology and professional services industry gathered to discuss critical law enforcement mission priorities and IT challenges on the horizon. While the conference covered a lot of ground, here are my top 3 takeaways from the event on how shared services and shared data are being leveraged in the law enforcement community.
Data Sharing is Improving but Still Faces Challenges. Timothy Langan, Executive Director of the FBI’s Criminal, Cyber, Response and Services Branch, was a keynote speaker at the event. Following his remarks, he was asked about demonstrated use cases of shared services or coordination with the FBI. Mr. Langan pointed to the successful sharing of data among the various elements of the Cyber Security Task Forces operating nationwide. However, he noted that additional “Lawful Access” to data and information currently protected by advanced encryption technologies is still a challenge. Mr. Langan noted that finding ways to share this data across law enforcement agencies while respecting individual constitutional and privacy rights would be a significant lift to the FBI’s investigative capabilities. I expect this is a topic we will hear more about when discussing inter-agency cooperation, dating sharing, and shared services.
Sharing Language Capabilities to Fight Crime. John Tien is the Deputy Secretary, the Department of Homeland Security. He spoke extensively about the networks that DHS is building to address the three largest crimes committed by Transnational Criminal Organizations (TCO): Human Smuggling, Human Trafficking, and Fentanyl Distribution. In addressing the audience, Deputy Secretary Tien asked for help in addressing the many deficits in linguistic capabilities that currently exist across the law enforcement community. Mr. Tien suggested that advances in technology and the ability to quickly parse and share foreign language materials across law enforcement partners will represent a significant breakthrough in the more efficient and effective use of law enforcement assets and human capital resources.
Shared Resources for Shared Effectiveness. Another panelist, Patrick McElwain, the Department of Homeland Security’s Assistant Director for International Operations, talked about the increasing need for effective technology to plow through mountains of data and in the process allow for more efficient and effective use of DHS’ human capital talent. In addition, he suggested that the sharing of trained data analysts across agencies would be beneficial to the law enforcement community. This piqued my interest, as it is not an area we typically think about when we consider applicability for shared services. However, considering the interconnectivity of the modern marketplace (legitimate or criminal) and resultant data, one that makes perfect sense. It’s something else I expect we’ll hear more about as federal law enforcement agencies continue to adapt to the information economy.
If you would like to learn more about how shared services – or shared data – could benefit your organization, I would love to chat. You can reach me anytime at email@example.com.