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Ganging Up on Gangs

NCJ Number
Date Published
2 pages
This article describes the development and features of the Northeast Gang Information System (NEGIS), which was created to give law enforcement officers in five northeastern States the ability to track gang members within and across State lines.

Approximately 5 years ago, the Massachusetts State Police were authorized to pursue funding to find a statewide solution to gangs. Using Boston's prototype, NEGIS was built not only as a gang-tracking system, but also to address communication issues, which posed the most significant problem. Currently, NEGIS is a series of five separate databases that serve law enforcement agencies in Massachusetts, Vermont, Rhode Island, Connecticut, and New York. One database is for e-mail, which facilitates officer-to-officer communications, as well as officer-to-prosecutor communication. A second database stores information about officers' special abilities or areas of expertise. A third database is an online discussion with a bulletin board for posting queries and images, such as those of unfamiliar gang tattoos, hand signals, gang members, or vehicles. A fourth database is a public domain reference library with full text-search capabilities. The fifth database houses intelligence information for gang tracking. Each of the five States maintains its own intelligence database, which complies with Federal and State privacy laws. The files contained in the other four databases are shared among the States.

Date Published: January 1, 1999