State and local law enforcement officials, through the statutorily established FBI Advisory Policy Board (APB), inform the federal government of their information needs to accomplish their mission. The states are broken into regions, with regional representation on the board. Believe it or not, the FBI generally delivers, without “inclusiveness” issues. Everyone in the policing community knows who is in charge of establishing the information requirements, and it is not the FBI.
Most people do not put much thought into the information and communications infrastructure that enables a police officer on the side of the road to enter into his mobile computer either a driver’s license number or a vehicle license plate number and determine if he is dealing with a wanted person or a stolen vehicle. The information, drawn from both federal and state and local databases, is returned to the officer generally in less than two seconds. One of the reasons that it has worked well for so long is that the users own and operate the infrastructure, and the Feds make their databases available to that infrastructure.
This article is seventeen months old and reflects something that Paul Garrett addressed in his presentation to NCC AIIM. Our current system of sharing arouse out of frustration with the federal government.