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DHS to share investigative information with law enforcement agencies in the United States and Canada

ANAHEIM, Calif. - Assistant Secretary for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) John Morton signed an agreement Tuesday that will make Department of Homeland Security investigative data available to state, local, military and tribal law enforcement agencies through the on-line International Justice and Public Safety Network, commonly referred to as Nlets. He made the announcement Tuesday morning at the 2010 National Sheriffs' Association annual conference.

Starting in December 2010, more than 784,000 sworn law enforcement officers throughout the United States and Canada will be able to access DHS case information through an on-line query of the Nlets database. DHS investigators currently have access to Nlets.

"When DHS investigative information is made available in Nlets, law enforcement officers can retrieve potentially critical information contained in our databases," said Assistant Secretary Morton. "Sharing this type of information grants law enforcement officers access to key data that may help them detect, disrupt and prevent criminal activity within the United States."

"We are fortunate this agreement has been forged. It gives law enforcement yet another valuable resource to share critical information," said DuPage County, Ill., Sheriff John Zaruba who is also the current president of the National Sheriffs' Association.

"We are truly excited to be involved in this initiative. The mission of Nlets has always been to support our members to the best of our ability," said Steve Correll, executive director at Nlets. "The data that will be made available nationwide has never been so widely accessible to state, local, federal, and Canadian law enforcement agencies."

Once DHS criminal justice data is made available in Nlets, law enforcement agencies can use it to enhance the effectiveness of state or local investigations. Sensitive law enforcement details such as names and aliases, known locations and prior DHS contact could potentially link events that initially seem unrelated.

DHS case information is made available through the Law Enforcement Information Sharing (LEIS) Service. This web-based system currently shares information only within DHS and with other certified users.