CentralSquare, a leader in public sector technology, announced that the Linn County (OR) Sheriff's Office has implemented CentralSquare Audit Proof, a cloud-hosted solution designed to help law enforcement agencies gain valuable insight into their staff's National Crime Information Center (NCIC) activity. With a user-friendly, search engine-like interface, Audit Proof has given Linn County a streamlined tool for faster reporting and proactive monitoring of the agency's search activity, which minimizes the potential for improper access of sensitive data and helps the agency achieve accreditation and compliance requirements.
The NCIC database is a searchable, electronic clearinghouse of crime data that can be accessed by criminal justice agencies nationwide and is maintained by the FBI's Criminal Justice Information Service Division (CJIS). Law enforcement agencies that access CJIS data are periodically audited to ensure that all users follow operating procedures. If personnel search NCIC beyond the specific cases in which they are allowed to use it, agencies suffer damage to their reputations and get audited by the FBI. Additionally, these unauthorized searches violate citizens' rights and undermine the public's trust. CentralSquare says its Audit Proof helps agencies proactively monitor these searches and avoid costly audits.
Further, preparing for these audits is often time consuming and tedious, as agencies are required to delve into numerous data logs and case files to prepare in-depth documentation, including accounting of NCIC search activity conducted by its personnel. Failed audits can lead to revocation of CJIS access or, in severe cases, legal or personnel actions.
"Not only does Audit Proof help us streamline our ability to keep track of activity and report back to auditing agencies, it helps us maintain accountability over sensitive data," said Lieutenant Micah Smith, Linn County Sheriff's Office. "An additional benefit we've experienced is that Audit Proof has allowed us to more smartly allocate our resources. With several colleges within our consortium, we often need to run drivers' licenses of other states. Audit Proof helps us quickly review search query data and identify a list of the most relevant states that we'd need to access. As a result, our consortium agencies are better stewards of taxpayer dollars because when we need to add additional query options to access the NCIC database, we are supplementing with only the most relevant data, so our dollars are targeting our greatest need."
With CentralSquare Audit Proof, Linn County can see trends that may indicate improper use of NCIC, while simplifying preparation for FBI, state, and internal audits. By providing visibility into search activity, Audit Proof helps the agency maintain transparency and accountability for sensitive data, critically important for preserving the public's trust. For example, Audit Proof turns NCIC activity data into visual analytics that simplifies the identification and reporting of atypical look-up patterns. Additionally, smart alerts can be configured to notify designated personnel when specific activities such as license plate runs and name look-ups take place, or if activity thresholds are exceeded.
"We see tremendous growth potential in the future with Audit Proof," added Smith. "We know there's great value in being more proactive in terms of keeping our data systems accessible, which Audit Proof can help us maintain and monitor, so we anticipate even more benefits in the future."
Audit Proof was developed following its selection as the winning concept in CentralSquare's inaugural "Shark Tank" competition during which employees pitched original product ideas.
For more information, visit https://www.centralsquare.com.