| || LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES DATA SYSTEM |
Law Enforcement Agencies Data System (LEADS) Overview
The Illinois Law Enforcement Agencies Data System (LEADS) is a statewide, computerized, telecommunications system, maintained by the Illinois State Police, designed to provide the Illinois criminal justice community with access to computerized justice related information at both the state and national level.
How LEADS Works
LEADS has a number of components. They include the Computerized Hot File (CHF); the LEADS Informational file; and access to the National Crime Information Center (NCIC), the National Law Enforcement Telecommunications System (NLETS), and the files of the Illinois Secretary of State (SOS). LEADS also provides an administrative messaging component, which serves as the primary method for data communications among law enforcement agencies statewide.
LEADS obtains information from all law enforcement agencies in Illinois. All participating agencies agree to enter records pertaining to stolen property, warrants, officer safety, and missing/runaway persons into LEADS (and NCIC where appropriate) as soon as sufficient information is available to establish a LEADS record. The accuracy and completeness of LEADS data is assured through a legal agreement, initial certification, training, and periodic audits. LEADS access is granted only to the Illinois criminal justice community. LEADS information is also exchanged with the federal government.
LEADS is a legacy application hosted on an IBM mainframe computer, utilizing a web-based thin client (Microsoft Explorer 5.0 or better) with a customized receiver program. LEADS data are input via the LEADS network. Transactions (inquiries, file maintenance, and administrative messages) are initiated real-time by participating LEADS agencies via connections to the State of Illinois frame-relay network.
LEADS is currently undergoing an upgrade, entitled LEADS 2000. LEADS 2000 is an infrastructure upgrade that creates a statewide virtual criminal justice information system. There are two phases to LEADS 2000:
- Phase One includes:
- The creation of a statewide TCP/IP Frame Relay Network.
- The creation of a front-end web client and user registry.
- The creation of a computer-based training module.
- Phase Two includes:
- The rewrite of legacy computerized hot files.
- The rewrite of legacy administrative messaging functionality.
Record confidentiality and system security are priority concerns for LEADS. While safeguards are in place, there are reported violations, which are addressed through audits, sanctions, and training. Another problem is the availability of LEADS. Not all criminal justice agencies have direct access. This is often an issue of money. While the LEADS software is free, there are significant additional costs associated with the installation and maintenance of the needed hardware and frame relay connection.
Approximately 800 criminal justice agencies have direct access to LEADS statewide. In addition, over 20,000 computer desktop workstations and wireless mobile data computers access a variety of criminal justice data through LEADS. Participants include municipal, county, state, and federal law enforcement agencies; circuit court clerks, state's attorneys, and probation departments; and county jails and the Illinois Department of Corrections.
Computerized Hot File (CHF)
The CHF application provides the Illinois law enforcement community with a database for maintaining on-line records of wanted persons, missing persons, and stolen vehicles and property, which are then made available to other agencies. In addition to LEADS requests, agency inquiries are automatically routed to NCIC and NLETS, as appropriate, for checks of national databases and those of other states. The following represents the functionality provided by the LEADS CHF application.
- Caution File
The Caution File is made up of computerized records containing information about individuals who have demonstrated that they are dangerous to themselves or others, or are suspected of being involved in activities that constitute a violation of the criminal laws of the State of Illinois or the national government. Individuals falling into one or more of the following three categories can be found in the file:
- Parolees from the Illinois Department of Corrections.
- Sex offenders as mandated by the Sex Offender Registration Act or the Child Sex Offender and Murderer Community Notification Law.
- Field Notification Program subjects involved in violent crime, organized crime, narcotics, gambling, and general criminal activity.
- Wanted Persons File
The Wanted Persons File is made up of computerized records containing personal descriptors and identifiers of persons sought by the law enforcement community. The purpose of this file is to provide agencies with a means of sharing and communicating data, which may lead to the apprehension and identification of persons being sought by law enforcement.
- Gang Member File
The LEADS gang member file provides officers with access to information on individual membership in known gangs, where such membership represents a danger to the safety of the public or to law enforcement officers.
- Missing Persons File
The Missing Persons file is made up of computerized records containing personal descriptors and identifiers of persons of any age who have been reported missing. The purpose of this file is to provide law enforcement agencies with a means of sharing and communicating data, which may lead to the identification of persons reported missing. LEADS also allows for the entry of accident victims and incarcerated persons in an effort to assist families in locating missing members.
- Unidentified Persons File
The Unidentified Persons File is made up of computerized records containing information on persons (living or dead) whose identity is unknown. The purpose of this file is to assist law enforcement in the identification of any unknown deceased individual or missing person.
- Alias File
The Alias File is an index of known alias names and dates of birth which point to an active master record.
- Stolen Vehicle File
The purpose of the LEADS Vehicle File is to provide assistance to law enforcement in the recovery of stolen vehicles, major vehicle parts, and vehicles involved in the commission of a crime (felony vehicles). In addition, the LEADS file can be used to keep track of vehicles that have been towed or impounded.
- License Plate File
The LEADS License Plate File was designed to provide nationwide assistance in the recovery of stolen, missing, or lost license plates.
- Stolen and Recovered Gun File
The LEADS Stolen Gun File was designed to assist in the recovery of lost or stolen weapons, or weapons recovered in connection with an unsolved crime.
- Article File
An article is defined as property that would not be classified in any of the currently existing hot files such as vehicles, boats, guns, securities, or license plates. The main purpose of the LEADS Article File is to provide assistance to law enforcement agencies in the recovery of stolen articles.
- Stolen Boat
The main purpose of the LEADS Boat File is to provide assistance to law enforcement agencies in the recovery of stolen boats. The LEADS file also serves to assist in the recovery of stolen boat engines and out-drives.
- Securities File
The purpose of the LEADS Securities File is to provide assistance to law enforcement in the recovery of stolen securities. Only serially numbered identifiable securities, which have been stolen, embezzled, or counterfeited, may be entered into the file after a theft report has been made.
- Orders of Protection
The Illinois Domestic Violence Act requires that all Orders of Protection issued by Illinois courts be entered into LEADS. Out-of-state orders of protection can also be entered. An Order of Protection is a notification that the subject has been prohibited from taking certain actions; is ordered to perform certain duties; or is prohibited form possessing or purchasing a firearm. The purpose of this file is to provide information to law enforcement officers regarding the identities of persons subject to Orders of Protection.
LEADS Informational File
The LEADS Informational File application provides the Illinois law enforcement community with access to the Illinois Criminal History Record Information (CHRI) system, highway conditions, the Firearm's Owners Identification (FOID) system, the State Alcohol License Operational On-Line Network (SALOON), the Illinois Department of Natural Resources Boat/Snowmobile Registration file, and the LEADS HELP file.
- Criminal History Record Information (CHRI)
The purpose of the CHRI system is to make criminal history record information available to authorized users. The CHRI system contains information on over 1.7 million offenders. The system's files include personal identification data and data concerning an offender's criminal justice system contacts including arrests, charging decisions, court disposition and sentencing data, and custody information. This information is collected pursuant to the Illinois Criminal Identification Act (20ILCS 2630/2.1) and contains information on all felony and Class A and B misdemeanor arrests and prosecutions.
- Highway Conditions File
The purpose of the LEADS computerized Highway Conditions file is to serve law enforcement agencies, the National Weather Service, and the public. There are two major files concerning highway conditions: the Daily Highway Conditions Report and the Road Closures report.
- Firearm's Owners Identification (FOID)
The Firearm's Owners Identification (FOID) system provides information regarding persons registered to own firearms in Illinois. General data such as the FOID owner's name, date of birth, sex, address, and physical description are available to criminal justice agencies through a FOID name inquiry.
- State Alcohol License Operational On-Line Network (SALOON)
The State Alcohol License Operational On-Line Network (SALOON) is a computerized file of state alcohol licenses maintained by the Illinois Liquor Control Commission. The file contains the information provided on the license application and inquiries may be made to obtain the status of the license (active, suspended etc).
- Illinois Department of Natural Resources Boat/Snowmobile Registration File
The Illinois Department of Natural Resources Boat/Snowmobile Registration file provides ownership and license information for boats and snowmobiles registered in Illinois.
- HELP File
The LEADS HELP File is an on-line alphabetical listing containing update information about the use of the LEADS system.
National Crime Information Center (NCIC)
LEADS also provides access to the National Crime Information Center (NCIC), which contains information similar to the LEADS CHF file, but at the national and international level. The following information is available through NCIC:
- Unidentified Persons
- U. S. Secret Service Protective threats
- Foreign Fugitives
- Violent Felons
- Deported Felons
- Gangs and Terrorists
- Wanted Persons
- Missing Persons
- Stolen vehicles, felony vehicles, and stolen vehicle parts
- Stolen, missing, or lost license plates
- Stolen articles
- Stolen and recovered guns
- Stolen boats and boat engines
- Stolen securities
- "Triple I" - National criminal history record information and criminal history record information from other states.
The National Law Enforcement Telecommunications System (NLETS)
The National Law Enforcement Telecommunications System is a high-speed message routing system. Its function is to provide for the computerized exchange of criminal justice information between agencies nationwide. NLETS is also responsible for providing communications with Canadian law enforcement agencies, and through INTERPOL, with other countries. The following information is available through NLETS:
- Out of state driver's license and vehicle registration data
- Out of state criminal history information
- Out of state directed messages
- Canadian inquiries
- Aircraft tracking and registration information
Illinois Secretary of State (SOS)
LEADS provides access to the computerized files of the Illinois Secretary of State. Information available from the SOS includes the following:
- Driver's license information
- Vehicle registration information
- Soundex information (phonetic drivers license searching)
- Vehicle title information
LEADS also provides an administrative messaging component that allows law enforcement agencies within the State of Illinois to exchange secure messages.
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