Harnessing a nationwide network to solve crimes: A conversation with Appriss CEO Mike Davis

CEO Mike Davis answers questions about the the streamlining and efficacy his product has brought to police work

By Police1 Staff

The following is paid content from Appriss

I recently had the chance to sit down with Mike Davis, CEO of Appriss®, and chat about some of the streamlining and efficacy which his widely-used software solutions, JusticeXchange™ and Collision Reporting Solutions, have brought to the table not only for large agencies, but potentially to all law enforcement personnel nationwide. You might be surprised by some of the possibilities which these solutions bring to the table – especially since you may be able to get one or both of them at no cost to your department.

Q: Thanks for taking the time to chat with us. One of the first things I wanted to talk about with you has to do with the implementation of JusticeXchange and the Collision Reporting Solution – often, administrators are concerned when going to third parties about maintaining access to sensitive or restricted data.  How does Appriss manage that?

A: Yes, that’s one of the most frequent questions we get as well. There are a couple of different solutions to this concern, and two ways which clients are currently managing their users: first, Appriss can host and manage the access list and credentials for the agency, if they either don’t have the resources to do so, or they would prefer not to. However, many of our customers have chosen to manage these credentials themselves, which is easy to do through our online portal for users with administrative rights.

Q: Thanks. What can you tell us about how JusticeXchange is now being used in the law enforcement sector, in terms of real-world use and adoption?

A: Well, we have about 50,000 active users of the solution at this point – in terms of state-wide adoption of the platform, there are currently 7 states under an enterprise license, which grants all of the state’s law enforcement entities access to the solution.  Many of the rest are either under a per-user agreement, or an agency-level agreement, both of which we offer to help match the needs of a particular agency while still remaining conscious of being cost-effective – Appriss’ mission as a whole is to keep the community safe and informed without costing government agencies money, especially important in today’s era of the reduced budget.

In its most basic form, which gives users access to track Pseudoephedrine sales nationwide, JusticeXchange is completely free of charge. The major value of the extended license, however, is the enabling of access to a wide variety of immediate, relevant data on a nationwide basis. Mainly, locating individuals becomes much easier – it allows agencies to serve warrants by locating wanted individuals, help track suspects and potential witnesses alike, and keep tabs on parolees and registered sex offenders, among other functionality. 

They can also set up alerts within our system – for example, if they are searching for a suspect in connection with a crime, JusticeXchange will typically notify the agency via such an alert if the suspect is arrested elsewhere within about 8-12 minutes of being booked in. Since many criminals are repeat recidivists, chances are they may in fact be arrested elsewhere – since you get the information so quickly, you may be able to ensure that they are not released before you can inform the arresting agency of your interest in them.

A newer use of this technology is identifying unemployment fraud in terms of incarcerated individuals. A big problem nowadays for states is that many individuals who are arrested and sentenced to jail or prison time are still drawing unemployment checks, simply because the connection is not made to the unemployment agency that they have been incarcerated. Since JusticeXchange serves as a rapid portal to access that information – we have a new mobile app called Mobile Patrol™ which officers or agencies can use in the field, for example, in addition to our Web and API-based access portals — we can ensure that we truly serve as the third leg of the records “stool,” that dealing with non-public information, when agencies need rapid access to it.

Q: What about your partnership with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children? I’d heard that Appriss has been working with them for quite some time in locating missing/exploited children.

A: Yes, we’ve been working closely with them, providing JusticeXchange free of charge to their investigators as a donation, since 2004. It’s been able to help them locate runaways, especially, but also parents suspected of custodial kidnapping, as well as other suspects related to the disappearance or exploitation of a child. 

On a side note, one of the moments in which we knew that JusticeXchange was going to be a significant game-changer in investigations occurred when we first launched the product in 2001. On its very first deployment, we decided to run the FBI’s 10 Most Wanted individuals through the system as a test, to see if we could locate any of them. Well, it turns out that one of those individuals was, in fact, currently incarcerated in the Memphis, Tennessee jail, which was pretty shocking. When we first called the FBI, they didn’t believe us – until they called the jail themselves and verified that it was, in fact, the individual they were seeking.  Before that, the fact that most of these records were on paper, or took a while to enter into a computer system manually, meant that they may not have gotten that information until it was too late and the individual had been released.

Q: Finally, I’d like to ask you a bit about the Collision Reporting Solution which Appriss is currently offering.  It’s automation of collision reporting and data collection, I know, but what should folks know about it?

A: Well, it’s a very powerful platform. First of all, it saves money for agencies, and time, because it completely automates the collection of traffic collision data via an easy-to-use, easy-to-learn online portal which officers and deputies can access in the field to do their reports, as well as back at the station. It also frees up personnel currently assigned to the difficult task of maintaining and reporting those data points so that agencies can consider reassigning them to areas of greater need – again, with today’s reduced budget, every individual counts. The public can go through a portal to access their crash reports, as well, saving them time and generating goodwill as a result, as can insurance agencies, again reducing administrative person-hours needed. 

One side benefit is that since data goes from months to hours to show up in a statewide database, agencies can and have been able to be proactive about “trouble” intersections causing a high number of collisions, intervening by installing traffic controls and helping to reduce injury and property damage as a result. That standardized, fast reporting also means increased highway revenues for those areas in need of it most, which can also serve a similar end and helps agencies to further their mission of protecting and serving their citizenry while still keeping cost-effectiveness in mind.

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