NJ law enforcement officials ask for better information sharing among agencies
Legislation to improve the flow of critical crime and terror information between New Jersey law enforcement agencies at all levels has passed the state Senate Law and Public Safety Committee.
The bill, S2467, would establish the New Jersey Criminal Justice Information Sharing Environment Coordinating Council to oversee the free flow of intelligence between State Police, local police departments and Homeland Security, among others.
"We need to close the loop on information sharing," State Police Superintendent Rick Fuentes told the committee Thursday
Fuentes said New Jersey needs to formalize the information sharing of all enforcement agencies.
"We need to be sitting down in a room," he said. "We shouldn't be scatter-gunning technology when it comes to this.'
Newark Public Safety Director Anthony Ambrose reinforced the need for the free flow of interagency law enforcement intelligence at all levels.
"This bill can help save victims' lives, and also hazards to law enforcement," he said.
Ambrose says that ever since 9/11, police and other law enforcement agencies have improved what is known as "interoperability" with radio communications.
"We have gotten better with integration (of information), but we are not there. This bill... will help with the integration of records management systems through police departments for crime-fighting and terrorism."
The legislation was approved by the committee unanimously. A similar bill, A4058, has been introduced in the Assembly by Assemblywoman Annette Quijano, D-Union.
Joe Cutter is the afternoon news anchor on New Jersey 101.5