State, Local Partnership Improves Web-Based Tool
Working with local law enforcement, CDCR launched version 2.0 of its online parolee database on June 30 that provides police and sheriff’s deputies faster and more thorough access to offender information, including photos and criminal background.
“The delivery of timely and accurate information is always key in developing positive partnerships and assists all law enforcement agencies to protect public safety,” said CDCR Secretary Matthew L. Cate. “This new LEADS system developed by CDCR parole will provide local law enforcement with detailed information about parolees in their communities.”
“I want to personally thank all participating local law enforcement agencies in working with us to better protect the public by helping to improve this tool to be more precise and user-friendly.”
The enhanced tool, called the Parole Law Enforcement Automated Data System (LEADS 2.0), was developed in partnership by the CDCR Division of Adult Parole Operations and Enterprise Information Services, and features a number of improvements including easier navigation, similar to an e-commerce website.
It provides instant information including photos on more than 109,000 active parolees, is accessible via desktop, or a patrol vehicle, and is expected to be available on mobile devices like smart phones. The database also keeps records on inmates in pre-parole programs, as well as parolees who are at-large, have had revoked parole, have been deported and are in Non Revocable Parole (NRP), for a total of 207,000 records.
“Like an e-commerce website, LEADS 2.0 has the ability to dig deep into a real time database and perform search functions that allows law enforcement agencies to validate the identity of individuals they have stopped, using specifics like a tattoo, physical descriptors, and other information, DAPO Director Robert Ambroselli explained. Additionally, all Non-Revocable Parole information is stored and disseminated to our law enforcement partners on this site as well.
“It’s vitally important that CDCR provide as much timely information to assist local law enforcement and protect public safety,” said Ambroselli. “The improvements give local police departments and patrol officers access to the same kind of information as CDCR Parole Agents use. “
While earlier versions of the LEADS system have been in use since the late 1990s, this version is vastly superior and is designed to allow law enforcement to quickly find specific parolee information and can accommodate several thousand concurrent users checking out tips on individuals or run a background check of someone an officer believes may be a parolee.
Anaheim Police Chief John Welter, who oversees a department of 600 staff and sworn officers said he appreciates the opportunity to work with CDCR to improve the database and make it more user friendly. He said his department will continue to make suggestions to ensure continued improvement.
“As a department, we are looking forward to Parole LEADS 2.0 coming fully online so the benefits of this new system will be available to all of our officers and investigations personnel,” Chief Welter said. “The new system will be a valuable tool we will use to assist us in preventing crime, apprehending criminals and keeping our community safe.”
A variety of features set this apart from prior versions of this tool. Individual log-on users have the ability to save Parolee Searches (lists generated by user preferences of parolees such as: those they have made contact with, parolees with sex offender registration requirements in their city or county, and/or specific characteristics identified by a victim or witness, such as height, weight, hair/eye color, tattoos, etc.).
During trials, more than 95 percent of the suggestions for improvement by local law enforcement were adopted to make it easier to use.
The information in the LEADS 2.0 system is updated every 15 minutes, and has search functions that allow partner law enforcement agencies to find real time information on the status of a parolee they have made contact with, including Non Revocable Parole (NRP) status, PC 290 registration (including any field notes on an individual), and potentially any available victim contact information.
It is available to law enforcement 24 hours a day, seven days a week (excluding any scheduled maintenance times) and provides several layers of security to ensure that only law enforcement individuals can log on and have access to the information. Like a website, this application uses premium Google Earth mapping technology to assist law enforcement in finding residences of parolees.
“The successful implementation of Parole LEADS 2.0 moves the Department forward in it’s efforts to use information technology to modernize business operations and improve public safety,” said Joe Panora, CDCR Agency Chief Information Officer.
Three jurisdictions, the City of Anaheim Police Department, Citrus Heights Police Department and the Folsom Police Department participated in a one-month pilot program of the new system to make sure the system was fully tested in a production environment, offered the kind of flexibility, mobility and tools that local law enforcement would need if they encountered a parolee.
Citrus Heights Police Department manager Sandy Maraviov, who has 12 years experience working with law enforcement databases, said the LEADS 2.0 system is easy to learn, and really can assist both the street cop as well as the seasoned investigator crunch through a number of tips they receive very quickly, if they suspect a parolee might be involved in an investigation.
“I will be honest with you, one really doesn’t need much in the way of training to use this effectively,” Maraviov said. “It is probably one of the most user-friendly systems I have ever encountered in law enforcement. I don’t get impressed easily. However this really delivers.”
Future plans include making this same information accessible by law enforcement individuals via mobile devices like iPhones, Blackberry PDAs as well as other smart phone technology.
For more information on CDCR Parole and the LEADS policies go to: https://www.cdcr.ca.gov/Parole/Non_Revocable_Parole/Law_Enforcement_Resources.html