Missouri Police CIO to Spearhead State Issues on Presidential Criminal Justice Network Commission

Missouri State Police chief information officer Jerry Wethington will represent the National Association of State Information Resource Executives (NASIRE) on a presidential commission that will examine global criminal justice initiatives and architecture issues.

Wethington was one of 32 criminal justice representatives appointed by U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno to the Global Criminal Justice Information Network, in support of Vice President Al Gore's Access America Initiative.

The network will examine effective ways to support integration, interoperability and access throughout the country and the world of the criminal justice environment. Wethington will chair a workgroup on infrastructure that will hold its first meeting this week. "We'll be looking at standards, controls of operations, policy, legislation and public information access and trying to get the criminal justice community and its partners to define the environment that will support interoperability to make us more effective," he said.

Missouri CIO and NASIRE president Mike Benzen said Wethington was the obvious choice. "Jerry understands criminal justice needs, the politics of it, who is concerned with what. He's the ideal choice for NASIRE to represent the 50 states," Benzen said.

One reason Wethington might be the ideal candidate is that he has chaired NASIRE's Justice Task Force since its inception last spring. This group is working to develop an information architecture to support interoperability among criminal justice and other government disciplines.

"There's an increasing need to move data across disciplines of government to improve service to citizens," Wethington said. He described the NASIRE task force as more broadly focused on bridging the gap between criminal justice and the rest of government, while the presidential commission will stay focused within the criminal justice community but tackle issues beyond information architecture, including legislation and the role of governance.

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