Tampa law agencies form network

Law enforcement agencies in the Tampa Bay region are forming a regional information-sharing network to aid their fight against organized crime, gangs, drug trafficking activities and terrorism.

Using technology called CopLink, investigators will be able to search through vast quantities of information on individuals, organizations, locations, documents, vehicles, weapons and property stored in multiple databases across the region. CopLink, has been deployed in more than 130 jurisdictions nationwide.

The Tampa Bay Security Network will be launched in three phases and will ultimately be integrated with other regional networks to form a statewide information-sharing network. During the first phase completed March 31, the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, Clearwater Police Department, Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office, St. Petersburg Police Department and the Tampa Police Department are sharing data through CopLink.

In the second phase, 14 more law enforcement agencies in the Tampa area will join the network. By July 2006, all 58 law enforcement agencies across the nine counties that comprise the Tampa Bay Regional Domestic Security Task Force will be part of the network.

Eventually, it will be linked to the six other regional law enforcement information-sharing projects supported by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. The network has cost about $2.3 million in federal and state homeland security funds.

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