- The Washington Times - Monday, September 16, 2002

DALLAS A small Dallas-area company has introduced a software that could help law enforcement agencies react swiftly when they encounter criminals or those suspected of terrorist activity.
The Dallas Police Department is installing the system, called Data Integration for Law Enforcement (DILE). It will be in operation sometime between Thanksgiving and Christmas, said Lt. Gene Summers, the department's top technical officer.
At least 15 other northern Texas law enforcement agencies also will plug into it. The McKinney Police Department, 30 miles north of Dallas, has used DILE for several months.
The system, developed by Kiboga, a private company in suburban Addison, will help give law enforcement agencies quick and comprehensive access to information.
Doug Kowalski, McKinney's police chief, said his department had worked with Kiboga technicians for more than a year and helped develop the criteria needed to improve often lengthy field investigations of criminal activity.
Chief Kowalski said the system also "provides a good way to beef up homeland security because most of that is going to happen right here, at the local level."
Before this system, with rare exceptions, officers in the field had to contact their organization's database or a dispatcher to check on individuals such as whether an arrest warrant was active or whether the person was on parole or a child molester or had a lengthy criminal record. Officers often depended on phone calls to other agencies to gather the data.
"With DILE, this is all available in real time seconds," said Chief Kowalski. "The more information officers have in real time, the better decisions they're able to make out in the field."
Lt. Summers, a 27-year veteran of the Dallas Police Department, said yesterday that he found strong interest in the system among 18 other law enforcement agencies he contacted in Dallas County.
"Most of them say, 'Do you have that now? Is it going to be ready soon? Can we do it now?'" he said.
Lt. Summers said he had some reservations about how widespread DILE could be used.
"I think Kiboga sees this as a very wide, nationwide integrated network," he said, "but my vision is much smaller, perhaps more practical." Because of the cost and assorted technical challenges, he does not believe the system will expand quickly.
"What's got to happen to convince me," he said, "is somebody else somewhere has got to set up this system, then prove to me that they can talk back and forth quickly with some degree of usefulness.
"But if it works," he added, "it will be the tool, and we have to start somewhere. I think it is doable, and given the time, money and resources, I think we can do it."
G.R. Morris, owner of Kiboga, said he was told that federal grants could cover much of the cost of obtaining DILE for law enforcement agencies. The cost of the Dallas hookup was about $350,000, he said.
"Other departments that come aboard, I will have Kiboga install it and then get my money back from the government later," Mr. Morris said.
If the system had been in place last year, Chief Kowalski said, it might have helped to prevent the September 11 attacks. Law enforcement authorities had stopped two of the World Trade Center terrorists a few weeks before September 11, found nothing suspect and released them.
"There is no telling, if this system had been in place, what kind of information might have been loaded in there about them," he said. "They might have been on an alert list or a watch list or something."

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