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VPT/LEX Overview

The Visual Planning Technologies (VPT) Program serves as a focal point to facilitate the sharing of law enforcement information and coordination between all law enforcement agencies in Palm Beach County.

The current project has garnered support of local agencies while participating in regional and statewide efforts to make law enforcement information available to all enforcement agencies in Florida.

Locally, the current system initiative is the development of a data sharing application named LEX (Law Enforcement eXchange). The application provides tactical support data to patrol and investigative personnel. More importantly, this initial effort provides a data sharing foundation that will support the inclusion of additional functionality and simultaneously provide clearinghouse functionality to regional and statewide data sharing requests.

FDLE is coordinating statewide efforts to develop data exchange between seven Domestic Security Taskforce regions. Palm Beach County is included in Region 7 with Broward, Dade, and Monroe counties. The statewide initiative is called FLEX (Florida Law Enforcement eXchange). In summary, FDLE is pursuing two objectives:

  1. Identify and initiate sharing the most critical set of core of data elements.
  2. Create a data directory by mapping (research and document) law enforcement agency data systems to create an information "road map" that would expedite deeper research if the need would arise.

Initially VPT was intended to meet local needs for information sharing among law enforcement agencies. These objectives include the provision of accurate and complete suspect backgrounds, threat assessment, identification of criminal trends, pro-active policing support, and evaluating crime fighting efforts effectiveness. These efforts will continue to be pursued while simultaneously supporting regional and statewide initiatives. LEX represents the first piece in a series of system functionality to be deployed providing countywide, regional, state and federal data to local law enforcement.

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Visual Planning Technologies

The Criminal Justice Commission (CJC) has adopted a Five Year Strategic Plan to identify and prioritize criminal justice initiatives. In 2002, the CJC initiated a countywide crime mapping project. It soon became obvious that the first issue was to develop a method to collect crime data from all the agencies within the county. From this, the need for agencies to be able to share this data amongst each other became even more of a priority. The scope of the project expanded and changed as the many facets of a multi-agency data sharing system and network became apparent. The project was renamed the Visual Planning Technologies Project (VPT) to encompass the numerous technologies involved in this endeavor. In the last quarter of 2003, Palm Beach County's Information System Services Department (ISS) became involved in providing technical and project management expertise. Technical staff was brought on board to quantify objectives, define the technical design, and guide the system implementation. The Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office is the host site agency representing VPT for electronic access to Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Department Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles and Department of Corrections data.