LEJIS Helps Pennsylvania Agencies Share Police Incidents, Thwart Crime

The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania presented GeoDecisions LEJIS team an Award for Local Government Excellence in 2011 in the Information Technology category.

Pennsylvania has nearly 1,300 individual police departments. While these departments occasionally share their data, there is not a statewide system that permits near-real-time police incident data sharing. This makes it difficult for law enforcement agencies, our first line of defense against terrorism and crime, to identify and thwart the efforts of terrorists and criminals.

In conjunction with the region’s local law enforcement agencies, the Southeastern Pennsylvania Counter Terrorism Task Force hired GeoDecisions to develop the strategic architecture and operational strategy that addresses this capability gap. As a result, GeoDecisions designed a Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) that leverages secure web services and a robust database and search platform.

The Law Enforcement Justice Information System (LEJIS) is an innovative police data sharing system transforming how law enforcement agencies in Pennsylvania access and share police incident records. For the first time in Pennsylvania, participating law enforcement agencies have near-real-time access to information about each other’s police incident reports. With information more readily available, police officers and sheriffs are better equipped to improve their own safety, while detectives and district attorneys conduct more efficient investigations.

How LEJIS Works

LEJIS improves patrol officer safety by providing near-real-time incident data to police in the field through their own agency’s records management system (RMS). LEJIS also enables investigators and supervisors to coordinate successful cross-jurisdictional investigations with other agencies. System users can quickly identify whether other law enforcement agencies have had prior contact with an individual, property, or a vehicle. It also provides follow-up contact information. 

GeoDecisions designed LEJIS as a data-driven, pointer index system- not a data warehouse. Police incident reports are not stored in the LEJIS index. Instead, when a police department enters or modifies person, property, or vehicle data in its RMS, a portion of the report’s data is submitted to the LEJIS index where it is stored for rapid searching to help solve cases. 

Police departments participating in LEJIS maintain control over their RMS data. The executive officer of each department determines which incidents or incident categories are shared. If a new incident is added to their local RMS and is sharable, it is automatically uploaded. If a previously shared record is updated, those updates are sent to the LEJIS Index. If a previously shared record or information from that record (such as an individual’s name) is deleted from the local RMS, it is deleted from the LEJIS Index to ensure synchronization between the local RMS and the LEJIS Index.

Key Statistics

  • Approximately 30 percent of Pennsylvania police departments are connected to LEJIS, covering more than 50 percent of the population. 
  • LEJIS connects to nearly 400 Pennsylvania law enforcement agencies throughout Pennsylvania, including the City of Philadelphia Police Department and the City of Pittsburgh Bureau of Police
  • More than 900 new searches are conducted daily
  • More than 12 million incidents have  been shared
  • Over 4,000 new incidents are submitted to the LEJIS Index daily
  •  Since 2013, more than  1 million index searches have been conducted.