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Most-wanted Web site

This article appears in the issue September 2001 [Volume 10, Issue 8]

User stories from the knowledge front

A Web site that tracks criminals worldwide is designed for use by the public as well as law enforcement officers.

The Seminole County Sheriff’s Office site was created as an online aid to identifying and apprehending felons and criminals on the move. The site was launched by ICGate, a software development consultancy, and uses Caché from InterSystems as its database system.

“Law enforcement agencies all over the world visit the site to gather data that helps identify and track known felons and traveling criminals,” says Pete Robinson, Webmaster and special project coordinator for the Sheriff’s Office.

The site provides information concerning felons, such as sex offenders and sexual predators; advisories on criminal activity; a data repository of missing and endangered citizens and links to information on crime prevention and citizen safety.

The database also serves as an information repository for civilian initiatives such as safety code enforcement and neighborhood crime watches.

“The best way to fight crime is to prevent it, and the Web site is a very effective part of the prevention process,” says Robinson, who adds that the crime rate in Seminole County is about half that of the rest of the state.The Web site, which had had 400,000 visitors this year as of July, went live several years ago, and the data in the repository has become increasingly complex, according to ICGate.

The Sheriff’s Office wanted to cut response time for queries, which is why the site was relaunched with the Caché database, according to a recent press release from InterSystems.“Not only did we see a 30% speed improvement, because of the re-engineering of our automated processes, we saw the time to process one felon drop from 18 minutes to under seven minutes,” says Robinson, “and that’s with a database that provides access to more than 8,000 images among other data and continues to grow very rapidly.


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