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CopLink: Managing Law Enforcement Data And KnowledgeIn response to the September 11 terrorist attacks, major government efforts to modernize federal law enforcement authorities’ intelligence collection and processing capabilities have been initiated. At the state and local levels, crime and police report data is rapidly migrating from paper records to automated records management systems in recent years, making them increasingly accessible. However, despite the increasing availability of data, many challenges continue to hinder effective use of law enforcement data and knowledge, in turn limiting crime-fighting capabilities of related government agencies. For instance, most local police have database systems used by their own personnel, but lack an efficient manner in which to share information with other agencies. More importantly, the tools necessary to retrieve, filter, integrate, and intelligently present relevant information have not yet been sufficiently refined. According to senior Justice Department officials quoted on MSNBC, Sept. 26, 2001, there is “justifiable skepticism about the FBI’s ability to handle massive amounts of information,” and recent anti-terrorism initiatives will create more data overload problems. As part of nationwide, ongoing digital government initiatives, COPLINK is an integrated information and knowledge management environment aimed at meeting some of these challenges.