NW_20001101_en_Communication News, November 1, 2000_ "Police GRAB Data"

November 1, 2000

Chicago-area criminal investigators seeking leads in a 1998 gang-related double homicide turned to the Gang Reduction Analysis Bulletin (GRAB), which provides intelligence reports on local gang members for law enforcement agencies throughout the nation. GRAB's information, obtained through the Cook County, IL, Sheriff's Police Department website, led to the arrest of multiple offenders in the case.

Set up in 1996, GRAB counters the gangs' transient nature, says Fred Hafner, director of criminal intelligence for the department's gang-crimes unit. "We find that gangs are very transient today, and normally take the path of least law-enforcement resistance when plying their criminal trades," he says. "Once they relocate, their criminal success is directly proportional to their anonymity. GRAB is designed to eliminate that anonymity by use of the Internet."

VASCO Data Security of Oakbrook Terrace, IL, provides security for GRAB with the handheld Digipass 300 device, which provides financial institutions, companies and organizations with a secure means of customer and employee identification for access to computer systems and networks, as well as authentication of cash-management activities.

GRAB participation requires law-enforcement personnel to register with the police department and attend a one-day training seminar, after which each officer receives an individually programmed device. Officially authorized personnel must have their PIN number to activate their Digipass 300, their proper log-in name, and the Digipass device to gain access to the GRAB database. Users can access the database from any computer with a Web browser-at any time and from anywhere in the world. www.vasco.com