In the following excerpt, Maj. Mike Copeland, chief deputy at the Franklin County (Missouri) Sheriff's Department, sums up the value of information sharing. It's a good read for police professionals looking to institute some changes in the post-9/11 era. Here's what Maj. Copeland had to say:
Dear Ms. Garrett,
I received my copy of "Law Enforcement Technology" magazine today, and as I usually do, read your Editor's Log. My agency was the lead agency in the Ownby case that resulted in the recovery of Ownby and Hornbeck, as well as the "stranger abduction" of a 7-day-old infant in our county on September 14, 2006, and the safe recovery of that infant and apprehension of the abductor on September 19, 2006.
I wanted to add to the comments made in your February editorial, that both of these cases were unquestionably and successfully solved because of absolute and unconditional cooperation between local, state, and yes, even the federal agencies. Even the media played an integral role in these cases.
Having been in law enforcement for 36 years, I've personally experienced the "stone walling" and often one-way communications/information sharing characteristics of many law enforcement agencies, especially the higher up the chain you go. But without a doubt, this was not the situation in either of these cases. In the post-9/11 era, this type of cooperation is the only way we can operate.
I hope other agencies can learn from the "Missouri Miracle." We need to learn that we must develop trust and cooperative liaisons, especially in today's society, in order to keep these types of "miracles" happening!
Thank you for your time and for such a great magazine. I enjoy receiving it and the information contained within.
Maj. Mike Copeland