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July 1, 2010
Ohio Law Enforcement Agencies and Courts Gain New Information Connection

The Supreme Court of Ohio and Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray today announced the launch of a cooperative venture that will provide Ohio’s law enforcement agencies with greater access to statewide justice information.

Officers and deputies across the state now can cast a wider net in searching backgrounds of individuals charged with crimes thanks to a new connection between the Ohio Courts Network (OCN), a centralized warehouse of case-related data operated by the Supreme Court of Ohio, and the Ohio Law Enforcement Gateway (OHLEG), a statewide law enforcement database system operated by the Attorney General’s Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation (BCI).

Developed by the Supreme Court, the OCN enables courts and justice system partners to share information and to support functions such as criminal history reviews, warrant and protection order searches, pre-sentencing investigations, background checks and pre-custody reviews.

Local courts’ case management systems send data each night to the Supreme Court, which then integrates and securely stores this information and makes it available to other courts and justice system partners.

The justice system partners’ records available through the OCN include those from the Bureau of Motor Vehicles, the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction, the Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation criminal history database and any case-related record from local courts connected to the OCN.

Operated by the Ohio Attorney’s General Office, the Ohio Law Enforcement Gateway (OHLEG) is a secure Web-based platform available to law enforcement agencies only, containing tools, databases and other applications designed to increase communication among these agencies and assist in their efforts to solve and prevent crimes.

Under the agreement between the Supreme Court and Attorney General Cordray’s office, the Supreme Court added BCI records to the OCN and OHLEG gained access to the court-related records in the OCN.

“Through the OCN, the flow of information between local courts and justice system partners is improved because of the availability of current, accurate and centralized data,” said Robert Stuart, Supreme Court IT Director. “By adding law enforcement agencies as another partner, the OCN continues to serve its intended purpose, which is to provide reliable and useful information to further the fair administration of justice in Ohio.”

“This project is evidence of two important areas of focus,” said Attorney General Cordray.  “Partnerships such as our cooperative agreement with the Supreme Court of Ohio allow us to advance the administration of justice by leaps and bounds. Furthermore, our local communities benefit each time we provide new and better tools to their law enforcement officers. Providing better information assists them in their efforts to keep our neighborhoods safe.”

More than 340 courts have signed agreements to participate and have access to the OCN information. More than 70 courts are fully connected to the OCN statewide, and many other courts are working to connect and add their case data as well. The OCN’s goal is to have 80 percent of the case-related data from local courts available systemwide by the end of the year. Learn more about the OCN.

The Ohio Law Enforcement Gateway, launched in 2003, continues to be updated and expanded with new services including the OHLEG-SE search engine, and a “mobile” version of OHLEG-SE that can be viewed on smartphones, which was just added in 2009. Hundreds of law enforcement agencies in Ohio and immediately neighboring states use OHLEG daily, recognizing it as a national model for information-sharing technology in law enforcement. For more information about OHLEG, please visit www.OhioAttorneyGeneral.gov/OHLEGBrochure.

Ohio Attorney General Contact: Ted Hart, 614.728.4127.

Supreme Court of Ohio Contact: Bret Crow, 614.387.9250.