National Sheriffs’ Association Partners with the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office to Implement their Justice Reinvestment Initiative Technology Grant

Monday, March 1, 2021

Innovative data-sharing project is first of its kind in the nation

Atlanta, GA – Today, the National Sheriffs’ Association (NSA) announced its partnership with the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office (FCSO) in Atlanta, Georgia to implement their three-year Justice Reinvestment Initiative (JRI) technology grant funded by the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA).

The $1,245,604 grant will be used to implement a first-of-its-kind initiative to reduce violent crime and recidivism in Fulton County, the greater Atlanta area, and neighboring counties in Georgia.  The groundbreaking project known as the NSA RAPIDS (Reduce violent crime and recidivism And Produce Improvement through Data Sharing) Pilot Project has brought together several experts to support the implementation at FCSO, including BI2 Technologies, Secured Communications, Watch Systems, and the IJIS Institute. Together, for the first time, the project combines three technologies — a mobile application and Secured Communications platform, all local and national databases of the Inmate Recognition and Identification System (I.R.I.S.™), and a digital platform, (Offender Watch® FOCUS technology) focused on registering, monitoring and tracking sex offenders.   

NSA emphasizes the importance of the project and is excited to work with FCSO and other agencies in the Greater Atlanta area. NSA Executive Director, Jonathan Thompson said, “Law enforcement remains challenged by information shortfalls. The NSA and its members are uniquely positioned to become a data-resource to law enforcement and the communities.  We thank the Department of Justice, Sheriff Labat, and the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office for seeing the need and helping to bridge the data divide.  This initiative will save lives, prevent crime and perhaps most importantly bring further transparency to our communities.” 

Fulton County, Georgia Sheriff Patrick “Pat” Labat said “The Fulton County Sheriff’s Office is honored to be selected by the National Sheriffs’ Association as the inaugural recipient of its Justice Reinvestment Initiative technology grant. Our partnership with the NSA serves as a national model for its members.  It underscores the importance of collaborating with other sheriffs’ offices and law enforcement agencies to ensure local and national offender databases are connected, accurate, and readily accessible.  We thank the NSA and Executive Director, Jonathan Thompson, for their leadership, and look forward to reaping the benefits of this innovative solution to reduce violent crime and recidivism in our communities.”

The BJA JRI NSA RAPIDS Pilot Project will begin its full implementation in Fulton County on March 1, 2021 and will enable all participating sheriffs’ offices and other law enforcement agencies in neighboring counties, as well as the District Attorney’s Office, to share critical data and information in real time across multiple legacy systems currently used by sheriffs, federal, state, and local law enforcement partners. 

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About the National Sheriffs’ Association

The National Sheriffs’ Association is one of the largest non-profit associations of law enforcement professionals in the United States, representing more than 3,000 elected sheriffs across the nation, and with a total membership of approximately 14,000 individuals. NSA is dedicated to raising the level of professionalism among sheriffs, their deputies, and others in the field of law enforcement, public safety, and criminal justice. Throughout its eighty-one-year history, NSA has also served as an information resource for all law enforcement, as well as local, state, and federal government agencies.

About the Award

This project was supported by Grant No. 2019-ZB-BX-0003 awarded by the Bureau of Justice Assistance. The Bureau of Justice Assistance is a component of the U.S. Department of Justice's Office of Justice Programs, which also includes the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the National Institute of Justice, the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, the Office for Victims of Crime, and the SMART Office. Points of view or opinions in this document are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the U.S. Department of Justice." The current edition of the OJP Financial Guide provides guidance on allowable printing and publication activities.