COPLINK: Information and knowledge management for law enforcement

Hsinchun Chen, Roslin V. Hauck, Homa Atabakhsh, Harsh Gupta, Chris Boarman, Jennifer Schroeder, Linda Ridgeway

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The problem of information and knowledge management in the knowledge intensive and time critical environment of law enforcement has posed an interesting problem for information technology professionals in the field. Coupled with this challenging environment are issues relating to the integration of multiple systems, each having different functionalities resulting in difficulty for the end user. COPLINK offers a cost-efficient way of web enabling stovepipe law enforcement information sharing systems by employing a model for allowing different police departments to more easily share data amongst themselves through an easy-to-use interface that integrates different data sources. The COPLINK project has two major components: COPLINK Database (DB) Application and COPLINK Concept Space (CS) Application. The COPLINK DB design facilitates retrieval of case details based on known information. COPLINK CS is an investigative tool that captures the relationships between objects (e.g., people, locations, vehicles, organizations, crime types) in the entire database allowing investigators and detectives to perform investigative associations and case analysis. This paper describes how we have applied the design criteria of platform independence, stability, scalability, and an intuitive graphical user interface to develop the COPLINK systems. Results of user evaluations that have been conducted on both applications to study the impact of COPLINK on law enforcement personnel. The COPLINK DB Application is currently being deployed at the Tucson Police Department and the Conctept Space is undergoing further modifications. Future development efforts for COPLINK project will also be discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)293-304
Number of pages12
JournalProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
StatePublished - 2001


  • Information retrieval
  • Information sharing
  • Information systems
  • Intelligence analysis
  • Knowledge management
  • Law enforcement

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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