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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – The Missouri Department of Public Safety today announced that Missouri is one of five U.S. states selected to develop ways to strengthen law enforcement through secure and streamlined methods of information sharing between law enforcement agencies, prosecutors and courts.
Missouri will concentrate its effort on expediting the exchange of criminal and civil DWI information. On June 2, 2010, Gov. Jay Nixon signed House Bill 1695, which cracks down on repeat DWI offenders and strengthens Missouri’s system of prosecuting, treating and punishing DWI offenders. Gov. Nixon had proposed an overhaul of Missouri’s DWI system to close gaps that allowed some offenders to avoid prosecution and keep driving.
“This is a great opportunity to further streamline and expedite important law enforcement record sharing in Missouri so that repeat DWI offenders cannot fall through the cracks, escape their proper punishment or treatment and wind up hurting innocent motorists and pedestrians,” Gov. Nixon said. “Additionally, the work our team does here in Missouri can serve as a model to help strengthen DWI enforcement across the country through this program.”
“We can improve the job we do in the criminal justice system by standardizing information and sharing that information securely and expeditiously,” said Missouri Director of Public Safety Director John M. Britt. “This grant will allow the team we’ve assembled to continue the improvement process that is already underway.”
Missouri has been awarded $25,000 by the National Governors Association’s Center for Best Practices to participate in the NGA’s Policy Academy on the Interagency Standardization of Justice Information Sharing. The grant will be used to assist Missouri’s team working on DWI enforcement with technical expertise from the National Governors Association.
The NGA program is designed to standardize justice information sharing systems and expedite access to time-sensitive records such as arrest warrants, protective orders and other materials to keep the public safe.
Other states selected to participate in the effort to bridge the gap in information transfers between agencies and states are Alabama, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and West Virginia.