The California Violent Crime Information Center is established under Title 12 of the California Penal Code. According to the CA code, it is the Attorney General’s job to create and maintain the California Violent Crime Information Center. The purpose of the California VCIC is to aid law enforcement agencies in identifying and apprehending the people responsible for violent crimes and for kidnapping people.
The California Violent Crime Information Center is charged with creating a system of violent offender profiles, as well as with providing information about violent offenders to law enforcement and district attorneys, in connection with cases involving violent crime and missing persons. The CA Violent Crime Information Center is also supposed to provide physical descriptions of people who are missing to authorized agencies so that they can distribute information and photographs in order to find the people in question. The center is required to gather statistics about missing persons, including children and dependent adults. California statistical information should be provided about family abductions, nonfamily abductions, voluntary missing, and lost children or lost dependent adults.
Most states have similar crime centers which are modeled on and work with the FBI’s National Crime Information Center. The National Crime Information Center has become the ultimate law enforcement resource for bringing criminals to justice. It makes data available to local agencies across the country every hour of the day and every day of the year.
There are 19 files in the NCIC database that help classify all kinds of data related to crime. Stolen articles, boats, guns, license plates, parts, securities, and vehicles are all listed in separate files of the database. In addition, 12 files exist about people. These include supervised release, national sex offender registry, foreign fugitive, immigration violator, missing person, protection order, unidentified person, U.S. Secret Service protective, gang, known or appropriately suspected terrorist, wanted person, and identity theft. The files include text data as well as images, so that law enforcement can identity people and stolen goods in California. Law enforcement officials can also access California criminal history record information through the same technology that enables them to access the NCIC.
Law enforcement officers in California can use the Crime Information Center to look up information when they pull people over on the highway. They can instantly see any information that has been entered about the person by other agencies. Just because they see something in the system doesn’t mean they can automatically arrest the person, though. First, they have to check with the law enforcement agency that entered the information in the system to make sure it is still accurate. If it is, they can say they found the missing person or the suspected terrorist, or the vehicle that was stolen, or whatever the case may be.
The system wouldn’t work if law enforcement agencies throughout the country didn’t work cooperatively to enter thorough and accurate information into the database. Public safety is maintained when California law enforcement officials share the information available to them in the spirit of cooperation.
The Criminal Justice Information Services board is responsible for maintaining the system, making improvements to it, and for providing access at key points throughout the nation. Criminal Justice Information Services installs computers in every state in the country, Washington D.C., Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam, in Canada, and in the federal agencies it establishes across the United States. Each of these places provides access to the National Crime Information Center for the law enforcement agencies in its jurisdiction.
Whenever a local agency enters information into the system, they are responsible for keeping that information up to date and removing it when it is no longer necessary. The Criminal Justice Information Services board audits local agencies to make sure that they are using the database correctly and that the information they enter is valid.