Alameda County employs 9,000 employees working across 21 departments and agencies. The Information Technology Department (ITD) provides technology support for several departments and agencies, including the Sheriff, Superior Court, District Attorney, Probation Department, and the Public Defender, along with approximately 30 police departments and smaller agencies. ITD is responsible for managing the technology stack used by the above stakeholders and helps better enable data sharing between the different criminal justice partners.
Today, MuleSoft underpins the IT infrastructure and criminal justice systems. Early on, the ITD identified urgent challenges that needed to solved. To better understand why we adopted MuleSoft’s Anypoint Platform, here is some context into the integration challenges we faced and what led ITD on this journey.
The challenge: Achieving connectivity between various case management systems
At some point, the criminal justice Case Management System (CMS) used by all criminal justice partners turned into a monolithic, legacy mainframe application. It was hard to use and even harder to manage. As a result, over the last decade each of the local agencies started to implement their own CMS to keep their data organized. The Sheriff’s department implemented their own CMS in 2015 and the Superior Court implemented a different CMS in 2016. A pattern was forming and this would result in long-term repercussions for Alameda County.
This represented a challenge for the IT team because we needed a way to integrate these different modern and legacy systems together. The goal was to give all stakeholders – from the Superior Court to the District Attorney – real-time access to defendant data. This would help improve data accuracy and allow the different teams to get their work done, as a defendant goes through the criminal justice path––from booking to sentencing.
Without integration between these systems, law enforcement partners had to resort to manual paperwork. For example, if the District Attorney’s office had to file a case, they would first manually fill out all necessary government paperwork. Then, they would physically take those documents to the courthouse, where the court clerks then used the courthouse computer systems to enter the information from the paperwork manually into the courthouse’s CMS. All in all, this process took anywhere between 3-4 hours for each case. This was both costly and inefficient.
The solution: Using Anypoint Platform to better integrate law enforcement data
There had to be a better way! Stakeholders should have the freedom to adopt a CMS that best fits their needs. However, it was equally important to be able to easily integrate these systems together and better surface law enforcement data to all relevant stakeholders in real-time.
This is where Anypoint Platform came into the picture. We chose the platform because we needed an integration tool that not only offered scalability and high performance, but a platform that could interface with our legacy technologies and any other current or future services and applications.
Today, Anypoint Platform integrates data from our law enforcement partners. The platform captures and routes data from the various groups into an integrated master database that is accessible by all law enforcement stakeholders.
Anypoint Platform provides 99% uptime, and this eliminates unexpected downtime and provides more time for development. As mentioned earlier, one of the data sharing processes used to take 3-4 hours; today, that process takes seconds. The District Attorney no longer has to enter information manually into different systems. All they do is enter the information once in their own system and the information is then sent directly to the systems of other law enforcement partners.
One of the biggest benefits we have experienced from Anypoint Platform is its agility. It is all about decoupling systems. Now, whenever one of our law enforcement partners makes a change to their systems, our team only has to make minor updates to the connections already in place to ensure data continuity. The ability for our partners to access real-time data through our master database has truly transformed the criminal justice system in Alameda County.
There are 6 separate sources of data and, using Anypoint Platform, we can validate the master database, as well as consistently link and orchestrate data to ensure real-time, accurate information. This would not be possible without MuleSoft’s Anypoint Platform. As a result of this end-to-end connectivity, critical law enforcement data is now only a click away for the entire law enforcement community.
Moving forward, we hope to enable other departments within Alameda County to adopt MuleSoft in order to decouple their systems, achieve better connectivity with various data sources and deliver better, more efficient services to law enforcement stakeholders and citizens alike.
Take a look at more resources on how MuleSoft can help your organization integrate data for real-time data and more.